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Great Trip in Northwestern U.S.

I love beautiful scenery and the changes of the season offer us some scenes of beauty and I love to travel. Learn from travel experience.

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Portland, Oregon

If you haven’t had an Oregon and North California vacation, pack your suitcases and begin a wonderful vacation. I was able to combine a few days of vacation with a business seminar. I had a wonderful week of travel with my husband, then he left to go back home while I attended the seminar. I stayed in Portland for my business seminar and enjoyed the city.

As for Portland, I found the people to be friendly, lodging in Oregon hotels or motels is no problem, and the salmon is delicious. I did a lot of walking in the city, which is relatively safe. I do not know if it is still as safe. Considering Portland is the rainiest city in the USA, I never saw a drop!

On Saturday I skipped a morning conference and went to the Saturday art market, which had everything you can think of from common foods to all types of artisan's work. It was a wonderful second week that I still considered part of my vacation.

Portland Saturday Market

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My Photo

Columbia River - Lookin at Washington

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My Photo

Wind Surfing

As for the first week, we only stayed one night east of Portland watching the windsurfers on the Columbia River where you could see the state of Washington on the other side. I will describe the more beautiful sites, but I will not bore you with where we slept and ate on this vacation

Portland Skyline - Mt. Hood

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My photo

Portland Oregon Travel Tips and Sites - Things to See in Portland Oregon

Mt Hood


Traveling the Back Roads

We decided to take back roads so we could see the countryside. I had a list of the sites we wanted to visit. We headed south on route 35, and there was a variety of routes thereafter. We skirted around Mt.Hood which is gorgeous. In the winter there is snow skiing, and I remember that last year there were some people lost on Mt.Hood, so it can be dangerous. It certainly is beautiful.

There are camping and hiking sites on numerous trails, not to mention fishing. We stopped and took pictures along the way, and then found an orchard. We bought lots of apples and pears, and I think I must have eaten my weight in fruit those next couple of weeks. These were ripe and just picked. Believe me, they didn’t taste like what you find in the supermarkets.

Mt. Hood Area

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My Photo

Mt. Hood Oregon

Lake Crater, Oregon

One of the places we wanted to visit was Crater Lake National Park. In the park, you'll see the six-mile wide Crater Lake which evolved from a collapsed caldera of a volcano inside Mount Mazama. It is the most gorgeous blue you can imagine and the scenery is fantastic. The lake was formed when the mountain collapsed from an eruption 7,700 years ago. The lake is 1,949’ deep at the deepest point. It is the third deepest lake in the world and the first in the western hemisphere.

The caldera rim ranges from 7,000 to 8,000 feet. This lake has no streams to flow in or out of the lake. Water that enters the lake is thought to come from sub-service seepage. Rain and snow keep the lake full. This was well worth the stop and as you can see from the pictures its beauty is surreal.

There is a museum, gift shop and a café, plus they show a film twice daily. There are tours and also a boat tour accessible only by hiking one mile which climbs 700’ in elevation and is recommended for those in good physical condition.

Crater Lake, Oregon

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Klamath Falls

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Klamath Falls, Oregon

Next, we decide the next stop would be a view of the waterfalls in Southern Oregon near Klamath, and we certainly weren’t disappointed. We snapped some pictures and hiked a bit before we headed on to California. I have never seen the sky as blue on the east coast as it was in northern California.

Traveling in Northern California

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My Photo

California National Monument Lava Beds

The next location was the California National Monument Lava Beds which were established as a national monument in 1925. It is located in Siskiyou and Modoc Counties in California. The Lava Beds went on for miles. There was black lava rock as far as the eye could see.

They have 25 lava tube caves available for touring also. The environment is semi-arid at this higher elevation. We viewed the rugged landscape, which has cinder cones, lava flows, spatter cones, lava tube caves and pit craters. It was interesting, but we soon headed south where Mount Shasta was in view. We had planned to go into a cave there that has crystals but arrived too late in the day and stayed in Redding, CA.

National Lava Monutment

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My Photo

Sunset from Redwood, California

See Mount Shasta in the distance.

See Mount Shasta in the distance.

Drive through a Sequoia Tree

Couldn't resist driving through the tree.

Couldn't resist driving through the tree.

Redwood and Sequoia Trees

The next morning we decided to head toward the Redwood National Park area in northern California. Almost 50% of all the redwood trees live on the rugged northern California coast. There are Dawn Redwoods, Coastal Redwoods, and Sequoia trees along the coast. There is one tree in Waycross, GA, some in FL and even one in Phoenix, but they won’t attain their true height without the heavy fogs, the rain and normally cool temperature in northern California.

They grow to be 300’ and slightly taller. That is 30 stories high! And to think, these trees have been alive for 1400 years. That means when Columbus arrived in America many of these trees were 900 years old.

