At the end of July, Steve and I took a road trip to Oregon. We drove through Nevada (a long somewhat boring drive), stopped the first night in Susanville, CA, and then headed west to the California coast. Through Nevada we listened to the worst audio book, but at least it was something to listen to.
The drive through California was beautiful - gorgeous forests and lakes - but after a few hours, I was ready to be done with mountain driving. My car sickness was peaking when we finally hit the coast. The ocean was a beautiful sight! As we drove along the coast, clouds gathered and the wind picked up...in short, it got COLD. Our cute little dog was a trooper; she loved roaming the beach and wetting her toes in the ocean water.
We spent the night in Gold Beach, OR. That evening, we took Sadie for a walk up a hilly, dirt road behind our hotel. After a few bends, we ran smack into a herd of elk! Sadie had been pulling on the lead, which should have alerted us to something because she normally walks right at our side. Boy were we surprised to see the elk but not nearly as surprised as the elk! They ran away f.a.s.t! Sadie wanted to chase after them, of course. It was very exciting. We continued walking up the trail, wondering if we'd run into them again, but we didn't see them.
The next day, we drove to Bandon; it has a cute pier area that we walked along, buying sweatshirts because we were soooo cold! Sadie found a friend who didn't really feel like playing. And we saw a seal or two playing in the water off the pier.
We then found an old lighthouse that has been turned into a historical site. It was neat to go inside and read about the history of the lighthouse and surrounding area. We weren't able to go up to the top because we wore open toe sandals, which was a bummer. Oh well. I thought of my mom when we were at the lighthouse because I know she loves them. I thought how nice it would have been to have her there to explore the place with.
When we finally got to Steve's parents' house a few hours away from the coast, we discovered that we didn't need our sweatshirts any more - it was hot! Steve's parents are super nice and welcomed us with open arms. People have asked me if I was nervous meeting them for the first time, but I wasn't. We had spoken on the phone a few times and I'm facebook friends with his dad, so it was almost like we had met. We had a good time. One day we drove to Crater Lake, stopping at a couple waterfalls along the way.
The next day we went to this awesome drive-thru wildlife safari. You stay in your car and drive around looking at the animals. A couple years ago, they put the dangerous animals behind cages because people were dumb and wouldn't stay in their cars AND because a couple cars got sat on by elephants and rhinos. It was really fun to see the animals roaming around.
On our way back to Utah, we stopped in Portland and spent a few hours with my dear friend and former mission companion, Anna and her two daughters. It was so wonderful catching up with her but I could have used about 2 more days or more to really get caught up completely. We continued on our way, stopping in Baker, OR for our last night on the road. When we got home Friday afternoon, almost a complete week after leaving, we were so happy to be home! We had a few hours to relax before my mom, older brother Corey, and Corey's family came to spend the night.
Sadie loves my nephew and niece and wanted to sleep with Porter instead of on her bed in our room.
We had a wonderful trip to Oregon. It was a lot of time in the car, but between listening to audio books and playing car games and just talking to each other, we managed to enjoy ourselves. Sadie was really good in the car, she just slept. Before we left on our trip, she would get so excited to go for a car ride, and I wondered if spending so much time in the car would dampen her enthusiasm for a bit. Nope, she still loves getting into the car. She loves an adventure, and so do Steve and I, so we're a happy family. I can't wait to go back to Oregon again. It was a blast!