We left Heber City, Utah, and headed north into Idaho. Once again, we stopped in Boise to visit our in-laws and enjoyed a meal while we caught up. Their house was jazzed up for Halloween.
We spent the night at Ambassador RV Park, and got an early start the following morning. Heading west on 84 into Oregon to 201S to 20W, we drove through Juntura (where the time zone changes from MST to PST. Thankfully, there was a street sign to let us know it was happening.
As we continued driving north, you could see Mount Hood in the distance. We drove to Little Sisters (just south) and boon docked off Route 20.
After driving on Route 20 for several hours the following morning, we stopped at a trailhead for the PCT to stretch our legs and take a hike. Unfortunately, it was “Closed Due to Extreme Fire Behavior.”
About an hour later, we drove through the town of Detroit, which was hit hard by the raging wildfires. Many homes were burnt to the ground. It almost looked like a war zone. It was so odd to see a single home standing intact amongst the ruins of so many others. Since I was born and raised on the East Coast, I had never seen such devastation from fire in a town before. I had only seen the aftermath of fire it in the depths of the forests and mountains. I said a prayer for the displaced families.
We continued east and then north into McMinnville. There is free overnight parking at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum. We parked the trailer and took a stroll around the grounds. There are four buildings that display artifacts from the Early 1900’s, WWI, WWII, and up to modern times. We passed on going inside the museums and chose to enjoy the sites from outside the building. Below is a view of Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose, the biggest wooden airplane in the world. It is massive!
If you have young children, this would be a great place to visit. Although the outdoor playground was closed due to Covid19, someday it will open again.
Later that evening, we met more in-laws at Ruddick Wood American Restaurant in Newberg. This is the second time that we were in Oregon, and a bonus to meet up with Aimee and Jay again.
In the morning, we were back out on the road again. Traveling on 47N to 26W, we stopped at Sunset Rest Area. We had not seen rain for over two months. Here we were, back in the wet PNW. We parked and took a walk through the forest on Steam Donkey Trail. Everything was wet and very green…another one of our country’s beauties!
Two hours later, we crossed over the Astoria-Megler Bridge, which crosses over the Columbia River from Oregon into Washington.
About 100 miles north up the coastline, Route 101 hugs the Pacific Ocean once again. There are a few public beaches just off the road with small areas to park your car. We stopped at Beach 2 and took a short walk to the water.
Less than an hour later, we entered the town of Forks, which is located northwestern section of the Olympic Peninsula. Forks was also the filming location for the teen vampire series, Twilight. We spent the night at Forks 101 RV Park, and in the morning began our last trek from Oregon to Whidbey Island.
Bright and early the next morning, we continued north on 101 until it veered east, running parallel to Washington State’s coastline and the Strait of Juan De Fuca. We pulled over at Lake Crescent, and took a short stroll to the water’s edge where we enjoyed the beauty of the day.
We walked the 30 steps back to the truck and Scott discovered that he only had the door remote on his key chain. The key to start the truck had fallen off the ring. Oh boy! Imagine having to look for a black key that has fallen amidst this shoreline. We waded through the shallow water and I “eventually” found the key in the dark, black mud along the shore. Hallelujah!
After the excitement, we finally made it to Port Townsend Ferry Terminal, which took us across the Admiralty Inlet of the Puget Sound. Whidbey Island, here we come!
Crater Lake in Oregon was formed as a result of a collapsed volcano about 7,700 years ago. Our next stop was to another collapsed volcano, Paulina Lake. We were fortunate to get a site for one night in Paulina Lake State Park as it was fully booked beginning July 2.
The next morning, we got up early and took a six-mile round-trip hike to Paulina’s Peak, approximately 1,200’ elevation gain.
The first mile was flat through the forest.
The next two miles was a constant elevation gain.
From the peak, you can clearly see Paulina Lake.
Panning to the right, you could see the dried up lava, Big Obsidian Flow, and East Lake.
Below is a shot of both Paulina and East Lake. The two lakes are a result of a volcanic dome pushing up into the middle of a once larger lake.
We didn’t spend much time at the peak as we needed to be out of the campsite by 11:00 a.m. So, we packed up (AGAIN) and headed north towards Bend. We stopped for a late lunch at a restaurant called Crux Fermentation Project. It was a great little place with an outdoor setting for families to hang out with their kids and dogs, and the food (beer?) was great!
Afterwards, we set up camp at La Pine State Park North Loop #127. This campground offered large sites, water & electric, and it was only 30 minutes outside of the town of Bend. I wanted to be close enough to a town that had a Fourth of July parade, and we agreed that we would stay there for the next three nights! Woo hoo!
After relaxing for a bit, we took a fun bike ride on Phil’s Trailhead, and met some fun folks who helped us navigate the trails.
