Thanks to everyone who helped plan this trip. Oregon is a great state to visit. Except for a little fog on the coast, the weather was perfect every day. I'll let the pictures do most of the talking so I can try to be brief here. The pics are split up into different albums. Most of the hotel reviews are posted.
I also included some videos, most notable the gray whale that is in the Klamath River.
We flew into Reno and made our track up to Lassen Volcanic NP. Here's the link to the LVNP trip report. We visited the park twice, at the beginning and end of the vacation.
From Lassen it was past Mt Shasta to the Medford Courtyard. It was late so we only got to drive through Ashland as the sun was going down. Neat looking town.
On the way to Crater Lake we stopped at the Rogue River Gorge for 30 minutes, good stop. Crater Lake was fantastic. The loop road had just opened all the way and the weather. On the way to Bend we stopped at the Newberry Volcanic Monument and explored the Big Obsidian Flow which was something different. Holiday Inn Express fro 2 nights.
Our full day in Bend began with the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway. Stopped at Mt Bachelor, then hiked around the boggy but very scenic Todd Lake. Stopped at many more lakes before cutting back to 97 and making the drive up to Dee Wright Observatory. Glad we did, it was a different alpine experience. Ate at McMenamin’s in Bend, as the Deschutes Brewery was packed. I can see why they are expanding this location. Bend was a fun town on a Friday night.
Next morning it was Smith Rock State Park and Peter Skene Ogden State Park before heading to Mt Hood. I was so jealous seeing they were fully operational for skiing on July 30. What a site! We had to get to The Dalles Inn and get ready for the Yes concert at Maryhill Winery. Never seen an amphitheater with that kind of setting on the river.
Sunday was busy day exploring the gorge. We got to see everything. Lots of waterfalls and hiked to the top of Multnomah Falls. We also enjoyed the Bonneville Fish Hatchery. The Vancouver Hilton is a beautiful hotel. We didn't get to Portland as the Nissan rental trunk latch busted. We had to go to the Portland airport and exchange cars, bummer.
Monday it was up to Mt Saint Helens. All I can say is "wow". Hiked out the boundary trail until the point when you can see Mt Adams and Spirit Lake. Make sure to stop at Clearwater Lake. Very scenic with many new boardwalk sections to walk out over the water.
I misread the map heading to Astoria thinking I could cross over the river at Clathamet. Had no idea there was a ferry until I saw the sign for the turnoff. Very fortunate that we showed up at 3 minutes 'til the next departure and there was one spot left.
We drove the entire coast staying in Manzanita, Yachats, Bandon, Brookings and Arcata, CA. I highly recommend getting a copy of the Oregon Coast mile-by-mile magazine guide. This was an outstanding resource to have. It details every mile of the coast. Without it we would have never known about Otter Point in Gold Beach. What a cool stop that was totally empty.
The Tillimook Cheese Factory was very crowded. We stayed about 20 minutes before moving on. We drove the 3 capes loop and it was worth it. There was a somewhat confusing detour and we had to backtrack from Cape Mears. No biggie though.
The only foggy times were the entire length of the Oregon Dunes Recreation Area and at the Hecta Head Lighthouse. Along the dunes visibility was nonexistent. Fog was the reason we didn't drive out to the Cape Arago Lighthouse.
The Redwoods were neat, we saw the Sequoias 5 years ago at Yosemite. I did not know about the whale in the Klamath River until the park ranger told us. I got some decent video. I wonder how the story will finish.
Then it was on to Lassen and Lake Tahoe for 3 nights. My third time in Tahoe, always a good time. The Marriott Grand Residence is a fantastic resort, right in the middle of everything.
Here's a list of things we wanted to do, but didn't have time for. I'm not complaining, we did plenty.
1. Hiking to the top of Smith Rock
2. Portland - had to exchange rental cars, never got to town.
3. Hiking out to Cape Lookout.
4. Cape Arago - too much fog
5. Jet Boat Ride
6. More time at the Oregon Dunes - again the fog
7. Robert Aufderheide Scenic Byway
8. After seeing Mt Hood, skiing!