Posts Tagged ‘Oregon’

August 23rd-29th: Last days in the US

September 2, 2008

We left Medford on Saturday the 23rd to head up to Becky’s grandmother’s house at Black Butte Ranch in central Oregon. Becky’s mom and sister came with us part-way to visit the Rogue River gorge and to get some pie at a favorite nearby cafe.

The Rogue Gorge

The Rogue Gorge

We also stopped along the way at Crater Lake National Park. Despite the sunny August weather, there were still patches of snow near the lake.

At Black Butte we relaxed, went on a bike ride, and enjoyed spending time with Nannie at her beautiful home in the mountains. The time there is never long enough.

Nannie and Becky talk over breakfast at the Black Butte Lodge.

Nannie and Becky talk over breakfast at the Black Butte Lodge.

We then made our way to Portland, where we spent a few days bouncing between our various loved ones who live there while trying to pull together the last-minute loose ends before leaving the country. (We wish we’d had more time!) We had fun seeing Jonathan’s brother Eric, going out with Jonathan’s sister Ann, and wandering north Portland with Rose.

The ever-charming Rose. (The only picture we took in Portland – and what a treasure it is.)

The ever-charming Rose. (The only picture we took in Portland – and what a treasure it is.)

On Eric’s recommendation we camped for one night at Bagby Hot Springs near Mt. Hood. It was a phenomenal experience to bathe in steaming hot water, in a hollowed-out log, with a canopy of old-growth trees for a roof. The hike into the springs along the Clackamas River was pretty breathtaking as well; we felt like ants walking among trees so tall.

Ha ha, Jonathan is short.

Ha ha, Jonathan is short.

We flew out of the Portland airport on Friday night, concluding our three weeks of travel in the States and beginning our travels halfway around the world.

August 17th-23rd: The final stretch (sort of)

August 25, 2008

Salt Lake City isn’t strictly between Mount Rushmore and Medford, OR, but Becky has a good friend there, so we drove through Wyoming on the evening of the 17th on our way to Utah. Wyoming is mostly boring, but it does have the occasional spot of beauty, especially around sunset:

Stunning clouds and rock formations in rural Wyoming

Stunning clouds and rock formations in rural Wyoming

We also saw Independence Rock, which many of you may remember from the Oregon Trail computer game. (The trading post was closed, but we didn’t need any new wagon wheels anyway.) The real Independence Rock apparently had thousands of travelers’ names carved into it, but unfortunately those have mostly eroded with time. More unfortunate, though, is the fact that the viewing area is immediately adjacent to an RV waste disposal site, so we didn’t stay long.

Sort of looks like how the air around it smelled...

Sort of looks like how the air around it smelled...

We made it to Salt Lake City on the 18th, and had a great time visiting with Michelle. Serendipitously, there was a special exhibition running at the Utah Museum of Fine Art, featuring highlights from the modern collection at the Cleveland Museum of Art — the very same collection we had earlier missed due to the remodelling in Cleveland.

Becky and Michelle reunited!

Becky and Michelle reunited!

From Salt Lake we drove all the way to Medford in a single shot — about 12 hours’ driving, which we did in shifts so each of us could get some of a night’s sleep. It was a bit hairy at times (especially when we were driving through the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge in northern Nevada at 3 am, with hares running across the road and elk grazing just off it), but we made it okay and gave the Klabundes a fun surprise at 7 am. We spent a great four days in the Rogue Valley, seeing several plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, showing Jonathan around town, and hanging out with Becky’s family.

We made it to Oregon! (And no one died of dysentery!)

We made it to Oregon! (And no one died of dysentery!)