Oregon is an inspiration. Whether you come to it, or are born to it, you become entranced by our state’s beauty, the opportunity she affords, and the independent spirit of her citizens.”
Tom McCall’s address to Oregon Legislature, 1973
Count us among those who came to Oregon and are now entranced by the beauty, opportunity, and spirit of her citizens. Once you see all this state has to offer and meet its incredibly friendly people, you see that it is truly one of the gems in this great country.
Our month long journey through Oregon started in Brookings on the southern coast. We crept slowly northward with frequent stops for several days at a time until we reached the northernmost port town of Astoria. There was so dang much to take in.
From the coast, we headed to Portland, through the Columbia River Gorge, the valley areas around Salem and Eugene, across the Cascade mountains, then made our way to Crater Lake. Next, we went to Bend and Sisters where we biked to the summit of the McKenzie Highway Pass. Then it was back to Eugene for a few days (we remodeled our RV, replacing our dinette with recliners) before a final stop to Portland to take in this city a bit more and do some planning for our summer in Alaska. We really held true to our name as zigzaggerz.
Brookings, OR (southern Oregon coast)
Evening of our arrival into Oregon. Stunning sunset scene at Harris Beach State Park in Brookings.
Nice walk to end our day after the drive into Oregon
Spring is in the air. Azaleas and rhododendrons in full bloom. Interesting fact: Brookings and Smith River, CA produce 100% of the lily bulbs grown in North America. It is in a banana belt providing warmer temperatures than the rest of the Oregon coast.
Cape Blanco State Park
Beautiful fully operational lighthouse which allows visitors to tour and walk up to enjoy the view from the top. In addition to incredible views, volunteer docents explain the operation. Really interesting.
Bullards Beach State Park
Plenty of wood for our campfire. It’s chilly here on the Oregon Coast.
Our bikes come in handy for getting wood back to camp.
We are quickly learning that rain is part of life along the Oregon coast. Everyone, to a person, told us that it rains a lot here! Sun does shine, but it rains A LOT.
Winchester Bay feeds into magnificent stretch of endless miles of beach along the Pacific. Small fishing town, bike paths, Oregon Dunes Rec Area….
We are meeting some great people. Jan here is from Alaska and has been full timing in the RV life for over 8 years with her husband Steve. One surprise for us has been in finding out how social this life on the road can be. Fellow RVers are exceptionally friendly, down to earth and ready to share tips and info. It’s not at all uncommon to take out your trash or walk the dog and spend an hour or more visiting with your neighbors!
We used this guide, the one below, tips from other travelers, google, and the AllStays App to figure out what we wanted to do. Note: We NEVER saw ANY crowds even remotely close to this picture on our trip.
Enjoyed this stop… thought of Jack and Cypress at GSML
Giant Pacific Octopus
Terrific tunnel. They let kids have sleep-over parties here. Wouldn’t that be fun?!
Manzanita, Nehalem Bay, Cannon Beach, Seaside
True visionary! Smart law that preserved Oregon’s beaches for all to enjoy. Thank you.
Lots of Bernie support in Oregon
Fabulous state parks along the entire Oregon Coast. This site backed up to a private trail across the dunes straight onto the beach. Bike paths made riding to nearby towns a breeze from here.
Grace working out to be a great home on the road
Looking out over the port city of Astoria with Washington State on the other side of the Columbia River
We climbed the stairs here to get the full view of the area
Portland is a beautiful city, easy to navigate, plenty of green space, foodie destination, and lots of outdoor activities- hiking, biking, walking. It was nice to find out that it is super dog friendly too.
Had to make a stop by the famous Powell’s Book Store.
Tree lined streets with shops and restaurants gave this a real neighborhood vibe
McMenamins- a worthwhile stop for anyone visiting Portland. It started as a “poor house”, then transitioned to a nursing home. It was slated for demolition but thankfully was saved by the Historical Society. It’s now a pub, restaurant, inn, spa, entertainment venue filled with eclectic art and a fabulous setting.
Lineup of musicians scheduled to perform at McMenamins
Columbia River Gorge
We took the scenic highway through the Columbia River Gorge just outside of Portland to see some of the falls. Beautiful. The pics below are from a short hike we took on this stop.
We were thrilled to find Wolf Creek, near Eugene. William’s grandparents lived here before moving back to Lanark Village in Florida. He was about five years old when his family made the cross country train trip to visit them.
William at Wolf Creek
What a great find in Eugene. Be sure to look them up if you’re in the area. They have a wide selection and everything you need to enjoy the benefits of electric bikes. They were a huge help to us in repairing a bike tire for us to keep us going.
Eugene is set amid the rolling hills with numerous flowing rivers, covered bridges.
Thanks to fellow RV friends we met from OR for suggesting a stop in this area on our way to Crater Lake.
Picturesque setting on a beautiful lake surrounded by forests. Snow was still on the ground here.
Landlocked salmon fishing is popular. This group was busy cleaning their catch by 8am.
Eric and a buddy caught their limit of 21 fish each by early morning and were kind to share their bounty with us! Yum.
Bend, Sisters & McKenzie Pass
Maysea was the real sport on this adventure. The Mckenzie Pass Scenic Highway is closed to motor vehicles until mid-June. We decided to make the trip on our bikes and brought Maysea along. We got quite a few stares and exclamations from bikers saying they had never seen a dog make the trip. She did great!