Oregon Expedition - Tackling the Pacific Northwest

Shana and I have bee wanting to tour the state of Oregon for quite some time.  We have marked California and Washington off our list and the only remaining state left on the west coast of the lower 48 was Oregon.  Not to mention we are still on the hunt for an ideal summer retirement home and really needed to see what the state could offer.  I have always heard how gloomy the winters can be in Washington and Oregon and although our trip duration would not put in us in peak winter season, we would be there during the shoulder.

Our frist stop would be Portland for a late night arrival and early am departure to start our adventure.  The plan was to head to the coast and drive along the scenic highway and visit Newberg, then cut over and continue south on I-5 until we arrived at Eugene were we wold spend a half day and two nights.

Nice example of a low protected coastal areas.  This location has several mollusks and crustaceans  that people can harvest.

This restaurant was located in small fishing village in Newberg (Local Ocean) and was absolutely delicious!

Location of a tragic Tsunami many many years ago.

This local tap house has a beer case of over 1000 distinct beers.  Since we enjoy tasting different craft beers this was really a treat.

I have always admired the hand crafted bikes made by Co-Motion and since I was in Eugene, I had to stop by and check their facilities out.  The guys here were so cool and inviting.  A nice place!

Ninkasi Brewing Company in Eugene, OR, what an awesome tasting room and great beers on tap.  What made the so much more enjoyable was the cool bartender serving!  What a great friendly personality and even better sense of humor.  Made our stay there fabulous

While we were just checking out the city of Eugene and its neighborhoods, we strolled along this very strange fence comprised all of old doors.  A ton of personality and originality here.  Unique to this city is the numerous living co-ops that have been established and flourish.  Seems like the concept is left over from the hippy days of past but it seems to have stuck in the city of Eugene.  Just a few blocks down we found an entire city block of about 10 homes and was a "co-op" living arraignment.

Tucked in a small neighborhood was this hidden gem of a park.  Wow the roses were spectacular and the relaxing walk was a needed break.  So, you know that I took an opportunity to "stop and smell the roses".

What a place this park was.

Very old tree.

The beauty, if you decide to look for it.

Some fantastic deserts at Sweat Life.

Our breakfast stop before departing Eugene.

We headed back to the coast on our way to Ashland and stopped at Coos Bay for a walk downtown.  Small quaint town.  And even better, a  spectacular weather day!

We had to stop by the city of Bandon, OR were their claim to fame is cranberries.  They happen to produce the most cranberries in the  US.

Okay, you can't see it but in the distant, on that mountain are two letters "RR" basically, my town!

In Medford, OR we found an old part of history.

Love the symmetry of this building in Jacksonville, OR.
Ahh, the Shakespeare festival in Ashland and our next stop for two days.  Plenty of hippies and street entertainers in Ashland, OR.   I suspect it's related to all the tourists for the festival that last an astonishing six weeks!  I had no we would arrive during the festival.  It ended up being a bit crowded and the town seems to be really geared towards tourists.

The Caldera Tap Room had some of the best beers I have ever sampled.  They were all just plain delicious!  I'm going to miss this place (Ashland, OR)

Ashland has a spectacular park that literally runs through the city center and is just an amazing natural feature of the city. It gives the city a fantastic wilderness getaway just steps away form the heart of downtown.

The town of Jacksonville, OR was small but worth while to stop by and check out the unique selection of retail shops and restaurants.  It won't take long to see the entire downtown area/city center but is worth the 15/25 minute drive form Ashland.

Pretty self explanatory here!

The views were definitely breathtaking and we took the advise of the park ranger and hiked up to Garfield Peak, which according to the ranger is peak that gives the most spectacular views of  Crater Lake.  We were please that we took his advice since we only had a relatively short period of time in the park.

I had always had Crater Lake pretty high on my bucket list to do a circumnavigation backpacking trip (about 33 miles).  However, in hindsight, It has now moved significantly down the list.  Literally, I think I have seen it all with the views that Garfiled Peak provided.  Certainly, you would get different view points from other areas as you move around the lake but it would be so similar.

Panorama shot.

Contemplating her next photo shot.

It's just over there!

Having fun with shadows.

Our next stop for four nights was Bend, OR.  What a fantastic town and city center.  I've heard so much about Bend and how the community has such a great infrastructure and outdoor activities that abound.  Here is a very short video of the neighborhood we stayed.

Nice shot of the mountain range in the distant.

Another picture perfect park area in Bend.  Seems like they had a park at every corner.

This actually ended up being one of te highlights of the trip.  The Newberry Volcanic Monument and the obsidian lava flow.  What an incredible geographic feature.  the only place in the US that you can observe such unique geography.  It's only located about 30 minutes Southwest of Bend so it was a no-brainer decision to drive over and spend a half day checking out the monument.

Panorama of Paulina Peak

Looking North at Paulina Lake.

Looking slightly East of Paulina Lake.

Here is one of the trip highlights.

Rocks turned into glass.

A lone tree trying to make a case for life.

Look closely! Imagine...

I could spend a couple of days looking at all the unique rock features but unfortunately we only q few hours.  I got the most out it, looking at as many nooks and crannies as I could.

Beautiful evening and our last night in Bend.  Reflecting back, this was a spectacular town and I could easily find myself living here.  The weather during our stay was just fantastic and the city has an enchanting allure.

Our bungalow and the place we called home for three nights.

The main living area was pretty spacious and more than adequate for us to move around and not feel like we were on top of each other.

Hoodriver OR, a stop on our way to Portland.  Thankfully, we decided to check out the town.  It was on our list but was one of those detours that we were not sure that we would be able to make.  It was a good decision because that is one really nice town and cool city center.  If I could do it all again I would have opted to spend more time here than Ashland, OR.  Hoodriver, in my opinion just had so much more to offer and did not have the touristy feel and atmosphere as Ashland, OR.

Saw this water fall off the interstate headed to Portland and thought it would be worthwhile to stop, take a break and check it out.

What time is it in Portland?  It's beautiful weather time!

Another day where we were treated with fantastic weather.  Quite amazing because I thought and anticipated fully that the cloud cover would resemble a sheet of 100% overcast grey skies, to the contrary we always pretty much received puffy white clouds with blue skies.  The Sunboy was loveing it.

Found this Jewish temple in the Northwest section of  Portland near Couch Park.  Nice architecture that caught my eye.

Could not resist this quote I saw in a women's retail clothing store in Portland, OR.

Just could not ask for better weather when we were in Portland.  It was very much a surprise!  On this day we were making our way over to the East side of the river to briefly check out that area.

Crossing the Willamette river, headed to the East side!

Well that ends the Oregon expedition.  A fabulous state with many outdoor activities and great culture.


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