Dad and I are just on our Air Canada flight home from Portland. What a fun week we just had!
The goal of our trip was to share our love of Oregon’s interesting landscapes with our Jamboree friends from Oklahoma and Texas, but I also planned a lot of skateboarding with dad.
Our friends arrived from Oklahoma into PDX airport at 10:30 AM. Upon meeting our bus and driver, Nick, we drove into central Portland. Dad gave us a tour of the city centre and in our effort to Keep
Portland Weird, we all sampled some funky Voodoo Donuts.
From the big city, we drove to interesting little Troutdale where we stayed for three nights.
The Columbia Gorge
The following day, we explored one of the best day trips in all of the Pacific Northwest. From Vista House, we stopped at the magnificent Multnomah Falls. I ran to the top in 17 minutes!
The next stop was the Bonneville Dam. There were fish in the fish ladder and mean-looking lampreys stuck to the glass.
Next was Hood River. I love this windy town. Famous for kite-surfing, Hood River was sunny and sporty.
After lunch, we drove up, up, up to the Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood. People were skiing and snowboarding and we could see other volcanoes to the south.
Last year, I spent a week at a skateboard camp near Mount Hood and loved it. On the way down the mountain, we did the plastic-bottle experiment were was saw the pressure change from the decent.
Mount Saint Helens
On this relaxed day, we crossed the Colombia River into Washington State and visited two of the Mount Saint Helens visitor centers. Many of the people remembered the eruption and despite some clouds and rain, the views were magnificent.
For more information on the volcano, click here.
Rather than driving further into the clouds, we returned to Vancouver (Washington) and had a tour of the original HBC (Hudson Bay Company) fort on the west coast! So cool.
Leaving behind the Portland area, were drove south the the State Capital of Salem. The Capitol building is classically art-deco (or so dad says) and everyone enjoyed the art.
Then to Eugene where the US olympic track & field try-outs were being held.
Arriving to the south of the state, we stopped in fun Grant’s Pass. This cool small city has many antique stores and statues of bears on every corner.
An absolute highlight, we had perfect weather for our visit to the ‘clearest lake on earth.’ For everything you may want to know about Crater Lake, click here.
The Oregon Coast
From Southern Oregon we drove west through the Umpqua Valley and out to the dramatic Pacific Coast. Despite really heavy rain in the morning, we enjoyed lovely views and even sun while traveling past the largest dunes in the USA.
Upon arrival into charming Newport, dad was thrilled to discover the newly opened Clearwater restaurant. This sparklingly clean harbour restaurant is testament to Newport’s rising tourism appeal. We highly recommend it!
Then another highlight; an afternoon Marine Discovery Tour (800-903-2628). The group loved the two hour tour and I loved catching crabs!
That evening at the beautiful Elizabeth Street Inn, we had a reception with local drinks and fresh crab. It was also dad’s birthday – the third time he had celebrated with many of our travelers.
On the last full day of the tour, we continued up the Oregon coast, visiting Cape Kiwanda and spectacular Cape Mears. We also ate lunch at the famous – but too busy – Tillamook Cheese Factory.
Finally we drove back inland to the rich agricultural lands around Portland that drew people to the historic Oregon Trail more than 160 years ago.
What a perfect trip.