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Mid September Trip Review

Alberta, Canada
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Mid September Trip Review

I received so much help in planning this trip from TA experts, I wanted to give something back and let you know how things went. We spent 17 days - Sept 12- 30; touring Oregon from Portland to Mt St Helen's, Astoria, down the coast to Crescent City and the Redwoods, Crater Lake, Bend, Hood River and back to Portland to fly home. We are in our mid 60s, we love scenery, hiking, small towns, stopping at coffee shops, breweries, and wineries. I felt it would help new planners more if I listed the things we liked the most , and some disappointments, rather than a day by day review; 17 days is too much to remember.

Hard to pick the top things we liked about our trip along the coast but here's my try!

1. Newton Drury Parkway/ Prairie Creek Redwoods & Jedidiah Smith St Pk- Wow, to walk along paths through these rainforests of towering trees; they make you dizzy looking straight up. No way to get a photo to show how huge they are. My husband's favorite spot!

2. Patrick's St Park- The powerful ocean smacking against the rocks where we sat so close at Wedding Rock. The water bursts to geysers maybe 30 feet up. It was awesome to feel the power of the ocean. We actually thought this was better than Devil's punchbowl. We also collected agates at Agate Beach. We didn't get many agates but picked a lot of beautiful stones. The rogue waves were dangerous here; a lady was hurt because a rogue wave came and pushed a log at her on the stairs. They had a least 20 rescue people come to help. We decided to wait until the tide went out.

3. Favourite beaches - Bandon; at our hotel at Flat Rock St Park- beautiful sunset with shadows and huge monoliths. When we arrived our jaws dropped. Sealife- starfish and anemones were the better here than anywhere on the coast.

3. Cape Perpetua St Park- we spent hours here, lots of short paths to watch the wild, powerful ocean.

3. Manzanita Beach- We stayed opposite this big beach with sand dunes. Everyone had dogs here so we made friends easily. We love dogs and didn't bring ours. We stopped at Cannon Beach and Seaside to take a peak . Was I ever glad we picked Manzanita for our base over these! Not much for shops in town, but morning and evening walks on the beach were so peaceful and relaxing and right at our doorstep.

4. Favorite hikes- Cape Falcon- 5 miles RT; easy hike with great views; lots of nice spots to have lunch at the top.

Cape Lookout 4.8 miles RT easy hike, long views down the coast. It fogged over shortly after we arrived but the views just got better all the way up!

Clatsop Trail from Indian Head to Tillamook LH VP. Indian Head beach was the highlight, though the hiker's cabins were cool.

Boys Scout Tree Trail in Jedidiah St Park- 4 miles RT although waterfall not a great ending to a great trail. We couldn't figure how where the boy scout tree was.

5. Towns- Our favorite old historic town was Florence- shops, restaurants, bars with back doors opening onto the river. Loved the Bean Roasters coffee shop but all the shops were friendly. Beautiful town to explore! We also like Bandon (farmers market) and Astoria( old historic bldgs).

6. Lighthouses- Haceta Lighthouse - free tour by volunteer park ranger was interesting. Yaguina Head LH very informative.

7 Klamath Overlook- beautiful Klamath River and the fishermen. We stopped at Raqua Inn and got a tour of this beautiful hotel. Wished we would have stayed here, reaming with character and warmth.

8. Favorite Restaurants - We ate in a lot but out of the ones we ate out- Drift Inn in Yachats and Chart Room in Crescent City get our votes.

9. I'm pretty happy with my myrtlewood rolling pin 'Oregon made' I bought in Port Orford. So many beautiful product to choose from.

Disappointments- Not many, but we thought the Coast Hwy 101 hugged the coast more than it did, and the traffic in mid September was more than we were imagined.

2nd part to follow; our favorites for our travel in the interior.

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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1. Re: Mid September Trip Review

Hi, thanks for your trip report!

>>No way to get a photo to show how huge they are. <<

LOL, I know what you mean! We have endless beautiful big trees in Oregon but the massive redwoods are special, aren't they? Glad you got up to the Klamath Overlook, that is one of our favourite picnic spots. Patrick's Point is a lovely spot. You know that narrow road in front of the park entrance? That used to be Hwy 101 :-)

>> Was I ever glad we picked Manzanita for our base over these! <<

Yes, I agree - totally different from congested Cannon Beach & Seaside.

>> the traffic in mid September was more than we were imagined.<<

In the "olde days" people didn't visit the coast much after Labor Day, but those days are long, long gone. Anymore, September and most of October is just about as busy as high summer.

Sounds as if you liked a lot more than you disliked though, which is great :-) Looking forward to part 2!

Edited: 02 October 2013, 07:39
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2. Re: Mid September Trip Review

Sounds like a great time! We also love spending time in beautiful Manzanita. They have a really nice golf course there where we play alot. Thanks for the report back on your Oregon Coast adventure. :)

Troutdale, Oregon
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for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
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3. Re: Mid September Trip Review

Your report is just inspiringly beautiful. If we hadn't been there we would certainly go. You are right you will help many visitors with your wonderful memories.

Cape Lookout is our favorite campground at the coast. The access to that great trail is just part of it. Did you get to see a whale there? That is the trail for them.

I am also looking forward to part 2.

MrsO

Alberta, Canada
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4. Re: Mid September Trip Review

Thanks for the encouragement.

I am going to start with our disappointments which started as we traveled to the interior.

