Zigzagging Around Our Paradise: Oregon!

After our month in Portland, Oregon, we were able to visit tons of amazing places in the great state of Oregon. We had a bit of a hectic route, zigzagging down the state.

Overlooking Wells Cove in Cape Lookout State Park

After our month in Portland, Oregon, we were able to visit tons of amazing places in the great state of Oregon. We had a bit of a hectic route, zigzagging down the state. After Portland, we went to Mount Hood. Next, made our way the coast, staying at Cape Lookout State Park. Next stop on the trip, Bend. We really enjoyed our time in Bend and have made the decision to spend a long time here next year from fall through winter. After Bend, we stopped by Crater Lake National Park to soak in the awesome beauty that it has. Finally, we went back to the coast, staying a few days at Harris Beach State Park. While there we at the best fries we had ever had… and that is saying something.

Soaking in the fall colors on our hike to Mirror Lake in the Mt. Hood National Forest

Mt. Hood and Trillium Lake

We found a great boondocking site near Trillium Lake in Mt. Hood. There’s an established campground just down the road, but it was closing for the season and we prefer to stay for free whenever possible.  

Our time in Mt. Hood started off a little rocky. While getting the trailer set-up we noticed that something had spilled. We thought maybe something had spilled in the fridge and was leaking out, but quickly realized that it was oil.  One of our bottles of olive oil had shattered in a drawer that happened to be right above our convertor. In addition to the oil spill, while taking out our slide a full length mirror we had on the bathroom door had fallen off and gotten jammed and broke. It took us a while to get everything cleaned up and we felt really frustrated.  We decided to go take a walk around the lake and shift our mindset on things. Even though we had some breaks and spills we were still in a beautiful place living out our dream!

The iconic view of Mt. Hood from Trillium Lake

We hiked to Tamawanas Falls and it was unbelievable.  It led to a beautiful waterfall and the hike was great!  Gizmo even got to join us! The leaves were changing and were so colorful!  We also hiked to Mirror Lake and Matt got to do some fly fishing.  We would highly recommend these two hikes if you are in the Mt. Hood area.  

View of Tamanawas Falls in the Mt. Hood National Forest
Meaghan and Gizmo enjoying the fall colors as the maple trees turn
Matt fly fishing at Mirror Lake in the Mt. Hood National Forest

Tillamook and Cape Look Out State Park

Staying at The Blue Heron French Cheese Company, a Harvest Hosts location.

From Mt. Hood, we headed out to the Oregon Coast. We decided to stay one night in the parking lot of the Blue Heron French Cheese Factory because they allow free RV parking.  We treated ourselves to some delicious cheeses and bread and chocolates from the store.  This was a great place for a one night stop over. We had a nice view and there were lots of guinea fowl roaming around, Giz was not a fan of them.  

The Tillamook Public Library was a great place to work from.  This was the first library Meaghan visited since we got on the road and now she goes to one in almost every town we stop in to save wi-fi data and explore the city.

Tacos La Providencia

We enjoyed some delicious tacos in town at Tacos La Providencia thanks to a recommendation from our friend, Justin.  Who knew you could find authentic, delicious tacos in Tillamook, Oregon? And we are from Texas, so we know what’s up!

Delicious nachos, tacos, and burrito from Tacos La Providencia!

Cape Lookout State Park

Random candid photo of man overlooking the Pacific Ocean on a foggy day.

Cape Look Out State Park outside of Tillamook was beautiful.  The campsites are situated in a lush forest with lots of trees and moss and ferns, but just a short walk away from the beach.  We had some rainy, overcast days here but it was still amazing. We spent lots of time walking the trail along the beach and enjoying the views.  The Cape Trail was really nice and provided lots of amazing views. 

Shot of sun rays in the forests of Cape Lookout State Park

Bend and the Deschutes National Forest

Our hearts have always been set on living in Portland, Oregon until we visited Bend! We fell in love with this city and all it had to offer.  We found a conveniently located boondocking site about 10 minutes out of town with excellent service.  The site felt a little bit sketchy and there were some obvious permanent encampments there including a van with a broken window so we had a bit of a concern of our RV being broken into, but not enough to make us relocate.

Our boondocking site outside Bend, Oregon.