On July 4, we drove back to Bend for their “annual” Pet Parade. It was one of the most entertaining parades I have ever witnessed! While there were mostly dogs in this parade, we did see pet ponies, horses, goats, chickens in coops, boa constrictor, iguana, and a pig in a baby carriage! I took a short video at the start of the parade.
Here is a collection of some of my favorite pets in the parade.
After the parade ended, we walked around Drake Park to check out the holiday festivities. There were multiple food trucks as well as artistic vendors sellingand games for kids. They did NOT have a free beer like they do in my hometown of Oradell, New Jersey. If you wanted an alcoholic drink, you had to go into one of the restaurants. Check out this establishment.
Perhaps the highlight of the day was when I called my momma from the trailer and asked her to sing to me The Star Spangled Banner. It made us both giggle and smile.
The next morning, we left our home of three days and headed east towards Eugene. We had scheduled an appointment for Saturday in Eugene to get new tires put on our trailer. We spent the next two nights at Kamping World Campground in the town of Coburg, just outside of Eugene. It was catch up on laundry time.
On Sunday, July 7th, we celebrated our wedding anniversary. The day began by packing up camp and heading up the coast. We decided to take a break from driving and stopped at Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Park. Listed on the National Register of Historical Places, it claims to be one of the most photographed lighthouses in the world. The walk up to the lighthouse was a bit steep, but the view was beautiful!
Next, we hiked up many steps and switchbacks on the opposite side of the lighthouse.
I had to stop close to the top to catch my breath.
Seeing this view of the ocean was completely worth it.
After the hike, we found a campground in Florence at Pacific Pines RV Park for one night. Then, we went out to dinner to celebrate our 15th Wedding Anniversary. What? Yes. It had been five years since we said our “I Do’s” on Long’s Peak, plus another ten years for one year of living together 24/7 full-timing. If you ever full time, you will understand and agree with my calculation.
The following day, we continued north on 101. The views are so spectacular as you drive parallel to the water, especially when you see the Tsunami warning sign (zoom in to see the sign). The elevation along the coastline of Oregon changes every so often, and there are signs warning you when you enter a Tsunami Evacuation Zone.
We stopped at Cape Perpetual Area and hiked Captain Cook Trail.
First, we hiked up Captain Cook Trail. The views at the top are breathtaking!
Below are closer views with Scott’s camera.
Next, we headed back down to walk along the shore. Below is a picture taken as we were approaching the beach.
As you head out towards the water and to the left, you walk around tide pools and on uneven and slippery rocks covered with mussel shells.
It was a bit freaky to be walking over the mussels that I love to eat.
The next picture is of Thor’s Well. At high tide, you can see water splashing up out of the well into the air. Unfortunately, it was low tide.
Scott wanted to get closer to the edge and ventured on without me.
After the hike, we drove a bit farther to Cape Lookout State Park and was lucky enough to find a site about a five minute walk to the water.
We parked and took our chairs down by the water. I was pleasantly surprised to see people/kids swimming in the ocean! We sat in our chairs and watched while contemplating whether or not we should put our suits on and go in.
Scott pretended to go for a swim. He is dead center in the below picture.
The next morning, I took a stroll alone on the beach.
It wasn’t long before I came across a stream cutting a path from the land to the ocean.
I was too nervous to cross over it for fear that it would be deeper upon my return, so I retreated back to the campsite. Silly, right?
Our next stop is Portland. We spent hours driving through city traffic which is something that we do not miss. Eventually, we got off Hwy 84 and onto Hwy 30, which is a winding two-lane, scenic road that runs parallel to 84. There are a five different waterfalls cascading over the walls of the Columbia River Gorge that are reached from Historic Hwy 30. We stopped at Crown Point Vista House and took some pictures of the view. Scott is taking a picture of the Columbia River Gorge. On the opposite side of the river is the state of Washington.
And, here is his photo.
We wanted to stay outside of Portland, even though we planned to spend some time there. We booked Crown Point RV Park in Corbett for three nights. It was a self check-in and this owner left us treats! This was a first.
Multnomah Falls is the most popular of the five along the Gorge. When we passed it on the way to our campground, there was no parking available. We actually set up camp, ate dinner, and headed out around 7:00 p.m. in the rain. There were NO crowds and plenty of parking. LOL
We started at Latourell Falls and continued on to Bridal Veil Falls, Wahkeena Falls, and finally the famous Multnomah Falls.
The next day we hiked 11 miles round-trip on Timberline Trail #600 at Mt. Hood. Talk about green scenery. Is it this green in Ireland???
The flowers were so vibrant. These are just a few that we saw.
Beargrass was plentiful in this area. You can see the growth pattern in the pictures below.
While it was a perfect day for hiking (cool, light rain), it was too cloudy to see Mt. Hood. We stopped to eat lunch with the hope that the clouds would roll by to reveal the hidden mountain. Not a chance.
Knowing that driving around the city of Portland the next day could create unnecessary tension, we elected to take mass transportation. Don’t we look happy and excited to be on the morning local train?
