State #48 - Oregon! plus Washington and California

Day 1 (5/2/08) - click here for pictures: We are anxious for a vacation and the kids are very excited. We've had two trips in between their last trip to Savannah and Charleston. Dad took us to the airport for our 2:40 flight from Little Rock to Denver. It was a fairly smooth flight and we landed around 4:20 local time. We grabbed supper at Schlotzsky's and then caught our flight from Denver to Portland. The kids did great on the plane. Anderson finally went to sleep the last 5 minutes before we landed in Portland. Robby went to get our rental car and we were on the way to the hotel by 9:15 local time (or 11:15 CST). Kids are still going strong as I type and it's past midnight in Little Rock. We're here at the Radisson for 3 nights. Planning to sightsee in and around Portland tomorrow.

Day 2 (5/3/08) - click here for pictures: We all woke up around 7 this morning and left the hotel around 7:45. Our first stop was Wal-Mart (since we don't have any at home). We loaded up on picnic supplies, diapers, drinks and even had to buy another ice chest for our stuff (we will be here a week). We drove up to the Pittock Mansion and walked around the grounds. The view of Portland was pretty and it looked like it was going to be a beautiful day. We then drove around Washington Park and the Japenese Gardens. The kids loved the Oregon Zoo-even though they were ready for a nap. Reagan's favorite animal was the elephant and Anderson's was the otter (click here for a quick video). After the zoo, we had a picnic lunch at the Rose Garden Children's Park. We played on the playground and slides (fun for Reagan and not so much fun for Anderson). Right after lunch, we stopped at the Chinatown Gates and Voodoo Doughnuts. McMinneville was our next stop to see Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose at the Evergreen Aviation Museum. It was a perfect time for a museum since it was raining pretty good by then. We had supper at the Daily Cafe in the Pearl District back in Portland and then headed to St. Cupcakes for another dessert. We were completely stuffed by then and called it a night.
Day 3 (5/4/08) - click here for pictures: We all slept until 8 this morning but quickly headed to our first stop-Mt. St. Helens. We toured the visitor center at Silver Lake (still 50ish miles from the mountain-the other visitor centers were still closed for winter). There we watched a movie, took a failed back picture and had our picnic lunch. Then we headed to Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge. After circling for 10 minutes we were able to find a parking spot and see the waterfall. We hiked to the bridge but decided not to hike to the top of the falls which was another 3/4 miles away. Fort Vancouver in Vancouver, WA was our next step. The fort is famous for its Pearson airfield and other things I am sure! The kids enjoyed the slides and swings. It was suppertime and we saw a great place for supper nearby our hotel-IKEA. After supper we did a little bit of shopping (we should be able to get everything home). We then gave Reagan the choice between driving back into Portland (20ish miles) for a chocolate shop or going swimming. She picked swimming and Anderson seemed to agree. They were delighted to strip down, put on their suits and run down the hall (even though Anderson probably doesn't even remember going swimming from last summer). They both had a great time and after baths and a little bit of repacking they are sound asleep. We plan on waking up early and heading to Astoria to begin our trek down the Oregon coast.
Day 4 (5/5/08) - click here for pictures: Our alarm cried around 6:10 this morning and we were leaving the hotel by 7:30. During our drive to Astoria the weather was dreary-we battled clouds all day long but no rain. After a few bathroom stops along the way, we made it to the Astoria column. Since the weather was cloudy we decided not to climb the column (and it was closed). Fort Clatsop, home to Lewis and Clark for a winter, was next. Rob and I took our pictures by the Seaside sign and the end of the Lewis and Clark trail. The kids touched the Pacific Ocean for the first time at Cannon Beach near Haystack Rock and ran off a little energy (click here for video #1) (click here for video #2). Our mid-afternoon stop was at the Tillamook Cheese Factory. The kids were very interested watching the cheese in the factory and they loved the samples. Reagan passed on the ice cream for more cheese but Anderson loved everybit of his ice cream. After leaving the cheese factory, we stopped at Devil's Punchbowl for a few pictures. Then we only had a short drive to the Yaquina Head lighthouse. The wind there was crazy so Reagan did not enjoy it. Our hotel was nearby and it had a pool so our evening was spent swimming and taking baths before bed. The first planned stop tomorrow is the Oregon State Aquarium which opens at 10-but maybe we will find something to do before then.

