oregon road trip, oregon trail edition

Last year, in the middle of a busy summer and peak wedding season, we took off on an Oregon Road Trip, capturing as much of our beautiful state as we possibly could. There were a couple spots we missed so this year, we hit the remaining two of Travel Oregon’s Seven Wonders as well as some additional adventures.

We started out at The Wallowas, riding the Tram to top for amazing viewpoints and feeding friendly chipmunks and ground squirrels. After two nights of camping and some cold swimming, we traveled through some Oregon Trail hotspots to The Strawberry Mountains. Educational quizzes during the drive kept the kids attention towards some tasty prizes and Travel Oregon patches, and they also had their summer reading challenge to complete.

After a nice night in the Strawberrys, we took the desert route to the Painted Hills and John Day Fossil Beds. My fantasy of impressing the kids with finding a saber tooth cat fossil was dashed but it’s such pretty country and the replicas along some of the trails kept us occupied. 

Our last camp site was at Priest Hole, a spot by the John Day river found at the end of a long and bumpy car ride but in the middle of a painted valley. No campsite is better for kids than when the river is right outside the tent door, and no campsite better for adults than free. 

A night under the stars and sunrise on the painted hills finished our trip. Challenges complete.