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Old 07-12-2013, 11:58 AM   #1
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2013 30' Classic
Lakeland , Florida
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Utah to Oregon

Hi All,

We are now Full-timing. At present we are in Provo, UT. Our plans are to head to Oregon. We want to go and find some cooler weather , we want to start west of the "Cascade Mountains." My map shows options I-84 and Rt 20 that takes you over the Cascades Range.

Can anyone suggest the best less mountainous route (or others) and areas for cooler weather in Oregon or Washington State now, and milder places to winter.

Thanks and we look forward to your input.

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Old 07-12-2013, 01:56 PM   #2
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Astoria , Oregon
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Freedom Rider -
I-84 will take you all the way to Portland as a four-lane divided freeway. You will lose a fair amount of altitude as you approach the Snake River from the east, and then climb back up on the OR side of the river. There is one major downhill with multiple switchbacks east of Pendleton, then a relatively flat drive along the Columbia River into Portland. Either Highway 26 or 30 will get you from Portland to the coast and be no problem for a trailer.
Highway 20 sees much less traffic.It is a two lane rural road, and it can be quite a few miles between gas stations. West of Bend, however, the roads leading to the coast all are small, quite twisty, and relatively slow. It would be more work with a trailer. The scenery is great however.
Your Ram diesel will have no problem with any of these routes.
Anywhere on the OR coast will work to escape the inland heat. We are consistently about 15 degrees cooler than Portland. While Portland had a week of mid-90s recently, our highest temp was 79. To be in cooler weather, you want to be west of the Coast Range. There are many State Parks on the coast but they get crowded in Summer. You need to reserve spots in advance, or be lucky in your destination choice.

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Old 07-12-2013, 06:16 PM   #3
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I-84 is a good way to go, it takes you through the Columbia River Gorge with scenery you can`t beat. There are some state parks along that stretch to stay at if you needed to. If you go that way, you should visit Multnomah Falls about 25 miles east of Portland. The only downside of I-84 is that it takes you into Portland traffic that gets pretty bad in the mornings and afternoons. From Portland west you can either take Highway 30 or 26 to the coast. The weather here is pretty good right now in the upper 70`s today maybe a bit warmer tomorrow mid 80`s by Sunday and will stay on the warm side for a few days.
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:03 PM   #4
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I84 will be easy. Ditto on Multnoma Falls. I would try and be through Portland before 2pm. We like Cannon Beach RV resort in Cannon Beach and Sea and Sand rv near Depot Bay. State parks in Oregon are great.. Really cool place in Washington called Kalaloch Lodge. no hookups but hard to beat. Sunset Mag did an article on it. Think you can google it. Cheers.
John & Lisa
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:17 PM   #5
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The Oregon coast is your best bet for cool weather, although the mountains can be nice as well. Interesting in that if it's hot in the interior valleys, it can be cool, windy and be foggy at beach level. The Washington coast is nice as well, but not as accessible.

If your thinking about wintering, the entire coast is relatively mild, but you better like rain, rain and more rain. Oh, did I mention that it rains here? We head to Death Valley for a break from the wet!
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Old 07-13-2013, 10:12 PM   #6
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Oregon State Parks are very nice. No matter where you are, it is enjoyable. I might suggest for a side trip before you get to the coast... if you are down towards Salem you give Silver Falls State Park a try. It can be warm there, but it is really lovely. The advice here on making reservations ahead of time is key. Summer along the coast is often very crowded. If you are looking for a bit of sunshine sometime, Brookings, Oregon (close to the California border) is in a small "banana belt" and the weather there is often quite nice.

Have fun!
Mrs. NorCal Bambi traveling in S Tardis ~ from the Great State of Jefferson!

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Old 07-15-2013, 07:38 PM   #7
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where do you want to end up in Oregon? I84 is nice but way out of your was if you want to go to the southern coast for example.
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:10 PM   #8
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Thanks all for your great info on routes and locations. We have now decided to go to Crater Lake by way of Carson City, Nevada as our first stop. We have heard so much about its beauty, we can not pass up this opportunity. Looking forward to seeing many of the sights of your great state. Thanks again, your thoughts are much appreciated.
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:48 PM   #9
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Magnificent place to visit on a clear day

Crater Lake is a magnificent place to see and spend time in. Be aware it's a heck of a climb and plan accordingly. A drive around the lake is also a good idea, plan to take the time.

We were last up there in 1982 or so, July--and there was 10 feet of hard-packed snow on the ground at the summit. Do carefully check weather before going up there--it can be 'not what you expected' with no warning. They do close the road in case of bad weather.
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Old 07-25-2013, 03:53 PM   #10
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Sounds like you'll be taking US 50 across Nevada, "The Loneliest Road". If so, great scenery, but few towns and get gas when you can. Carson City is out of the way to get to Oregon. If you want to see Virginia City, Nev., leave the trailer and take the tow vehicle there for a day trip—narrow road through mountains. If you decide to see Lake Tahoe and road around the lake is mostly narrow, curvy, busy, but again, the scenery is great. US 50 from Carson City to Placerville in Cal. traverses the Sierra Nevada—it is very busy, everyone drives very fast, is curvy and challenging. Check that route for construction on the state website—I think someone posted somewhere about a lot of highway work.

I'd go north from Carson City to Reno on the highway (not through Virginia City), and either go on I-80 over Donner Pass to get to I-5 north, or you can go north from Reno across the desert to the Oregon desert, but I think you'd still have to take some 2 laners across southern Oregon—haven't done that route in quite a while, so I can't remember the route numbers.

Also in southern Oregon is Oregon Caves, a national monument which we found interesting. The state road to there is also not good for trailers, so it would be another day trip. Ashland, Ore., is a nice town to visit also. Going through Oregon's Williamette Valley to Portland can be wet or dry, hot or cool. There are a number of roads to get to the coast where it is much more likely to be wet and cool.

Cannon Beach RV resort is a good stop and my wife loves the laundromat there. We also stayed at the municipal campground in Newport—kind of utilitarian, but it worked fine for us and has a great view of a cool bridge over the harbor. Next to it is a brewery we have heard has good beer, but it was too late to go when we got to the campground. We also like to stop in Bandon, but the RV campgrounds there aren't that appealing. Oregon state parks have a great reputation, though we haven't been to one in about 10 years. North of Cannon Beach, there is an aircraft museum near Tillamuck and the Tillamuck cheese factory to tour. And near Astoria, a park with a replica of the fort Lewis and Clark built to winter when they got to the Pacific.


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