I just know that you’ve been anxiously waiting for the conclusion of my Epic Oregon Adventure, which took place last month, and I want you to wait no more! You can find Days 1-5 here and Days 6-8 here. If you want to see all the photos and more stories for Days 9-14, visit my Facebook album here.
Day 9: We woke up at Cape Blanco State Park to sunshine after a day in the fog, and promptly headed to our next stop at Jessie M. Honeyman State Park, in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, excited to see the Dooooones! After getting our spot, we went to one of the tourist trap, er, activity areas to book a dune buggy and driver for that afternoon. We booked one that holds four passengers and is driven by a driver with years of experience. If you want a true experience and a wild ride, definitely do this, and don’t simply hop on on the large 20-30 passenger vehicles. The latter is slow and, well, touristy… our choice was fast, as obnoxious as a roller coaster (in a good way) and left us with sand in places no one should ever have sand. We laughed, screamed, held our breath and were left with a desperate need for a cold beer to wash that sand away. Such a rush! The campground that night was very full and loud — you could hear the dune buggies til late in the evening — and the bathroom facilities were a bit sparse, especially for the amount of people there.
Day 10: We spent nearly this full day driving the 3 hours to our next stop (Cape Lookout State Park) but stopping at tons of great attractions along the way. We toured through Florence, a very cute little town with shops along a boardwalk; stopped at the sea lion caves, which were unfortunately sans sea lions while we were there, but still neat to see the caves; tried to have lunch at the popular Brewer’s on the Bay brewery and eatery in Newport, but the wait was over an hour at 2pm on a Monday(!); visited the amazing Devil’s Punchbowl five miles south of Depoe Bay and ran around on the beach there before indulging in some local wine tastings and ice cream.
Finally, a half hour before the sun set, arrived at Cape Lookout State Park — by far, my favorite beach yet. We quickly parked the trucks, grabbed a couple beers and found a spot to sit on the beach and watch the amazing sunset, along with probably less than 20 other people. Later that night, we took in the amazing sky from the beach – it was so dark and the stars so bright and shooting across the sky. There was a lightning storm somewhere on the other side of the mountains, and although our sky was clear, it would light up every so often, making for quite a show. My husband and I just stood there looking up, holding hands in silence for awhile, both completely blown away by this special moment. I could have stayed there rooted in place forever.
Day 11: We said goodbye to our friends in the morning as they were heading back up to Vancouver and took a big walk on the beach (one of the longest stretches in Oregon, apparently).
We took our time heading to one more Oregon campground before the end of this leg. We stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory and enjoyed some cheddar cheese curds (yum!) and later wandered through Cannon Beach and Seaside — both super cute and probably worth a lot more time there — before eventually getting to Fort Stevens State Park, the home of an old military defense station and a fantastic beach that you can actually drive on (which we did, naturally)!
Days 12 – 14: Day 12 saw us turning our truck towards our final destination. The last few days were mainly days of driving, bypassing the major cities and closing the gap to Canada. We spent our final night in the US (day 12) at the KOA in Ellensburg, WA, which was actually quite nice – very quiet and right on the Yakima River. The only stop of note was in Cashmere, WA where we wandered around and found ourselves at a factory for aplets and cotlets. I had no idea what these were but had to find out – and was deliciously surprised at the Turkish delight-type treat, filled with apples (aplets) or apricots (cotlets) and walnuts. If you find yourself in Cashmere, go there! You can even have a factory tour, and lots of free samples! After this, we made our way without a problem through the border crossing into Osoyoos, BC, with our final stop being my grandma’s house in Kelowna (not without some more wine samples through the Okanagan first though… of course… :) ).