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Lessons Learned

25 Jun

Have kitties, will travel.

  1. Today, we traveled about 400 miles. Castor and Pollux would like you to know that they are done after slightly less than 300 miles.
  2. Check the contents of your MP3 player before just letting it shuffle songs, lest NIN’s “Closer” come on.  Oh, the lyrics you never want to have to explain to a five year old.
  3. The Thomas Condon Paleontology Center is an amazing rest stop to take while traveling across Oregon.  Clean restrooms, with changing tables, are just the beginning.  We managed time watching the paleontologists at work through windows in the center, plus a walk through the museum exhibits of fossils they have found.  Moon even scored some coloring pages from a friendly Park Ranger (“Look mom!  Bunnies used to have long tails!“).  Outside, you have sweeping views of the Painted Hills, and birds have built small mud-nests into the sides of the building itself.  The Center is only open 9am – 5pm, and the fossils are almost all mammals — kids looking for T-Rex will be disappointed.  The only complications for our group were the lack of crawling space (9 month olds do not seem to be their target audience), and making sure the kitties stayed cool in the parking lot (we lucked out with the overcast day).
  4. Remember when your hotel was a place to relax and unwind after a long day of travel? Yeah, that was before you were spending your time trying to keep infant twins who have been cooped up in car seats all day quiet for the sake of your neighbors.  Please get sleepy soon, little guys!
  5. Hey look!  Time change! We just lost an hour.  I have to get up earlier tomorrow morning?

12 hours or so later, we made it to Idaho.  Next stop, Utah!

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Where We’ve Been: Oregon

25 Jun

Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon’s northern and eastern boundaries respectively. The area was inhabited by many indigenous tribes before the arrival of traders, explorers and settlers who formed an autonomous government in Oregon Country in 1843; the Oregon Territory was created in 1848, and Oregon became the 33rd state on February 14, 1859. Salem is the state’s capital and third-most-populous city; Portland is the most populous. Portland is the 30th-largest U.S. city, with a population of 582,130 (2009 estimate) and a metro population of 2,241,841 (2009 estimate), the 23rd-largest U.S. metro area. — Wikipedia

Oregon was a magical place when I was a girl. In Oregon, my sister and I flew alone to visit our aunt, who provided such enticing forbidden fruit such as trips to Dairy Queen and no bedtime. Somehow, the state has never lost it’s magic for me (even after today’s drive, more on that later). A truly beautiful and amazing place, and I hope we make it back soon. Thanks for the memories, Oregon!

Days of Rest

24 Jun

Readying the Canoe at Hosmer Lake

It’s been blissful — a week without travel, just spending time with family in central Oregon. A chance for the kids to run and crawl around, for the cats to stretch their legs, and for us grown-ups to have family around to have our backs! It’s really hard to think about all of this coming to an end tomorrow, but we’ll have a long travel day ahead of us. If all goes as planned, we’ll see you in Idaho tomorrow night.

And if you’re ever in central Oregon, stop by the awesome High Desert Museum outside Bend, OR. They have native wildlife (grey fox, river otters, bald eagles, a lynx, etc) and plant life, plus play space for kids and ‘living history’ exhibits. So fun to watch Moon’s eyes when we explained that a covered wagon was your moving van circa 1860 or so. Pick up a bottle of their awesome Huckleberry BBQ Sauce while you’re there.

There is so much more in the area I wish we could have done — crater lakes, lava caves… Just a fantastic place to be. More pictures after the cut, for those who want a taste of what we’ve been up to.

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Planning your own trip? Some useful links.

23 Jun

Another rest day in Oregon for the crew — spent Yesterday canoeing on Hosmer Lake, a wonderful camping and fly-fishing spot.  Still learning Oregon mountain names (Bachelor, The Sisters, Brokentop, etc), and loving the chance to enjoy the outdoors here.  Moon is loving ‘helping’.  She helps grown dandelions in her Grandmother’s yard (she is watering them faithfully),  helps make whipped cream and blueberry pies (“I try the cream and say it needs more even though it always tastes good”), and helps with drawing/coloring/writing (her Grandmother found a Make Your Own Little Golden Book which has been very popular).

And the boys?  They are just thrilled not to be in their car seats.

It’s the little things…

21 Jun

-because currently that’s about all we can do on the fly: Blogging-wise, all we can do with our current phones and plan is post to TwitPic. Much of the first 400 miles were outside of cellphone signal, but cellphone camera photos snapped along the way are posted when possible.

Here’s me.