ROAD TRIP – WEEK 5: October 11-October 17, 2016


Tuesday October 11, 2016

We came back to Bend today as could not resist just one more day in this gorgeous town. It was a slow start to the day as it was overcast and  freezing cold outside. The thermometer in the car read 30F – sub zero, yikes.  We made another visit to The Sparrow Bakery for one of their amazing Ocean Scrolls. After breakfast, and loosening another notch on my belt, we attended to some chores. By the time we were done the sun was back out and we headed west.  Sad to be leaving this beautiful town.

Black Butte trail 👍

Ocean Scroll nirvana 😚

After going over Sentiam Pass we seem to be in a green tunnel for almost the whole way to Eugene. Volcanic boulder fields lined sections of the route and waterfalls bubbled out of the road cuts.  

We made it to Eugene just as the sun dipped over the horizon.  

Delicious dinner at the Elk Horn Brewery in Eugene

Wednesday October 12, 2016

Morning stroll through the Market Place and I was in heaven. Beautiful homewares, great food and coffee. So many gorgeous things. 

That was about all we saw of Eugene. But with the maze of one way streets I thought we would never make it out of town and onto the I-5. As we made our way north zooming on the freeway, the sunshine did not follow. A low lying mist clung to the surrounding hills accentuating the rich farmland of Willemette Valley.

By the time we made it to Salem, the sunshine was back. We were visiting Jim and his family for a couple of days. 

Downtown Salem

Salem Carousel

Lunch with Jim and Laura.

Learning the finer points of High School football.

Thursday October 14, 2016

A cold rainy day with more predicted to follow. A good day to stay indoors to watch movies  and read. 

Charlotte has got the right idea

But, there is no such thing as bad weather as long as you are dressed appropriately.  So, after a  lovely dinner we headed off to watch Jims son, Spencer play a High School Varsity football match.  A stirring rendition of ‘Proud to be an American’followed by the National Anthem gave us goosebumps before kickoff. 

From the start Spencers team, the Sprague Olys dominated the game. The wind and the rain held off until half-time when the skies opened. Despite the stormy weather, the school band performed triumphantly and the Homecoming Queen nominees braved the conditions by coming out on field. Despite the weather we had a great time. It was such a privilege to be invited to come along to this event. 

Back at the house, warm and dry we finished the day with Lauras sensational Chocolate Eclaire cake.  

Friday October 14, 2016

This morning there was little evidence of last nights storm.  The autumn leaves were sparkling  in the morning sunshine.

We said our goodbyes to Jim and family and headed north towards Portland. On our way north we stoped at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville to see the famous Spruce Goose. Built by Howard Hughes during the Second World War it was at the time the largest aircraft ever built. And being wartime it was build out of wood.

Spruce Goose

Inside the Spruce Goose

Modern drone

Air Force 2

We could have spent a lot more time here at the museum but it was begining to get dark outside. By the time we got back on the road and headed to Portland the rain returned.

Saturday October 15, 2016

Who would have predicted that our road trip would end in stormy wet weather conditions. This morning it was raining and grey outside and we lingered for ages before donning our wet weather gear and heading downtown to explore Portland. We have both visited before so it was nice to revisit together. Once we were outside, it was not so bad. The rain came and went but it did not stop us from getting about.

The Biang jing food cart did not disappoint.

Portland in the olden days.

Powells – nothing like the smell of a bookshop..

Stunning reds.

Getting ready for Halloween.

Almost Halloween.

So we can’t see Mt Hood somewhere out there, but the rainbow is pretty special.

I want to learn more about this pioneering women Sacajawea, the only women in the Lewis and Clark expedition

Would love one of these in my yard.

Saturday night we were invited to dinner with Klaas and Michelle whom Hammer met on the PCT. It was such a warm and welcoming reception.  

We had a lovely evening with great company. And it was a surprise to finally meet Red Riding Hood – Ella from England. And here is a photo for Ellas grandmother – Anne. Ella is a lovely young lady with a great attitude. Hope she enjoys her time in Portland.

With Ella -Red Riding Hood. We never got to meet on the trail but did finally in Portland.

Sunday October 16, 2016

Sunday morning so happy to see that brunch is a Portland institution as much as it is in Sydney. We went to brunch in the Alberta area of Portland with Michelle  and Klaas.  So great to see a suburban strip so alive and vital. I am sure there are lessons here for other strughling suburban strips.

Beauty berries

We said our goodbyes to Klaas and Michelle and got over to our hotel near the airport. So sad to be so close to the end of this stage of our travels. Later in the afternoon  we saw ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ at Laurelhurst Theatre and had dinner at Tapalaya, a Cajun style restaurant nearby. A great way to end a fab day even if it was drizzly and wet.

Monday October 16, 2016

Last day of our road trip and it was  another overcast day with occasional showers.  We had a great lunch at Fish Sauce in Flanders Street NW and then returned the rental car. 

It has been a great five weeks. Next, we are off to Costa Rica and Guatemala.