We are currently on a road-trip around Northern California and Oregon and we are having an amazing time, to the point where we’ve decided to take advantage of some free cancellation hotels and stay a few days longer!! I like blogging about travelling – I like reading about other people’s trips and seeing their pictures (in fact, social media has basically planned this trip for me) but if it’s not your bag, feel free to not read this post. But if you do like lots of pics of beautiful places, read on!
I’m going to post different pictures to those I post on Instagram but my favourites definitely have gone on IG, so if you want more pictures, follow me HERE.
The day after Ironman, we had a lazy morning, packed up our Guerneville cabin and headed to Windsor to check out the Ironman Finisher shop! And then we drove north for many (many) hours. We drove through the Avenue of the Giants, which has been on my wish list for many years – a 30-mile stretch of road through the most beautiful redwood forests. Needless to say, I was in heaven.
We spent the night in the tiny seaside town of Trinidad which blew us away with its gorgeousness!
Monday started ‘interestingly’. We drove up into Redwood National Park to hike the Lady Bird Johnson trail and as we pulled into the car park, steam/smoke came from the bonnet of our car. Bearing in mind that we were MILES from a decent-sized town, I was a bit freaked out. The Husband added more water and more oil and luckily, that was it! Our plan on this trip was to hike a minimum of 3 miles every day, followed by an ice-cream (6-year olds need motivation to hike). This hike was easy and lovely!
We then drove north again for many MANY hours through the most wonderful countryside – dark forests, mountain rivers – into Oregon and then over several motorway mountain passes to Eugene! For British readers, Eugene is kind of like Wembley for American Track and Field athletes. It recently hosted the Olympic Trials and is the home to Hayward Stadium, where the legendary 1970s runner Steve Prefontaine rocked the running world. There were runners EVERYWHERE in Eugene.
Tuesday started with a special treat as I got to run Pre’s Trail – a cinder-track trail through a park. It was even cooler because I got to run with Emily Halnon whose now shut-down blog has inspired me for the past five years. She is a fast, badass 100-mile ultra runner but she was sweet enough to slow down for four miles with me. It was super-cool to meet her and to run this famous trail.
We then mooched round Eugene for an hour or so and then drove over to Mt Pisgah and hiked up to the summit. It was a steady climb but we took our time and picked blackberries all the way up and down. The views at the top were AMAZING!!
And then we got in the car and drove the three hours to Seaside, a (seaside) town that reminded me very much of Skegness. The town was a bit grotty but the beach was beautiful!
On Wednesday morning, whilst my boys played on the beach, I snuck in a run along the beach-path and then we drove a few miles south to Cannon Beach, which was the beach i really wanted to go to – Seaside was just cheaper for accommodation. Cannon Beach’s Haystack Rock is iconic but it totally lived up to expectations. It was so beautiful.
90 minutes of driving later, we were in Portland where we stayed at the Youth Hostel! We spent the afternoon hiking around Washington Park which was a total surprise to us but really beautiful. We then stumbled on a football/soccer match about 5 minutes from our hostel – the Portland Timbers vs the CD Dragons from El Salvador. We got tickets and thoroughly enjoyed being impromptu Timbers fans!
Thursday morning started brilliantly as I snuck in a wonderful run around Washington Park. There were trails, there was a rose garden and there was a very moving Holocaust memorial that moved me to tears.
We spent Thursday ‘hiking’ around Portland. We walked along the Floating Walkway on the river – I’d been very excited about this but it was a big disappointment, being next to a motorway (noisy) and it had a bit of a dodgy feel about it in places! The Dude loved the splash pad, we got food at some food trucks and then hiked back to the hostel, getting Blue Star Doughnuts on the way home. They were a whole world better than Voodoo!!
In the afternoon, we drove to Mount Hood for our ‘treat hotel’ of the trip, the Timberline Lodge at the top of the mountain. It’s a wonderful hotel from the 1930s, built of wood and stone, with a real atmosphere of history. We stayed in a ‘bunk room’ which was absolutely perfect and we got to enjoy the amazing sunset from the top of the world.
Loving Oregon is a bit of a cliché, but we’ve honestly been blown away by the place so far! More Oregon coming up in the next post. Hope you don’t mind.