They are 8’ to as much as 20’ round in diameter. They tend to grow in clusters as each foot a tree grows up the roots do not grow down but out three feet. The roots are so intertwined with all the other groping roots from the grove that by the time a few hundred years have passed, there is no way a tree can fall down. It is like the whole tree family is strong and holds each other tight

Massive Redwood

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My Photo

Peeking out of a Sequoia Tree

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Huge Sequoia Tree

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Uniqueness of the Redwoods

Some of the trees have burn and char marks, which suggest difficulties or fires of the past. Some have big caverns in their middle and I stood inside a huge one, but it doesn’t kill the tree; they still grow. Their bark is thick, almost a foot thick in some places. When this bark is exposed to fire, it chars into a heat shield making it almost fireproof, which is similar to the way a heat shield on a re-entry vehicle works.

Apparently, the trees are distasteful to tree pests, such as termites and carpenter ants, which is why it was used as the first layer of boards in a wall because the pests won’t burrow into this wood. Redwood is also very resistant to water, so it won’t rot. If there are rising ground levels of water brought on by floods, the redwoods simply grow a new lateral root system.

You feel absolutely insignificant as you look up and around you at these magnificent redwoods and sequoia trees. I couldn't really see the tops of the trees, and when I was in the middle of the forest where it is so very quiet, I could sense the presence of God. Surely something this unique could not have just grown by happenstance. It is an awesome experience that I will always treasure. It was by far one of the most special places I have ever seen.

It is particularly nice to see the redwood further north where there are few people. I have been to Muir Woods by San Francisco, and it is lovely, but you are on a path with a lot of people and the effect on me was different. Thank goodness it is now against the law to cut down these magnificent trees, although it is obvious why people found them so perfect to build homes.

California Redwoods

Scenery Along the Pacific Coast

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Sea Lions Swimming

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My Photo

Largest Sea Lion Cave

After this wonderful experience, we drove up the coastal road and spent some time on the beautiful beach walking with their huge boulders, but the weather was cool, so we got back on the road. The last activity was to visit a sea lion cave in Florence, Oregon. This is the largest Sea Lion Cave in the world.

When you arrive you pay a small fee, and then take an elevator to the cave floor. The temperature in the cave felt about the same as it did on the beach, not cold like some caves. There is a large glass to stand behind to observe the sea lions frolic and play. They swim in and out of the cave at will, but the thing I didn’t realize was the noise level. That many sea lions in one location can make a lot of noise barking back and forth at each other. They were playful with each other and adorable to watch. It was another enjoyable adventure.

Sea Lion Cave

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My photo

Back to Portland

Finally, our vacation together had come to an end as we drove back to Portland. My husband flew home the next morning, and I started attending my seminar. However, I still had another whole week of meeting new people, seeing the sights of Portland, and I had a great time.

I really enjoyed this vacation, and if you have not visited this area I would highly recommend making plans to do so. There is so much to see and numerous activities, such as hiking, golfing, fishing, white water rafting, camping, and sightseeing. There are plenty of wonderful hotels and great places to eat. As vacations go, it is hard to go wrong with a California and Oregon vacation

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on August 20, 2010:

Nancy, Thank you so much for your comment.

nancy_30 from Georgia on August 20, 2010:

I enjoyed reading about your trip. I've always wanted to visit California. The pictures were beautiful.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 25, 2010:

Coolmon, Thank you so much for your comments.

Coolmon2009 from Texas, USA on July 25, 2010:

Sounds like a nice road trip to take. I never have been though the state of Oregon before. I like your selection of pictures and video too. Good article!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 14, 2010:

Katiem, I am so glad my hub gave you some new ideas and I hope you have a fabulous vacation. Thanks for your comments.

Katie McMurray from Ohio on July 14, 2010:

My kids are now at the ages that vacations are easy and they are fully involved. I'm so grateful for your amazing vacations reviews. Oregon travel to CA and it's many attractions will be going on the to travel list. :)

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 13, 2010:

Loves to Read, That is exactly how I felt when I was there. I am glad you enjoyed the hub. Thanks so much for your comment.

Peggy, It's nice to have those wonderful memories. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 13, 2010:

Oh how I loved this hub! Made a similar trip with my mother and niece years ago and have been writing about it in segments on hubpages. You did a few things that we did not...the lava beds and the sea lions...but the rest was much the same. As you said, this is a beautiful part of the country and well worth seeing on vacation. The people who live there are so fortunate to have that type of beauty in their backyards.

Loves To Read on July 13, 2010:

Pamela, what a beautiful hub. The scenery is so picturesque and the giant Redwoods are a sight to behold. I don't think that i will ever get to see them in person, so thank you for taking me on a trip and giving me the chance to see this magnificent scenery that our Lord created. That is where one feels the awesome power and majesty of God. To see and feel just how insignificant man kind really is in the big picture I really love this hub and the pics and videos.