Day 5 (5/6/08) - click here for pictures: The kids didn't stir until around 8:30 this morning but we still managed to eat breakfast and arrive at the Oregon State Aquarium by 10. The highlights were seeing the otters and seals. Robby and Reagan jumped out of the car to look for whales at Strawberry Hill-but they didn't think they saw any. We saw many lighthouses today-the Haceta Head, Umpqua and Bandon lighthouses-to name a few. The favorite stop of the day was at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. We hiked up a sand dune-Rob carried Anderson down and Reagan and Tara had to slide down on their rears. The kids chased the water (click here for a video), Anderson loved the sand and we all struggled to climb back up the dune. In Coos Bay, we had a late lunch at Abby's Pizza. Anderson needed a break so we walked around the windy Pistol River viewpoint before heading into California. At the state line, Reagan had her picture made and then chatted on the phone for a bit with Nonna and Grannymom (click here for a video). Our hotel was right on the strip and we were eating our supper before 8 this evening.

Day 6 (5/7/08) - click here for pictures: Our day began a little of the fussy side with one wanting their juice and the other not wanting to be buckled in their car seat. Things soon calmed down with a scenic drive through the Redwood State and National Parks. After driving down an unpaved road for several miles, we took a 3/4 mile walk around Stout Grove (click here for a video). Next, the kids soon fell asleep and we drove South through the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway to the Lady Bird Johnson Grove. After a chilly picnic lunch, we walked the 1 mile loop to see where the park was dedicated by Lady Bird. Our next stop was the Tour Thru Tree in Klamath. We drove through the tree 4 times and only scratched our mirror once! (click here for a video) We were the last people in the Trees of Mystery. Which included a walk (nearly a mile) and then a gondola ride to the top of a mountain for a scenic overlook. We were all exhausted by then and grabbed a bite to eat and headed back to the hotel.

Day 7 (5/8/08) - click here for pictures: We slept in this morning until almost 8:30. After packing up and a quick trip to Safeway, we were on the road on Hwy. 199 through Cave Junction, Grants Pass and Medford. We stopped at the corporate headquarters of Harry and David's. The tour through their candy making operation and produce packing area was quite interesting - a lot of manual work goes into all those gift packages. After the tour, we made a few purchases from the company store including a peanut butter chocolate cheesecake for dessert tonight. We ate a late lunch at McGrath's Fish House where Tara opted for the crab cakes and Robby for the fish tacos and clam chowder. Anderson was so tired he laid his head on the table. We were back on the road after lunch and headed to Ft. Klamath where we are spending the night. We made it to the Aspen Inn around 5:00. It's a little country motel in the middle of the High Cascade Mountains. It is quite quaint - only about 12 rooms - plus we are their only guests tonight. Not many options in this area but it's only 7 miles from the entrance of Crater Lake National Park - our destination tomorrow. After we unloaded the van, we played outside for awhile before coming in for supper. After turkey tortillas, we enjoyed the cheesecake from Harry and David's. Anderson went on to sleep and Reagan is watching a movie.

Day 8 (5/9/08) - click here for pictures: We packed up and headed to Crater Lake National Park this morning. They are just now getting out of their snow season - they average 45 feet of snow a year. In fact, the Rim Drive won't be open until the first week of July. It takes the park crew from April to July to clear the 33-mile drive around the lake. We visited the information center and had a nice view of the lake. We made the scenic drive from the park to Eugene, Oregon for a late lunch at Roaring Rapids Pizza where they had a carousel and games. After eating, we stopped at a nice city park for the kids to run off some energy. We made the final hour drive from Eugune to Salem (passing Obama's caravan en route to Eugene). We are spending the night at the Red Lion Hotel.

Day 9 (5/10/08) - click here for pictures: 1,514 miles in a mini-van and 3,514 miles in airplanes and we are back home. We packed up this morning and made two quick stops in Salem - the State Capitol and Governor's Mansion. We made the drive back to Portland for a stop at Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe where Reagan opted for a kitty cat chocolate and the grown ups and Anderson had milkshakes. Next door was a Hallmark and Anderson spotted himself a cow backpack - he needed one since he had been jealous of Reagan's duck backpack. We returned the mini-van and checked in at the airport without any problems. Anderson was so proud walking through the airport with his new backpack. A bit of delay leaving Portland so we had to book it to our connecting flight in Denver. They were waiting on us when we boarded the plane. The flight from Denver to Little Rock was quick (1.5 hours) with a great tailwind. Tom was waiting on us when we arrived and then Nonna and Jason were soon to arrive at our house for a quick greeting. Everyone was glad to be home!

1 comment:

M. D. Vaden of Oregon said...

Several photos on this posting of yours are among places I visit a lot. From the gorge up north down to the redwoods, and over to the Medford / Grants Pass area.

Seeing how long you have been blogging and sharing stuff, you might enjoy a page I've been tinkering on:

Largest Coastal Redwood Trees / Photos

A couple of those redwoods, like Lost Monarch, are across the water from Stout Grove in an undisclosed region of that park's redwood forest.


M. D. Vaden of Oregon