the beaver state 7/6 – 7/22 2018

It was finally time for us to go on our adventure through mountains, high desert and ocean shores. A trip that has been in the works for over a year. A trip through the beaver state, Oregon. It was a 17 day adventure that took us 2,021.8 miles round trip from our home. All it did was make us want more. There is so much more to see in Oregon and so many places we want to return to.

Our first night started after work. We left Spokane and headed south. We ventured into Idaho slightly before going back into Washington. Tonight’s distention would be a stop for the night along the Grande Ronde river. It was a dry camping Fish and Game spot just a few miles north of Oregon. Free camping with a Discovery Pass. We had the spot all to ourselves. Nice and quite and very beautiful.

Free spot to camp.

Plenty of room to camp.

The Grande Ronde river.

Time to relax as our vacation starts.

One of the many sunsets enjoyed on our trip.

We had a very good nights sleep. Ah…no work for several days. Only play time in the schedule. Our next distention was Wallowa Lake State Park. That drive would only be around and hour and a half. Of course we made it longer by stopping to find a geocache or two and take in the views. We could not check into the state park until around 3 pm so we had plenty of time to explore.

Vast canyons.

We stopped for a beer and lunch at a brewery in Enterprise.

We stopped in Joseph to get Cody some new shoes.

We love history so these kind of stops are a must.

A interesting historical stop.

Wallowa Lake. The other end is where the state park is.

The state park is massive. We have tried to come here before but the place gets booked right away. It is a popular place. After staying here for 3 nights we could understand why. We really enjoyed ourselves here. We did a lot of relaxing at camp, going on walks and finding a few geocaches. There is a tram that takes you to the top of one of the mountains but we skipped that. The ticket price was too much for what we would pay. Other tourist things were reasonably priced. There was a lot to choose from for things to do here.

What a great park.

Our spot for three nights.

Cody slept in the hammock for this stay.

The wildlife got pretty friendly here.

Please do not feed the animals.

Looking north at the lake at the end of the day.

Out walking around exploring.

Cody had fun here.

This was a pretty great mini golf course.

More walking around.

We did about a 3 mile walk to see this slot canyon.

It sure was pretty.

It was nice and cool next to the water.

A nice spot to sit and just take in the views…and we did.

We look forward to a return trip sometime. We would come back to this state park, no problem. If you come though…book early or you wont get a spot during the summertime. We left here fully relaxed and a little sad to be leaving. There are lots more adventures coming up though and that sadness turned to excitement for what was coming up.

Our next destination was to go to Union Creek campground at Phillips lake. Phillips lake is a reservoir type of lake and east of Sumpter Oregon just a few miles. We would be staying 1 night in one of the group areas. A dry camp parking lot type of spot. Plenty of room though and along the lake with great views. Of course we took our time getting there. We took the longer route like we love to do. We would meet up with several other people here. This would be a pre rally meet up for some of us. We had a great time visiting with each other.

Some of the views we saw on our route to the nights stop.

Old mines dotted the scenery.

Old gold town history.

Too bad the old café was closed here.

Views of our group site.

Phillips lake.

It is a pretty big lake.

Pre rally gathering.

We had a good amount of people show up for the pre rally meeting.

We had a fun night. Visiting with friends we have known for several years and meeting new friends. The next morning we would make our way to Sumpter to tour the old gold dredge. We have stopped by here last year but wanted to return. We knew it would be a great stop for those who have never been there as well. After the tour of the old dredge we all made our way to La Grande Oregon where the Oregon Rally would be located.

Another terrible start to the day as you can see.

Gold history.

The dredge.

The final resting place for this dredge.

Very neat inside.

Yes, powered by electricity.

I sure love these amazing pieces of machinery.

Boneyard of several pieces of mining stuff.

So much steel work.

The next part of the trip is where we hosted the Oregon Rally in La Grande Oregon for the next 5 days.

