About a month ago David and I decided it was imperative we finish out summer with a good, long camp trip somewhere absolutely gorgeous. It didn't take long for us to pick Oregon as our beautiful destination.
David knows Oregon well. His first 13 years of life were spent living outside the Portland area. He continued to visit friends up there even after his family moved south. David remembers it being grey and dismal most of the time but the summers are what make him want to keep coming back. The 2-3 months of long, warm days are reserved for exploring and enjoying the hundreds of incredible hikes, driving to the coast, fishing in the lakes and rivers, and spending every extra moment outdoors in the sunshine.
I, on the other hand, have no recollection of ever spending time in Oregon. I know I must have driven through on the way to Washington as a kid, but I've never had the opportunity to camp amongst the thousands of pines or hike up the monumental mountains. I've always wanted to go and now I finally get to!
This past month has had me so excited to get on the road. I'm pretty sure I've asked David every week if we could just leave "now!" I wanted to start the planning process early, knowing it would extend the trip by allowing us to enjoy the weeks leading up rather than them feeling long and dismal in the anticipation of leaving.
Of course it wasn't till last Sunday (5 days before we leave) that we began sketching out our route. This is our first big trip as a married couple. No, I haven't forgotten the honeymoon, but not much planning went into that. All we needed was a woodsy destination and a place to be alone for a week – we were simple. In comparison, this trip feels like the first time we've ever really planned an adventure since being married!
We set up our computers and began researching the BEST destinations and the most epic campgrounds in Oregon. I was determined to convince David to let us drive all the way up to Portland and begin our adventure exploring that area. After telling me many times over that there's "WAY too much to do up there", I finally gave in to a new plan of staying in Southern Oregon, with David's pinky promise that he would take me to Portland soon. Not long after investigating our options, I realized he was right. There's so much to see and do in Oregon; there was no way we could do north and south in one 10-day excursion.
It seems like 99% of the state attractions are centered in the outdoors (I'm not exaggerating). It's a camping kid's dreamland. I grew up traveling in the high Sierra's with my family, where you're encompassed by tall trees, meadows of all sizes, lakes and rivers filled to the brim with fresh water, and wildlife roaming in every direction. I can appreciate beachside camping, even more since living near Big Sur, but camping just won't ever be quite right in my mind without the abandonment from civilized territories into the hands of the wild. To say the least, I believe Oregon will serve me well.
It's about an eight hour drive From SLO to Oregon. We'll be spending the first two days in northern California, enjoying the Redwood forests and driving the historical Redwoods Byway north (a fancier name for Highway 101)
Above, you'll see our driving route. We'll be camping at 5 different grounds, some for just a night and others a few nights. We didn't plan to visit any of the well-known funky Oregon towns. We might stop-in while driving between destinations for groceries and coffee. This trip is focused on escaping into the beauty of pure nature, but I wouldn't mind a bit of urban exploration to add to the camera roll.
These are the Planned Destinations:
I'm going to do my best to document our daily travels on the blog (when I have connection), with short posts from my iPhone under the category "SLO to Oregon", so get ready for a good dose of lush and vibrant outdoor scenes. I can't wait to be reminded what green looks like! – It's hard living in California. (I'm being totally sarcastic.)
I hope I have inspired you to plan your own trip to somewhere you've always wanted to go. Get on it!