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Oregon Trip report 7/13-7/24/12

Sparks, NV
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Oregon Trip report 7/13-7/24/12

General destinations, travelling with pop up tent trailer, wife, 2 kids (9 yr old boy and 8 yr old daughter):

Started in Sparks, NV

Crater lake @ Manzana campground- 2 nights

La Pine State Park - 2 nights

Portland @ Hayden Island RV Park - 4 nights

Newport @ South Beach State Park - 3 nights

Day 1

- Travelled up US-395 and CA-139 to Lava Beds NM

- Spent 3 hours at Lava beds – worth going to if in the area. One cave is fully lit with interpretive displays. Need to watch your head in a few spots. We also hiked down to a few other lava tubes – many with steep declines and not lit – need to be very fit and wearing appropriate clothing for these. Visitor center was useful – you can rent headgear and flashlights.

- Kids got Junior Ranger (JR) badges)

- Mid afternoon snack and beer samples at Klamath Basin Brewing – not a great brewpub, but worth the stop if you are a beer nut like my wife and me.

- Arrived to Crater Lake by early evening and set up camp at Manzana – bring that mosquito repellent! Also note it’s seven miles between Lake and campground. We attended the evening ranger program

Day 2

- Spent the day going around most of Crater Lake - some portion of the east side still closed

- Visited Vidae falls and the trail a little farther up the road that you can hike up for view of Phantom ship

- Still was snow on side of the roadway

- Took 2 hour cruise around the lake – ranger led – pricey, but worth it – booked same day – Wizard island portion of cruise was already booked – 1 mile hike down and up to the boat launch, including 900 foot elevation gain – so need to be in decent shape.

- Checked out the lodge – looked nice!

Day 3

- Kids got their JR badges from Crater Lake in the AM

- Drove to La Pine State Park – North Loop has the most spacious sites. Stayed in spot 119 and was VERY happy – lots of shade and room to roam.

- Visited Newbury NM – portion closest to la Pine – Visitor center – Obsidian flow hike is a MUST – Paulina Falls – more to do, but we had limited time

- Drove to Bend and dined/drank at Deschutes Brewery – solid food, great beer – especially Black Butte Porter - mmmmm

Day 4

- Road around the campground area – checked out the Big Pine ponderosa (now 2nd tallest in world after a lightning strike took off some of its crown), MacGregor Point – beautiful view of a bend in Deschutes river

- Went to the Lava Lands Visitor Center, drove up to the cinder cone (you are given a pre-defined time when entering), hiked around the lava flows, very nice visitor center. Great views at top of the cinder cone. A must stop.

Day 5

- Travelled from La Pine to Portland

- Stayed at Jantzen Island RV Park on Hayden Island – kinda funky place. Stayed next to some full timers which were kinda scary, but overall RV park was decent. Had showers and a pool.

- Dined at Widmer Brewing in North Portland – both food and beer so-so – would not recommend, but was good for kids.

Day 6

- First mandatory stop of the day – Voodoo doughnuts – went to the 2nd store as opposed to the original – only waited a few minutes to be served – doughnuts exceeded my expectations for awesomeness.

- Spent rest of the day at OMSI – did the full package of museum, IMAX movie, and submarine – well worth it if you spend whole day there. Exhibits were well put together and interesting. Food court was actually pretty good for lunch.

- Had dinner at Hopworks Urban Brewery – food was very good, beer was high quality but more on the hoppy side (hence the restaurant name), good for kids.

Day 7

- Drove to Mt St Helens – noting this is a 4 hour round trip of just driving

- Visited Coldwater lake and hiked around – very, very cool!

- Watched the movie and checked out the displays around the visitor center

- Hiked some of the trails a bit

- Kids got JR badges

- If you are close, Mt St Helens is NOT to be missed – amazing!

Day 8

- Drove the Columbia River Gorge – started at Troutdale on Historic US-30 – gorgeous!!!

- Stopped at the Vista House and most of the waterfalls – including bridal Veil which is a semi strenuous, but short hike, to get to

- Hiked to top of Multnomah Falls – somewhat strenuous 2 mile roundtrip hike (800 foot climb), but well worth it

- Drove to Hood River – had a mid afternoon snack and beer samples at Full Sail on deck watching the kite surfers. Great ambience and I really loved their beers! Food on other tables all looked really good.

- On way back to Portland, stopped at Bonneville area and checked out the dam and viewing areas – loved those lampreys

- Had to rush back across town at 5 to meet nephew in Hillsboro – not fun on a Friday later afternoon. Ate at McMennimens out there, which had good food, ok beer, and odd service.

