I’ve been home a few days now, unpacking, organizing photos, resuming my regular life, and thinking about how to sum up the trip.

The drive home offered a few nice views.  Rather than drive west to Portland and then up I-5, I decided to head east a ways, then north through the Yakima Valley until I picked up I-90 at Ellensburg.  The last time I drove that stretch of I-90 was the day I moved to Seattle, July 12, 1998.

But before I turned north, I had to take one look back.
Continue reading “My Oregon Road Trip Retrospective”

I just got back to Hood River after a drive around Mt. Hood on what the state of Oregon has designated the Mt. Hood Scenic Byway and the Historic Columbia River Highway Scenic Byway. I stopped in the Passport Pub & Café enjoying a beer and using their wifi. But I didn’t bring the cable that connects my camera to my computer, so I can’t include any photos in this post. I can say, though, that it was scenic.
Continue reading “Mt. Hood and the Columbia River”

I want to start this post with a few random observations.

  • Good snack while driving: string cheese. It’s individually wrapped, easy to open, and no crumbs.
  • Bad snack while driving: Laughing Cow wedges. The little red strips you pull to open the wedges are hard enough to find and grab hold of when you’re standing in your kitchen. It’s impossible while driving.
  • In Oregon, when entering a county, the sign welcoming you to that county often includes the phrase “We Honor Veterans.” It has remained a mystery to me (1) how a county decides it honors veterans — do they pass an ordinance? (2) In what ways do they honor veterans? (3) The counties that don’t have those signs: do they not honor veterans, or do they just not put it on their signs?
  • A road traveled in one direction provides a whole new set of beautiful scenery when going in the reverse direction.
  • The desire to photograph every beautiful or interesting thing diminishes over the course of a two week road trip. And here’s the final blow to my desire (compulsion is probably more accurate a word): how many pictures of Mt. Hood would I take if I took a picture of Mt. Hood at every opportunity? And once I realized that it was ridiculous to take hundred of pictures of Mt. Hood, I stopped needing to take a picture of every interesting rock formation, every stretch of creek and river and rapids and waterfall, every scenic vista. Yes, I took a mandatory handful of pictures of Mt. Hood as I approached it today, and no doubt I’ll take more tomorrow, but moderation is starting to rule the day.

Continue reading “Fossil to Hood River”

John Day was a member of the Astor Expedition of 1810-1812. The John Day River was named for him. And the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument was named for the river.

Today, after a huge and delicious farm-style breakfast of eggs, ham, potatoes, oatmeal, and biscuits & gravy, I explored this area.
Continue reading “The John Day National Fossil Monument Area”

Yesterday might have been the most gloriously varied day of my trip so far.  I hiked in two lava fields, one of which consisted largely of obsidian, went on a two-mile round-trip hike in an underground lava tube, saw two waterfalls and a caldera.  There was sun and there were clouds, there was snow on the ground and icy cold wind, I had a picnic in the car because it was too cold to have it outside, but then later I sat outside sipping coffee before having a fabulous dinner, did some shopping, and then went to a movie.
Continue reading “In and around Bend”

It was all about the rain yesterday, which made this sign an ironic emblem of the day.

I drove through some absolutely beautiful scenery.  Fortunately, I have a good imagination, because that’s the only way I could even remotely know how beautiful the scenery was.  It rained steadily throughout the drive.  I decided to go east on 66 to Klamath Falls and then north on 97 all the way to Bend, because the normal route would have duplicated most of the trip the other day to Crater Lake, and I wanted to see some different scenery.  Well, I didn’t see the same scenery or the different scenery.  The first half of the drive to Klamath Falls was up a mountain road with a lot of switchbacks and scenic overlooks, all of which overlooked a wall of white fog.
Continue reading “Ashland to Bend”

Two plays today: a wonderful production of My Fair Lady in the afternoon, and a fun masque called The Heart of Robin Hood this evening at the outdoor theatre (where it wasn’t quite as cold as yesterday).

The morning started with breakfast and the a walk in Lithia Park, which is one of the nicest urban parks I’ve been to.
Continue reading “Ashland: Park, Theatre, and a Reconnection”