Get up from Grants Pass’s Riverside inn early, say 7AM. And I start to think about the trip. It’s about sharing our joy of being closer to nature. And I feel satisfied.
Hannah shared a bed with me last night, and she sleep lean towards me all night. Every time I woke up, I found I’m sleeping on my side at edge of the bed. Being a parents on the road is hard #LOL
We have a nice breakfast this morning. It’s a free breakfast from the restaurant, a old couple sitting beside us talked with us all the time. They recommended river trip to us but didn’t know if they have a plan already. That feels like grand parents, they have goodwill but that’s based on their imagination. We also shared what we feel good yesterday in national park, because their son and son’s finance are planning a trip for today. We found “visiting the Visitor center for recommendation” as the best accustom choice for their son & finance.
The room is on the river side. We found the temperature in Grants Pass is about 90F at day time, so it’s a misinformation that I say the weather is nice here. But we are lucky because we just stay here at night and morning, which have a very nice weather indeed. The river side room should be good for a couple without kids, it’s romantic and easy.
After the breakfast we put everything include our kids onto the minivan. And then hit the road. No coffee today, because I feel my stomach is sleepless last night due to the extra foods last night.
After 1 hour of drive, we stopped at a state park near Rough River. We see a group people drifting and an old man phishing in the river. It’s beautiful and looks like a movie scene. Kids actually just need the rest room here. We can touch the cool river bed, and I really lure for dipping my foot into this cool river and do nothing. But, I need to drive and make the family time fulfilled.
After another hour of driving we stopped at road side and find those amazing summer snow around the road side. This is like 3 miles away from the Crater late national park entrance. There’s another Chinese family playing here. Hannah and Flora enjoys those permanent snow a lot. They just poking snow with stick and compressing them with their feet, kids’s fund are are easy but fierce. We just staying there for 20 minutes and kids are very high! It’s not a wasting of time when you drive, because you are the boss of the trip. You know your kids are the main factor of joy.
After another 10 minutes of drive we entered the Crater Lake National Park. Our national park annual pass still work this month, so it’s free, otherwise it cost $15 to enter this park. This park in Oregon feels like a typical national park, you enter a gate and pay then you enjoy plenty of happiness and wow along the road. We like this better than the weird state park eat all national park day of yesterday. It’s just bitching, nothing affect the good experience elf visiting of national park.
I want to repeat yesterday’s success by visiting the visitor’s center first. So this time I choose the Rim Village Visitor center, because the location looks awesome. But it’s a mistake. The Rim Village visitor center is super crowded, and it’s huge in size, so we wasted 20 minutes trying to find a parking lot here. No luck, we then decide visiting here is a failure, but it’s nothing we should just keep driving along the west rim drive. The awesome scene shocked us at the first stop. We found more people visiting the visitor center then those road side stops, which prove our choice are right.
You should stop at any road side scenic stop here. Each of them are awesome! I will share pictures later. It’s speechless.
The traffic is pretty bad here. We found there’s a long drive under contracture (like 2 miles) near the watchman lookout. So you should expect 20 – 30 minutes wait for your turn to proceed. After a 20 minutes wait. We have a closer look at the wizard island. It has some sapphire colored pool on the island, which is double the density of shades of blue on the lake. That’s more dramatic than Lake Tahoe. The road last another 9 miles after that look out, which is a bit disappointing. But the view doesn’t disappoint us at all, they are amazing!
We arrived at end of west rim road around 3 PM (due to road construction it’s closed there, and it’s no longer a loop drive around crater lake). And then we turn back. We a low on gasoline so we decided to visit the Mazama Village to get some gasoline, that’s the only place available in the park. We took a 5 minutes stop at Steel Visitor Center, and I get my collector badge of national park. We arrived Mazma village around 5:10PM, and the gasoline pump is still working. The couple in front of us did a full car clean up at the gasoline pump before they fuel their car, which take like 20 minutes. That feels like a drama, because that’s really weird because there’s only 2 pump station which can fuel hungry cars 🙂 We didn’t complain, just listen to music and chill out.
We took a dinner at this place. Pizza, soda and kids’s pasta. Food tastes pretty bad 🙁 But we appreciate the service, because you won’t expect series chef working here. We pay a good tip and drive back to city. We choose Medford, because it’s the closest big city near here towards our home.
It took about 2 hours drive to arrive Medford. And 80% of time are signal less along the drive. Which make booking hotel at last minute literally a fact. The drive is beautiful, and we should spend more time and energy. But it’s like a rubbish time for a family this size, monkeys are sleeping like zombie and wife are sleeping like a rock. We booked a Hilton Garden Inn 7 minutes before we arrive there. The main reason we choose this stay is because monkeys asked to do a indoor pool swimming at night. But it’s actually a good thing to the family because this hotel looks very very legit, it’s perfect for a long day.
I went out for 30 minutes personal time and visited a local beer place in middle of nowhere in Oregon. But it turns out awesome. It’s called ]The Rough Growler](http://www.theroguegrowler.com), they provide no food but 51 beers on tap. I have a quick beer flights with 10 beers, after I write each beer the bartender tap it right away. Which is awesome, we explore the menu together, and he gave me at least 5 samplers during the exploring. He told me his all time favorite is Fieldwork Pulp, I literally laughing because it’s also my favorite brewer and it’s definitely an awesome sauce. It’s so so lovely, and I’m surprise that a local Oregon bartender knows it and have his own picture with that beer. Yes, I’m lucky to be a beer lover in Bay area where we have local access to Fieldwork brewery. Their canned beer are more rare than their tap beer I can tell, and whole foods plays an awesome role here. I had Pulp more than 10 pours in Blossom hill whole foods and Santa Clara whole foods tap room this year. They are more than awesome. The beer flights here are great, my favorite are those 2:
– Rogue New Crusty: it’s a golden barley wine, which is an American special Barleywine variety. It’s awesome, super smooth, lighter but full of flavor. It’s still a barleywine but with lighter color.
– pFriem Family Brewers Belgian Strong Blonde. Wow, this is awesome Belgium strong ale plus a triple. It’s floral and super fruity, also strong like hell. I love this fancy ale. And this is not my first pFriem, it’s like my 5th? This is the best so far, and I guess it will be the best from the brewer for a long time. Like Pulp for Fieldwork.
Take with the bartender, it’s nice. Oregon’s beer weather is super hot, it fused to everyone’s blood. Those drinkers here a super casual, not like beer geeks in bay area. It’s more like a life style for them. But the beer service is professional , it’s 51 on tap and bartender are beer lover who is kownledgeable. Price is accessible. The light condition is lovely. They have same beer fight service like we do and you can have 10 beers instead of times of 6 (or 4) beers in whole foods. Which make taking full house much easier. After the impressive beer tasking I drive back to hotel and spend another 30 minutes with kids in pool, because I promise so. Which means I finish those beer like a hurricane 🙂
30 minutes in pool with lovely monkeys feels like a twinkling of an eye. Awesome night! We planned for another hour of pool time tomorrow morning, then we will head home.
This vocation is awesome indeed. Booking hotel at last minute doesn’t waste the family a penny. And it increase flexibility and adventurous for us. Life is random, take your time and spend some time on road.
Now we planned a fancy breakfast at morning, and then hitting the pool again. Having epic food and music on road tomorrow. Feels unreal!