Saturday, June 7, 2014

Travel Day 8: Bend, OR to Portland, OR

I was up early, and decided to cruise the downtown area of Bend before heading out. It was something I hadn't done yet, and the night before was really busy... being Friday night and all. Saturday morning was quiet with a few folks wandering around. I located a little coffee shop called Thump Coffee. I picked up a hot chocolate and a ham & cheese croissant. Nice ambiance, nicer people. That's kind of my opinion of the town, as a whole - I could see spending more time here in the future.

My route carried me up and over the Cascade Mountain range. The US 20 route was very pretty, but I was looking for something... more. I quickly learned that I had access to the fire roads that littered my route. And after a quick consultation with my friend, Google, I could also see which of the roads were merely in-and-back roads, and which went through to reconnect with the highway. So I probably spent a LOT more time in this area than I should have... but it was fun, and pretty. 

Mount Washington on the right.

Bigfoot? Swamp Thing? Weed-monster? Who knows... 

Once I got out of the mountains, I stayed my course... and tried not to stop too often unless necessary. I did end up following a parade in downtown Lebanon, OR. I think it was for their Strawberry Festival.

About 50 miles from the coast, I noticed the temperature started to drop. About 10 miles from the coast, the smell of the air changed... and just outside of Newport - the odor of fish! I had arrived!

I ran out of road...

It was incredibly windy. I spent a half hour or so wandering down to and back from the beach, and then over to one of Newport's outlook areas.

I also visited the nearby Yaquina Head Lighthouse.

The idea was to drive up the Pacific Coast Highway - Hwy 101, and then cut back east into Portland. This, too, took me an incredibly long time. After driving over nearly every rise, uttering the words "whoa..." or "Wow!" Most of these experiences required me to stop and take photos - so getting to Portland took a really long time.

I rolled into Portland late, and I was really tired. So I found a truck stop nearby to I-5, and went to sleep right away.