Ben and I just took one of the best trips in our almost seven years together (our wedding will remain trip #1, but this was a seriously close second). We finally went on a road trip - my first and his first in a long time. We decided rather last minute to go on his one week break from surgery rotation and before he heads out to his rural rotation. With only a few days advance notice, we went through a rapid planning spurt, rented a car, booked two hotels, and then headed out on our 1,000 mile adventure. The trip included quite a few places I'd never been in Oregon and California and a few that Ben, a lifelong Oregon resident, hadn't seen as well.
I'm sharing photos a bit out of order, as this was our second night and second and third day's stop: the Rogue River on the Oregon Coast just east of Gold Beach, Oregon. But what better place to start than this serene stop? The full trip was as follows: we drove from Portland to Eugene, through Willamette Pass to Crater Lake, down south to Jacksonville and then to Ashland, from Ashland to the Redwoods, the Redwoods to Gold Beach, and then Gold Beach all the way up the coast to Newport and then inland to Corvallis and home to Portland. All in three days.
This visit to the Tu Tu' Tun lodge (about 15 minutes east of Gold Beach and 1 hour north of the Redwoods in California) was the best hotel experience I've ever had. We arrived to find baby deer playing on the lawn, a wonderful staff that knew us by name, and a room that was devoid of all wifi, electronics (TV, phone, alarm clock). Our balcony looked out over these views of the heated pool, the beautiful meandering Rogue River, a sloping lawn, and wildlife. We watched heron and egret in the river, cormorants skimming the surface, wood ducks flying by, and fish jumping.
We had the most relaxing night on the river - we lit a fire in the wood burning fire place, read a book, drank a bottle of Southern Oregon Pinot Noir, and talked - all while listening to the quiet sounds of river life. The next morning, we took a leisurely walk up the river, collected pretty river rock and agate, and then headed back up the coast for a full day of coastal views. More to come on the rest of the trip soon!