1. Crater Lake- Snow closed down Rim Road. We had really wanted to see the blue of this lake inside the volcano. We walked to the rim from the cafe through a foot of snow, but there was 0 visibility. Snow in September ! And lots of it! It was pretty though! The video was brand new this year and was very good. Made us think about coming back!

2. Mt St Helen's- Fog covered the mountain. Great visitor center and video . When the curtain is lifted to show Mt St Helen's, no Mt St Helen's! There were a lot of groans. We hiked Hummock's Trail; at lower altitude, and I learned what hummocks were.

3. Mt Hood- It was raining so hard, we ran for it to get to Timberline Lodge before we got drenched. So no hiking either; wouldn't be able to find the trail heads.

4. We didn't have time to see the Bonneville Dam and fish hatchery which turned out to be a huge miss! Guess we have to come back!

We had rain and snow for the last 5 days, record rainfall. Everyone told us was unusual and that Indian Summer was far more common. We brought rain coats but we needed heavy duty raincoats.

Ok, enough of the bad stuff. For the things we loved.

1. Columbia River Gorge- This is so beautiful, even in the rain and fog. We had to change our hiking plans for a day road trip . From Hood River we crossed to the Washington side and drove down Hwy 14 down to Beacon Rock which we climbed in the rain. With all the stairways, you get up 800 feet pretty fast to see great views. Next day, on the Oregon side we hiked Horsetail Trail up to Ponytail Falls (in the rain again), Multonomah Falls (really interesting visitor center) and the Vista House were our favorites. I love scenery from higher up and Vista House satisfied that. It actually cleared up for a while, well, just for just enough time to take some photos. The lower floor has interesting information of the building of the old historic #30 Hwy and well worth it!

2. Hood River- fruit, wine and beer! We bought fruit at the stands, went to Marchesi Winery for a wine tasting and Double Mountain Brewery. Our hotel was riverfront; only wished we had more time here.

3. Timberline Lodge- I had read to see this hotel but did not know why. Definitely a "not to miss". What a legacy these pioneers left with their love for wood, steel, rock and yarns. An older lady, dressed in pioneer dress, beamed from head to foot when we expressed our amazement.

4. Smith Rock- I think most of the people here were climbers. We hiked the trail along the river up to the top of Misery Ridge. And it was misery alright. Very steep; not for the weak or anyone scared of heights. Great views though. As we walked along the river trail, we heard a crack and a loud yell, "Falling Rock". Turned around and a huge bolder came tumbling down. We were about 1 minute passed where it hit and splashed into the river. God was definitely looking after us that day!

5. Portland- With the great public transport ( Max and streetcar), it was easy to get around. From Northrup Inn we walked down 23rd Ave ( great street for walking, nice shops) to Washington Park entrance, up to the Rose Garden ( still nice in Sept) and onto the Japanese Gardens. We enjoyed this masterpiece. Picked up the park bus and got a tour of Washington park. We went to downtown waterfront, Powell Books, Deschutes Brewery, farmers market and the Saturday market all in 1 1/2 days. I had worried about getting around to see everything but it was so easy.

6.Towns- We enjoyed historic Jacksonville (beautiful buildings) and Red Lily Winery, a few miles east and the western theme of Sisters and Sister's Coffee Roasters. Bend was Ok but scenery to the west made we realize why people come here. Did not expect the city to be so big and a little difficult to drive in. We walked around Drake Park and Mirror Lake and admired all the homes. We also just happened to arrive at Crux Fermentation Brewery when they were having Octoberfest. So a party!

It was fun, but we're happy to be home in the SUNSHINE!

I find TA has so much information in planning a holiday and thank everyone who helped make ours great1

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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5. Re: Mid September Trip Review

Thanks so much for taking the time to write; I enjoyed your report :-)

Yes, September is *usually* one of the more reliably warm and dry months . . . except for this year. Where I live on the coast the Sept average is about 2½" ... but this year we got right at 9".

Florence, Oregon
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for Oregon Coast
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6. Re: Mid September Trip Review

LOVED your TR Venus!!

Also glad you enjoyed Manzanita! It helps to know that those of us that preach it's virtues might actually know something after all LOL!

I have lived along and hiked the entire coastline for more years than I care to admit, but Cape Falcon Trial is STILL my favorite hike of all. It might have something to do with having helped construct it, but it is a very special, and relatively easy hike.

Troutdale, Oregon
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for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
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7. Re: Mid September Trip Review

Very nice report. Thanks for taking the time to write it. It was an ideal trip it sounds except the weather. I am glad you made the most of it.

Many people who visit here want to come back as there are a lot of possibilities for future trips.

We'll see you soon.

MrsO

Alberta, Canada
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8. Re: Mid September Trip Review

Thanks half-Brit, dengay, Mrs.O, and syragirl for your encouragement.

I did make one error, the Red Lily Vineyard is about 7 miles 'west' (not east) of Jacksonville on the Applegate River. Very fancy but relaxing tasting areas. Beautiful spot !

I wrote reviews of some of the 10 hotels we stayed at. But overall the ones we liked most were

(1st) Essence of Health Retreat in Castle Rock for class, comfort & value

(2nd) Fireside in Yachats -beauty, value and comfort

(3rd) Best Western Hood River- class, food , more $$$.

Thanks for reading!

Edited: 04 October 2013, 01:47
Troutdale, Oregon
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for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
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9. Re: Mid September Trip Review

We thank you. ;-)

10. Re: Mid September Trip Review

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