We experienced some of the coldest weather we had experienced yet in Bend. As Texans we couldn’t believe that we were dealing with freezing temperatures in October! But we enjoyed it and the trailer stayed nice and cozy.  We spent a Saturday morning hiking to Tumalo Falls and it was gorgeous! It was super close to our boondocking site too, which is always nice!

Amazing view of Tumalo Falls outside Bend, Oregon.

Bend has a great trail downtown that loops around the Deschutes River.  We enjoyed walking and running here. There are also lots of shops and restaurants in this area, but we didn’t check any of them out because we always had Gizmo with us. Bend has a big beautiful public library in their downtown area that Meaghan worked from everyday.  She works from libraries everywhere and this was the best one yet!

View of the Deschutes River in Bend, Oregon.

We loved Bend for many reasons. We loved that it has everything we need but isn’t overwhelmingly crowded with people.  It also has lots of things we love like: hiking, fly fishing, aerial arts studios, beautiful libraries, unique restaurants and shops, weather we like, and no traffic (at least it was NOTHING compared to Austin).  We are planning to spend an extended amount of time here in 2019 to really see if we’d like to live here.

Upper Deschutes before the rapids just north of Bend, Oregon.

Fly Fishing in Bend, Oregon

Local Central Washington species, Redband Rainbow Trout, caught in Tumalo Creek.

I had a great time doing some small creek fishing, right down the road from our boondocking site, in Tumalo Creek. This species of trout is super clever and really fun to catch. There is a lot of great fly fishing around Bend that I wasn’t able to make it to cause of work. However, I am very excited to make my way back to Bend to fish huge Rainbow Trout in the Fall River. October, you better watch out!

Crater Lake National Park

On our way back to the coast, we couldn’t pass up Crater Lake National Park. We made a few quick stops as we drove around the west rim of the lake. The National Park Service says it best:

“Crater Lake inspires awe. Native Americans witnessed its formation 7,700 years ago, when a violent eruption triggered the collapse of a tall peak. Scientists marvel at its purity: fed by rain and snow, it’s the deepest lake in the USA and perhaps the most pristine on earth. “

It truly is one of those special places that you have to see. We could’ve spent a lot more time here. In the summer months, they have boat tours that take you to Wizard Island.

View of Wizard Island in Crater Lake.

Harris Beach State Park

From Bend, we head to Harris Beach State Park in Brookings, Oregon.  We had a one night stopover on our way there at a great boondocking site.  We were the only ones there. It was easy to access and had great service.  It was perfect for a one night stop along our route.

Harris Beach State Park was amazing! Many of the campsites overlook the ocean while others are tucked away amongst the beautiful trees.  You can easily walk down to the beach to explore the tide pools that were filled with starfish, crabs, and lots of other life! We were so excited to finally find starfish! We’d never seen any and this place had SO many of every shape and size and color. It was amazing.

Cluster of starfish waiting to get a splash of saltwater.
Waves crashing onto the rocky shoreline of Harris Beach.
Matt and Mo enjoying all the cool ocean air!
A lone starfish holding on for dear life.

We bought a frisbee to play with on the beach and quickly discovered Gizmo also has a love for frisbees. She wasn’t really able to play with ours because it’s too big for her so we got her her own tiny Kong frisbee.  She loved it so much. It was so cute to watch her playing on the beach and trying to catch her frisbee.

Gizmo patiently taking a picture. Just kidding… She is waiting for her frisbee.

Brookings, Oregon

We decided to treat ourselves to a dinner out in Brookings. We found a place online called Oxenfre Public House. It had great reviews and the menu looked amazing, but we didn’t know how it would be for such a small town like Brookings. We were totally wrong it was SO delicious. They had some of the best french fries ever (and that’s saying a lot because we eat A LOT of fries).  We played shuffle board and enjoyed a delicious meal here. If you’re ever in Brookings, check this place out. Finally, after our time in Brookings, we made our way south to Lake Tahoe on our way to Utah! Stay tuned for our next blog post about Utah and check out our last post about Portland.

There is something about where the ocean meets land that is truly awe inspiring. Two worlds wildly different and divergent worlds meeting in one place. We especially love the dramatic cliffs, craggy rocks, and rock beaches that you can find on the coast of the Pacific Northwest. We are excited to make our way back in Spring of 2019. 

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