April 13, 2017
Well as expected the weather wasn’t the best on the coast. It could have been worse though. Turns out I don’t melt if I get wet! While it was raining most of the time, the temperature wasn’t to cold so we decided to grin and bare it. As long as you are prepared and dressed for the rain it wasn’t so bad.
Turns out Xander LOVES the beach. He was emotionally torn with his hate of rain and love of the beach. One advantage to hitting the coast this time of year is that we had the beaches to ourselves. It was so fun to see Xander run like a crazy dog up and down the beaches.
Most of this part of our journey was spending anywhere from 10 minutes to a few hours on the beach. One of the beaches had a light house that you could walk up to. We spent a lot of time on this beach. The weather was good in the morning when we stopped. It was fun walking the beaches looking for interesting rocks and shells. I had a goal of finding a whole sand dollar and I did! Well James actually found it, but I was happy.
A lot of the beaches blend together on the southern part of the coast, mostly because we didn’t spend much time on them. The Oregon beaches are so different from California beaches. They have these crazy rock formations in the sand and ocean. It really adds some character to the ocean. We have a ton of pictures of amazing beaches and waves. The sunsets on the beach are like no other. The way it reflects off the water is so beautiful.
Once we got up to Florence we cut in to Eugene for a pit stop. I have family in that area that I haven’t seen in a very long time. It was great to be able to see them. We spent a few days here then headed out on Easter day.
I can’t believe all the perfect beaches we have seen so far. The Oregon coast is amazing and we can’t wait to see more of it. Next stop is Tillamook and I’m pretty excited about it.
April 9, 2017
After leaving Bend, OR we decided to head south and then cut over to the coast and drive hwy 101 all the way up Oregon. Being that it was early April we knew that we might not get the best weather, but we had to push through so that we could be in Alaska by mid May.
The plan was to stop at Crater Lake first. Well that will have to be for another time, there was 18 feet of snow at the visitor center. You have to be open to change when living on the road, so we just kept driving. Klamath Falls is just south of Crater Lake, which is where we stopped for a break. There isn’t much to see here, but we did find a nice park and a small lake. The lake was peaceful after the kids on their ATV’s finally left.
From Klamath Falls we cut over west to Ashland. I really liked this little town. It is tucked away in the mountains. We found a park that had a Japanese garden in it. Dogs weren’t allowed in the park and it was raining so we just did a quick walk through. Of course the landscape was beautiful. After having a beer at the local brewery (every tiny little town in Oregon has a brewery) we decided to call it a night. In the morning Xander and I went for a run on an awesome paved path that passed by some llamas, which Xander wanted to play with.
The next town was Medford. Our first impression of this town was that is was a shit hole. It seemed liked no one took any pride in the town or themselves. I realized that I didn’t file my taxes yet, so we got that taken care of. Taxes are always so painful so we went to have a drink after that. James found Opposition Brewing. It was such a friendly place. Just a small family owned brewery that was getting ready to expand. They are dog friendly and weren’t very busy so we asked if anyone would mind helping us work with our beast. Xander actually did amazing. He even made friends with one man, who told us great stories about traveling on his motorcycle. I’m always so grateful when we find places and people like this. It takes a lot of understanding when it comes to a dog with anxiety, like Xander.
Next stop was the coast. The highway we took dipped down into northern California and we caught hwy 101 from Crescent City. The highway in California followed a beautiful river, the water was so blue. We also stopped at an amazing waterfall right next to the highway.
So far our weather wasn’t too bad. I hope the weather on the coast holds out this good. This leg of the journey was uneventful, but a nice drive with lots of green. It is so refreshing to see so much green, and so many different shades of green. With any luck we will get to see a whale on our coastal drive.
April 8, 2017
Smith Rock is a little state park packed with an abundance of rock climbers. There is a small stream that runs through it and rock faces of all different sizes. I’m not a climber, but I could spend all day here just watching everyone climb.
We spent a few days in Bend and got to catch up with friends there. Bend is a fun little town. Lots of great breweries and activities. There is a spot in town that a river runs through and has rapids that people surf in and practice kayaking. Our friends, Erica and Trevor, let us use their shower and made us a delicious dinner. We also went to Deschutes brewery and first Friday with them. First Friday is an event where shops downtown host entrepreneurs trying to sell their products. Some shops have music and drinks too. The great part about the van being our home, we don’t have to worry about driving after having a few to many drinks. Which we took advantage of that night.
Trevor and Erica recommended Smith Rock so we went there before we headed out of Bend. I’m glad we went. There were a couple of different trail options with different degrees of difficulty. You hike down into a small valley to the stream and the trails hug the rock faces. Xander got lots of practice being a good boy on this trail. It was narrow and lots of people and dogs. He did very good with the people but he struggled with the other dogs.
It seemed like every turn you made there was a rock wall with people all over it. They looked like little spots of color on the rock. Every other person we passed on the trail had their climbing gear with them. On our way back we came across a guy who had his climbing gear with him and his dog. He was trying to cross the bridge over the river. This was a challenge because his poor dog was afraid of bridges. We watched him try about 3 or 4 times. I finally asked him if he wanted me to hold is bag so he could carry his dog across. He declined the offer, guess he was trying to work on the dogs fear.