As we traveled north up California, redwood trees lined the road. It continued to be a beautiful drive as the river and road shared the same path through the giant trees as we made our way to Oregon.
Our first stop in Oregon was at Grants Pass, where we spent two days just chilling and enjoying our splendid location by the river, watching the tubers and rafters float by.
From there, we had an easy 3 hour drive on the scenic byway as we made our way further into Oregon on our way to Crater Lake.
Crater Lake was the first National Park where we actually got to stay in the park because they had campsites just barely long enough for our rv. So this was our first time really boondocking with no water, electricity, or sewer facilities for us to tap into. It was a good opportunity for us to test out our fresh water tanks and solar setup.
We took a Trolly tour around the lake. It was very informative and our tour guide was extremely entertaining. An 11 mile stretch of the road was closed for repairs which have been going on for a few years. For some reason, on this morning they decided to let our trolly go all the way around the lake and test out the road. We were the only people who got to drive all the way around the lake in over two years and it will be a number of years before they finish the project and allow people to go all the way around. Turns out, they decided it was too dangerous as we almost got stuck several times. We were the only ones to go around and it will be about a year before they try again. Because we got to go all the way around, we got to see Hellcat viewpoint, which visitors have not been able to see since the construction started. It is a stunning lake with breath taking views. Such an incredible color of blue.
The next day we went on a hike in the park to find the wildflowers and boy did we. So many colors, sizes and shapes all blanketing the hillside where a creek makes small but beautiful waterfalls. The Crescent Castle trail was amazing.
We found a great walk near the campground, Annie’s Creek trail where the dogs got to cool off in the snow fed stream. Even on this warm afternoon the dogs could only be in the water for small amounts of time.
Back at our site we enjoyed a yummy dinner on this beautiful summer day.
We went over to the park at night to take advantage of our marvelous surroundings and watch the sunset over the mountains. The reflection on the lake was just as stunning. We tried to participate in the night program to learn more about the dark sky, but the clouds interfered with the ability to use the telescope. It would be a great place to view the night sky, as the light pollution is non-existent.
As we left the lake, our drive to Eugene gave us lots to look at. An amazing reservoir, smoke on the horizon from wildfires, and tall pine trees for as far as our eyes can see, it looks exactly like what we thought Oregon would look like.
We enjoyed one quick night in Eugene and then got up early to make our way to McMinnville, OR to meet up with Don and Mel. Our campground was within walking distance to a large waterpark that had a giant 747 on the roof that housed one of the water slides.
Chance is a great helper and especially loves to help write the blog.
Don and Mel came out for a visit to enjoy Oregon wine country with us. The first stop on our Willamette Valley wine tour was Amaterra Winery just outside of Portland. We choose this location because Ella will be working here starting in just a few weeks in the lab.
Don traditionally does not drink wine, so our goal with this trip was to expose him to a variety of wines, so he could hopefully expand his palate.
We spent the afternoon visiting Ponzi Winery taking a closer look at the inner workings of the wine making process.
The next day we went out adventuring and found ourselves partaking at a few more wineries, Left Coast, Sokol Blosser and Willamette Valley.
Ella joined us on the RV after 4 days of non-stop driving across the country with her backseat and trunk full. She was moving to the Portland area to begin her new job. We were excited to spend the next three days exploring more of this wine region with her and helping her see the other side of the business she was getting into. We toured the cellars at Archery Summit, walked the grounds at Elk Cove and we sat among the grapes vines at Domaine Serene, all while tasting the unique offerings that each winery had available. It was a delicious learning experience.
Don and Mel stayed at a neat little VRBO that was actually a guest house on a vineyard. We had a great time hanging out there with the dogs in the spacious yard.
After 5 fun days of wandering through wine country, we had to say goodbye to Don and Mel. It had been a quiet week at home for Addie and the dogs. The laws in Oregon do not allow anyone under 21 in any of their wineries, breweries or bars.
As a special treat to Addie, we wanted to do something we knew she would love. Lucky for us, the small town of McMinnville had a local community theater and they happened to be preforming, Pride and Prejudice. After enjoying a delightful dinner at a hometown favorite, the four of us walked over to the little playhouse for the show. It was the smallest theater we have ever been in, only seating about 75 people and they were sold out.
The next day we helped Ella move into her new place in Beaverton, OR. She found a great townhouse with a room to rent. It is a nice space and an easy 20 minute drive to work.
For our last meal with Ella we wanted to it to be somewhere special, so there was only one possible place that could be. We were very excited to get to enjoy the food and wine with Ella at her place of employment, Amaterra. It is truly a beautiful location with delightful wine.
We were sad to have to say goodbye to Ella, but we had to keep moving and she needed to get settled before starting her new job.
It was with a heavy heart we saw our last sunset in Oregon. It was time to continue north and let our eyes see new things. We had one more state to see on the west coast and friends to find in Washington.