Cruising Coastal Oregon on the 101

Enough with the Oregon love affair, right? When we planned this trip, one of our ideas was to drive the Pacific Coast Highway up the California coast. We didn’t take into account that every other person on earth (it seemed) would be doing the same thing! We knew that we wanted to get back to the coast when we left Bend, and that we did! The Pacific Coast Highway is the perfect way to see the Oregon coastline while stopping into all of the tiny beach towns and public beaches along the way. We stopped at this particular viewpoint for an amazing shot of the ocean!

beautiful oregon coastline

beautiful oregon coastline

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A short drive later, we happened upon a great public beach access. We actually drove the Malibu onto the beach to park! Even though it was too cool to go for a swim, the views were rewarding and that ocean breeze was refreshing.

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doggie paw prints in the sand

We stayed in a couple of state parks in Oregon, both of which were beachside. It was kind of difficult to get a spot at the last minute, but we managed to snag one night at each place we camped. We made our way to Astoria, a small town with a history that dates all the way back to the Lewis and Clark expedition! The explorers first saw the Pacific near Astoria. We shopped around and decided to eat at the Fort George Brewery and Pub. We are pub food people – casual, fried, and big portions!

After dinner, I convinced Clint to take the short drive up to Mikey’s House – from the Goonies! I have loved this movie since I was a kid, so I was STOKED to see the house. It is in a residential neighborhood and someone lives in the house. Thankfully, they welcome visitors who come to gawk and do the Truffle Shuffle.

goonies never say die

goonies never say die

first you gotta do the truffle shuffle.

first you gotta do the truffle shuffle.

This was our last stop in Oregon, and it was the best way to end a great stretch!

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Beautiful Bend, Oregon

If I had to make a list of my all time favorite small cities, Bend would certainly make the top ten. It is full of personality, great views, and fun outdoor activities at your doorstep. When we asked about life in Bend, the locals said you can pretty much do “ing” activities- hiking, skiing, kayaking, biking and in our case- floating!

   
    
   
I heard that floating the Deschutes River is a summer must-do, so we made it a priority during our brief stopover in Bend. We grabbed some tubes at Dick’s and went to one of the gorgeous river front parks to start our float. You can also rent tubes, kayaks, and stand-up paddle boards from several outfitters on the river. We floated for a couple of hours before hopping out and grabbing a cab back to our car. This was a perfect way to spend a hot afternoon. What’s cooler than relaxing in that chilly water with views of the snow capped mountains in the distance! 

   
 
We had brunch at the famed McKay Cottage. It lived up to all the breakfast hype! Clint ordered the biscuits with sausage gravy and I opted for the croissant french toast. Both were perfection! I can’t wait to stop in Bend on our next western adventure. One more post on Oregon coming, and it features a famous film locale of the 1980s 😉

Oregon: Lucky State Number 11!

We pretty much rolled into Oregon on two wheels – ready to explore a brand new state! The Pacific Northwest has been on my go-to list since I was a teenager, but this is the first time we got around to visiting. It looks like my sister will be migrating this way in the fall, so I’m sure this won’t be our last rodeo in the PNW.

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After crossing into the state near Mount Shasta (in a lovely town called “Weed”), we headed straight for Crater Lake National Park. It was July 4th AND a Saturday afternoon, so the crowds were pretty intense. Crater Lake is a smaller park and it is pretty remote, but that didn’t stop tons of folks from filling up the campground. We were lucky enough to snag a prime spot to set up the tent. The campground was very dog friendly, and we met several furry friends that just made us miss our babies at home!

site a2 at Mazama Campground

site a2 at Mazama Campground

Just because we are camping, that doesn’t mean my beloed meal plan has gone by the wayside. Y’all know that I am fully committed to the meal plan. We’ve been planning a few real meals and lots of sandwiches and snacks. This night, I made a one-pot pasta. Totally convenient since I only have one burner on my camp stove 😉

outdoor cooking

outdoor cooking

After relaxing at the campground for a while, we headed to the Rim Village to explore the lakeside. There is a trail that meanders around the rim of the huge lake. It was a little crowded for our taste, but we still had some time for photo ops.

I didn’t grasp the magnitude of the lake until I saw a boat puttering along out in the middle – a tiny white speck on that deep blue water! The lake’s surface elevation is around 6,000 feet, and it has spots that are almost 2,000 feet deep! And as my mom asked, it really is that blue.

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We had an awesome campfire and some hard cider with music to top of a great day! Much more from Oregon to come!