Portland is your typical big city with the big name stores, lots of places to eat and drink, and plenty of tourists. Apparently, donuts are extremely popular here. We passed a store called Voodoo Doughnut, but the length of the line outside thwarted our desires.
So, instead of getting a donut, I got a picture of the menu. Voodoo Bubble? Would it taste like a piece of gum??
A little later when I stopped at an Athleta store to shop, Scott found Nola’s.
Then we spotted a guy walking into a building with his dog. I wanted to see what building he had entered. Wow! This was a surprise for me. It was the company that my daughter worked at for three years in New York City. They have a bring your dog to work policy.
Our next stop was Washington Park. We had limited time, so we had to choose from so many attractions. There is a beautiful memorial there for Vietnam Veterans. We walked for over an hour, stopping at each plaque, and reading the names of those who died in service. In addition to the names, each plaque had inscriptions for that time period that occurred in the world as well as locally in Portland. It was very moving.
It was time to get back on the train and head west to Beaverton. We were meeting family (Amiee and Jay) for dinner at a popular, local Food Court.
We were having such a good time together, that I forgot to get a picture of us. There WILL be a next time. It was a long, fun day with the highlight upon us. We would now get on the train back to our campground in Corbett for almost two hours. Next stop is Whidbey Island, Washington.
Crater Lake National Park has incredibly blue water, dramatic cliffs, and several hiking trails to choose from. Rim Drive is a 33-mile road that encircles Crater Lake, a collapsed volcano from 7,700 years ago. It has about 30 scenic pullouts along the route as seen on the map below.
There are only two campgrounds in this national park. Lost Creek Campground is located to the southeast off East Rim Drive, which is only open the summer. It has 16 sites for tents only on a first-come, first-served basis. Mazama Camprgound is located about seven miles south of Rim Village, just past the park’s southwest entrance station. It is a large campground with 214 sites. During the month of June, sites are available on a first-come, first served basis. During July, August and September you need to reserve a site online or by phone call. They accept reservations for 75% of the sites. The other 25% are first-come, first-serviced.
We arrived at Crater Lake National Park around 9:00 a.m. from the south off Hwy 62.
We soon learned that East Rim Drive was still closed, and not expected to open any time soon. Heavy snowfall during the previous winter resulted in all trails being closed for hiking due to dangerous snow conditions. This was a disappointment to us. We still wanted to spend a few nights. It was June 30, the last day in June. Lost Creek was completely closed, and Mazama Village did not have many sites available. We had to wait in a line for three hours to maybe get a site for just one night. Beginning July 1, they were fully booked. The wait wasn’t really so bad as there were some very interesting, chatty people on line near us. The only problem was with the darn mosquitoes that were swarming us while we stood on the line. One guy was sharing his DEET spray as we watched each other swat the darn bugs away. It was as though the area was infested with them. They were truly annoying and obviously hungry. Every so often, a park employee would come out of the Ranger Office to tell us that IF we were lucky enough to get a site, it would ONLY be for the one night. Nobody got off the line. We persevered and was granted Site C24 in Mazama.
After we got settled, we took a drive southwest of the lake to an entrance to the Pacific Crest Trail, that would lead us to Union Peak Trail.
The PCT is not part of the National Park, but it is a stop off spot for through hikers where they can get mail (food goodie bags), take a hot shower, and eat a meal. I am always excited when I get to hike on the PCT. It is the third time that I have hiked on part of this famous 300 mile North-South trail. There was some snow remaining here and there on the trail, but so far the going was easy.
The problem was that the mosquitoes were having their annual reunion. They were everywhere! And, they liked to bite ME. I was actually wearing a net around my head, but it didn’t make a difference.
I just wasn’t in the mood for them. I am at a point in my life when I have no problem not doing things that I don’t want to do. I hate bugs. I hate bugs that fly around my face bugging me. Call me a baby or call me a wimp. I don’t really care. I insisted that Scott continue, and I headed back to the truck. We agreed that I would pick him back up in three hours. So, I headed back to the Campground and made some through-hiker friends outside of the Ranger’s Office.
They shared some stories about their journey so far and graciously posed for a picture with me.
The next morning, we packed up camp and took a drive on West Rim, the only section that was open. As I mentioned above, there are several pull-offs to enjoy the views. It was a beautiful day. We parked the trailer and hiked on Discovery Point Trail, an easy dirt trail that runs along the rim of the lake through a pretty forest of white bark pines and mountain hemlocks. Below are a few pictures of Wizard Island as we walked along the east rim from the south.
Wizard Island erupted out of Crater Lake approximately 7,300 years ago. Somebody is a bit too close to the edge.
Below is West Rim with the opposite view from the lake. Simply spectacular!
To be completely honest, I am not that disappointed that we had to leave this park. Apparently, the nasty mosquitoes have been around for a while. Twenty-four hours was enough for me. I would like to return here someday when the East Rim is open.