When we bought a small Class C motor-home almost 15 years ago, the plan was to take roads less travelled and see some of the beautiful places in North America. We have loved doing just that! We have taken road trips to the east and west coast of Canada and the USA...and so many places in between. Last year we were too busy with other pre-planned events to make much use of the RV. This year we are back to exploring!
Before I totally forget the names of all the places we visited...let me document briefly our time along the Columbia River, south to central Oregon and then on to Crater Lake.
We began our adventure in Troutdale, an historic town just east of Portland...at an RV resort on the Sandy River.
...at an RV resort on the Sandy River.
We had our bikes along as always...and set out to explore the area. We cycled through Lewis and Clark State Park...
...left our 'calling card' on the banks of Sandy River
...and explored the quaint little town of Troutdale.
Walking through their General Store was like a trip down memory lane!
Once we were back on the road, we drove east on the historic US Highway 30...
...a highway that was an engineering marvel over a century ago. The Columbia River Gorge stretches some 80 miles as the Columbia River winds westward through the Cascade Range, forming the boundary between the Washington and Oregon.
We stopped at Vista House at Crown Point...
...built in 1918 and offering great views of the Columbia River 700 feet below.
Continuing east along the gorge, we viewed one waterfall after another.
At Latourelle falls we took a short hike to view two waterfalls.
Next...Bridal Veil Falls. Interesting, since we live just a short distance from a waterfall with that same name.
And then there was Multnomah Falls...one of the tallest waterfalls in the USA. Also the most visited natural recreation site in the Pacific Northwest. We were not alone there! I hadn't expected the crowds.
Horsetail Falls. Once we found a parking spot, the falls were just a quick walk across the road. Kids and dogs were playing in the pool at the bottom of the falls.
We stopped at the Bonneville Dam...opted not to ride the sternwheeler through the locks...
...but really enjoyed a stop at the fish hatchery where we viewed sturgeon.
Near the east end of the Gorge...
..we stopped at Rowena Crest Viewpoint.
Far below, we watched vehicles driving the iconic Rowena Loops made famous in movies and car commercials.
Once we were at the end of the gorge highway, we decided to go south to central Oregon.
The snow-capped peaks beckoned!
We stayed at a beautiful garden rv resort near Bend.
Bend has great cycling trails along the Deschutes River.
We biked, took in a concert in the Old Mill District, watched the surfers on the river, and had lunch on a wonderful outdoor patio nearby.
While in Bend, we decided to do the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, a 66-mile scenic drive...with glaciers, volcanoes, many lakes and the snow-capped peaks of the Cascade Range as a backdrop.
Our first stop was Sparks Lake. The gal at the info centre told us it was a 'must see' detour. What she didn't tell us was that one should not take a motor-home on the very bumpy, narrow forestry road leading to the lake. We enjoyed the view at the end, with beautiful Mt Bachelor as a backdrop...but were more than relieved when we were back on the highway!
Our next stop was right on the highway...emerald green Devils Lake.
We passed by other lakes without stopping, but Cultus Lake was one we had to check out. Who knew there was another Cultus Lake, besides the one we call ours in Chilliwack? There wasn't much action around Oregon's Cultus Lake. Ours is humming with activity these days.
We spent the night at a La Pine RV park, where we learned the owner was a Canadian, and a collector of vintage Fords. We had not intended to visit Crater Lake (several hours south) since the north entrance was still closed due to snow. But the road opened just days before, so we went for it.
It was awe-inspiring! It was once called 'Deep Blue Lake'. I get that!
It is the deepest lake in North America...it is fed entirely by rain and snow, believed to be the cleanest and clearest large body of water in the world.
Crater Lake sits in the caldera of a dormant volcano.
As you can tell, there was still lot of snow at Crater Lake! And a lot of tourists.
The lake is only a small part of the park. Beyond the lake, are beautiful old-growth forests...mostly pines. Unfortunately we saw the effects of recent wild fires, both here and along the Columbia River.
We travelled home along the I5 (the road more travelled)...stopping at Cottage Grove to see a few of their historic covered bridges.
Our first road trip of 2019 was great! Now...where to next?