Cali to Oregon Road Trip

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5 days, 800 miles, 1500 photos (that were cut down 80 for this post. You deserve the best.)


My parents wanted to check out Crater Lake, and we thought it’d be an opportunity for a road trip. Pulled the trigger, booked a one-way car rental, four airbnbs, planned three park stops, and off we went.

The Crew

My parents, my wife, and our 8.5 months old son. It was my son’s first major road trip—800 miles drives total. We knew it’s one hell of a drive even for adults, let alone for an infant. So we scheduled our major time on the road around his sleeping schedule (typically 2-3 times a day for 1-2 hours per session)

Props to my wife for planning and pulling this off to near perfection.

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Day 1 & 2

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1:32 PM


Most of day 1 was spent on the road. Nothing too exciting besides Burger King along the way:

The crown here seemed fitting. Not because it’s from Burger King (though, we all love fast food), but because like all infant, this little one had no F to spare. Did things how he wanted and when he wanted. Baby’s just a more adorable way to mask tyrant. Albeit, a cute one here.

3:45 PM


Day 1’s final destination was Redding, CA. We swung by a mom & pop winery—Tuscan Ridge Winery.

Small but quaint spot with lots of outdoor games. Had to reread the rules of Bocce here; it’s not a game I’ve played often in Taiwan.

The ice cold reisling tasted especially good under the Cali sun.

 

 

4:16 PM

 

Yup, they had cornhole, too. You probably can’t tell by my form here, but I was killing it. It’s my favorite recreational activity right below binge watching shows.

 

5:50 PM


This was the belly of the Pit River Bridge.

 

Day 2
8:22 AM

 

 

10:42 AM

This was the only maple among the crowd of pines. It was stunning.

 

12:04 PM—Lassen Volcanic National Park

 

Sorry, droners.

 

1:32 PM

Looped the Manzanita Lake right by the entrance. Was gorgeous. Took us more than 1.5 hours to circle the 1.3 miles lake because I simply couldn’t stop taking pictures.

 

4:20 PM

Embarked on the 2nd trail—Bumpass Hell. 

This was the end of the route. Was a good sight, but felt a bit underwhelmed after witnessed the spectacular views of the volcanic rocks at Iceland.

 

5:12 PM

Lake Helen:

 

5:50 PM

Emerald Lake

 

6:12 PM

 

“The Hot Rock is a giant piece of dacite lava that once filled the Lassen Peak’s volcano crater. The volcano blasted in May of 1915, and this giant rock came down the mountainside. The hot rocks touched off a snow avalanche, and the avalanche carried this 300-ton rock five miles from Lassen Peak. It has been said that the rock was first seen still sizzling forty hours after it ejected from the volcano crater.”

 

 

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Day 3

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8:12 AM

Another early morning start.
Stayed at this barn-coverted house Airbnb with a stunning view. I can get used to waking up to this view every day.

 

11:12 AM

Made it to Oregon!

 

12:42 PM—Crater Lake

This was the main attraction.

 

My shoes took a beating.

They were black.

 

1:50 PM

 

BAM. 

 

3:28 PM

Because we can.

 

Bonbon (my son’s nickname) didn’t have much of a choice here.

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Day 4

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8:02 AM

Spent the night at Eugene, OR. Bonbon seemed to have had a good time.

 

Since our time was limited for the trip, our original plan was to spend the entire day at Portland considering it was my parent’s first time at one of Oregan’s biggest cities. However, after hearing a couple at Crater Lake raving about the beauty of this park called “Silver Falls”, we decided to do a quick detour.

 

11:30 AM—Silver Falls State Park

A full loop at Silver Falls can delight you with 10 different waterfalls. The trail spans 8.7 miles, which was a bit too long for this crew, especially having to hold a 20lb baby. So we took the South Falls loops, one of their classics 1 mile hike with two main falls.

 

Taking it all in.

 

2:24 PM

 

Playing hide and seek.

 

 

5:15PM—Portland

 

 

At Powell, one of the biggest book stores in the U.S.

Bonbon had a good time.

 

But my parents outdid him.

6:08PM

Serra, mm, what store could this be?

 

Ah, of course. When in Rome.

 

At the cannabis legal state with stores as beautiful as this, I had to bring my parents to take a look.

 

Time for a little extracurricular activity.

Let’s just say my mom had a good night sleep.

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Day 5

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11:15AM—Portland Japanese Garden

Last stop. I admire the attention to detail and the intertional blank space that makes Japanese gardening so trainqual and peaceful.

 

1:22PM—Time to go home. By train. 

We booked a one way car rental for this exact moment—an interstate train ride back to Cali.

Amtrak’s Coast Starlight offered sleep pods, dining, and even showers for the long distance travels. Yolo.

 

2:20PM

Boarding.

 

The two persons seating area can convert into a two layer bunkbed.

 

 

This is the parlor train. Also called the viewing train. It’s one of the 6 in existence that was built in 1950s. Five of which were purchased by Amtrak and the 6th one had been purchased by a private collector. The chassis was original besides some slight refurbishing. If you pull down the sheet metal decor on the outside, you can still the original paint and design.

 

 

It was a treat to sit in one of these and enjoy the views along the pacific coast. (but with a roaring baby, it’s a different story.)

 

 

4:40PM

 

 

7:35PM

Lamb rack dinner.

 

10:40PM

Not the most spacious, but it was relatively comfortable.

 

6:12 AM

Sunrise from the train. That’s a wrap. ’til next time.

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