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July 5, 2012

Our Oregon vacation

The family and I are back home after a terrific vacation and we are tanned, relaxed and recharged. We were in Oregon, a wonderful state with a wide variety of natural features and environments. Starting from San Francisco we drove up to Reno, Nevada and then headed north on Hwy 395 and into the high desert. I highly recommend this route as you travel thru some truly remote and stunningly beautiful scenery. For an Englishman the concept of “no gas station for the next 100 miles” has always been fascinating and we figured that in the 300 miles driven one day we passed thru less human habitation than in our neighborhood. Most of the towns had fewer inhabitants than our cul-de-sac. (25 people).

We then arrived at Bend which has been transformed in recent years from a mill town to a hip resort area perfect for outdoor enthusiasts with top notch skiing (Mt Bachelor (a dormant volcano) was open for skiing this July 4th weekend) and plenty of hiking, whitewater sports, golfing, rock climbing and cycling etc. It is also surrounded by interesting geological formations such as lava caves, petrified forests, volcanic lakes and obsidian flows which we explored over the several days we were there.

One of the coolest thing on our trip was when we were driving thru the remote Warm Springs Indian reservation we decided to try and find ice cream for the kids. So we wandered down a side street when we stumbled upon the annual pow wow, an event with about 3,000 folks with us being almost the only non-native Americans present. There were hundreds in full costume and the dancing was continuous and amazing to watch. We stayed for several hours and the kids were entranced. The old West is still very much alive as when in Reno the Rodeo (the third largest in the country) was in full swing and the Silver Legacy where we stayed was the event hotel so there were (real) cowboys (and girls) everywhere. Then a few days later we were surrounded by real live Indians.

I really did feel like I was in a movie from my childhood (the Ponderosa Ranch is also near Reno) and the natural beauty of the west is still a great inspiration for me.

The photo above is of my kids at Smith Rock where we did a day hike along the river. This spot is popular with rock climbers and we saw many dangling from the steep walls.

Posted by acapnews at July 5, 2012 12:00 AM