This is just a random collection of things that caught my eye on the trip. Lori loved the "Shark Sighted" sign, and the "trees are greater than buildings" graffiti was pretty cool. But my favorite was seeing the start of Route 20, which goes all the way from Newport, Oregon to Boston, Massachusetts - over three thousand miles away. Now THAT'S a roadtrip!
Once we got back near Portland we stopped in to see my cousin Vanessa, who lives near there. We got to meet her two kids - her son is four, and her daughter is just 10 months old. Her daughter took a real shine to Carter, as you can see!
Right off of the highway in the Columbia River Gorge is Multnomah Falls, the highest waterfall in Oregon at 620 feet. The trail up to the bridge isn't currently open to the public, but the view from the bottom was fantastic anyway! Crowded, though!
Once we reached the river again, we drove along the gorge back to Portland. We were feeling run down by this point and anxious to get home, so we didn't stop much. We originally had several hikes planned for this day of the trip, but a wildfire last year had led to most of those trails being closed and not expected to reopen for at least a few more months. But we did stop once or twice to stretch our legs and soak in the scenery.
After leaving the Bend area, we took off across the high desert country on our way back to the Columbia River. I expected this part of the drive to be somewhat boring, but it turned out to be just as beautiful as the rest of the trip. I didn't get many pictures, as we were down to a half of a tank of gas and I had no idea where the next town would be - there were several stretches of a half hour or more where I didn't see a single sign of civilization other than the road itself. Next time I'd like to plan to spend a little more time in the area, and get out of the car and explore a little.
Another stop we made with Karen was Lava Butte - an extinct volcano that you can drive up. From the top the views of the mountains were pretty amazing. I didn't get any great pictures, but trust me - it was impressive.
While visiting my Aunt Karen we went and explored a lava tube - basically a long tube-like cave formed by lava. We were the first people in the cave that day, and it was the first day the cave was open this year. So we were the first of the first! It was really cool in there - I've been in a bunch of limestone caves, but a lava cave has a very different feel. And where it was just the four of us, it was really quiet and spooky.
We visited my Aunt Karen and her husband near Bend, Oregon and spent day five with them. It was great! We visited a lava tube, an extinct volcano, took a beautiful bike ride along a river. It was great to have a day to explore with someone who knew the area, and without having to do any driving myself.
This was a similar situation to the aquarium - we visited this museum, had a great time, but somehow neglected to take any pictures. So here you go - a porcupine. :)
The falls we were headed to visit in the last post was this waterfall - Toketee Falls. It's a two-stage waterfall, and only about half a mile from the road. We were the only ones there that day, and the falls were gorgeous.