Friday, October 4, 2013

Our travels: Oregon & Washington

We got back from the Pacific Northwest earlier this week, and like I had mentioned on facebook - we have never been so happy to be back in the midwest! We came home to sunny skies and high 70's, ahhhh! Despite the terrible weather, unreal traffic backups, Crater Lake being entirely covered by dense fog, and our flights being canceled on us TWICE.....we did have a fun trip! Here are some highlights...

I don't know if my expectations were way too super high for this trip, but I can't help but feel a little let down by our exploration of the great Pacific Northwest. Maybe we crammed in just a little too much for 10 days, I don't know. Oregon and Washington have always been two places I couldn't wait to explore, so I was so excited to finally be able to make the trek out there. I can't really put my finger on why I was a little disappointed in the trip, I guess it just didn't live up to the hype in my head. BUT, we did see some very very cool things. Here are some of my favorite things/places we encountered on our adventure.


I gotta hand it to these two states, the old signs, especially the neon signs, were some of the best I've ever seen. And I should know a good sign. Adam and I have traveled all over the country in search for great old signs (hotels, bars, restaurants, etc.), and other than old Route 66, OR and WA had some amazing signs, and as a bonus, most of them were in impeccable condition. Not only were old signs kept up nicely, but a lot of new businesses also embraced the art of having a great sign. That's just something you don't see much of here in Wisconsin. So, I was in heaven capturing all those beauties.
The photos above are of "High Dive" bar in Seattle and "Pink Elephant Car Wash" in Seattle


Umm when you have a giant Paul Bunyan and Babe the blue Ox greeting you at a tacky tourist trap, you are destined to be a classic my book. And that is exactly what this place is. "Trees of Mystery" is actually in northern California (Klamath), but we knew we had to make the slight detour, and boy was it worth it. Sure, I may be biased considering I have an unhealthy love for all things Paul Bunyan. No judging.


One of the big hopes I had before we came out here was that there was going to hopefully be a lot of bigfoot stuff, and boy did I hit the jackpot. Both OR and WA were Big foot plentiful, and even though we didn't catch a glimpse of the majestic beast, we did get to read about encounters in "Bigfoot encounter diaries" in some local gas stations.
Above giant Bigfoot statue is at the "Buried A-Frame" near Mt. St. Helen's in Washington


One of the nights along the coast we were running behind schedule and weren't able to get as far as we wanted to. But that turned out to be the best thing ever, because we ran across the little town of Long Beach, WA. Not only did this town have the world's largest frying man (Score!), and the amazing "Marsh's Free Museum"(which has "Jake" the alligator man), Long Beach is home to the coolest hotel ever - Adrift Hotel. It was right on the beach and we had the best views of the ocean from our awesome room. This hotel is everything other hotels are not, which made it thee best. Highly recommend!

Yep, actual treehouses you can stay in! There is really no need for me to explain why this is so awesome. Our treehouse for the night unfortunately didn't have a toilet, but it did have a sink, and there was a full bathroom in the commons area on the ground floor. This place was awesome.


Of course, we tried a ton of beer on our trip. duh. "Base Camp Brewing Company" in Portland and "Rogue Brewery" in Newport, OR were by far the best. Base Camp was a small brewery with a ton of awesome branding and even cooler tasting room. But thee best ever was ROGUE. Sure, Rogue is a huge brewery, sold all over the country, and we weren't actually expecting to be as cool as it was. The brewery itself housed a pub and restaurant, where you had to walk through all the brewery equipment. We kind of accidentally wandered in on a cold and rainy night, and it turned out to be the best surprise ever!
I know this might be kind of blasphemy to say, but the beer out there wasn't as good as I thought it might be. I know, I know, I'm crazy, blah blah blah. But for 2 states that rule the world in craft breweries, I was a little disappointed. Again, maybe my expectations were too high, I don't know. But, I've had better.

Overall, we had a great time out in Washington and Oregon, and I will probably share some more photos of all the awesome signs I discovered later on. Have a happy weekend!

First picture header is along the Oregon Coastline


Jessica said...

Come back! In the summer! There's wondrous stuff to behold, and even better beer to be had. It really is an amazing land of beer out here, I promise.

Similarly: a few years ago we took a trip to Portland over Christmas figuring we'd LOVE it, but we had an awful time and couldn't figure out what we did wrong. Awful traffic, getting lost, and bad weather were totally the culprits. So come back sometime, truly, you guys came during the most awful weather imaginable.

PS: That hotel in Long Beach sounds awesome. We need to check it out!

Tara said...

Yes and yes. We definitely want to come back and will without a doubt come back in summer! I had a feeling I might have pushed my weather luck with booking a trip in mid Sept. But it was still good to get a little introductory taste of the area. We still have a buttload of breweries to visit, so we will be back! ;)