Our Oregon Roadtrip!

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Hey peeps!

My apologies for the delay between posts in the last week, but Cole and I were  touring around the beautiful state of Oregon for the past week. So bad news – I don’t have any new recipes to share toda –  but, I do have some awesome pics and little anecdotes from our amazing road trip. I know it’s not my usual post, but we had such an amazing time I really wanted to share it with you all.  If you have ever thought about taking a tour of this gorgeous state, I really hope that this post will give you the final push that you need to do it, because it really is spectacular.

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So before I get right down to it, let me preface this story a bit so you can know exactly what it was that inspired me to take soooo many photos of our road trip.

The night before we set off on our Oregon adventure, Cole – {aka most amazing boyfriend} – surprised me with an early birthday present…. can you guess what it was??? A Canon camera!!! Eeeepppss! I was (and still am) sooo excited. I honestly couldn’t believe it was ours. I have been longing for a good camera for the longest time now. Not going to lie, when he presented me with the box and I finally realized what was inside, I got a little teary.

Needless to say I took a lotttttt of pictures of our road trip. Not only because I was so excited about testing out the new camera, but also because everything in Oregon was so incredibly stunning, that it was pretty much impossible not to.

I had serious difficulties trying to narrow down which pictures to share with you all here so that I could avoid boring you with hundreds and hundreds of pictures. I still think there are too many below… but I couldn’t help myself.

I hope you enjoy the photo ride 🙂

Columbia River Gorge

So we started off our Oregon trip in the Columbia River Gorge, making a few stops along the way to see the sights. Here are the details on where we went…

Stop 1. Vista House
This is a great spot to make a quick stop, stretch your legs, and take in all of the gorgeous views that the Columbia River Gorge has to offer. High up on a mountain, the views are just stunning and on the one side you can see all the way to Portland. Gorgeous.

Stop 2. Multnomah Falls
This gorgeous waterfall is featured in the large photo below with the stone bridge. Not only can you take in the beauty of the falls, but you can walk across this super high historic bridge. After you’ve had your fill of the falls, shop around the beautiful historic gift shop or have a seat and get some eats if your feeling peckish – because I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty much always feeling peckish.

Stop 3. Oneonta Gorge
This is where the majority of the shots below came from and one of my favourite stops on our Oregon tour. This is a hike through a river in this massive gorge, with the most stunning scenery you can imagine along the way,  and a waterfall when you get to the end as the cherry on top.

Now don’t let my saying “hike” scare you away, because this is basically just a short walk. If you don’t stop along the way, it would take you only about 15 minutes to walk to the end. However, we were stopping to take loads of photos so it took us about an hour to get through. Definitely worth freezing your buns off in the river water for!

All three of these stops were stunning and definitely not to be missed if you are planning an Oregon trip. However, if you are like me and prefer to avoid the crowds – I suggest trying to make these stops during a weekday as opposed to a weekend. Cole and I drove by first on a Sunday afternoon and the crowds were unbelievable. We opted to stay an extra night, and came back early Monday Morning and were basically the only people there – which was perfect for us.

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Hood River

After the gorge, we may our way to the town of Hood River, which is riverside, mountainside and just all around gorgeous.

Stop 2. Downtown Hood River
If you like cute, historic downtown streets, complete with restored red brick buildings, awesome shops and plenty of places to get delicious eats and fresh coffee…. Downtown Hood River will be your new best friend. There are tons of little gift shops, clothing stores, and home decor shops and so many trendy cafe’s and restaurants, all of which boast incredible coffee and amazing food. This is definitely a place that Cole and I need to come back to if only to eat our way through the town. Every restaurant we passed looked (and smelled) divine – definitely a place to check out.

Stop 2. Sixth Street Bistro & Loft
This is an amazing restaurant to get super fresh, local eats in downtown Hood River and it was absolutely delicious. We sat out on the adorable little patio, which was lit with hanging lights and enjoyed locally brewed Hood River beer and an amazing dinner. I got a Pear and Walnut Salad complete with Hood River pears, (which were to die for,) while Cole mowed down on an extra large, extra juicy, and cheesy burger.