After the farewell breakfast at the rally we packed up and made our way to Tumalo State Park for a night, just north of Bend Oregon. Part of the route we took was the interesting highway 245. I sure would have loved to get a few pictures of that drive but you MUST pay a lot of attention on that highway. Lots of curves and steep grades. It was a fun drive but not for the squeamish. We stopped to find a few caches along our route of course. We also stopped for lunch at a spot we drove by last year.

An old school house stop.

Our lunch stop.

The food was good.

Lots of fossils in the area.

Just one of the many great views on our drive.

We arrived to Tumalo State Park in the late afternoon. We got settled into our spot and then walked around a bit. The next morning is where we would really walk around more and explore this state park. It was yet another great park.

Our spot for the night.

Plenty of space.

Cody finding a geocache.

The Deschutes river that goes through the park.

We awoke to yet another very pretty morning. Our drive today would take us down into California and the Redwoods and then back up into Oregon. Our next stop for 3 nights would be at Harris Beach State Park in Oregon. A place we absolutely feel in love with. We had one of the few ocean view sites.

A mountain view point on our days drive.

Mountain top information.

Our spot for the next three nights.

All set up for our stay.

A nice view from our chairs.

After we got our things set up we went for a walk down to the beach. What we really loved about Harris Beach was the variety of the beach. Sand, tidepools, rock formations, it just seemed to have it all.

Awesome views.

Neat rock formations as well.

Down at the beach.

Our dogs were excited to check out the ocean.

What a great beach.

We went back to camp and made some dinner. After eating and relaxing a bit, Joanne and I went for another walk around. First we walked up to the top of a little hill with a spot to look out at the ocean on top. After that we walked along the cliff edge with lots of ocean views.

Up on top of the hill.

A view down at the beach we were at earlier.

Ocean views from a trail.

More trail views.

We had a nice night at camp. Sure was nice to get out of the high 90F weather and into the 70F weather. Just kept the windows in the camper open and felt the nice ocean breeze.

The next morning we would make the drive down to Crescent City California. We wanted to do a specific geocache where you could walk out to a lighthouse during low tide. After that we made the drive down to Trees of Mystery and explored some of the redwood trees.

The lighthouse in Crescent City California.

Low tide so you could walk to the lighthouse.

We had a good time exploring the lighthouse. Inside was closed, too early in the morning when we were there.

Cody at a breakwater structure display.

Hey, it is Paul and Babe.

Cody looking rather small.

Loving the redwood trees.

Even the fallen giants still lived and provided places for new trees to grow.


Really neat carvings, there were a lot of them.

We had a good time visiting this place.

We drove back to Brookings Oregon and had lunch at the marina in town. We then did a little bit of geocaching then made a stop at a brewery in town. After that it was back to camp. Joanne and I walked down to the beach to watch the sunset that night. That was pretty remarkable.

Took time to look at a memorial.

A brewery stop.

An end to a great day

Still hanging on to the day.

The day slips away.

The next day was spent hanging out at camp and the beach. We went for a walk north along the beach since it was low tide.

Carefully walking here.

Lots of starfish were seen.

Exploring tide pools.

Low tide really showed off the hole in the rock.

Joanne and Cody at the beach.

The next day was time to pack up and head north a little ways. Our next nights stop would be at Sunset Bay Sate Park for 1 night. We made lots of stops along the way before we made it to camp. We stopped at lighthouses, several viewpoints, an amazing crab shack for lunch and a brewery.

Lots of views and arch rock formations along the way.

Arch Rock.

A very windy stop at a lighthouse.

We did not stay long at this lighthouse but it was neat to see.

Tony’s Crab Shack in Bandon Oregon. A must go to place.

Trash sculpture. The fish, not Cody.

A brewery stop in Bandon.

After walking around town it was time to get to camp. Sunset Bay State Park is an older park but nice. For those with large RV’s be cautious. The sites may say they are long enough but a lot of the sites are perpendicular to the road. Tough parking for some. Not for us though, we have a truck camper.

After we got parked we went for a walk. The state park here (it is actually 3 of them in one) is huge. So many trails to explore. Far more than we could do in the short time we were here. I would love to come back and hike around the area.

