Posted by: chlost | July 6, 2010

Oregon

We had a great trip to Oregon.  I have never posted photos on the blog, but I am going to try to get some here from the trip.  My camera is just a little Canon point and shoot with a 4x zoom, so the quality is nowhere near that of most of the other blogs that I visit.  I will do my best with what I have. My apologies.

We started in Eugene, where our daughter and her S.O. both graduated from the university.  She received her M.A., he a PhD.  They were very happy!

The new graduates, June, 2010

We spent a few days in Eugene.  It is a town that made me think of the dad in that show “Family Ties”- kind of shabby but smart and cool.  It is the quintessential university town.  My daughter and Dr. S.O. both love it there. We ate in a couple of very unique restaurants, both in renovated homes, both with excellent food.  One of these was Cornucopia, the other Stage One, or something close to that-I am not sure. We loved the microbrews, and tried a new one regularly! 

The first thing on the list of things to see was the Sea Lion Caves.  I don’t know why, but it just fascinated me.  It was one of  three places I definitely wanted to see.  So, we drove out to Florence, on the coast.  Believe me, you can smell the sea lions before you see them, and it is a bit of a tourist trap, but I loved it.  You walk part way down the hill and then take an elevator down to the cave.  The elevator opens up in the cave.  The sea lions are in the cave, resting, fighting, and ummmm-making some new sea lions.  It was pretty dark, but I tried to get a picture in the cave.  Perhaps you can make out the sea lions on the rock.  If not, well, pretend that this is just a picture of a black hole!

Sea Lions, Florence, Oregon, 2010

From the inside of the cave, there was a view out to the ocean, and a small lighthouse on the cliffs in the distance.

View from the Sea Lion Caves, Florence, Oregon 2010

There were also sea lions sunning themselves on rocks at the opposite side of the sea cave.  They look a little bit like worms down there, but there were a lot of babies with parents just catching some rays and getting the little ones some practice in the water.

We drove along the coast for quite some time, stopping often to see the beautiful scenery. It was spectacular, and reminded me a lot of the northern coast of Ireland.

Over the next several days, we visited many areas of Oregon.  We saw the desert plains area of Bend, which was beautiful in a totally different way.  It was dry, but sunny after the overcast days that we had most of the time along the coast. We visited Smith Rock State Park, which is a huge rock outcrop overlooking a river gorge below.  There are trails that go down into the river area, but I stayed above and enjoyed the chance to read and relax while my husband and daughter hiked down, and our son went running along the roads of the park.

Over the course of our visit, we stayed with relatives in Portland.  We saw the sights there with my husband’s cousin.  We visited the Pittock Mansion,

where a young couple was having wedding photos taken on the grounds. the mansion is on a hill above the entire valley.  The view of the city of Portland is wonderful.

We also drove “the loop”, following the Columbia River through the orchards of Hood River, and stopped to see the Multnomah Falls.

To get a sense of the scale, that is a bridge  in the middle of the photo.   There are people on the bridge.  The water at the top drops into a pool, then there is a second falls under the bridge.

And, of course, we visited the Portland Rose Garden.  I really wanted to see this, as well.  I loved the roses, even though it has been a tough year for the roses, and apparently they are not doing as well as normal.  I wouldn’t have known there was a problem.  These are a few of the roses I particularly liked.

The pink one on the bottom is a McCartney, and the purple (blue) is a Rhapsody in Blue.  I think the purples were the most amazing to me.  We don’t see these where I live!

From flowers to snow. Another item on my list to see was Mt. Hood.  Now, if the weather had been clear, we would have seen the mountain from afar throughout our visit. When we flew in from Seattle, we saw Mt. Ranier, Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Hood all in a row as we followed the line to Portland. Now that was spectacular!  However, it was overcast most of the time we were in Oregon.  When we did visit the mountain, it was socked in with fog/clouds.  There is still skiing, and there was snow piled high at the lodge.

All in all, I loved the variety and the beauty of Oregon. The people were friendly.  I would think that it might be easy to be crabby in the gray overcast weather, but it didn’t seem that way.  I have also heard that Oregonians do not appreciate tourists or newcomers who they see as sullying the natural beauty of their state.  We did not run into anything along those lines. 

There was one item on my list that we didn’t get to, Crater Lake National Park.  It was still snowed in, and there were only limited services available so early in the season.  That is on the list for next time.

We’ll be back!

