Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Oregon Part Two: Portland to Bend

To see related posts in this series, click this link.

Bend, Oregon was our destination today. The iPhone map software said it would take 3.5 hours to get there. With stops, that was pretty accurate.

There are two logical routes to take from Portland to Bend. One is by going south to Salem, then head southeast through the Willamette and Deschutes National Forests. The other route take you through Mt. Hood National Forest and through portions of the high desert. Since both routes we're relatively similar, we took the Salem-two forest route there and would take the Mt. Hood route back.

This was a very pretty, but somewhat desolate route. Once we left Salem we spent hours in a tunnel of trees. There were a few towns here-and-there but most seemed to offer some minor services for campers and tourists. Many businesses along the way were closed-up. Our favorite sign read "Next gas 52 miles" with no last chance gas station near it. Thanks for the help.

There were a couple of scenic stops on the way including one to view Mt. Washington.

Forest fire damage

Here's a five minute video of our ride down, and a reveal of our Voodoo Doughnuts. We miss them already.

In our last post we mentioned that we stayed in the Old Saint Francis School Hotel. At first, Dave wasn't sure about this place - seemed a bit "earthy". But Tripadvisor gave it high marks, and it had a brewery attached to it, so why not? This place was great.

The chain, McMenamin's has a great reputation around the Northwest. The company buys older buildings of some significance, spruces them up, and turns them into unique lodging opportunities. At our hotel we had a microbrewery, two other bars, a lively outdoor beer garden, movie theater with couches and bar service, and a Turkish bath. Yes....a Turkish bath. Rooms had great soap products, robes, and coffee makers. Fresh ground coffee was delivered to your door step in the morning. Every corner of the resort has hand-painted details. Our hotel hallway, which was an old school, was lined with class pictures and had a working old-school water fountain. If there's an opportunity to stay at one of their properties again we definitely will.

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