Unfortunately, we were both to full to try their desserts, but every one that came out of the kitchen looked absolutely amazing. Right now I’m regretting not trying one – but that’s just all the more reason to go back {muhaha.} So if you are looking for a good place to eat – look no further than the Sixth Street Bistro and Loft.

Stop 3. Apple Valley Country Store

So…. if you saw a sign like this, that advertised Huckleberry Milkshakes… would you be able to resist pulling over? I thought not – we couldn’t resist either.

If you are like me and are slightly obsessed with fruit orchards… check out the Hood River Fruit Loop. There is just a plethora of orchard stops that you have to check out. Our favourite was the Apple Valley Country Store. Not only do they sell a whole bunch of amazing homemade jams, fruit spreads, BBQ sauces, rubs and mustards – {which they have free samples for … just sayin} – but they are also home to the amazing Apple Valley BBQ which is serving up some of the most incredibly delicious BBQ you have ever had. Don’t miss this place!

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Mt. Hood

With Mt. Hood, we only had time to do the one stop, so this is defintely a spot where more exploring is needed

This picture from Trillium Lake of the stunning Mt. Hood says it all. If you like stunning views and rustic hotels – this is such a great place to stop. Cole and I took a tour through the Timberline lodge and were surprised to hear that Mt Hood is actually where they filmed aerial shots in the movie The Shining…. crazy right? We also took a gondola ride up to the top of the mountain and although my fear of heights once again had me a little bit nervous, it was well worth it once we got to the top.

As you can see Cole showed off by building this Inukshuk when we were up at the top of the mountain, so as to leave something that showed we had been there – which I think is pretty awesome.. This is a super fun place to stop in the summer, and its also a ski/snowboarding destination in the winter.

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Smith Rock

It’s hard for me to choose what my favourite moments of our trip were, because everything was just so amazing. But if I had to choose, I think I would have to pin point Smith Rock as the ultimate highlight of our trip.

Cole and I love the outdoors and Smith Rock offers up so many opportunities for different activities; like hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking… etc. We were only able to spend one day here as well so this is definitely a spot that we will be coming back to to do further exploration.

Stop.1 Smith Rock, Bend
Seriously, this view…. I don’t know what else to say. If you like a good hike and a rewarding view – you have to stop here. It is without a doubt one of the most awe inspiring landscapes I have ever taken in. The incredible rock is surrounded by a stunning river and lush green plants, it was like one extreme to another all at once and so, so beautiful. We spotted two groups of dear during our hike and took a dip in the river to cool off once we were done our hike (because it was a mean 35 degrees out while we climbed that mountain) but it was so worth it. Smith rock is a sight to see.

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Stop.2 Bend Oregon

Seriously Bend, OR is such a cool little town. This was another hidden gem that we discovered on our Oregon tour pretty much by accident as we were driving through and in desperate need of a place to sleep for the night after hiking Smith Rock. Don’t you just love when you stumble upon little gems this way?

Bend has a super cool historic downtown, with great shops and restaurants, as well as the new and cool Old Mill District, where you can take a stroll along the river and shop to your little hearts content at all the awesome clothing stores. Sound like fun?

PictureDuring our Bend wanderings we came across the McKay Cottage Restaurant where we stopped in for the most amazing brunch of life. Now I may be a little biased, being that I am a girl with a thing for breakfast and brunch foods, but I was honestly smitten with everything on their breakfast menu. I wanted to order everything.

After debating over what to order on the menu for what seemed like forever, I ended up ordering the best bowl of oatmeal of my life here – because as I’ve said before… I am a girl who loves a good bowl of oats. Their oatmeal was oh-so-creamy and topped off with crunchy homemade granola, raspberries, blueberries and brown sugar… honestly who could resist that? Cole got a breakfast hash that consisted of eggs {scrambled to perfection}, bacon, ham, sausage, cheese and was served alongside a fluffy buttermilk scone with fresh butter and jam {featured in the picture here} – oh and did I mention they have “award winning scones” ? Honestly, how could you go wrong?

