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Oregon Tales 2012, OR
mini location map2012-05-16
109 by photographer avatarRandal_Schulhauser
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Oregon Tales 2012, OR 
Oregon Tales 2012, OR
Backpack avatar May 16 2012
Backpack20.00 Miles
Backpack20.00 Miles9 Days         
 no routes
1st trip
Oregon Tales 2012

9 days
2882 miles
155 gallons of gasoline
558 digital images
1 relatively trouble-free drive
No dogs
Multiple family gatherings
Hannah's wedding in Medford Oregon

The Plan => Drive to Hannah's wedding in Medford OR traveling Phoenix to Los Angeles to Sacramento to Medford with return route via the Pacific Coast Highway.

I've always been a fastball hitter, but learned early that you will see a diet of change-ups and other off-speed stuff until you prove that you can hit those too. Guess we proved we could hit the off-speed stuff during our "Oregon Trail 2010" adventure (check out => ), so "Oregon Tales 2012" seemed to consist of BP fastballs right down the middle...

DAY 1 - Tuesday 5/15
Ahwatukee AZ to Glendale AZ
72 miles return
0 hrs 45 min 1-way per Google Maps

Hiking and other outdoor adventuring seems to have taken a backseat due to Coyotes' season tickets (and their unexpected playoff run), some focused business assignments with China and Latin America, and finance managing with Hannah's upcoming wedding. With an impending road trip to Oregon blocking the calendar through Memorial Day, I get lucky with home date scheduling attending the Coyotes/Kings home opening set Sunday and Tuesday. With the Yotes butts thoroughly kicked at both games, I'm left wondering if I've witnessed my last NHL games in the Valley...

DAY 2 - Wednesday 5/16
Ahwatukee AZ to Sacramento CA
774 miles
12 hrs 39 min per Google Maps
Marriott Courtyard Sacramento Airport, 2101 River Plaza Drive, Sacramento CA, 95833

Pack the F-150 (including hiking boots) for an early morning start on the road to Sacramento via Los Angeles. We seem to be off to an auspicious start as I pull onto the I-10 greeted by an electronic sign indicating "CRASH AT SR143, I-10 CLOSED". I can see a sea of red lights ahead, so we veer off at Warner Road and double-back towards Maricopa and Gila Bend to by-pass the traffic jam. Traffic is light all the way to Los Angeles including the I-210 northern "by-pass". In fact, we don't encounter any LA traffic until we're out of town on the I-5 coming to a dead stop at Tejon Pass near the town of Gorman. With traffic only inching along, I pull off at Gorman School Road to partake in the local McDonalds. Once refreshed, I see no improvement in the I-5 traffic jam, but notice a few tractor trailer rigs hopping on the Peace Valley side road to Lebec. Following the rigs, we hop back onto the I-5 at Lebec sans traffic! We arrive at the Marriott Courtyard in Sacramento (check out => ... t-natomas/ ) 9-ish that night, just in time to catch the kitchen before it closed for the evening...

DAY 3 - Thursday 5/17
Sacramento CA to Medford OR
309 miles
5 hrs 14 min per Google Maps
Candlewood Suites, 3548 Heathrow Way, Medford OR, 97504

Fueled with Starbucks coffee, Lynn and I are back on the road travelling the I-5 towards Oregon. As we exit Redding, the Shasta-Trinity Mountains treat us to a steady rain. I slip the F-150 into 4WD on the fly and it becomes "weather, what weather?" as we maintain our steady cruise control speed. As we cross the California/Oregon border and descend into the Rogue Valley, blue skies return at a perfect 80degF temperature. Check into our hotel mid-afternoon (check out => ... cw-_-mfrbr ). We soon meet up with Dominic (Hannah's husband-to-be) and Hannah at the Candlewood Suites. They both flew in from South Bend IN earlier in the week making the final wedding preparations. Hannah and Lynn head out to do some last minute shopping while Dom and I go to sample the purported "Best Wings in Oregon" at Flapper's Wild West Wings (check out => ... gs-Medford ).

DAY 4 - Friday 5/18
Medford OR to various local destinations
75 miles
n/a per Google Maps
Candlewood Suites, 3548 Heathrow Way, Medford OR, 97504

Rehearsal day as multiple family relatives begin to arrive in Medford OR. Pick up my younger daughters, Sarah and Tobyn, at the Medford Airport after a connecting flight snow delay in Salt Lake City UT. My parents arrive having driven their rental car from Portland OR after a long flight from Toronto Canada. My cousin Drew and his family, Janice and Cassie, also arrive after a long drive from Vancouver Canada. Various friends of the bride and groom (including their undergrad NAU crowd) trickle in from various locations throughout the country. Bridal Shower that afternoon (I get to skip that), and rehearsal 5-ish at the Applegate River Lodge (check out => ). Pay some wedding bills, and pick-up some eats at Fred Meyer for the Rehearsal Dinner that evening hosted by Dom's sister Beverly. Everything went smoothly - calm before the wedding storm?

