Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Oregon Road Trip

Well I covered 1, 729 miles exploring Cali and Oregon with 2 good friends, Alex and Jonny as we traveled to Portland to visit my college roommate, Andrea!

Day 1: Destination- Ft. Bragg, CA (on the coast)
We drove all day and were ready to set up camp, but all the camp sites ended up being permanent trailer home residence (scary), so we drove around and found some coastal access lacking a "no camping" sign. We set up camp and woke up to this: woohoo!

Day 2:

We kept on trucking up the coast, destination:
giant redwood trees! We paid $5 to drive through
one of them...very exciting. We journeyed on the
Avenue of the Giants and saw some large slugs,
massive trees, and monumental sights. I felt like
I was in Super Size world in Mario 3. We then played at the beach for a little while and continued onto Redwood State Park where we set up camp in the rain and got a good night's sleep cuddling as 3 in my 2 person tent.

Day 3: We continued through a gorge and some great back roads and finally happened upon a Dairy Queen...yeah! Jonny's Dad lives in a lovely place called Talent, Oregon where everyone has a special talent for redneck ways. We stayed with him for the night and went out to the local pizza joint. Jonny showed us the nightlife secrets that included a live auction of useless crap and the local watering hole where we tore up the place singing karaoke and drinking PBR while a local girl wearing cheetah print go-go boots sang her heart out. I've gotta say that the place has character!

Day 4:
Finally I met up with Andrea in Salem and we immediately left to go to the cool city: Portland. I managed to save a lot of money camping and packing my lunch, but once we hit the city and all its fine foods and activities, it's difficult to say no!

Day 5: Andrea and I left for some road tripping to Hood River and Mt. Hood, where we ate delicious hot cidar at a local Orchard (above) and drove through the snow that's already falling over the mountain pass. She is still persuading me to move to Oregon and I think the visit to the quiet little town of Hood River may have won me over...we'll see.

We stopped at a burger joint called Calamity Jane's and had delicious meals. Andrea informed our waitress of my birthday so she offered a free ice cream sundae, which of course I could not turn down, but then I realized that these kinds of places usually sing or make a scene. I began to calm down when I saw our waitress return without an entourage of singing servers, but then she banged something metallic and announced to the restaurant my name and how old I was turning and encouraged everyone to sing "Happy Birthday" as I stood on my chair. HA! It was embarrassing, but fun.

Then Andrea, who knows me so well, got a gang together to enjoy some haunted houses in the city. It was a perfect way to spend my birthday!!!

Day 6: After enjoying the conveniences of civilization, which included a movie in a theater, good food, and driving over 45 mph on roads, it was time to say goodbye to Portland and Salem.

Day 7: Alex and I traveled to Bend, Oregon and had lunch with JJ, a friend from Squaw Kids, then we continued to Crater Lake, only to find the road closed. I was bummed, but we wasted time seeing some other nice views. As we drove, we saw a sign pointing to Crater Lake that was open, so I booked it on the back roads to make the sunset, and was it worth it! I wish this photo did the place justice!

Day 8:
So we picked up Jonny at his dad's house and continued on to Mt. Shasta in Cali (below). It's a 14,100 ft. mountain that rises from almost sea level, so it's pretty spectacular. We camped one last night near a lake and then headed back to Tahoe, another amazing and beautiful place.

This was the best road trip I've ever taken (aside from New Zealand). Good friends, breath-taking places, and a reliable car...life is good.

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