I can’t say enough about this little restaurant. Not only can you have a sit down meal, but you can also pop in for a quick latte and take away one of their many delicious baked goodies – including said “award winning scones.” We of course couldn’t leave without buying a bag of their seriously delicious homemade granola or without a Marionberry & Peach Scone for the road… I mean really who could? If you are ever in Bend and looking for a great breakfast – you absolutely must stop in here.

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Crater Lake

I am of the opinion that there are few things on earth that are much cooler than a collapsed volcano turned into a lake reservoir, with another volcano brewing inside… agreed? Well such is just the case as Crater Lake.

Unfortunately there was a bad forest fire nearby, when we got up to Crater Lake, and subsequently there was a lot of smoke hanging around. The photos didn’t really turn out as you can see, but believe me when I tell you this was a site to see. The sheer size of Crater Lake is just unbelievable – Can you believe that it’s a 33 mile drive round trip!

Oh – and did I mention the adorable little critters that come out to greet you as you take in the view? I mean honestly that chipmunk… so cute! Clearly they are fed by all of the people who stop in for a visit, which I know is technically frowned upon, but they were so tame and sweet! They literally climbed right up on you – Some people found this rude, but I loved it.

Cole and I are already planning a trip to come back and see Crater Lake when the smoke has cleared, because it was seriously incredible to see.

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Oregon Coast

This is where we near the end of our Oregon journey, and the Coast was definitely the cherry on top of a trip that was already filled with stunning landscapes. The Oregon Coast is truly breathtaking and this is coming from a girl who loves her BC coast line.

We drove the Oregon Coast all the way from the California border right up to Cannon Beach and were just amazed with how beautiful the coast line was and how it changed as we made our way through the Southern, Central and Northern regions. We made about a hundred stops at all of the different view points but the two that stick out the most for me, and are where we spent the most of our time are the stops below.

Stop 1. The Dunes

Seriously, when people said the Oregon Sand Dunes, I was thinking like maybe 10 foot high dunes of sand…. I had absolutely zero concept of what the Oregon Sand Dunes are. I couldn’t believe my eyes when the mountains of sand came into view from the car. And as we started passing signs advertising sand dune tours…  we had to stop and check out the sand dune buggy situation for ourselves.

We took a ride in a four seater with a guy who was seriously kind of crazy and basicallytook us on a roller coaster ride through the dunes. And when I say roller coaster – I mean it. Seriously – some of the dunes we rode up on were 200 feet high!! Can you believe that? He ripped us up, down and sideways on those dunes and it was so. much. fun! Definitely something you have to try once in your life!

Stop 2. Cannon Beach / Haystack Rock

This is probably one of the most well known stops on our Oregon tour. From the cute little shops to the stunning beach, it was a great place to take our last breaths in Oregon. When you see pictures of Haystack rock, you don’t really grasp just how large it is, but when you go there you are amazed at its size.

Cannon beach is also just gorgeous to set up camp and take a sunny nap on its magnificent sand. That kind of sand is hard to come by in BC, so we were more than content to just to take a nap on the sandy Oregon shores.

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Last Stop – Fairhaven!

Okay, so this technically isn’t part of Oregon, but I still wanted to share a couple pics of the delicious eats and a bit about how awesome Fairhaven is for those of you who have never been. Fairhaven is one of my favourite places to stop in Washington partly because of the great shops and awesome antique store – but mostly it’s because this is where you can find Fat Pie, which is a  pizza place with pretty much the best pizza ever.

Fat Pie has the most delicious pizza menu I have ever perused in my life and everything tastes just as good as it sounds. As for the donuts from Rocket Donuts, {which you can buy after your pizza at Fat Pie because they are conveniently located right beside each other}…. I don’t think these donuts needs further explanation.

This pictures below feature us mowing down on the Smokin’ Joe Louis Pizza from Fat Pie as well as our dessert of a couple cinnamon twists and long johns… yeah this vacation was hard on the diet – but you only live once right?  ;D

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So there it is – our Oregon trip summed up in a whole whack of pictures. I hope you enjoyed them and I hope it has inspired you to do some Oregon travel!

Happy Summer Travels!

<3 KP

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