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Old 04-11-2009, 05:17 PM
49 posts, read 123,270 times
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We want to do a road trip for about a week (give or take a day or two) end of May driving from the Salt Lake City area - to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. It's just two of us and a 5 year old golden retriever.

We want to explore the Bend, Oregon area - hiking and nosing around town - but my spouse wants to see Crater Lake - and I want to see not only the coast - but the Willamette Valley (wine country).

That seems like a heck of alota land to cover. Any suggestions?

What and where are the highlights of the Willamette Valley? And what's the best part of the coast?

We're both former Californians - I've driven both 101 and I-5 through Oregon - but that was both 40 and 25 years ago.

We're looking to stay in dog-friendly hotels (there seems to be alot)... but I just can't get my head around how we'd go about seeing all this - in one trip.

Perhaps we'll need to make two?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
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Old 04-12-2009, 01:26 AM
Location: Still in Portland, Oregon, for some reason
890 posts, read 3,374,848 times
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I've driven Portland to Salt Lake in a day alone and it can be done. With two drivers that shouldn't be a problem at all. If I were you, I'd start in Portland, work your way out to the coast and at some point, plug back into I-5, head south to Crater Lake, then go north to Bend. From Bend, you can take US-20 east to Ontario, Oregon at which point you can take I-84 back to SLC.

The coast has much to offer so if I were you, I'd explore and find what piques your interest. The valleys are very diverse as well as is the Bend area which has some gorgeous terrain and great hiking.

Good luck.

Last edited by rosecitywanderer; 04-12-2009 at 01:35 AM..
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Old 04-12-2009, 03:51 AM
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Crater Lake has a lodge. I'd stay there.

In Bend, try the Inn at the 7th Mt.

Rather than the Willamette Valley wineries, try the ones around Hood River and drive down the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, making plenty of stops.

If you make it to the coast, I'm hit Cannon Beach thru Cape Perpetua.
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Old 04-12-2009, 07:06 AM
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Thanks and keep the suggestions coming!~

Hubbie is intent on spending more time in Bend.... and neither of us wants to go into Portland (he's already been - and I really want to avoid the big city and it's traffic).
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:43 AM
Location: coos bay oregon
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if you come to the coast, i know theres several dog friendly hotels/motels in Coos Bay,
Out by Yachats, i know "The Adobe" has a section of pet friendly rooms (my folks stayed there w/their husky while we stayed in the other section w/o pets) You can look up The Adobe online, its got some pretty incredible views.
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Old 04-12-2009, 02:15 PM
Location: In The Outland
6,023 posts, read 12,927,670 times
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Thumbs up Tha lava caves near Bend.

Originally Posted by Mol1112 View Post
Thanks and keep the suggestions coming!~

Hubbie is intent on spending more time in Bend.... and neither of us wants to go into Portland (he's already been - and I really want to avoid the big city and it's traffic).

I went into the "Lava River Tube" cave near Bend in the off season and went in with my two flashlights (one for a back up), there was no attendant but it was open. I went all the way to the end where the tube takes a dive and the floor is "water leveled" flat sand and the cave just terminates. Just for fun and adventure, I turned off my flashlight to see if I could walk out in the dark ! Holey Schmoly did I freak out ! I didn't make it four steps before getting that flashlight turned on pronto ! The adrenalin rush was quite nice though ! Check out the Blue Mountains and places like Carson and Cornucopia, Halfway and Joseph.
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:52 AM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
28,796 posts, read 48,007,092 times
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make it a loop and enjoy the wine country in the Columbia Gorge too
Columbia Gorge Wine Growers on the Web
if you are quick you can grab the details from their recent 'passport weekend' that will give you the scoop on about 40 wineries.

For Crater Lake, you might want to postpone for another time, or just see the lodge (West side), as the rim road will be closed till at least mid June, if this year is like most others. It is still spectacular, and the route through Diamond Lake is worth a peak.

Spouse wants to see CL, and it is anniversary so... you WILL make that a priority I'm not sure if they will take dogs at the lodge, but it would be a nice treat for the spouse to enjoy that place to its fullest. (Which takes some time to 'relax' there, read a book, do a puzzle...National Park Lodges can be a romantic getaway, and make special memories.) I would schedule route to get the lodge upfront, and with early check-in... (thus I would take off from SLC ASAP after work / early evening and drive 1/2 way to CL in the dark, to be there by mid afternoon the next day.

You may need to Check with Diamond Lake lodge too, they might have some cabins for pets, it is not nearly as nice as CL, but has its own 'flair'.

I usually drive the 'barren' portion at night,(SLC to Klamath Falls or Prineville to save daylight for the sights. I take a few catnaps during the day.)

Lots to do in Bend too, and if that is a primary destination, you better spend a night there. Then I would head to Mt Hood and have a late Breakfast / early lunch at Timberline Lodge, and drop over Highway 35 to Hood River, and consider which wineries you could fit in. (unfortunately many are ~ 1 hr east / Maryhill / Biggs, Jct / hwy 97). Then head to Portland area in evening and enjoy the lights and after dark activities a city can offer. Skamania Lodge (Stevenson, WA) is a pretty nice place to spend time in library, lobby, dining,,, if you get stuck in The Gorge.