May you be richly blessed

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 13, 2010:

Lorlie, I hope you get to make that trip. The countryside is gorgeous in that area. Thanks for your comment.

PhoenixV, The Oregon coast is gorgeous and I would love to go back. Thanks for your comments.

Darlene, You and your daughter will have a great time. I hope you'll hve the perfect trip. Thanks for your comments.

Darlene Sabella from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ... on July 12, 2010:

Yes my awesome friend, the redwoods, nothing like it in the world, what a site. You had a great journey. I might be going there to see my daughter this summer. Can't wait to follow your journey, my sister lives in Oregon and my daughter is in San Fran....Love this hub and rate up

PhoenixV from USA on July 12, 2010:

I went on a trip from the midwest to Idaho one time in the winter so I drove along the coast as much as I could. I was so glad I did because the Oregon coast is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. If I could live there I would!

Laurel Rogers from Bishop, Ca on July 12, 2010:

Pamela-I am a huge fan of waterfalls and when I saw the photo of Klamath Falls, I was entranced! It's only about a day's drive from here to get there, so I've no excuses!

Thanks so much.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 12, 2010:

Audry, It is a wonderful place to see and I hope to get back one day. I went in the autumn but I think spring would be nice also. Thanks for your comments.

Tom, I appreciate your comments very much.

Tom Whitworth from Moundsville, WV on July 12, 2010:


Thank you for sharing your beautiful vacation with all of us. The photos were awe inspiring. I can feel how you felt the presense of God. Thanks again!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Audrey Kirchner from Washington on July 12, 2010:

You're talking now - that's me! It is a beautiful place to live over here in Central Oregon and SO many gorgeous places to see. Crater Lake is one of my all-time favorites and the Columbia River Gorge but anywhere you go here, there is just beauty everywhere. I hope to get up to the Hood River area in the spring to see the orchards in bloom but then again, I love going to the orchards there and in Eastern Oregon because the produce is so fantastic! Basically, anywhere you go you can have a blast. I haven't been to the California Redwoods in years but want to go back there, too - and along the coast. I just need to not work - there ya go! Great hub!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 12, 2010:

Roberta, I hope you go and enjoy. Thanks for your comment.

Rebecca, I appreciate the complement and your comments.

Rebecca E. from Canada on July 12, 2010:

love this the pictures are great teh information is awesome and I will go one day!

Roberta99 on July 12, 2010:

Beautiful hub. I'm ready to start my vacation right now.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 12, 2010:

K9keystrokes, I very much appreciate your comments. It is so beautiful in your area, even the high desert has a beauty of its own. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub.

India Arnold from Northern, California on July 12, 2010:

I live in nothern California and have relatives in Oregon so the trip is one I have made many times. But, I found your images delightful and beautiful. It is easy to neglect what we see everyday. Thank you for reminding me how to appreciate where I live. I have alaways enjoyed the huge trees and ocean side driving, now i may just enjoy it a bit more. Thanks for sharing.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 12, 2010:

Sheila, I am glad you enjoyed the hub. Thanks for your comments.

GL Strout, Thank you so much for your comment and I hope you get to visit there also.

G L Strout from Ohio, USA on July 12, 2010:

Informative and beautiful phots. Thank you for a lot of great info. I hope I get to follow your path one day.

sheila b. on July 12, 2010:

I especially appreciated what you said about being in the redwood forest and feeling close to God. I can imagine that.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 12, 2010:

Pop, It really isn't necessary to leave the country to find beautiful scenery and a lot of things to do. Thanks for your comment.

breakfastpop on July 12, 2010:

Terrific hub Pamela. I think it's time I re-visit many parts of this country.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 12, 2010:

Hello, I appreciate your comment and thanks for stopping by.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on July 12, 2010:

Thank you, Pamela, for showing such a beautiful corner of the world.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 12, 2010:

bayoulady, Thank you for the compliment and i am glad you enjoyed the hub.

Thanks Billy. This would be a good family trip because children love the places we went also. I appreciate the comment.

billyaustindillon on July 11, 2010:

Beautiful hub - I would love to do this trip with my family one day. I will stumble this one :)

bayoulady from Northern Louisiana,USA on July 11, 2010:

BEAUTIFUL! You should write for a TRAVEL mag!rate up!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 11, 2010:

Davidisaiah, Thank you so much for your comments. What a wonderful place to live. I just fell in love with the area.

davidisaiah from Klamath Falls, Oregon on July 11, 2010:


Living in Klamath Falls, I have a view of Mt. Shasta every day. I can see the rim of the caldera of Crater Lake as well. The Lava Beds, the bird refuges, all within easy drives. I get to Portland often. Life for me is in many ways a vacation. I am glad you enjoyed your time with us in all our natural beauty.

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