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Responses

  1. What a wonderful trip you had!!!!! I love the photos!!!!

  2. It’s so odd to sit here in this heat wave and think of another part of country being snowed in. Looks like a wonderful time and I would definitely go see the sea lion caves, too. Congrats to your daughter!

  3. I have been away, so I am catching up and will answer the posts I missed. We went to Oregon for a couple of weeks a few years back. At the time I had a regular film camera. The pictures are nice but I have to scan them. I look forward to looking at yours.
    I was smiling with understanding when you said you were exhausted with the grand kids. We went to Baltimore to take care of the grand kids (1 ½ and 3 ½) while their parents attended a conference. We stayed at a hotel with the kids, and no car, for a week, and we are 10 years older than you, so this is why I said that I understood! But both parents are physicians so the kids are used to daycare and babysitters at least. We walked all over Baltimore with the double stroller for meals – that was some exercise.
    I hope your son is doing OK. My nephew had a girl friend with emotional issues too. He married her and took care of her. They lived in New Orleans, went through Katrina and she wanted to move out of state. They did, bought a house and now that she is better she asked him for a divorce. He is shattered. I wish he had let her be before they were married, it is much harder now.
    I understand your feelings about the 4th July when you are out of this country. I still feel funny to be out of France for the 14 of July, the national holiday. I did not care that much for the parade either, but I liked dancing in the Paris streets at night after watching the fireworks. Now I am up to your last post with your pictures of Oregon. They are nice and are a good illustration to go with your story. The roses are lovely. Oregon is a photographer’s delight really.

  4. It looks like you hit the highlights. Southern Oregon is also beautiful, as is the south west coast and the Redwoods. There is so much here!!

    Next time put the Japanese Garden on your list in Portland, also the Chinese Garden in downtown. When in Eastern Oregon, the High Desert Museum is a must, and you can also explore dozens of lava tubes in that area.

    I live in Corvallis, it is a wonderful place. I know many people who have traveled all over the USA who decided to move to Corvallis to live… just because they loved it.

    Glad you had fun here.

  5. I’m not a photo expert, but they looked great to me. It sounds like a wonderful, relaxing trip and (judging by the pics) it was absolutely gorgeous. I live in the desert and we don’t see very much green, so the pictures are especially nice. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Great pics of my Homeland! (wipes tears from eyes) I know the Pittock Mansion well. When Mt. St. Helens had its huge eruption in May 1980, I watched it erupt with thousands of other people from the grassy slopes of Pittock Mansion. It was a perfect viewing area! Eugene, my hometown, is a unique place alright. Very much the San Francisco of the NW as far as the hippies are concerned. I went to HS in Salem, a much more conservative town. Looks like you got to see many of the wonderful sights of the State, but there are many more that would make a return trip worthwhile. Crater Lake is a must see, and I am partial to the Oregon Caves National Monument, where I was a Cave Guide for 2 summers in the 80’s. Glad you had fun. Oh, and as I remember, we really hated Californians….. other tourists were OK, just not Californians…..

    • We also visited Salem, which I liked, too! Quite a different vibe than Eugene. I will have to get to the Oregon Caves as well as Crater Lake now. I have even more reasons to go back. We did find that everyone was very friendly to us, perhaps they could tell we were not Californians.

  7. Thanks for sharing your pictures! They make me miss the ocean. I have to get back for a visit at least some day. What a wonderful feeling you must have had seeing your child getting their Masters. We’re not quite that far yet in our house but I hope that someday….

  8. And by the way, where did you get the photo of me lounging on the rocks over at the coast?

  9. How lovely to see more of the US, thank you for the photos and descriptions. Well done to the newly honoured academics! And I also hope things are going OK with your son. Did you find that by blogging about the trip you relived it? It gives me great pleasure to revisit my journeys, especially when back home and under some strain:)

    • I love that part of a trip-reliving it. It is almost as good as the trip itself. Thank you for your support!

  10. Well, well. Get this: I’ve been to every place you mention in this post, right down to the Portland Rose Garden and the northern coast of Ireland. So we’re the same person?

    Love the photos and memories!

    • We certainly share a lot of interests! I just wish I were going to Turkey! Could you figure out a way to do that??? I hope to go in a couple of years, when my daughter’s s.o.’s sister will be posted there for the state department, so you will have to let me know what I “have to see” when we go.

  11. For the first time posting pictures, you did wondrfully. Thank you so much for taking us along with you. I’m sitting here just grinning.

    • Thank you. It wasn’t quite as hard as I expected, but it took a long time. I love your pictures on your blog. My inspiration.


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