7I remember the trip to Oregon with my dad and sister like it was last week. If you have ever been to Oregon you know how beautiful it is. I’m originally from California, and if you think California is pretty, wait until you see Oregon. I don’t know why, but my dad decided a car trip up to Oregon would be a good summer time vacation. I was 12 years old at the time, and had never driven out of California.
We left our house in Stockton, CA in the early morning, and drove north for the next 10 hours. Along the way up to Oregon, I saw for the first time what the real Northern California cities looked like. Everything above Chico seemed to be absolutely gorgeous. Tons of green trees and forests everywhere I looked. The smell was even vastly different to the city smells I was used to. When we stopped for gas in Redding the smell of the air had a maple leaf taste to it.
Never before had I experienced the peace and serenity of nature before like this. The drive up to Oregon was a long one. During the trip we all had to find a way to not get bored or fall asleep. To my dismay, my dad pulled a detective mystery game where you could only ask yes or no questions to solve a riddle. I wasn’t very good at the game, but my sister took it seriously. It makes sense now, looking back I could see her early criminal justice intellect forming. Ironically, today my sister is a detective.
Once the we entered into Oregon, the geography changed drastically. Our vacation in Oregon was primarily in southern Oregon in the cities of Medford, Bend, and Florence. I wanted to go to Portland because it’s a much bigger city with a lot more to offer, but it wasn’t on the list of destinations for us.
Our first stop in the Oregon trip was Medford. Medford seemed like a nice small town, but certainly wasn’t my favorite. The only thing to do for tourists in Medford was take a mega speed boat trip in the river. Medford seemed a little bland for my taste, to be completely honest. For some weird reason, I remember Medford having a lot of Wal-Mart’s. It’s nothing against Wal-Mart, but every other street we passed seemed to have a Wal-Mart superstore. Medford was only the first city of three we were planning on going to. After leaving Medford unsatisfied, we drove north to Bend, Oregon.
Bend, Oregon was a lot better than Medford in my opinion. Bend seemed to have a small town feel to it, but the way the city was laid out seemed beautiful. There were many hills and mountains nearby, so the appearance from a distance was impressive. The hotel we stayed at in Bend also seemed to help the trip a lot. My dad ended up booking us for four days at the grand Hyatt. The Hyatt was so lavish with all the luxurious amenities you could imagine. The coolest part about the stay was having a river literally run through the whole hotel. Never before have I seen such an amazing art piece of a hotel. There also wasn’t too much to do in Bend compared to Medford, but there was plenty to do at the hotel. There was three pools, a massive gym, game room, and business center. I spent the majority of my time in the jacuzzi by the pool. The good thing about the Oregon weather in the summer, was that it seemed to be comparable to California weather. Nothing seemed too different besides the overall landscape.
After Bend, we drove west to Florence, Oregon which is located on the Pacific Ocean. One of the coolest things about driving in Oregon is having your gas pumped for you at a gas station. I guess it’s state law in Oregon that everyone who gets gas must have a gas station attendant pump the gas. I don’t know what it’s all about. It must be about jobs and taxes, or something else. It was flat out cool having someone else pump your gas.
After leaving we shortly arrived in Florence, Oregon. Years before the Oregon road trip, my dad, sister, and I rode ATV’s in Southern California. The whole point of driving to Florence was to ride on the famous sand dunes they have. Riding around in ATV’s on the sand dunes was the perfect way to end the Oregon road trip.
The drive back was tough. I get motion sickness very easily, and on the way back to California we traveled down the coastline with several cutbacks. I was extremely car sick, to say the least. I couldn’t wait to get back to California, since being in the car the whole trip. Looking back I wish we would’ve traveled up to Portland or Eugene, some of the bigger Oregon cities. It was definitely a good experience, and anyone thinking about going to Oregon should take a trip to Bend and Florence, but be aware of the boring city of Medford.