We woke up in Mt. Shasta, grabbed a quick breakfast and hit the road toward Crater Lake National Park with a goal to spend the night in Bend, OR. It was a hot day! The ride from Mt. Shasta to Crater Lake took us through some varied landscaping, but much of it was familiar by this point in the ride (pine forests, high desert shrubs, gorgeous lakes, streams and rivers.
Crater Lake National Park was gorgeous! As we headed up to the park, the trees got more dense, the road tighter, and we started to see snow on the ground (despite the +80º air temps).
We were already stunned by the beauty of the park when we got the lake itself. Every time I enter a national park I think “yup – I know exactly why this area is a national park.”
From Crater Lake, we kept heading north and we made it all the way to Bend, OR for the night. It was a hot potato of a day, so after a quick walk downtown for dinner, we hit up the hotel pool and hot tub.
There were some drunk local teens and their inebriated chaperone at the pool too – but I had a great time spectating.
We left Bend and hit the road with a goal to get to Vancouver, WA via Mt. Hood and the Columbia River. But before we left Bend we had one more photo to achieve….
It started to get a a little cooler for the first time on our trip so far, with the coolest temperatures up on the edges of Mt. Hood.
This road was one of my favorites on the trip. It was fast, twisty, and lacking in traffic on a Tuesday mid-morning. We descended into Hood River and grabbed lunch at a great ramen spot.
After lunch, we crossed over the Columbia on a bridge made of metal grating – which was surprisingly unfun on my bike since the tire grooves were just wrong enough to emulate a road paved with fat gravel. The Washington side of the river has a great little scenic road with stunning views at every moment of the river valley. Unfortunately, it was also a bit of a wind tunnel (which does explain the numerous wind surfers out near Hood River) so I didn’t get any photos of the neat tunnels, tiny towns, or spectacular vistas. Oh well!
We got into Vancouver a little early and stayed with our friends Beau and Brittany. They took us out on a whirlwind tour of the best of Portland that evening!
Unsurprisingly, we got a late start on Day 6 because we were out late, but we also told ourselves it was to avoid the Portland morning rush hour. We headed west to start the coastal part of our trip at Cannon Beach (scenic home of The Goonies) with a goal of staying in Coos Bay that night (spoiler alert: we didn’t make it).
In case you didn’t know this – the Oregon coast is STUNNING. There’s oodles of campgrounds, public beaches, little towns, logging trucks…it’s action packed, and yet significantly less developed than the California coastline.
Because of all the action on the road (and our late start), we realized early in the day that we were not going to make it to our planned destination. Between the desire to stop every 5 minutes for viewpoint, the slower traffic through tiny towns, and fatigue – it just wasn’t in the cards.
We decided to spend the night in Yachats OR, an adorable town with everything we’d need for the night (hotel + dinner + breakfast + super glue for my busted fingernail). It was the best night. We had a delicious local seafood dinner including fresh oysters, locally caught white salmon, and a bottle of local bubbles. And while we were dining, we saw a bald eagle in the bay. Then we went for a little walk along the beach and happened across a frog pond and nature trail.