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Trip to Oregon in May of 2008

When did our trip start? Well, on Friday, May 23, 2008 Diana and Noel drove the Camry, loaded and ready to go, to Arvada and picked Dick and Sally up, using their car, and drove to Fort Collins so we could all attend Harry's graduation ceremony. (click this link for that event's coverage). Then about 5p we arrived back in Arvada and we took off west! That, I guess is the start . . .

First night was spent in Meeker, CO (at the Valley Motel - not up to our usual Motel 6 standard except the price  :) Some snow over the pass between Rifle and Meeker but we made it in by 930p - exhausted. Gas in Rifle was our price highpoint of $4.15 per . . . 

May 24, 2008 - Up and off early (7a+) to Dinosaur, CO and the Visitors Center for Dinosaur National Monument. We learned the road (dirt) we had planned to take was impassable. Noel had taken it many years ago and remembers the beautiful view at the junction of the Green and Yampa rivers. This location also has some wonderful Petroglyphs. Oh well . . . another time. We journeyed an hour west to the Paleontology section and Visitors Center. Here we learned that the covered "dig" area had been closed due to structural problems. Another bummer . . . We did take a nice hike here and Diana got a sweatshirt (on sale!) as the day was cooler than expected - as was the whole trip. The trail was unimproved and few others on it and we saw some examples of large (3ft+) fossilized bones. That was worth the trip :)

Entering Dinasaur, CO

Dinosaur, CO townhall

Entering Dinosuar National Monument - CO unit


Building were public dig used to be . . .

Diana at trailhead

Diana examining tiny fossils in the rocks

See 'em?

Clam fossils

Diana and Noel in front of fossil cliffside

White arrow pointing out fossils still in the rock.

Large fossil leg bone

Clearer view of another bone-fossil.

View across the valley on loop drive



Display in Visitor's Center



Turtle Rock on Scenic Drive

. . . closer look


This unit is in Utah, barely. Our next stop is Vernal, UT - lunch in the park - for a few pictures of dino statues - it considers itself the real Dinosaur capitol of the west - and then on to Ogden, UT. A long and beautiful drive. We did find a squished penny machine at the Ogden Union Station. Yeah! The night was spent at the Washington St. Motel 6 in Ogden. Needs updating but room was clean and nice. Nighty-night!

Just one of many dino displays in Vernal, UT

Diana at Squished Penny machine in Ogden

Diana and Noel in front of Union Station in Ogden

May 25, 2008 - Our previous day was shorter than expected (due to road and exhibit closures) so we turned in early and rose early today. That results in moving up our arrival time to Diana's folk home in Bend, OR. But I'm getting ahead . . . our primary adventure is at Craters of the Moon National Monument. Noel had planned this as a quick stop - only a couple of hours off the route- but it turned out to be a place to spend quite a lot of time and we could've hiked several more trails. As it was, time permitting, we hiked to and through Indian Tunnel (a lava tube). A great cave for those that aren't good in caves (like Noel). His heart raced a bit but made it the 800ft and out the back exit. The lava tube had several "skylights" and unmarked paths in an enclosed area sometimes 40ft high and ending in a exit about 5 ft high. The biggest issue was a "snow slide" that won't be there as a factor in a few more weeks. This area had the largest variety and total area of volcanic rock we've ever seen (and Diana grew up in volcano rock country of central Oregon).

A view from Craters of the Moon National Monument Visitors Center. Camp in that?

View of campsites

Others hiking up cinder covered hill

Lava Rock

Snow still in exposed lava tube

Look at trail up lava hills

Diana and Noel with lave spouts in background.

. . . more . . .

Description of the area

. . . "frozen" lava flow

Larger lava rock

Closer look with other minerals for color

Diana reading about the geology of the area

. . . rocky pathway

Some flowers peeking through

Snow still remains

More of the interesting facts

Warning about entering lava tubes

More info

Warning and stairway to . . .

Inside a lava tube

"skylight" in lava tube-tunnel

Light at the end of the tunnel (about 800ft.)

Snow slide along the path, in the tube

Look for the way out

Diana climbing out of the tube

Looking along the tube from the topside

Kairns marking path back

More hearty flowers

Another cave

Lava rock

more of the flow

Interesting lines of frozen flow

On to Bend, through some rain and the required stop in Vale, OR for Dairy Queen, we arrived about 930p PDT.

May 26, 2008 - Slept late! Been needing to catch up :) Pat, Diana and Noel went out to Michaels and got Diana some "pretties" for her Bday (a week or so back, May 14). Got lots of food for the day (it is Memorial Day). We made guacamole, corn-on the-cob, watermelon, fresh asparagus, wild rice, mashed potatoes, and Ed ran out and got a HUGE sheet cake with Noel's favorite, butter cream frosting. We all, especially Noel, ate too much. Then a short walk around the neighborhood (shadows finally appeared). A nice day topped off with a game of "Rummikub".

May 27, 2008 - Similar day . . . added a drive around town for Diana to reminisce, finishing with a drive up Pilot Butte. It's a prominent "mountain" in Bend that she and friends and family would often climb.

A map (of bronze) on the top of Pilot Butte, in Bend, OR

Showing some of the improvements on the Butte

Looking north . . .

A memorial for the funding of the improvements

A description of the "fabled high desert of eastern Oregon".

Diana and Noel on Pilot Butte

May 28, 2008 - We slept later than expected but that was OK .Noel had installed a CDRW in their computer and it had a problem but Noel quickly found the issue and solved it. Load up with some new supplies (a lamp, some candles, food . . . stuff) and off by noon-thirty or so. We took the scenic route across the mountains to Lonergan's cabin in Lincoln City, along US101, on the Pacific. A really cool, small get away in a nice town. What a treasure! We holed up for the night, watched a movie and got an early-to-bed, early-to-rise approach to the night.

