When I was little we would make the 9 hour drive up to my grandpa’s summer home in Oregon every year. Located between Eugene and Springfield, surrounded by evergreen Douglas firs, the summer home is the perfect place to escape the world. As children, even when internet and cell phones became a common part of life, they had no place up in Oregon. I remember walking down to the reservoir as a teenager to get service on my cell phone to text my friends. More commonly, however, you’d find me and my sister lying under the fan upstairs, reading the many library books we’d check out before our drive up. I don’t think I quite appreciated the peace and simplicity of those summers in Oregon, so I am glad I was able to experience it as an adult earlier this month. Even better, I was able to share it with Sam and my sister with Arthur.
My grandpa has had a few health scares recently. It’s a long story that I won’t get into, but it has left him longing for a visit to Oregon to see his property. I discovered Allegiant Air recently started offering nonstop flights from Oakland airport to Eugene, which is a teeny tiny airport. In the past, nonstop flights were very expensive and rare, which meant my mom often flew through Portland and spent just as long flying as she would have driving. Allegiant flights were ~$100 roundtrip and nonstop, so it seemed like a no-brainer to offer to fly my grandpa up for a weekend. My mom and dad ended up driving my grandma and aunt up and my uncle and cousins drove down from Portland, so it was like a family reunion!
We managed to hit the highlights of Oregon with a visit to Clear Lake and Sahalie Falls, along with nights filled with card games and shaved ice with blackberries picked from the backyard. We even threw in two visits to my coworker’s favorite blueberry farm. If you’re near Eugene/Corvalis in July and August, I highly suggest checking out Radke’s Blueberry Farm! If you want to buy blueberries, you’ll have to order them ahead of time, but you can stop by and pick them yourself for just $1.50/lb. It was super fun and the blueberries were absolutely delicious!
Clear Lake is one of the most incredible places I’ve ever been. As the name would suggest, the water is insanely clear, allowing you to see the trees that were killed thousands of years ago when a volcano erupted and created the lake. You can rent a boat by the hour or for the entire day and paddle around the beautiful lake.
On our way home we stopped by at Sahalie Falls, just a mile or so down the road. This year, Sahalie Falls was particularly big due to all the rain Oregon got. I can’t imagine what it was like in the spring before the sun tamed the waters a bit! There’s a lovely spot where you can see the falls, but the coolest part is taking the quick hike up to the top and crossing the log to stand right at the edge of the waterfalls.
Finally, one of the quintessential activities from my childhood memories of Oregon? Picking blackberries and walking down to the reservoir. It was definitely a little awe inspiring to see how much the trees have grown since we were little. I remember when the trees were shorter than I am, and now they tower over us on either side of the road. I’m definitely a California girl… but there’s something amazing about Oregon. I’m so glad I was able to share my version of summer in Oregon with Sam. Hopefully, next time we’ll take a longer trip and can drive to the Oregon coast.