Tour of Oregon (Brief)

Since John and I only had a small amount of time to plan our revised Labor Day weekend, we decided to keep it simple: a driving tour of some of Oregon’s top highlights.  Before this weekend, we’d seen a few of the waterfalls lining the Columbia River Gorge, driven in to Portland from Idaho along Interstate 84 with brief stops in Baker City and Pendleton, and spent a long weekend in Cannon Beach – but that’s all we’d seen of our new state, and we set out this weekend to remedy the deficiency.  Four days to pick up the best features of the center of the state?  It seemed like plenty of time, at least for a brief tour, but at the end we’re left with the same feeling that we had after driving through western Oregon, and after our trip out to the coast – that there are many things we missed, and our short time didn’t do the area justice, and that we can’t wait to go back.

But short though the trip was, I took 1300 photos, and it may take me a while to get through them.  Here’s a brief overview of our brief tour, in the meantime!

We headed out along the Historic Route 30, along the Columbia River, stopping at scenic overlooks and waterfalls …

… before turning south toward Mt. Hood, where we spent the first night.

Saturday we did more hiking, drove up the Mountain to visit Timberline Lodge, and drove down to Bend.

(There’s a much bigger version of the photo above if you click on it.  It’s a panorama taken from a trail up the mountain from the lodge, but below the ski area, looking south; you can see Mt. Bachelor in the background.)

Sunday, we headed further south to Crater Lake, which is stunning.  It’s incredible.  It’s breathtaking.  Standing on the rim looking down is nothing like the photos.  I thought I knew what to expect, but it was much more beautiful than I imagined.  That said, I have to include a photo, sad and unsatisfactory though it might be.

(It captures the colors, but not the grandeur.)

And finally yesterday we went to the Newberry National Volcanic Monument to look at the lava fields left by long-ago eruptions …

… before making the trek (along with every other Portland-area resident, it seemed) back home.

(Much) More to come…

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