Wow, Oregon…. Not that I’m surprised. I truly love Oregon. Mike drove separately from me as I was in Brazil while he was traveling. And we were running from the smoke as we left Montana, but the day I arrived back home the smoke started moving out, the rain started settling in, but there was beautiful moments in every day.. Just what I remember Oregon to be (I lived in Oregon in 1997 and 1998). We did spend a month in Oregon, but not in one spot. We moved about every week. Not ideal, but we loved seeing a lot of Oregon.
Our first stop was half way between Bend and Crater Lake, in Crescent, Oregon. We have considered living in Bend before, so it was good to spend a few days in the neighborhood, and Crater Lake had been on my list.. well, ever since I lived in Oregon in 1997, so pretty much exactly 20 years. I never had gotten there, primarily because Crater Lake is snowed in until July, and closes by October. I worked really hard to get our schedule set up to go to Crater Lake, and although it would have been GORGEOUS without the smoke, it is still magnificent to behold. We spent one day there.
Also in the neighborhood is Newberry National Volcanic Monument. We stopped in there and enjoyed the beauty this place had to offer. The most striking thing at this park was a large Obsidian lava flow. I’ve known about obsidian my whole life, but I don’t think I’ve ever ween anything like this. The sun wasn’t too cooperative, but in the brief moments we got brightness the sparkle off the obsidian was amazing.. The pictures really don’t show it.
SOUTH COAST OF OREGON
After the week in Crescent we headed for the coast. We had three major stops, one in the South of Oregon, one midway up the coast and one on the northern Oregon Coast. In the South we stayed at a Commercial RV Park in Port Orford. The park was very small and very friendly. We loved staying there. We were invited to coffee every morning and a game of dominoes very day for happy hour. I had been craving that social connection!
We took one day in Port Orford and drove down into the Redwood National/State Parks in California. How magnificent that was!
We took another day trip and took a jet boat ride up the Rogue River. I had been wanting to do that for a long time, and was also specifically going to Oregon to fit that in. The jet boat held about 40 people. The trip went 100 miles round trip. The boat have 3 jet drives for a horsepower of 1100. Amazing they run up the rapid of the river in 6 inches of water. Because they have the 3 drives they can spin around in a 360 degree turn. And no-one stays dry if the driver doesn’t want you to. Great fun that day. The boat trip was all day long, stopping at a mid-point for lunch at a local restaurant. We saw eagles, egrets, blue heron, osprey, black tail deer, 4 otters, and stopped for about 20 minutes to watch a bear. The salmon fisherman were crowding the mouth of the river as we get started, but the turn around point is well into the wilderness area.
In Port Orford we also ate out a number of times (yep that is news for us) and even ate seafood probably half of those times… Also worth noting if you know us. We tried to ground ourselves everyday by walking on the beach for a bit. One beach was an agate beach, so we walked there a couple of times and were distracted finding agates! (“Wait.. is THAT an agate or just a rock?”)
Of course all the other days were rounded out by work… let’s not forget that.
CENTRAL COAST OF OREGON
After a week of that fun we headed north. The rain showed up as we left Port Orford. We stopped for the next 3 nights at South Beach state park just South of Newport. My first introduction to Oregon was in this park in 1997 when my family had a family reunion in the Yurts for rent here. I still love the yurts.. don’t need one now, because I brought my house… But if you are reading this and not living in an RV… You HAVE to rent a yurt at an Oregon state park!! (On the beach is the best!).
It rained solidly for the whole 3 days we were there, which was ok as these were all work days. We still made it out for our daily walk on the beach, but other than that we were cozy in the RV. However, it was interesting how in the course of 3 days the season changed from Summer to undoubtedly Fall.
NORTH COAST OF OREGON
3 days later found us on our way North again. Toward Nehalem Bay State Park in Northern Oregon. On the drive up we stopped a few spots to watch the “angry sea”. We also found a few places to stop and watch for whales, and saw quite a few, and quite a few tails as well. Amazing. The whales were very close and visible from the cliffs. We had scouted out a spot to stop and do an RV photo shoot (I wanted a better photo of the RV with the ocean behind for the new website), so while the weather didn’t cooperate much again, we got the job done!
The next day we were meeting up with Mike’s sister, Debra, and her husband, Joe, who were arriving from Utah with their 19′ bumper pull trailer and camping at Rockaway Beach, about 20 minutes South of where we were. They were also meeting up with Joe’s two sister’s and their husband.. so we had a party! We spent the weekend hanging out with them, we drove up to Cannon Beach and Seaside, did some wine tasting and were disappointed that the tour at Tillamook was closed for remodeling. Debra made us a dutch oven dinner on the beach. It was nice to see them. Enjoyed Joe’s sisters, it was nice to meet them. Sunday morning they left to move on South, we stayed and finished out week at Nehalem.
We really loved the Oregon State Parks. Very nice. Most of them however do not have sewer hookups, although they did have power and water. So we tried our first experiences with no sewer hook up, which made Mike very uncomfortable. It might not have been so bad if our black tank gauge worked properly. But we were cautious to use the park toilets when we could, manually dump our dish water, and take showers in the park. We didn’t want any sewage backing up into the RV because we couldn’t tell how full our tanks were. Mike also had to take a trip to the laundromat as we didn’t quite make it without needing clean underwear. One week was doable, but two pushed our limits. (Our tank limits).
… AND ONWARD WITH OUR TRAVELS
When we left Nehalem, we stopped in Portland, to visit Mike’s cousin, Raylene and Gary, at their boat house on the Columbia River (yep, rerun from my eclipse trip there). They were busy but fit us in for lunch. We left her place to hit the new IKEA just 10 minutes from her house.
IKEA, my favorite store, and although we live in an RV, we actually bought quite a surprising amount of things, a table to keep at my couch for my laptop.. I love it! And an Island for Mike in the kitchen. He loves that! Plus a few other things. We made two other quick overnight stops on our way to Boise… where we are booked for this month… but that is another story.