Duke and I just got back from another road trip. We drove
about 2200 miles in nine day and had a lot of fun. The only down side of the trip was that we drove too much several days. Our biggest day was 390 miles. The way we like to road trip means we average about 40 miles an hour and we make lots of stops. We stop whenever we see something interesting whether it be a historical marker, an interesting rock or a museum.
View Oct 2009 Road Trip in a larger map
Day 1 – Reno to Chester California – 126 miles
Chester is very near Mount Lassen. We stayed at the Bidwell House Inn. The fall colors were beautiful and we enjoyed sitting by the fire reading.
Day 2 – Chester to Summer Lake Oregon – 326 miles
The drive through Mount Lassen National Park was beautiful.
Day 3 – Summer Lake to Halfway, Oregon - 390 miles
A long day. We didn't arrive at our Bed and Breakfast until after dark. We stayed at the Clear Creek Inn in Halfway, Oregon. This was the best B&B we stayed at on this trip. It is a beautiful fairly new building. We were the only ones there and sat by the fire in the wood stove playing cribbage and having wine, cheese, smoked oysters and crackers for dinner. We woke up to snow on the ground and a gorgeous walnut tree covered in yellow leaves outside the window of our room. Breakfast included home made apple sauce, and jams and home grown fruit.
Day 4 – Halfway to Spokane, Oregon – 219 miles
From Halfway we dropped down into the Snake River Canyon at Oxbow and checked out the Oxbow Dam. From there we followed a dirt road along the river as far as it would go and then headed up out of the canyon on a very steep narrow dirt road that literally climbed straight out of the canyon.
This is the view from the edge of the road down to the river
After climbing up close to three thousand feet, when we got to the top the road was covered in snow. Fun!
Day 5 – Spokane to Leavenworth, Washington – 225 miles
Before leaving Spokane we visited the cemetery where my Grandmother and at least one of her sisters are buried.
After my Grandfather died (Oct 31 71 years ago) my grandmother Marion Gibson owned and ran a sanitarium in Spokane. I remember visiting her there when I was about six years old. I Googled the address and discovered that the old Victorian house is being converted into condos. I called the real estate agent and asked if he would show us the house. The condos are beautiful and the house stirred long forgotten memories.
Spokane had a World's Fair in 1974 and as a result has a wonderful riverfront park now. I loved their big Radio Flyer wagon slide and the clock tower and fall colors were gorgeous.
From Spokane we drove west to visit Grand Coulee Dam. It is the largest concrete structure in the U.S. and largest electric power producing facility in the U.S. We looked around the visitor center but were disappointed that they weren't giving dam tours that day. The dam is immense. My dad told me he remembers visiting it when it was being built during the 1930s.
From Grand Coulee we went to Leavenworth a little town in the mountains east of Seattle. Many years ago Leavenworth decided to make itself into a Bavarian village. They did a wonderful job and now this little town gets over a million visitors a year. When we were there the Oktoberfest weekends had just ended and the Christmas festival weekends hadn't started. We had the town and our B&B pretty much to ourselves. We had a wonderful German dinner at Cafe Mozart. I would highly recommend it.
Day 6 – Leavenworth to Hood River, Oregon – 145 miles
After leaving Leavenworth we stopped and bought a box of Washington apples and pears at a roadside stand. Yum! We also tasted wine and bought some at couple of the wineries near Yakima. The drive along the Columbia River was beautiful. We stayed near Hood River at the Sakura Ridge Farm and Lodge. We had some of the best beer and pizza I have had in a long time at the Double Mountain Brewery and Taproom.
Even though Sakura Ridge has a fantastic view of Mount Hood it was overcast the whole time we were there so we never saw the mountain. Typical western Oregon weather! The lodge is surrounded by fruit trees which were a stunning yellow.
Day 7 Hood River to Bend Oregon – 265 miles
From Hood River we headed south around Mount Hood and finally caught a glimpse of its slopes. We stopped and looked around the Warm Springs Indian Museum and got to Bend in time to do some exploring down town and have a nice dinner at Staccato in the old firehouse
Day 8 – Bend to Surprise Valley Hot Springs – 194 miles
Day 9 of this trip happened to fall on Halloween. South east of Bend me explored some ice caves. They had some eerie green moss growing on a lot of the rocks which seemed quite appropriate for the day.
We spent the night at Surprise Valley Hot-springs which is in extreme north eastern California. Each room has its own hot spring fed pool which we really enjoyed. It is located a few miles east of Cedarville.
Day 9 – Surprise Valley Hotsprings to Home in Reno – 194 miles
On our last day we went into Cedarville for a great breakfast at the Country Hearth Restaurant. We bought some home made brownies to take home and then headed back to Reno via Pyramid Lake.
If you would like to see a slide show of all our pictures from this trip click here.
It was great trip We went by many places on this trip that we couldn't explore properly because we didn't have enough time, They are on my list to go see another time
- The town of Joseph, Oregon their Bronze foundries and galleries sound fascinating.
- The Eagle Cap Wilderness area. Trip put on by Wallowa Llamas were recommended by the lady at our B&B.
- Lassen National park
- Hells Canyon and the Snake River
- Pullman, Washington