I'm back with part 2 of our trip to Bend. Wednesday afternoon and Thursday were awesome days but I have to say that Friday probably goes down as our worst vacation day together in the history of all trips. I mean, spending a day together is always wonderful, but things just did not go as planned. Here's how things played out.
On Friday morning, we checked the website for Crater Lake National Park
. The website said the roads to the park were open, so after making breakfast, we drove down to the park, which is about 1.5-2 hours away. As we approached the park, we started to notice snow on the ground. The road to the park can be closed when there is snow but we thought it wasn't enough snow to close the park. Wrongo, batman. We got to the north entrance of the park and found out it was closed due to snow on the road. We were both really disappointed as this was the attraction we were most looking forward to seeing.
We turned around and decided to drive the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway
. It seems like most people drive it from north to south, but we drove from south to north since we were on the south end of the byway. There are lots of beautiful hikes off the byway so we were planning to stop for a hike. Except when we got up to the area where most of the hikes were, it had started to snow again. We thought we might be able to make it work because after all, we are tough Minnesotans! But after about 1/2 of a mile on a trail, we turned back. The combination of snow on the side of the trail with the huge puddles on the trail from all the rain from the past couple of days made for conditions that weren't hikeable - at least not in the trail shoes/tennis shoes we were wearing. Womp, womp.
|Snow and soggy trails (not pictures are the huge puddles we kept encountering)|
So we kept driving north towards Bend. The scenery was absolutely gorgeous. We got out at one point to snap a quick photo.
|I was so cold when we took this picture!|
As we progressed north and entered the higher elevation area, the snow got heavier and heavier. At one point there was 6" of snow on the unplowed road. We had a dodge dart so were not in the right kind of car for these conditions.
|I took this picture when the conditions had 'lightened up'. It was still snowing very heavily, though!|
The real low point of the day, though, was when we hit a lava rock on the road. We didn't see the rock since it was hidden by the 6" of snow on the road. It made a God-awful sound when we ran over it but we were hoping it didn't do any damage. As we slowed down when approaching Bend, the car was making an awful noise. When we got to Bend, we stopped to see what was going on. Turns out we stripped off the protective layer of aluminum that lines the undercarriage of the car and we were dragging that piece of aluminum along the road. Good times.
Luckily we were able to swap out our car at an Enterprise in Bend. We are still waiting to hear if we did any real damage to the car. The Enterprise guy said that if we just stripped off the aluminum, we wouldn't be charged anything. Fingers crossed we didn't do any further damage! Phil's insurance policy will cover the damages but we'd like to avoid having to file a claim!
After that, the only thing that was going to make the day better was beer. After leaving Enterprise, we went directly to a local brewery called Crux Fermentation. Luckily they had some Oregon wines available so I was able to have a beverage as well.
|Calming himself down with a hoppy beer sampler.|
That night we treated ourselves to dinner at Zydeco
. They had an amazing GF menu!
On Saturday, we drove back to Portland and met Lauren, her mom and little boy Henry for lunch at a cute restaurant in Salem. I hadn't seen Lauren since our San Francisco running trip in 2014 so it was great to catch up with her, meet her little guy and mom (both of whom I've heard so much about!) and introduce her to Phil! Unfortunately we forgot to take a picture! Gah! Seeing Lauren makes me wish that we lived closer as we have so much in common and always have a great time together. I loved seeing her little guy, Henry, too. He's growing so fast and is such an energetic little guy!
After lunch we headed up to Portland. It was rainy and windy, but we battled the weather and walked around the downtown area. Of course we had to stop at Powell's
! It's the largest bookstore in the world - it takes up an entire city block and houses over 1 million books!!! It's a must-see destination for any book lover. We had fun walking around the store. It's incredibly well-curated with lots of shelves and end caps with recommendations. I could have spent hours there. I resisted the temptation to buy any books, but I did buy this t-shirt
. It was rolled up in a paper sleeve so I did not look at it before buying it, which I sort of regret as it turns out the shirts fit SUPER SMALL. I might look into exchanging it but that might be more hassle than it's worth.
After we left Powells, we kept wandering around the city. There are definitely some more areas that I didn't feel super comfortable walking through. That's not to say that we don't have areas in Minneapolis where I don't feel comfortable walking around. There are certainly areas I try to avoid, but they are more off the beaten path and not in our downtown area, luckily. We were very sad to see the large population of homeless people. I guess that is something we are just not used to dealing with in our super cold northern climate.
We had limited time in Portland so were only able to see the downtown area where we were staying, but we both left with a pretty good impression of the city. I'd like to come back some day and explore more areas, like Washington Park. It was just too wet, windy, and rainy that day to do that.
We enjoyed an awesome Thai meal for dinner and did some more walking around next. Toward the end of our walk, I saw this sign, which for me prompts the question - where are we going to go next?
... but I already know the answer to that! I'll be heading to Spain in late November/early December. I'm happiest when I'm planning a trip so I can't wait to do some research on the Andalucia region! I definitely have a stronger desire and interest in travel than Phil does, so while he wishes he could come to southern Spain since it's his old stomping ground, he's ok with hunkering down at home with Oscar while I do some exploring with a great friend. In his defense, we have done quite a bit of traveling this year between our trips to Mexico, San Francisco, and Bend as well as local getaways for 2 weddings in Wisconsin and northern Minnesota! So we have certainly done quite a bit of traveling together. I just want more more more! But relationships are all about finding balance, so I'm glad that we've had so many adventures together and am thankful that I have a great friend to travel to Spain with.
Do you have any trips planned? If so, when and where are you going? If you are in a relationship, does you and your significant other have a similar interest in traveling?