Our spot for the night.

Big enough sites. Power and water, no sewer or even a dump station here.

Ocean views along our walk.

So many pretty views.

Sunset Bay.

The views never end.

After our walk around we returned to camp for the night. The next morning we would be moving on and farther north up the coast. Our next spot for the night would be at South Beach State Park in Newport Oregon. That state park is very large. It is a little bit of a walk to the beach but not too bad. At least not for us.

We made lots of stops along the way on the drive to the state park. Once we got to Newport we went to the aquarium. That was lots of fun. We then went to the mothership location of Rogue Brewery. We had lunch there. I really wanted to do the tour but we did not have time on this trip. Another trip at some point in the future for sure. After the lunch we checked in at the state park and got set for the night. We then went for a walk to the beach and hung out there for a while.

We finally found seals!

I’m a mountain guy but the ocean sure is something to see.

Another lighthouse stop.

Historical building.

Sand dunes.

A lighthouse keepers home.

At the base of a lighthouse.

Views from the lighthouse.

Thor’s Well. While interesting, not too impressive at low tide.

Another view of Thor’s Well.

Great aquariums.

I love watching jellyfish.

Cute little guy…or gal.

Now these aquariums are awesome.

I love watching the fish.

Cody with the big teeth.

At Rogue Nation.

It was so fun to be at the headquarters for this brewery.

The fun entrance.

Deliciousness being made.

Lunch time.

Our spot for the night.

Very big full hookup sites.

The walk to the beach.


Getting to the beach, just a bit farther.

Hanging out at the beach.

Relaxing at the beach.

We went back to camp and made dinner and relaxed the rest of the night. The next morning before leaving Joanne and I went for a walk. There was a specific geocache I wanted to go after where I needed to read signs to get the answers I needed. That turned out to be a fun thing. You can say I really dug that geocache.

Uh, the signs are a little buried by the sand.

Well, I need the info on the sign for the geocache.

Wouldn’t you know it…I needed the information on the other sign.

After digging for information it was time to walk back to the camper and get ready to leave. Our next distention was Cove Palisades State Park north of Redmond Oregon. Once again we would make several stops along the way. However, we really wanted to do more stops but we just did not have the time. Just more reasons to come back.

Another history stop with a view.

The big bridge into Newport.

It wasn’t the ocean but it was still a pretty lake.

This place made a good spot to make lunch.

Back into the mountains for a little while.

Our spot for the night at the state park.

The site we had was plenty large enough.

Once parked into our spot we walked around a bit. It was pretty hot so a lot of the time was sitting in the shade. We walked down to the amphitheater later that night to attend a geology talk. Cody got a “Thunder Egg” for attending.

View of the big lake.

Oregon’s high desert.

Lots of different terrain seen on this trip.

Cody with his Thunder Egg.

Another great night.

The next day…a sad day. It was the last day of our vacation. We so wished we could just go on touring Oregon. We had to get back home though. Today we made the trip back to the Spokane Washington area and our home. We made a few stops along the way including the Maryhill Winery in Washington for lunch and a quick stop in Kennewick Washington to walk the dogs. First though, it was another morning walk around for us before leaving.

Morning view of the lake.

Looking for a geocache at the bridge.

More history.

Indian writings.

One last look back at the lake.

A back roads stop.

Lunch stop at Maryhill Winery.

The winery amphitheater.

Looking back across the Columbia river and into Oregon.

A 911 memorial in Kennewick where we walked our dogs.

Vacation came to a close. What a wonderful time we had. So many things seen. All it did was make us want more of Oregon. We are anxiously waiting until our next trip back. You may have noticed in the pictures that we had great weather. We did the whole time. It rained for about 3 minutes overnight in Bend Oregon and that was it. How lucky we were to have awesome weather. So from our driveway through Oregon and back to our driveway was over 2,000 miles. What journey. One we will remember for the rest of our life. We will be back Oregon.

Miles driven on the trip.


the beaver state 7/6 – 7/22 2018