The drive from Crescent City was wild and beautiful! US-199 was a crazy, winding road, but the views were spectacular. We came across a gorgeous river, and when I say gorgeous, I mean squeal with delight and oooooo and aaahhhhh until husband gets your not so subtle hints and pulls over. We found a perfect pull off, just big enough to fit our rig, and jumped out to squeal some more and really take in the remarkable beauty of this river. The color of the water reminded me of the Carribbean Sea, it had a current that energized the air, and the sound of the rushing water soothed me to the core. We decided it was the perfect place to make some lunch before finishing our route.
Eugene, Oregon was a quick stop on our way to Portland… our ultimate Pacific Northwest destination. There is nothing quite like the anticipation of seeing family to keep you on a schedule! As we have said before, we are not very big on planning and schedules, but when there are people we really want to spend time with that have schedules and our kids are bouncing off the walls with anticipation over seeing their cousins, we make a plan and stick to it! We had a couple days until our expected arrival in Portland, and decided Eugene was just the place to stop on the way. It has a fantastic bird sanctuary that we knew our kids would love.
We arrived in the early evening and had a nice walk around the campground before dinner and settling in for the night. The next morning we stopped at Humble Bagel – such a yummy treat!
With full and happy bellies, we made our way to Cascades Raptor Center. This is a lovely, cozy raptor sanctuary nestled in the woods in south Eugene. We walked along the hilly, gravel paths visiting each of the birds and reading their stories. We observed one of the staff members weighing the birds and she talked to the kids about how often she does that and why it is important to track their weight. Both of the handlers were feeding the raptors outside of their enclosures. The kids really enjoyed seeing some of the birds up close and asking questions of the handlers. It’s always interesting to hear what they are wanting to know. The staff were all very engaged with the kids which makes for a much more interesting experience.
After our time with the raptors, it was time to get ready for Portland! We stopped at Sundance Natural Foods to stock up on groceries and then headed back to the campground for dinner and to do laundry. Even on an amazing bus adventure, there’s no escaping the somewhat tedious tasks of daily life. But the kids have a way of making the mundane quite fun. Yay Yay decided to “help” with laundry, providing him with some one on one time with a parent, while bringing his own coins to buy himself a soda. Dooder and Cake stayed back at the bus pretending they were knights and making armor out of the chainmail that we use to clean the cast iron. Quite valiant, don’t you think?