The days in Oregon have flown by. Here we are, still getting used to the fly-by schedule we drew up for ourselves and it’s time to head to Washington! It looked easy on paper, but the first thing we noticed is how little downtime we’ve built in… which I’m realizing is an important thing to consider when you plan a trip! So, that’s where flexibility comes into play. I’ve always believed in traveling with the idea in mind that you will come back someday and see some of the things you’ve missed. With that in mind, we’ve revisited our initial schedule and redistributed our time a little better. It’s more important to see a few things and enjoy them fully than to try to see it all. I realize, at the same time, that this trip definitely has some of the “try to see it all” mentality built in. But I think the important thing is that although we’re only grazing the surface of this immense country and it’s cities, we’re still able to get a feel for the different areas and cultures. Yes, we could certainly spend a year in Oregon, or even just in Portland, and still have more to see. In fact, I still discover new areas in California all the time – and I’ve lived there my whole life! But on this trip, Nate and I are trying to piece together the a bigger picture of the country itself, and from there fill in the details through our continued travels.
Speaking of details, I have a lot to fill you in on since we left California…
The first destination we had in Oregon was Crater Lake. When my parents mentioned that they had visited it last year, it reminded me of a report I wrote grade school about this unusual lake and how it was formed.
It goes something like this: Long ago there was a mountain here called Mt. Mazama. It was the tallest mountain in Oregon. It was also an active volcano with a huge well of lava deep below. 7,700 years ago the pressure became so much that it exploded with its full force, sending the lava from below spewing up to the surface. With the lava released from under the volcano a cavernous hole was formed, and the top of the mountain collapsed into itself, forming this massive caldera. Amazingly, it formed a perfect bowl, with no cracks or low points to allow water to escape. Because of this anomaly, it eventually filled with water from rain and snowfall, and became the deepest, bluest lake in the country. I was surprised to hear that no rivers flow into it, and none flow out from it!
It’s easy to see why we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to see this amazing lake. I have to say that we had seen so many pictures already that we thought ‘ok well it will probably just be a big lake.’ After being there, I have to say it was an impressive sight.
As the light changed a little the color totally changed. A major lava artery of the old Mt. Mazama, the Devil’s Backbone is the jagged ridge of black rock that goes from the ridge to the water in the foreground.
After our morning at Crater Lake we headed to Corvallis, a college town home to Oregon State. Arriving there somewhat late that night, we rallied our energy and went down to the old Peacock and experienced some true Oregon karaoke. Joining in on “Friends in Low Places” actually helped us to make some friends and have a great night out!
The next day was a nice change of pace; I spent the morning seeing the town from my long board. From the minute I left the motorhome it was easy to see it was game day for Oregon State football, and all around were people with orange and black shirts that said “Go Beavs!!” Unlucky for us was that any hope of getting tickets was long gone, it was sold out. Either way it was a great day in downtown Corvallis, which is a friendly place, and reminded me a little of San Luis Obispo.
The next destination for us was Portland. We were definitely a little unsure about how parking the motorhome in a bigger city would go, but we were stressing for nothing. Only minutes after getting in we were able to find a spot, park and walk down to experience the local scene. Needless to say the city nightlife is a big change from the small college-town feel just the night before. It turned out to be a great night though and we made a lot of new friends, telling them about the road trip we had just begun.
From the marathon volunteers we learned how close we were to Voodoo Doughnuts, a locally famous shop that sells the craziest array of doughnuts I’ve ever seen! I recalled seeing a long line for something at 2am the night before, but I had no idea it was this 24-hour doughnut shop. When we got there late in the morning the line outside was out the door, doubled back on itself, and carried on down the street! It reminded me of trying to get on a ride at Disneyland, but as it turned out these decadent delicacies were worth the wait!
Well, now it’s time to leave Oregon, and see what Washington has in store for us!