From the Road… Day 1

July 24, 2016 7 comments

Oregon Caves National Monument

San Jose to Grants Pass

July 23, 2016

Miles Driven: 584

Parks Visited: 1


The first rays of light from the sunrise glinted off of the turning blades of the wind turbines as I crested Altamont Pass. The grass in the hills, long dried, even looked like sparkling gold in the morning breeze. And then I realized I left my makeup bag at home. The moment was lost in a frenzy of logic; my brain puzzling out the feasibility of returning home, the cost of replacing the items along the road, and the possibility of daring to go without for several weeks. I had only been gone for 40 minutes and already someone had played a Lost Highway Hazard on me! So, I stopped at some nameless Walmart along I-5 and blearily pickup the basics. Clearly, the 3:15am wake-up call was taking its toll.


Wind Turbines and Golden Hills
Wind Turbines and Golden Hills
Look at beautiful Mt. Shasta or Let's make a deal on that truck!
Look at beautiful Mt. Shasta or Let's make a deal on that truck!

That small incident aside however, I have had a wonderful, if not exceeding long, first day. I have learned that it is in fact possible to drive from San Jose all the way north to Oregon Caves with enough time to spare for a cave tour. However, I neglected to read the fine print on the website, which warns one to make reservations or get their early in the day and hope. The tours are all ranger-led. No ticket. No tour. So, instead I opted to wander around the small site (small up top, not small in the caves). I stamped my notepad (yes, I also forgot to bring my NPS passport). I picked up a couple minor things-I-could-not-do-without (the Oregon Caves Destination postcard activity does, in fact, cost $1 for 1 Souvenir). I listened to the muddy spelunkers from the professional tour talk about how such tight quarters builds confidence (mud – no problem; cramped cave space – problem). And I played a game of Roadtrip! in the famous Oregon Caves Chateau (aka lodge). Yes, that’s right, I actually played a game sitting there in the miniature version of the Ahwahnee.

Now, I’m resting comfortably in this ‘luxurious’ motel, marveling at the fact that I cannot hear the thirty or so young teen children I saw earlier screaming in the tiny pool. Somehow I doubt they all are asleep already. Perhaps choosing Whiskers as one of my in-game passengers was a wise move. Whiskers, after all, is famous and so negates any Accommodations Highway Hazards.


Until tomorrow… from Lava Beds National Monument…


Safe travels!


PS A big shout-out to my friend Bart, who not only reminded me that I was passing within a half a mile from his house, but who was kind enough to donate a diet Mountain Dew to my tired cause. Thank you, Bart, it was great to see you!

Playing a game of Roadtrip! in the Oregon Caves Chateau
Playing a game of Roadtrip! in the Oregon Caves Chateau

Roadtrip! Daily Game

image not available here today

it is available here though


Board Location: Oregon

Happiness: Content (5)

Energy: Peppy (5)

Souvenirs: 1

Money: $24


Daily Synopsis

Hittin' the road at last! Luckily, I drew the Theft card before I actually got the souvenir at Oregon Caves. I took a brief detour to a pleistocene cliff dwellings attraction (just to get rid of it since my Highway card draw was less than optimal), none of us in the car found it particularly enjoyable. After a visit to Oregon caves, I ended my day staying in the lodge.

7 Comments on “From the Road… Day 1

  1. Impressed, Vickie, by the presentation of your blog. Having done several on our longer trips, I never really managed to put photos in. We look forward to reading your daily travel accounts. Travel well. Love from us both.

  2. Thank you, Roger! When I first started blogging a little more than a year ago, I just used WordPress post page, which does allow for simpler picture insertion. Now I’m constructing them more using a variety of plugins that I learned about via Tyler Moore’s ‘How to make a WordPress Website’ YouTube series ( His ideas allow for greater flexibility in presentation, though I think I’m not very lean code-wise. Hope all is well! Thank you again for your support!

    1. Hi I really did! Rats! The area was so beautiful too. Just a hop, skip and a jump from so many of our great national sites. I can’t believe this is the first time I’ve ever been to Oregon. Thanks for the support! I’m on my way to Twin Falls shortly to cross off another state from my ‘never been to’ list.

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