On the Road With Doris & Ez

We're going on a road trip!!!! Could be three weeks could be three years, we'll see. Read below to see where we are now.....

Monday, June 23, 2008

Keeping Cool in the Great Northwest

Although gas prices are cramping our style a little, we’ve still logged a few miles since my last post. Our new game plan is to stay put in one place rather than pulling up stakes every five to seven days. That’s why we’re spending over a month just outside of Portland, enjoying the great scenery and weather and visiting with family. Our freshly-minted pharmacist has a new job and apartment here and our other daughter and her family have made Portland their home for several years.

We took a round-about way to get here though, and saw some great scenery. After traveling through the California Gold Country we headed over the Sierras to Reno. Mothers Day was spent driving all around Lake Tahoe and making a traditional “deposit” in one of the many gaming establishments Nevada is famous for. Next we were on to Boise, the newest addition to our list of “Places Where We Could Live.” Our friends Ron and Jennie did a great job of keeping us entertained and busy - we played lots of golf and went on great road trips, including an amazing day visiting the famous Hells River Canyon. The frosting on the cupcake? Jennie and I tied for third place in her ladies’ golf league tournament - Yay!

Our next stop was a change of pace for us. We headed to the plains of eastern Oregon to spend five days at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for some bird watching. (The cowboy photo at the top of the post was also taken near Malheur.) We picked up the birding bug (and a hand-me-down bird book) a few years ago from our daughter, a real birding enthusiast. We’ve been pretty casual about it until we arrived at Malheur, a renowned birding hotspot. After spending at least two days driving s-l-o-w-l-y down this road with our binoculars trained out the window at anything that moved we racked up almost 60 species, including the American Bittern and Sandhill Crane. And it was fun - just like a treasure hunt!

After spending a few days in central Oregon we headed for Dufur (just south of The Dalles) to spend a few days with our kids at their cabin. We hung out, had some great meals, explored the countryside, and took a hike to check out the seasonal creek that flows through their property.

And, as you can see, our amazing granddaughter Nola loves the swing that her papa put up near their cabin.

Now, after a few rainy days, we’re enjoying the beautiful weather in Portland, spending time with the kids, and playing with Nola. Before the weather improved we headed east to spend a couple of nights at Hood River where we played golf, went wine tasting, and checked out the beautiful Columbia River Gorge scenery. Last week we spent an afternoon visiting the wineries in the Willamette Valley and agreed that the wines were wonderful and the scenery was reminiscent of the Italian countryside. We’ve played a couple of rounds of golf at Edgefield, a nearby par 3 course. Since none of the holes is longer than about 80 yards, you can walk the course while carrying the two or three clubs you’ll need and a pint you can pick up at the clubhouse/pub. It’s a fun way to work on your short game. . . (And is it beginning to sound like all we do is play golf and drink wine??)

In any event, we’ll be in Portland for a couple of weeks before heading north to Washington. We also have an impromptu visit to Hawaii planned. Stay tuned for the details. . .