Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happiness Is Sleeping In Your Own Bed

We love to travel, and now that I don't report to my classroom after Labor Day any more, we have learned that off season trips save us money and allow us to go places spontaneously.  This time we decided that since last September we enjoyed our travel to the San Juan Islands of Washington so much, that we'd try exploring Oregon.  We heard it rains there lots, so we stocked up on rain gear.  We never used it.  The eight days we spent driving in a rented convertible were filled with pine-scented sunshine.

The first few days were spent driving the coast from Astoria to Florence.  We just fell into one gorgeous scene after another, wind-swept beaches and winding roads leading up to views of grey whales spouting, sunsets and fresh seafood.  Each town had something good to offer, and the people were as congenial and helpful as a traveler could wish.
I hated leaving the coast, but our drive to Crater Lake was beautiful too.  We reserved a room at the lodge there months ago, and were astonished by the deep blue of the inactive volcano. We stayed two days, hiking and driving around the strange and beautiful world created by an eruption thousands of years ago.

My husband knew that back in the 1970s I found a picture of Timberline Lodge in a Sunset magazine, and recognized it as the building used in the movie version of Stephen King's novel The Shining.  He suggested we take a side trip up to see it, maybe have a drink.  We arrived at 3:00 PM, and rooms were available.  We couldn't resist!  The lodge makes almost no mention of The Shining, though it displays black and white photos of actors in other films shot there.  What I quickly learned is that I will remember Timberline for its breathtaking views of Mt. Hood and the wonderful craftsmanship of every square inch.  Every table, chair, bed, stool, light fixture, door, stairway, rug, drapery was made by hand.  Besides that we had one of the best meals of our life in the dining room.  I had sweet dreams even if I could imagine Jack Nicolson chasing Shelly Duvall down the corridors with an ax.

We spent the last few days driving through the Hood River area, where apples and pears were coming into season.  We bought a nice jar of Marionberry/huckleberry jam for our cat sitter, but it was confiscated by the TSA because it was a "gel" of more than three ounces.  I couldn't see overpowering anyone with a jar of jam, but there you go.  We also drove along the Columbia River gorge, and traveled a side road filled with waterfalls.  

The last day we took the train downtown to Portland, where we did a river cruise, sampled some microbrews, and whiled away several hours at Powell's bookstore.

It was a great trip, fun, exciting, surprising.  But I was getting tired, feeling overfed, and missing my own bed.  It felt good to get home.


JoAnn said...

Lovely trip report, Sherry, and great photos. I especially love that gigantic waterfall. Where was it?

Sherry said...

This is Multnomah Falls, in the Columbia Gorge. There are a series of waterfalls on a twisting and turing road. This is the tallest and most photogenic, I think.

Sharon said...

It sounds like you saw much of what is beautiful and special about our state. Glad your trip went so well! I thought of you last week as the temperatures rose again into the 80s and 90s. We're off to Crater Lake tomorrow, too.

Judybec said...

Happiness is checking out your blog!!!
Looks like you had a fabulous trip. I LOVE your photo of the waterfall.
Also, those old photos in a previous are heart warming!