Day 9

- Left Portland, drove OR-6 to Tillamook – beautiful drive!

- Stopped at the Tillamook Forest Center (in between Tillamook and Portland) – highly recommend - had interactive fire watch tower and main visitor center and had several informative displays

- Yes, went to the cheese factory in Tillamook – always a fun stop!

- Drove on down to South Beach State Park just south of Newport – nice campground with free showers, quick beach access. Kids got JR Badges while here – my son did all 3 levels

Day 10

- Went up to Devil’s Punchbowl at low tide – great to walk around in, many star fish and other creatures of the ocean to explore

- Next went to Yaquina head lighthouse area – not this is a fee area – visitor center was very nice – at 11AM they start the lighthouse tours (be prepared to wait as they only allow groups of 10 at a time) – kids got Jr Ranger badges here.

- Went back to Devil’s punchbowl closer to high tide – love seeing that churn – ate at Moe’s right there – clam chowder was only so-so, kinda watery, but was full of clams at least. Kids got ice cream next door

- Checked out Downtown Newport – was a Sunday, and was plenty crowded – Had some samplers at Rogue Public House on the patio – so many beers to choose from, super yum!

Day 11

- Went south, stopped at Seal Rock at low tide – kids collected many little crabs in the tidal pools

- Went to overlook atop Cape Perpetua – way awesome view – son and I walked down the 3 mile trail to visitor center – most through old growth forest – much more fun going DOWN than up (ha!) – Visitor center was a tad dated, but did show a movie. Ranger in front was VERY helpful. Kids got JR badges here.

- Walked the trail to the Devils Churn – short hike and worth it to get closer look.

- Went back towards Newport – had some apps and more beer at the Rogue Brewing Place. Did not take the tour (they are at 1, 3, 5). It’s pretty busy, so you need to make sure you ask to get on waitlist. There is also bar seating for those who want to jump the line.

Day 12

- Travelled to Redding for a few more days (it’s my hometown). Stopped at one final brewery – Wild River Pizza in Medford. Food was decent, beers were OK but started to all taste the same, ambiance was good.

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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1. Re: Oregon Trip report 7/13-7/24/12

Wow, thanks for your great trip report :-) Sounds like you had a good time!

>>McMennimens out there, which had ... odd service.<<

LOL, they do have a certain reputation for their service ;-)

Oregon/Washington
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for Portland, Sunriver
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2. Re: Oregon Trip report 7/13-7/24/12

Glad you enjoyed your trip:)

The boat tour at Crater Lake is so good, glad you got to enjoy it. Lava Lands is another of our favorites. The time slots to drive to the top is fairly new, which is nice. Before it was a free for all and on busy days there was a lineup of cars waiting for spots at the top.

The walk to the top of Multnomah Falls is nice. So few people go past the bridge, so after that you get the trail to yourself almost:)

Yes, the drive out to Hillsboro on a Friday afternoon is bad. It is funny because McMennamins has spotty service as a reputation, but we have been going to all of them for many years and only once had slow service. I always say people need to go with me, lol.

The Forest Center is really interesting. In our school district that is one of the field trips for elementary school, which I am glad they still do.

I think I might be the only person that does not care for VooDoo, lol. Donuts just don't do it for me, so that is probably the biggest thing. The kids convinced me to try it again a couple weeks ago so we did, but nope, still not a fan. It was fun to see everyone else though all excited and enjoying themselves:)

Bend, Oregon
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for Bend
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3. Re: Oregon Trip report 7/13-7/24/12

Mtngirl - I'm with you on Voodoo.

And yes, the McMenamins definition of "service" is entertaining at it's best and frustratingly awful at it's worse. I have made a habit of stopping at the bar first, to keep it on the entertaining end of the spectrum.

Thanks for an excellent TR. :-)

Sparks, NV
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25 posts
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4. Re: Oregon Trip report 7/13-7/24/12

You bet guys...thanks for the feedback...and also thanks to Oregon for having such awesome State Parks!!!! Just night and day compared to the ones in Cali and Nevada!

I ahve to say...our neighbors at Jantzen RV park where a cross between Randy Quaid in Vacation and Breaking Bad...but luckily they were quiet after 10PMish, so all is good.

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5. Re: Oregon Trip report 7/13-7/24/12

It sounds like you had a fun and successful trip! Thank you for reporting back here. As many times as we've visited the Cheese Factory, it's always a fun stop. :)

6. Re: Oregon Trip report 7/13-7/24/12

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