Day 152 – Travel Day

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Day 152 of Year Long Road Trip Along America’s Scenic Byways

Today was very uneventful.  I tried filling up VANilla with gas when a scruffy man in a black hoody came running toward.  I thought, “Uh Oh”.  He says to me, “You can’t pump your own gas in Oregon…it’s a $500 fine!”  Well, then they might want to post some “Full Service” signs on the pump!  So Oregon and New Jersey are in a league of their own on the gas pumping laws. 

Anyway, he finished the job and then I found Portland Bagel Co for breakfast. I hope to find a few more locations when I come back to Oregon.  What interesting flavored bagels including S’more bagels and rainbow bagels.  I could have left with several, but picked Tillamook Cheddar…delicious!

I expected to drive southeast from Coos Bay today.  I’ve been torn about visiting Crater Lake due to the snowy weather.  The end of April is practically summer in Texas, and it is winter in Oregon.  I know the road is open to the crater, but the rim roads are closed.  If I ditch Crater Lake now, I can add a few days in Utah or go to King’s Canyon by Yosemite, and hope that when I return to Oregon in October it hasn’t snowed too much.  Or I can at least do a drive by and know what I will be up against in October and will have gotten a glimpse of the lake if the weather gods aren’t nice this fall.


As I contemplated my route for the day, I returned north to Florence because a saw a laundromat with SHOWERS…brilliant.  I drove 40 miles for a laundromat and showers…haha.  I wonder how many of my readers can make that claim.  $26 later, I was clean, and my three loads of laundry (including sleeping bag and blankets) were clean.  So much sand and dirt had been tracked into VANilla from the rain.  Speaking of rain, it’s raining now.  That volunteer at the lighthouse should be a weather man.  He said, “”It’s rare to get three sunny days in a row.”

After I spent the morning at the laundromat, I tried out the Dungeness crab at a seafood restaurant by the pier in Florence.  I have to admit I was a little disappointed.  It tasted frozen as opposed to fresh, but the drawn butter helped.  Here I met Jill and Greg from Maryland.  They were in Oregon celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary.  They were going to go race dune buggies later.  Hopefully the skies cleared long enough for them.  We had a nice chat about touring Oregon before I hopped back in VANilla and finally drove inland to Roseburg.

jill and greg


VANilla followed the snaking Umpqua River for miles, as I listened to the book, Around the World in 80 Days.  The sea green water flowed between trees standing on both banks as dark clouds loomed above.  Along the way, we stopped at the Rochester Covered Bridge, and finally pulled into the Wal-Mart parking lot where a geocache was hidden just 80 feet from where I parked.  There were way too many muggles warrant searching for it now…perhaps later.

Joseph H Stewart State Recreation Area

The rain subsided briefly and I felt like a short walk so I punched the points of interest in Gina my GPS.  Joseph H Stewart State Recreation Area was only half a mile away.  A very wet nature trail weaved behind a pond which was home to geese and a variety of ducks.  The locals sat in their cars and threw bread crumbs to the birds while I piled on a few layers of clothes and took Petey geocaching in the tall, rain soaked grass.  We found two more caches…one near a bridge and one super glued to a pine cone!  That was a new one for me.

Just as we returned to Wal-Mart, the rain began again, so maybe I’ll look for the Wally World cache in the morning.  ETB.

rainbow over walmart

Map of My Road Trip Across the USA

For a summary about my road trip across the USA, click HERE. For the interactive map, see the below link.

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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned award winning travel blogger and photographer sharing the earth's beauty one word and image at a time.

One thought on “Day 152 – Travel Day

  1. I would recommend Crater Lake any time. My mom used to live in Medford so I’ve been a couple of times. There is a crazy switchback trail down to the surface of the lake, but it is only accessible when the rim road is open. Isn’t it crazy to think that the road is still closed due to snow! Wether you see it now or in October I hope you enjoy it. The Oregon caves are near there and are neat, unless you have seen a lot of caves before. Tell Petey hi from us.

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