A few weeks ago we drove out to Oregon for some camping. Our plan was to visit the Oregon Country Fair, explore the central coast and then visit Portland.
Our drive from Salt Lake to Corvalis was pretty uneventful, we ate on the road and just burned across Idaho and western Oregon to make sure we arrived well before dark to set up camp. Other than some midweek rush hour traffic through Portland, we arrived at the KOA campground with time to spare. Corvalis has a really neat old downtown with a killer banh mi shop where we grabbed some dinner to eat at camp. The KOA was nice and quiet, we had a small camp fire and had a good night’s sleep.
Friday morning we drove down to Veneta to the Oregon Country Fair. From all the years it’s been going on and the way it’s marketed, we had expected a 70’s hippie festival. The grounds were beautiful, tons of trees, moss and creeks everywhere. There were a bunch of great folk, country and 60’s style bands playing all day and a cool drum circle. But other than a small amount of aging hippies, most of the people there were peacocking around in modern glittery nightclub attire, I guess that’s ‘festival attire’ nowadays no matter the genre of event? There were typical street fair food vendors and street faire vendors around, which also didn’t make sense to us. We were thinking it would be hand-made hippie wares, but it was more mass produced stuff mixed in with Laguna Sawdust Festival type art and jewelry. I guess the real deal fair happens after hours with all the workers and vendors, but that doesn’t do us daytime customers any good, so whatever. We tried to stick around for the Chris Robinson Brotherhood performance, but after one song we split since the sound wasn’t so good. We decided that whatever the Oregon Country Fair had been, it wasn’t any longer. We won’t be going back.
So we drove over to Eugene and had some tasty pizza and beer for dinner before heading back to Corvalis to our campsite. Before it got dark, I checked out the local skatepark, then came back to camp for a small fire and some sleep.
Saturday morning we drove back down to Eugene and checked out a few shops and a few skateparks on our way to Florence, our next camp site. The drive to Florence was very pretty and mellow. Evergreen forests and rivers all the way. We arrived to the Siuslaw campground well before dark and grabbed a nice Mexican food lunch. After setting up camp, we explored the port, downtown and the small beach along the campground. Florence has a great little downtown right along the river port. We ate some yummy clam chowder at Moe’s and finished off the night with some ice cream. It was a really nice Saturday spent on the coast, can’t wait to go back to Florence some day.
Sunday morning we got hooked up with a box of donuts. We were going to buy some, but the lady only had a dozen left, in a box already, ready to be given away to the next customer, which was us! After checking out the gnarly Florence skatepark, we headed North along the coast to our next camp site near Tillamook. We slowly cruised up Highway 101 and enjoyed the incredible scenery. We had never been on this stretch of coast, it was amazing! We stopped and checked out the Waldport skatepark and the rough but fun Newport skatepark. We laughed as we drove by the ‘world’s smallest port’ at Depoe Bay. We stopped for a while in Lincoln City to ride the massive skatepark there and have some yummy pizza at Tie Dye Pizzeria for lunch.
Before arriving at our campground, we stopped in Pacific City and grabbed some huge cookies at the Grateful Bread Bakery. Then we did some walking on the beach at Cape Kiwanda. The tide pools were pretty busy and so was the giant sand dune. We will come back in winter when the crowds are gone and the weather is much more wet. After Cape Kiwanda, our camp site at Cape Lookout was only about 20 minutes further up the road. We set up camp well before dark again. The beach at Cape Lookout is long, and beautiful! We explored the beach until it got dark and the tide came in. This beach campground is definitely going on our return visit list. It’s one of those places where we want to plop for a week straight and enjoy exploring around.
Monday morning we broke down camp and headed in to Tillamook for some gas and a cheese factory tour. The factory was being remodeled so we didn’t stay long, but we did have some free samples which was neat. We drove inland to Portland and had a great lunch at the Blind Onion in Sullivan’s Gulch, their pizza is always tasty! The rest of the day we just walked around Hawthorne Boulevard enjoying Powell’s bookstore, Ben & Jerry’s and a bunch of other mom and pop shops along the street. We took a break from our tent and stayed in a neat little basement apartment Air B&B rental for the night. Before heading to bed, we walked over to McMenamins Pub for a yummy dinner. This Grateful Dead inspired restaurant has become one of our go-to places in Portland due to the good food, drinks and atmosphere.
Tuesday after check out, we threw all of our stuff into the car still parked at the apartment, and rode the bus into downtown Portland. We took our time and walked around downtown and enjoyed some pizza at Sizzle Pie and browsed the massive Powell’s bookstore across the street. We spent some time at the Ground Kontrol arcade as well as some other small shops around the area. After riding the bus back to the car, we drove over to this fantastic banh mi shop over on the Eastside of Portland. We grabbed a few sandwiches to eat before setting up our Eagle Creek camp site just outside of Cascade Locks along the beautiful Columbia River. This campground was way mellow and in the forest, but the interstate and train tracks are right below it, so you have a hum of engines the whole time. We spent our final night by a nice camp fire and enjoyed another night in the evergreens.
Wednesday morning we started our long journey home, but not before driving across the Bridge of the Gods into Washington! It’s always nice to be in Washington. The town of Bingen had a great skatepark that we will have to visit again. After another bridge crossing we were back in Orgeon, in the town of Hood River. The skatepark there is another great little park in a forest setting. After skating a while, we headed toward The Dalles and grabbed a quick breakfast before making the long drive to Boise. Idaho’s newest skatepark is under the freeway in the heart of Downtown Boise. It’s huge, in every way. The square footage is massive and the bowls go from small to huge as well. The scooter craze is strong in Boise, so I took two runs and split. I’ll hit the park another day, hopefully before the scooter crowd gets there. Other than that stop, we busted on down the road and into Salt Lake as the sun was setting.
It was a really nice trip, can’t wait to go back!!