Offroad and on the Trails

Another Oregon Road Trip – December, 2015


Christmas season meant it was time for another Oregon road trip. Because our usual winter trip last year had been delayed until February, this was technically our second trip there in 2015.

The trip was pretty standard. We didn’t blaze any new ground, unfortunately, due to time and family constraints and also some serious winter weather. I had several possible side trips prepared but none panned out, other than one brief exploration of the Siuslaw National Forest. Despite that, we achieved the main goal of the trip which was to spend time with family and enjoy ourselves.

The weather cooperated by keeping things interesting, even if no one but me was excited by the idea of hiking in 70mph wind gusts. Throughout our 10-day trip we experienced plenty of rain as well as fog, many hail storms, snow, sleet, high winds and pounding ocean waves along the coast. I felt a bit like Dr. Who when he said “Has someone been peeking at my Christmas list?”

Besides our usual time in Lincoln City (and overnights in Grants pass) we again spent Christmas at Dan & Kathy’s beautiful log home in Clatskanie, just up from the Columbia River. They’ve had the place up for sale but haven’t gotten a buyer yet, which was good news for us. We sure love visiting their place and it’s a fantastic location for Christmas. We we even blessed with a brief snow flurry on Christmas day, just enough to tick the box for having an official White Christmas.

We made several of our usual stops on the trip – Wild River Brewing and The Train Depot in Grants Pass, Lillie Belle Farms chocolate and Rogue Creamery in Medford, Rogue Brewing’s headquarters and Made in Oregon in Newport, Moe’s in Cannon Beach, McMenamins Sand Trap & Gearhart Hotel, and Tidal Raves in Depoe Bay. One new stop was at Yak’s by the 5, a pricey but very good lunch stop in Dunsmuir, instead of our usual Cornerstone Bakery there. The food there was quite good. For lunch on the way home, we ate just down the street from Ninkasi Brewing in Eugene, and a food truck with a small indoor and outdoor seating area, called Sandwich League. Everything there was also excellent. I imagine that these two places will become new standard stops on our future trips.

On the last day I hit upon the idea of getting lunch in Chico at Sierra Nevada Brewing. Eating there had been on my “to do” list for some time. Unfortunately, when we arrived we discovered that the wait for seating would be an hour or more. Disappointed, we found another pleasant little restaurant not far away, and that worked out well.

One other first for this trip was that we listened to the audiobook of Bill Bryson’s “A Short History of Nearly Everything” on the drive up, With some breaks, it lasted the first day’s drive and up until our lunch stop on day two.


With no real side trips to speak of, we covered fewer miles (about 1,300) than I had anticipated. Because of that, it wasn’t until a week after we got home that the odometer rolled over to 250,000, which was not very poetic. Sorry. I took hardly any video with my GoPros this time, but took a decent amount of photos with them, my dSLR and my iPhone.

Oregon Winter 2015 Road Trip Gallery

January 10th, 2016 at 1:10 am

One Response to “Another Oregon Road Trip – December, 2015”

  1. Snuva Says:

    Ahhh – I really enjoy your annual Oregon trip! The snowy photos of Black Butte and Siskiyou Summit, etc are just fabulous. Especially as this year was snowy, these photos were everything my brain tells me Christmas should be but of course never is in Oz.

    My observational skills are gone; I didn’t notice the wreath on the front of Toyotie until I saw it from the roof in GoPro photos!

    The photos of Allison eating a snowball in the back reminded me that snow does had a taste – it’t not just the taste of water. I remember a sharpness. Sigh.

    You mentioned a Finnish building and Scandinavian settler, and I had noticed in the photo before that there were buildings that looked like they were Falun red with white trim.

    I’m terrible; I hope they never sell the cabin. Even in photos it looks like the perfect Christmas, and I’ll miss it. That tree! In the house in Maryland where we lived until just after my 11th birthday, the living room had a cathedral ceiling. Maybe if I saw it now it wouldn’t seem so big, but we always got a gigantic Christmas tree that went all the way to the ceiling. Magical. And it’s a pupper friendly cabin!!! (Sorry: Carrie can pull off the silly hat. You? Hmmm.)

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