Maybe I had built up Oregon to be something unattainable and amazing in my mind. Maybe I had set it up to be an overwhelming success. Or, maybe we just hit it at the right time of morning as the sun peeked across the land bringing drama to the cow-covered hills. Whatever it was — the minute we’d made it to Oregon, things seemed to turn a whole lot of beautiful.
While we still had a ton of driving left to do, we weren’t in such a hurry to do it anymore. Even though my driving shift was done, it was impossible to fall to sleep while staring at the gorgeous rivers running alongside the highway. Then, we reached the tree-covered cliffs and all chance of doing anything but stare into the distance was out the window.
A few hours in we’d reached the increasingly standard pee break time without a gas station in sight. Settling on a rest area, we pulled into the most gorgeous campground I’d ever seen — Emigrant Springs State Park. Winding back into the woods, we found ourselves looking straight up through the trees we’d been in awe of from the highway. Up close, they were simply breathtaking. “Next time, we’ll come camping here,” we agreed.
There was a lot of that through the trip. “Next time….” With what turned out to be a 36-hour one-way drive after our stops, rests and explorations, there wasn’t much time left for doing all the things we found ourselves wanting to do.
“When we live here….”
“How much does it cost to live off the grid?”
Emigrant Springs became one of the most notable stops on the trip. One, for it’s immaculate bathrooms. I’ve never in my life seen a more clean bathroom and shower area in a truck stop, let alone a camp site. Two, for it’s sheer beauty. Just a couple miles from the camping area, we took a break at the Blue Mountain overlook. We hiked a bit to see the wilderness from all angles. We were not attacked by bears — although fresh into enemy territory, the threat seemed extremely real.
The amazing find and unbelievable break from the road provided all the excitement we needed to power through to Portland. With just 3 hours left on the road, we couldn’t wait for what would come next.