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  1. #1

    Default Three days in Oregon ... but in which direction?

    Hi there (especially Judy - as I guess you'll have the most ideas!),

    Just heard that I'll be spending the first week of March in Vancouver/Portland so will tag on a few days at the end in order to see some beautiful US scenery. But where?

    A round trip is necessary and current plan is to travel Friday, Saturday and Sunday, flying back to Europe on the Monday.

    I've discounted the idea of heading North as it all looks a bit to 'civilised'. North East to Mount St Helens would be nice but (1) I've visited before and (2) I may yet decide to arrive a day earlier than necessary on the previous weekend to visit during a different season.

    Westward to the coast would be fun too - but I've driven the entire Oregon coast before and when you're flying X,000 miles to get there it seems a shame to go somewhere you've travelled before.

    All of which really leaves just two points on the compass.

    A cursory glance at a map suggests that heading East along the Columbia River Gorge might be a good starting point. Any ideas of a circular trip with this as the first or indeed last leg? Might snow be an issue?

    Or how about South to Crater Lake? One of my great regrets of my previous visit to this part of the country was not seeing Crater Lake but I'm guessing that it's a bit too far for my timescale if I'm going to have time to stop and see other stuff (and quite possibly inaccessible due to snow in early March anyway). But would adding a fourth day make all the difference?

    Open spaces, rivers, mountains, wildlife and photogenic landscapes are what I'm looking for. Your advice was fantastic for Idaho 06 and Chicago-Seattle 05 - I'd be eternally grateful if you help me make Oregon 07 equally unforgettable.

    Peter

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Wallowa and Hells Canyon

    Quote Originally Posted by vambo25 View Post
    Open spaces, rivers, mountains, wildlife and photogenic landscapes are what I'm looking for. Your advice was fantastic for Idaho 06 and Chicago-Seattle 05 - I'd be eternally grateful if you help me make Oregon 07 equally unforgettable.
    Peter, all of the following are dependent up favorable weather conditions -- but we know you are an experienced and wise winter weather adventurer so here would be my picks:

    1. I have always loved the area around Wallowa, Enterprise & Joseph. If the county road 39 is passable you could take the Wallowa Mountain Loop Road and stop at the Hells Canyon Overlook. On the way, you can stop off at Pendleton and visit the Woolen Mills -- it is still one of our all-time favorite factory tours! I would certainly drive along the Columbia River and look for these horse sculptures.

    2. A couple different highways follow the John Day River and they are very scenic. In fact, a visit to the John Day Fossil Bed is one of the things I still haven't quite made yet.

    3. The access roads to and around Crater Lake are certainly affected by snowfall -- but I have been there twice in the Winter and there is something magical about this place.

    4. The entire SE section of the state is known as the Oregon Outback and there is a sense of rugged peace to be found in the stark landscapes of winter. Megan and I really like the bath house at Summer Lake Hotsprings and you could even stay in one of the vintage Airstream trailers on the property.

    Mark

  3. #3

    Default Or maybe the olympic peninsula?

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    The access roads to and around Crater Lake are certainly affected by snowfall -- but I have been there twice in the Winter and there is something magical about this place.
    Thanks Mark ... and at 250 miles from Portland eminently doable it would seem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    ... Oregon Outback ... rugged peace ... stark landscapes of winter.
    And this sounds right up my street too.

    It did strike me - after my first post - that as I'm being paid to be there by Washingtonians perhaps I ought to be spending my tourist buck in WA, maybe the Olympic Peninsula? A good 3 day circuit?

    Hmmm ... Crater Lake though ... and closer than I thought. That's certainly gone up the list of strong possibilities.

    Peter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default That is Judy's home turf!

    Quote Originally Posted by vambo25 View Post
    ..maybe the Olympic Peninsula? A good 3 day circuit?
    That is Judy's home turf and she knows plenty of the cool places to go and explore.

    I have spent some time in Queets and really enjoy the area -- You could also swing by Bandy's Troll Haven near Sequim.

    Here is a recent post from Judy that should appeal -- great photos too!

    Mark

  5. #5

    Default Mount St Helens in March?

    Hi again,

    Right, I've pretty much decided on the following agenda (though as you can see, it's sufficiently loose to accommodate last minute changes):

    •*Thursday March 8th - Columbia River Gorge, Mount Hood
    •*Friday March 9th - south towards Crater Lake, down through Central Oregon
    •*Saturday March 10th - see what I can of Crater Lake and begin return journey.
    •*Sunday March 11th - return north via Willamette Valley. Return car to Portland Airport before 6.00pm.

    The only thing I think I'm missing here is a sight of the ocean. If I wanted to divert to the coast - even if only for an hour or two - on that final day, is there a route anyone could recommend?

    And finally, I'll actually have a couple of dasy free the previous weekend (March 3-4) and would love to see Mount St Helens in the winter. Is it accessible at this time of year?

    Thanks!

  6. #6

    Default Suggested Additioni to Oregon Road Trip

    If time allows and weather conditions permit--I would highly encourage a side trip south from Mount Hood to Sisters, OR. It reminds me greatly of Jackson Hole, WY 45 years ago! We stayed several days at Camp Sherman last summer, right on the Metoulis River. It was heaven. Wonderful western ranch country backed by a series of sharp, snow-covered peaks (all old volcanoes). Really laid back. One of new "favorite" areas and we've spent considerable time in every state except Hawaii, as well as all Canadian provinces. So at this point it takes something rather special to make it to our "favorites" list.

    Enjoy. The Columbia River Gorge was wonderful. Crater Lake is spectacular. If you want to make it to the ocean you might head west along the Gorge to Astoria and take in the Lewis and Clark stuff there.

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