My company, Mayflower Tours, has a wonderful new tour called Pacific Coast Journey. It is already so popular that they have added another departure to include two in September.
The tour starts in Portland, Oregon, the “City of Roses.” On the first day, there is a welcome dinner at the Rheinlander German restaurant, complete with singing waiters. The next day begins with a city tour of Portland, including the famed International Rose Test Gardens. In the afternoon we take a ride along the Columbia River Gorge; the last river Lewis and Clark journeyed on to get to the Pacific coast. Some of the cliffs rise as high as 2,000 feet. There is a stop at the famous Multnomah Falls, the Bonneville Lock & Dam, and finally historic Timberline Lodge at towering Mount Hood.
To digress, the Great Lodges of the West are awesome sites to visit. Paradise is where you find the lodge at Mount Rainier. There are four lodges in the Waterton/Glacier International Peace Park. All the Western National Parks have wonderful old lodges built in the early 1900’s. Timberline Lodge at Mount Hood is no exception. If you want to know more about the lodges there is a book you can buy describing them all, aptly named, “Great Lodges of the West” by Christine Barnes.
Pacific Coast of Oregon
On the third day, we journey to the Pacific coast of Oregon. We visit the Tillamook Cheese Factory, travel along the breathtaking Three Capes Scenic Drive, and visit the unique Lookout Gift Shop located high above the Pacific at Otter Rock. The views are awesome but one time, I had a man who had Alzheimer’s and he wandered away here. It was a frantic thirty minutes worrying that he might have fallen down the cliff trying to get to the Pacific. I always think of that every time I visit here. (For those wondering, we found him wandering down the road). There is also a stop at the 1873 Yaquina Head Lighthouse before heading to our oceanfront hotel in Newport.
Days 4-7 are packed with excitement. There is a dune buggy ride on the Pacific Ocean at Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. This is a lot of fun but if the wind is blowing, prepare to have your face sandblasted if you don’t have a scarf on. But, don’t women pay a lot of money to have the same effect as a beauty treatment? I’d rather sandblast my face riding on a dune buggy on the ocean. Then it’s on to Crater Lake. (As you probably know, this is another favorite place of mine & you can read about it in a previous article). There is also a jetboat ride down the Rogue River through the spectacular Hellgate Canyon wilderness area and finally a ride through the redwoods along the “Avenue of the Giants.”
San Francisco Bay Area
After a stop in Sonoma touring and tasting at the Korbel Champagne Cellars, it’s off to an inn in Novato for 2 nights. The last full day is touring San Francisco, including the Bay tour.
Our farewell dinner is in San Francisco in the famed Chinatown area. Actually sometime I will write an article about San Fran. You can spend several days there seeing the sights in and about that area and not grow bored. But for now this journey is over, and flying out of San Francisco you can look back at all the sights and attractions you have stored in your memory forever.
Editor’s Note: To read more in-depth about this area, check out Kileen’s book “Journey Beckons”. You can order through her website: www.kileenprather.com or at Amazon either in book format or the Kindle edition. Her latest, “Journey To Port” now also on Kindle.