Day 11 - Friday June 9th: I left Washington (on the Idaho border) in the morning and headed southwest towards Oregon. It was kind of surprising to me when it started to turn into a desert kind of landscape, not what I envisioned for Oregon. It really is a diverse state, everything from the desert to the mountains to the coast can be found there, and I got to see a lot of it. I made it to Madras a few hours before sunset and headed to a nearby park called The Cove Palisades. I loved this park because it was beautiful, in the bottom of a canyon, and I only saw a handful of people the whole time I was there. I found a nice spot on the water and just hung out there with my camera waiting for sunset. I don't know if it was the most beautiful sunset of this trip, but probably the most peaceful one. I headed back in to town when it was getting dark and spent the night there in Madras.
Day 12 - Saturday June 10th: I had started noticing a small exhaust leak that I had in my car getting bigger, and much louder. It started getting really bad the night before when I was in the park, so I figured it would be smart to get it taken care of now before I went too much farther. I was planning on staying a day in Bend Oregon and being it was one of the larger towns in the area I decided to try to find a place there to get it fixed, if it was going to take a while I could walk around the town or something. Unfortunately by the time I got there (around noon on a Saturday) almost every shop was closed. I finally found a Midas that was able to take a look at it, and they told me it was a crack in a forged piece which meant they couldn't weld it. They called for the part and found out that the closest one was on the other side of the country - I think they even said Long Island where I came from, which I thought was kind of funny. So I was going to get the pleasure of enjoying Oregon for a few more days than I planned. I had pretty good spirits about it, a little inconvenient but it could have been worse, and it definitely could have happened in a worse spot. I think my resolve to be okay with everything was being tested because then I couldn't get a rental car (it was now 3 in the afternoon on a Saturday and everything was closing), so I took an Uber to a hotel and figured I'd just relax for the rest of the day. Of course the thrifty hotel I chose because I was trying to save as much money as I could was very depressing. I was fine all day with everything that was going on until I got into that dungeon feeling hotel that smelled way too much of cleaners. So I got another Uber and decided to be a big spender at the Quality Inn instead.
Day 13 - Sunday June 11th: I didn't want to waste the day today, but I did sleep in a bit. Then I got a rental car and headed into the mountains. I drove through Sisters and into Willamette National Forest where I stopped by Clear Lake and Sahalie Falls. This is a very beautiful area, the colors in the water are just awesome, I was there on a somewhat overcast day so clear lake mostly looked like a lake to me (apparently when it's clear you can see a flooded forest below the water, I could make out a few trees but it was pretty cloudy at the time). Then I went back into Sisters to walk around a bit, and found a really good view of the Sisters (the three mountains that the town is named after). I headed back to Bend around sunset and called it a night.
Day 14 - Monday June 12th: I decided to go see the painted hills today. It's something that I've wanted to see for a while but actually hadn't planned on going to on this trip, so breaking down in Oregon helped me get there. It was about 2 hours from Bend so I left in the mid morning and got there in the late morning. It really was one of the coolest areas I had seen so far, the reds and yellows in the clay on the mountains is so vibrant it looks a little unreal. I was wearing polarized sunglasses so that probably added to the effect, but either way they were really cool. I walked down a few paths around the park taking a few overlook shots (including the one in the top of this post). Then I left and headed back towards Sisters and Clear Lake because it was only the mid afternoon and the sky was clear, so I was hoping I'd be able to see the forest underneath Clear Lake. By the time I got there it was lightly raining and foggy, so I again wasn't able to see the underwater forest. I drove back to Bend and by the time I got over the mountains it was clear again.
Day 15 - Tuesday June 13th: I was supposed to get my car back either today or tomorrow, but I really didn't want to waste the day. If I stayed around Bend for another day I would probably have to cut some of the things I wanted to see out of my trip (I was picking up my Dad in Denver in a few days). I headed south to Crater Lake, which was really awesome to see. At the time there was some pretty deep snow covering the paths at the top, it definitely felt weird walking through that much snow in June. It's a gorgeous lake with a really unique blue color sitting in the vent of an extinct volcano. I was going to just see this and head back to Bend, but I really wanted to see the Redwoods and if I didn't go today I would probably have to cut it out of my trip. So I drove another 4 hours south into northern California to see them. I honestly never really thought that much of seeing them, I figured it would be cool to see and to say I was there but really thought they would just be big trees. When I finally got there it was a surreal experience, it felt like walking through an ancient forest (which I guess it was) and just looking at this gigantic trees that have been sitting here for hundreds or even thousands of years was such a weird feeling. I headed out towards Crescent City to try to make it to the coast before sunset, I made it with an hour to spare and touched the Pacific Ocean. I didn't realize how much that would mean to me, I knew I wanted to make it to the the coast but the feeling of completion when I knew I had driven across the entire continent was much more than I thought it would be. After watching the sunset and talking a few photos I headed back into Oregon along the coast and spent the night in Coos Bay.
My Route: About 1,200 Miles