The historic Highway (Parallels I-84) between Bonneville Dam and Troutdale is nice, McMenamin's Edgefields (restored poor farm) is a few blocks west of Troutdale on Scenic Hiway, and worth a walk through. They (McMenamin's) have spots in Forest Grove and McMinnville worth looking into in the valley wine region

You can do Yamhill / Newburg / McMinnville as wine pathway to the coast. but you don't want to miss Ecola, or Hug Point Park (near Cannon Beach,,, another nice destination spot).

Then venturing south (Which is the SAFE direction to be a coast 'looky-lou')
Manzanita has nice broad beach, Twin Rocks has great driftwood, Tillamook cheese factory for sample of curd. 3 Capes for Octopus tree and smallest light house. Then Depot Bay, Otter Crest, Yaquina Head lighthouse
Oregon.com Oregon Light House Experience Oregon Coast Lighthouses

If time is an issue, I'd head inland at Newport or Coos Bay. If not, go to NO CA and enjoy the Redwoods, then cut across and see Lassen NP in No Ca. It is really nice alpine park, and not crowded. Then drop down towards Reno.

If you head inland from Newport, you could see Bend and Crater lake on the way home, but if it is the major objective of the spouse it is often easier to get that taken care of 'up-front'.

Basically a quick trip.
1day each
Crater lake
Columbia Gorge
North Coast
Mid Coast
So OR / No CA

Enroute 1 day here and one day home = 8-10 days unless you do some 'overnight' driving. coming and / or going.

I did 4 of the Utah Parks + Great Basin and Lassen NP then Crater Lake Rim Road in a week from PDX, but I would have desired more time in Bryce, Basin and Lassen. I did camping which takes way too much time, since you get in campground early and leave late (After dew gets dried off tent). My new 20 mpg mini RV will make short work of the camping schedule and any dog related issues.
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:55 AM
Location: Oceanside and Chehalem Mtns.
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From I-84, I'd definately explore the wine country in Yakima/Columbia Valley. (ex: around Walla Walla, etc). It's much better then Williamette Valley IMHO but I like Cabs.

After that go to Hood River and loop around Mt. Hood. Stop at Timberline Lodge. Now take Hwy 26 to 97 to Bend. Bend is OK but I think it's overated as a tourist destination but it's a stepping stone to explore that part of the state. Continue on 97 S to Crater Lake. (that's a must see!).

Now head W on Hwy 138. You might want to do some wine tasting in the Umqua Valley/Roseburg area and then continue on to Coos Bay. Head North on Hwy 101 and explore the coast.

When you get to Tillamook see the air museum (ie one of the largest wooden structures in the world). From Tillamook take the loop to Netarts, Oceanside, Cape Meares. (see the Cape Meares lighthouse and Octopus tree). Now go out to bay Ocean Spit and ride you bikes or walk out to Crab Harbor. (your Golden will love the walk!!) Now continue the circle back to Tillamook and head North on Hwy 101.

Either take Hwy 26 (Seaside) or Hwy 30 (Astoria) back to Portland. (or you could also backtrack South and take Hwy 18/99 back to Portland from Lincoln City and you'll go thru Williamette Valley wine country.

However I'd really urge you to see the section of coast from Tillamook to Seaside. It's the most impressive part IMHO. Cannon Beach is over rated. I'd pass it by. It's just a crowded tourist trap with baseball caps, T-shirts and other souveniers.

Spend a few days in Portland.
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:00 AM
Location: Bend Oregon
480 posts, read 2,336,375 times
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Lots of great ideas! I'll suggest I-84 to Ontario and then Hwy 20 to Bend. Someone suggested Inn of the 7th Mountain. It's now called Seventh Mountain Resort. It's a bit outside of Bend and while some of the units have been nicely refurbished, some are not, so if you decide to stay there, be sure to ask for a refurbished unit. After your stay in Bend, go to Eugene (about 2 1/2 hours away). You can visit some vineyards in the Eugene area (Hinman and Chateau Lorane for example) and then go to the coast (Yachats would be a lovely place to stop). Leave the coast at Reedsport on Hwy 38 and then Hwy 138 to Crater Lake. From there south to Klamath Falls and across on Hwy 140 to where it connects to Hwy 95 and 95 to I-80 to SLC.
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:54 PM
49 posts, read 123,270 times
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EXCELLENT ideas. Thanks.

Is it too stupid to use Bend as a "basecamp" and travel to the coast one day, north the next, Crater Lake the next, etc.?

We REALLY just wanna "wander" and not pack a whole helluva lot into this trip. I really would come back...

Anything to see in Salem?

Oh - and we wanted to see mostly rural and small town Oregon - so no Portland (hubbie was there for work last year). I don't need to see the WHOLE coast.... just a taste of it is fine for both of us.

And no - no Redwoods nor California. I was a Bay Area resident for 8 years....I've been to the redwoods more times than I can think. Hubbie and I know every inch of California.

Also - this is going to sound wierd - but are there some great breweries? DH and I do not drink wine (NO, we're not mormon - I'm allergic to sulfites - a byproduct of wine fermentation - and DH can't drink (at all) because he's an old fart and alcohol interferes with his anti-inflammatory meds.)

But I LOVES ME SOME BEER!~ (spoken like a true cheesehead!~).

Thanks again for the input.
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