Friday, August 1, 2014

Trip Wrap Up

Well, since we've been home for over a week, I decided I should probably get this last post done before it's time to leave again!

Ready to leave Chris's house, we took a moment for some pictures.  Just writing this post, I realized I didn't get any pictures of me with any of the kids!  Bummer, but I guess that's my own fault.

Sid and Chris in front of his house
My son and my grand-dog, Chewy

 Instead of going the most direct way back, we thought we should take the opportunity to see more of the country and took a two lane route across southern Oregon, into Nevada, across Utah and then into Colorado.  Boring, boring, boring!  Southern Oregon was a whole lot of nothing, with tiny "towns" few and far between.

Miles of nothing

More miles of nothing

And MORE miles of nothing!

The only life for miles around

Maybe Nevada will be better?

The little section of Nevada that we crossed was more of the same, but it did have a town...

We stopped for gas there just so we could ask someone how to pronounce it!

One night was spent in Wendover, NV/West Wendover, UT   boondocking in a casino parking lot.  It has a school, so apparently people live there, but it's primarily casinos.  Wendover Will was there to welcome us.

The most interesting sight for days!

The trek across western Utah was equally boring, but after Salt Lake City at least there were mountains to look at.  And, of course, the highlight for us was getting back into Colorado.  I swear, you can tell it's Colorado just by the color of the sky!

Goodbye, Utah.....

Hello, Colorado!

Ahhh, the air just smells better!

And here are a couple of photos that I'm hoping someone can identify.  Sometimes on trips, you see the strangest things and even the internet doesn't provide an answer!

In Oregon somewhere.  I've seen these in other states, but what the heck are they?

In the salt flats of Utah.  If it's a cell phone tower, I've never seen one like it!

It was a shorter trip than planned, thanks to Sid's accident, but it was wonderful to see our sons (and daughter (in-law)) in their home environments.  I miss them all so much!

Sid went to the doctor when we got back and he has not one, but FOUR broken ribs! That pretty much puts the kibosh on any camping this summer as the doc told him it would be about 12 more weeks for him to heal.  But big plans are on the horizon, so watch your email for the next installment!

Happy trails and thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Oregon Coast

I finally made it to the beach!  We decided that yesterday we would drive to the coast.  My vacation had finally come!
First peek at the beach

The ocean

Chris and Chino at the beach

The waves.....

The crashing sound...

I was in heaven!

Too bad it only lasted 1/2 hour instead of the anticipated 10 days.  Oh well, such is life!  Next time maybe it will work out.

We stopped for lunch in Reedsport and were able to get fresh seafood.

Griff's Restaurant and Seafood Market

Oyster shooter
Fresh halibut
View from the restaurant

A few other sites along the way:

Bridge across Coos Bay

A little hard to tell from these pictures, but this is a railroad bridge that floats and turns when there is traffic into the bay 

And to wrap up, here's a view of the North Fork of the Willamette River just across the street from Chris's house.
North Fork Willamette River
Looking up river
Memorial Tribute to a wagon train that veered from the Oregon Trail and ended up in Oakridge

That wraps things up for now.  Sid and Chris are going to play golf in the morning, we'll pack up in the afternoon and head out on Saturday morning.  Hope to make stops in Medford, Ashland, Crater Lake and Klamath Falls on our way out of Oregon.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Central Oregon

We arrived at Chris's house after only 3 1/2 hours drive from Portland and our decision to skip the coast was validated.  Sid had driven about all he could and was starting to be in some pain.  Luckily,  Chris's next door neighbor was home and did all the work of setting up for us.  Nice young man and his family!  They raise Bully Pit Bulls and it was a lot of fun watching them run around.

Chris was still in Portland, so we used the afternoon to rest and had an early dinner.  Oakridge, OR is a very small, one time logging community in the Cascade mountains.  Chris lives in an what used to be a forest service house, with 3 bedrooms, 1 bath and a full basement.  Quite a step up from some of his previous residences!  We really haven't done much since we've been here.  Plans for golfing and fishing were off the boards by necessity,  but it's been really wonderful seeing Chris every day.  He's busy, but manages to have dinner with us each night.  Our granddogs have been keeping us entertained!

Chillin' out with Chewy June

Pit Bull Love with Nipper and Chino

We did manage to take a drive the other day to Waldo Lake, a large high mountain lake near Oakridge.  It is the second largest lake in the state and the water is clear to a depth of over 100 feet.

Some lake views
There are campgrounds all around the lake, but they are meant primarily for tent camping.  On the way back, we stopped at Salt Creek.  By hiking just a bit into the woods, you're rewarded with this spectacular sight:
What starts out like this.....

ends in this!

This is a 286 ft waterfall!  Everywhere we've gone in Oregon this time has been beautiful, with these little (or not so little!) hidden gems.
Patiently waiting for me to get done gawking!
Moss grows on all the trees here

We're thinking about leaving here Friday or Saturday and heading back to Colorado.  How long it will take depends on how many  hours Sid can sit at a stretch.  He's healing slowly, but can only maintain a position for so long before he starts hurting.  So it will probably be a long slow haul.  Maybe we can find some adventures along the way!?  'Til next time.....

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Spending time in Portland

Well, shame on me for not posting sooner, but we've gotten a little off track.  Getting to Portland was pretty uneventful, but with lost of pretty scenery.

Mountain views

Lots of greenery

As many of you know, the day after we got to Portland, Sid fell from the back of the truck and broke/cracked several ribs.  We spent a morning in an emergency room and, I have to say, got wonderful treatment, although we had to wait over an hour for an Xray technician.  This little incident has cost us quite a bit in terms of not getting to do or see much from here on out.

But we've had wonderful visits with Cassie and Greg during the down time.  They live in a small apartment across the street from a beautiful park.   It was really nice to see them in their own environment. And we got to do a little sight-seeing along the way.
At home with Greg and Cassie

One day was spent in Salem, Oregon, at the State Capital., just south of Portland.   It's a beautiful building made of marble and has a lovely park all around it.

The State Capitol of Oregon
Front doors

Original Columns saved during renovation

Ode to Beavers?

Honoring the Traveling Preacher

WW II Memorial.
My baby boy!

Something I've not seen before were electric car charging stations.  Haven't seen a car at one of them but they're available if you need 'em!
Electric Car Charging Station

For a different model, I guess

Willamette University was right across the street.  It reminds me a lot of DU.

Another day, Cassie took me for a ride along one of Oregon's Scenic Byways outside Portland.  The Historic Columbia River Highway is a beautiful drive through the woods and past several state parks with spectacular waterfalls.

Historic Columbia River Highway

Me in front of Bridal Veil Falls

Multnomah Falls Visitor Center

Bridal Veil Falls
We stopped at Vista House, an observatory on a rock outcropping overlooking the Colombia River.  Beautiful views!

The day before we were scheduled to leave Portland, Chris surprised us by coming up for some work in Portland, staying with Cassie and Greg.  It was wonderful to have my whole family (less the 4 legged members!) together!

Dinner at a brew pub

My boys!

One of the 4 legged family members!

Due to Sid's continuing pain and the danger of developing pneumonia, we decided to stay an extra day in Portland, skip the coast portion of the trip and head straight to Chris's house in Oakridge.  He was unable to bend over or really use his right side at all and needed to be in a place where he could just rest.  We said goodbye to the kids and Greg was able to get the trailer all hooked up for us.

So, with a lot of sadness, both at leaving Greg and Cassie and having to give up our 10 days on the beach, we headed south to the central Oregon mountains!