Carie and I spent a week over the 4th of July road trippin’ in our Eurovan from Denver to Oregon and back. We left Denver early on Sunday July 2nd, after moving our entire lives into a new apartment. Ready to go!

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After an uneventful 8 hours of driving through Wyoming (well, we didn’t stop to eat and Carie thought we were going to starve, so that was an “eventful” discussion until we did manage to stop for food), we arrived at Grand Teton NP a little before sunset.

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We were driving along, stopping to take some pictures, when I found a nice spot to setup the tripod and… popped the big question! She said yes, and now we’re engaged 🙂

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Jet descending into the local Jackson Hole airport at sunset,

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Driving through Jackson and enjoying the tourists,

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We didn’t have sleeping arrangements, so we decided to drive a little more until we passed a campground. We drove over Teton Pass, and on the way down a massive deer ran into the side of the van. Lucky miss, everybody okay and just a scrape in the side panel, but that was enough for us to call it a night.

Yellow fields, somewhere in Idaho,

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Crop duster zooming around,

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Cows on the road in rural Oregon,

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Our first destination in Oregon was to visit Ashland and my Aunt Barb. She rents a small house within 10 min walking distance south of town and had space for us on the floor, it was lovely. We arrived on Monday around sunset and walked downtown.

Tuesday was the 4th of July, hooray! The town goes all out with their parade and celebrations. People reserve spots on main street with blankets and tape days in advance.

Lots of normal floats, 1 about chemtrails, and other fun stuff,

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#preach

We hiked up to the reservoir above Lithia park and cooled off,

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For dinner, we drove up Mt. Ashland and had a picnic. Mt Shasta was clear and beautiful to the south, I couldn’t wait to park and take some pictures. We drove as far as the ski chalet, then hiked a little more up the rough road.

Still some snow hanging around, there to chill my beer,

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Mt Shasta and Klamath wilderness in the waning sunlight,

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Hard to get a clear sense of Shasta’s features without a little color experimentation,

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Sunset, looking towards Ashland below,

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Wednesday morning we packed up and headed to Crater Lake,

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We hiked down to the water and watched people take the plunge,

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We also stopped at the Natural Bridge area before heading north towards Bend. We chose to drive along the Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway, stopping to camp at Lake Davis. We arrived with an hour of sunlight, time to wade in the river.

Interesting little hill view from our campsite,

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Serene,

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It was mosquito hell and we crushed about 1000 of them in the van before going to bed.

In the morning, we took a gander up the forest service road to near top of Davis Mountain. A lot of dead trees, kind of an otherworldly place.

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Davis Lake, we camped on the very south (left) edge,

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We drove north along the byway, passing many lakes, reservoirs, and lava flows.

SUPs on Elk Lake, in front of Mt Bachelor,

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We drove into Bend, had lunch, wandered downtown, and found an access point to the river to go swimming.

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You can get a good view of the surrounding area on top Pilot Butte, on the east side of town. Here we can see Black Butte and Mt Jefferson,

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We quenched our thirst at the Deschutes brewery,

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On Friday, we visited Tumalo Falls and hiked up Black Butte,

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Lots to see on top the butte.

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Three Fingered Jack and Mt Jefferson,

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Mt Jefferson,

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Outhouse with a view,

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Three Fingered Jack with Suttle Lake below,

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Mt Hood and Mt Adams in the distance,

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Broken Top and Three Sisters (one of the sisters is hiding, I think)

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On Saturday, we said goodbye to Bend and headed east towards home. We traveled a different, northerly route home through Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana until we stopped for the night in Bozeman.

We saw someone towing a helicopter (so cool),

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Sunday morning, we drove south and entered Yellowstone. This lone buffalo caused a 20 minute traffic jam just inside the entrance (come on people),

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I thought the crows were pretty big, must be getting some good tourist food,

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We walked around waiting for Old Faithful to erupt, it was pretty cool,

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Watch your step, little idiot billy,

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We drove around Yellowstone Lake and out the east portal, some beautiful mountain terrain,

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Long time viewers of the blog will know I like to keep you updated on everything I eat. We stopped in Cody on our way home for BBQ, it was delicious, I definitely had leftovers, and I had to share 🙂

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In total, we drove some 3332+ miles and spent 59+ hours in the van.

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