"Aum"ville . . . along the way to the coast

Crane working in log yard along the way.

Another view . . .

The "summit" of Murphy Mountain :)

"Otis" . . . along the way

From our visit to Devils Lake, near the cabin.

Diana resting in the living area of the cabin.

The outside, from the road.

It's historic markings . . .

May 29, 2008 - Up and at-em! Stop by Walgreens for Imitrex, a quick drive through Devil's Lake State Park and then search for Squished Penny machines. The two in Lincoln City hadn't opened by the time we wish to get going so we headed south on US101. The first stop is an overlook at Cape Foulweather. Beautiful and a true Squish Penny believer! We continue to Depoe Bay and Squished Penny machine hunting but these places weren't open yet either. Finally, in Newport, we hit the mother lode of Squished Pennies! A machine in two locations along the Bayfront Historical Area and four Squished Penny and one Squished Quarter machine in the Newport Aquarium. Noel got some Clam Chowder and Fish and Chips at "World Famous Mo's" (to go) and we stopped along a road side park to make Diana a salad and to eat the "to go" food. Across the "mountains" again (for our Colorado friends: we missed a picture of a sign that tells us we were at the "summit" of some mountain at 367ft. :) to I5 and we head north to meet with Diana's sister and hubby, Sean, for dinner and conversation. A very nice home in St. Helens, OR they recently moved into. It's a great place with an even greater view across the river and of Mt. St. Helens and other peaks (on a clear day, which this wasn't). We left about 7p and headed north in Washington and another restful evening.

Along the coast, near Lincoln City

Same area's coastline

One of the "famous" rhodedendrum of the area

Another of the "famous" rhodedendrum of the area

At Cape Foulweather - note the signs :)

From the overlook

Mechanical fortune teller in the gift shop - our fortune calls for "calm seas"

Another overlook

Looking toward the south

Harry's Baitshop (in Newport)

Sealions in Newport

Sealions and gulls on a rock in the bay at Newport

Warning and plea about hurt sealions

A neat bike rack in Newport

The Newport Aquarium

Teresa and Sean Dillon (Diana's sister and husband) outside their home

The Lewis and Clark Bridge into Washington

From the bridge

Look across the to Washington

May 30, 2008 - We started a great day in Astoria, OR. First to the "Astoria Column" - an amazing 125ft. sculpture outlining significant events and area in the Astoria area. Next to Fort Stevens, in Hammond, OR and got out first squished pennies of the many that day. This is a WWII fort - very interesting. It's the only location on the continental United States, since the War of 1812, to be fired on (a Japanese sub during WWII).

Astoria column

The spiral staircase inside the column was closed . . . sucks :)

Diana and Noel with the river and ocean behind

Bronze map of the area

Bridge to Washington

Diana looking across the beach to the Pacific

Next stop was Seaside, OR and squished pennies from the "Carousel Mall" and the Aquarium. A very cute town and the local high school kids were having a day off there. Even more fun to watch them . . . Cannon Beach, OR was next and we nearly got stuck driving a sandy road to the beach. We found another Squished Penny machine at a fudge-taffy-ice cream shop and sample some of their wares. We found, next a place park and walk the beach at an area names the "Haystacks". You may know them even if you've never been there before. They are picture-perfect postcard examples of the Pacific coastline.

Directory in Seaside, OR

Warning board along beach . . . including Tsunami

looking south . . .

southward, too

Diana and Noel along trail to lighthouse at Cape

Sign about the wildlife

Sealions galore

More scenery

Tillamook Rock lighthouse, in the distant

The lighthouse - taken through a telescope

Look toward Tillamook (south)

Diana walking the beach near Haystack Rocks

Storm to the south

Diana on the beach at Cannon Beach

Ranger telling of the dangers of climbing around the area

Haystack Rock

Diana and Noel in front of it

Heading further south down US101 is Flamingo Jims at Rockaway Beach, OR. A souvenir shop that was extra cute and had a Squished Penny machine, too. Perfect! Next is the Tillamook dairy for a tour and sample and squished pennies. A tad further south is Cape Mears lighthouse. The shortest lighthouse in Oregon (or as a bumper sticker we saw reads: "ORYGUN") at 37 feet.

Tillamook dairy

Diana climbing the stairs at Cape Mears lighthouse

Cape Mears lighthouse

Overlook in front of the lighthouse

Diana and Noel in front of the lighthouse

The Octopus Tree at Cape Mears

Descriptive sign about the tree

Looking south along the trail to the tree

Another Squished Penny machine is at the Air Museum outside Tillamook. After that we head east, through Portland and a couple of scenic stops along the way to our Motel 6 for this night in Pendleton, OR. Had a good look at Mt. Hood, too.

Giant hanger at the air museum

Side of the hanger

Mt. Hood from Portland

Horsetail falls along I84 and the Columbia River

Sign about it . . .

May 31, 2008 - Up late and headed east. We found Squished Penny machines at Pojo's, the Discovery Center, and the Zoo in Boise, ID. Also at the airport and Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls, ID. Evanston, WY for the night.

Shoshone Falls, along the Snake River, Twin Falls, ID

Diana and Noel in front of the falls

Taller than Niagra . . .

Looking down the Snake River, few miles from where Evel Knievel attempt to jump the canyon.

A hole along the rim


June 1, 2008 - About a 6 hour trip home . . . we look at Windsor on the way to see how cleanup was coming and then an early bedtime. A great trip was had by all . . .