DAY 5 - Saturday 5/19
Medford OR to Applegate OR
75 miles
23 miles (1-way), 35 min per Google Maps
Applegate River Lodge, 15100 Highway 238, Applegate OR, 97530

Wedding day starts with guests arriving 11-ish at the Applegate River Lodge to help with the preparations in advance of the 3:30pm ceremony. With both Hannah and Dominic pursuing their chemistry doctorate degrees at Notre Dame University, there is definitely a "chemistry" theme to the wedding. Preparation, ceremony, reception, food, drink, and weather all pulled off without a bump in the road!

DAY 6 - Sunday 5/20
Medford OR to Crater Lake OR
152 miles
76 miles (1-way), 1 hr 45 min per Google Maps
Crater Lake Lodge, 565 Rim Drive, Crater Lake OR, 97625

Wedding day-after starts with a breakfast buffet before dropping off Sarah and Tobyn at Medford Airport for their flights home (both have to work on Monday). Our main objective today is some sight-seeing at Crater Lake (check out => ) and the Rogue River Gorge (check out => ... ridge.html ) with my parents. Once again that National Parks Pass comes in handy. I knew that Crater Lake usually has snow, but didn't realize it averages 44 feet of snowfall each year! I'll have to log the treks on HikeArizona when I get the chance ( and ).
After our all-day trek, the family gets together for a late dinner at the nearby Red Lobster.

DAY 7 - Monday 5/21
Medford OR to Crescent City CA to Bodega Bay CA
432 miles
8 hrs 26 min per Google Maps
Bodega Harbour Inn, 1345 Bodega Avenue, Bodega Bay CA, 94923

Early morning "good-byes" to my parents (catching plane to Toronto), the Babbini newlyweds (catching plane to South Bend), my cousins (driving back to Vancouver) as Lynn and I hit the road to explore the giant redwoods and the seashore along the Pacific Coast Highway. As we approach the Oregon/California border a text arrives from Hannah - the counter-offer they made on a house near South Bend was accepted (no honeymoon for the Babbini's - they're buying a house). First stop is Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park (check out => ) where once again that National Parks Pass comes in handy. The redwood groves and rain forest conditions make me feel like I'm on the set of a Jurassic Park sequel (actually having a toy dinosaur could have made for some interesting photo ops - note to self for next time). Best area by far IMO are the loop trails (Ellsworth Loop Trail, Leiffer Loop Trail, etc.) off Walker Road. Stout Grove along the Smith River comes in a close second. I'll have to log the mini-treks on HikeArizona when I get the chance ( ). Lunch in Crescent City CA, where I learned the harbour took one of the bigger blows from the March 2011 Japan tsunami (check out => ... o-sea.html ). We stop at Klamath Cove to check out the beach followed by some rainy mini-treks in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park (check out => ). Surprised by the multiple elk encounters by the coastline - my brain just couldn't reconcile seeing elk and ocean in the same field of view! The highway headed inland following the Eel River Valley before we reconnected with Highway 1. Classic northern California views complete with fog and mist - our approach to the Village of Elk has been permanently etched into my brain. We arrive 9-ish into Bodega Bay greeted by multiple birds perched on the overhead wires. I check for Alfred Hitchcock lurking around the corner at our Bodega Harbour Inn basecamp (check out => and ... bodega-bay )...

DAY 8 - Tuesday 5/22
Bodega Bay CA to Golden Gate Bridge to Big Sur to Avila Beach CA
331 miles
7 hrs 16 min per Google Maps
Avila Lighthouse Suites, 550 Front St, Avila Beach CA, 93424

Lynn and I explore Bodega Harbour (a place where time seems to have stood still since the 1950's) before hitting the road to explore the Pacific Coast Highway - Muir Beach, Golden Gate Bridge, Big Sur coastline to Avila Beach. We encounter an unexpected gem when we stop at the Elephant Seal Rookery near San Simeon (check out => ). After sunset, check into our comfortable "digs" 9-ish at the Avila Lighthouse Suites (check out => ). We head over to Mr. Rick's (check out => ) to grab some eats and catch the end of the Coyotes/Kings game. Strike one (kitchen closed at 9pm), strike two (only IPA's on tap), strike three (OT goal by the Kings finished the Yotes season) - time for an evening stroll on the beach...

DAY 9 - Wednesday 5/23
Avila Beach CA to Joshua Tree NP to Ahwatukee AZ
623 miles
11 hrs 39 min per Google Maps
Avila Lighthouse Suites, 550 Front St, Avila Beach CA, 93424

Lynn and I explore the tidal pools along Avila before hitting the road. A stop at Joshua Tree NP (check out => ) before arriving home late that evening...

And that's our Oregon Tale 2012!
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