Oregon! Finally! The boyfriend was snoozing and asked me to wake him when we were close, but by the time I realized we were on the border we had passed it, so I turned around to get a photo. Other than being full of stretches of beach interspersed with stretches of redwood and sequoia forest, the drive along the Oregon coast was uneventful.
But very scenic.
There were a few really old and beautiful bridges that we drove on, each with a date later than the bridge before it, showing a very real timeline of the history of Oregon. And we passed lots of lakes and rivers. One of which (we saw as we passed over one such bridge) we could see emptying into the ocean. Weren't able to get a picture but we could see exactly where they met by the colors and mineral differences. So cool.
Almost like a postcard.
We drove up the Oregon coast for a couple of hours and then when we left we drove East for almost an hour, and saw lots and lots of lakes, rivers and forests. No wonder people there are so into outdoor activities: there's just a lot to do. We didn't get a picture of them, but the area we were staying in is known for the dunes where people ride quads. Some of the dunes were the size of small mountains. My cousin asked if we could stay after the wedding to hang out and ride quads and I'd said yes before accepting my job, and once I was there and saw how much fun it looked like I was sad we had to get back so quickly.
This was fun!
All of the roads were windy and slowed us down. It was a lot of fun driving up there, though, especially in a new car that could corner pretty well. There were stretches like this, of open road where you could see the ocean off to the left, and stretches going through shadowy forest. Very beautiful.
That part of Oregon, the part right off the 101, is all about camping and activities in nature. After a few more hours of driving we got to Winchester Bay, the area my cousin was getting married, and 4 miles after that was Reedsport, where our hotel was (which is a whole 'nother story, totally worth reading if you ever plan on staying in a hotel). Winchester Bay had 1 exit off the 101, making it easy to miss if you weren't paying attention.
Oregon coast. Less beachy than California, but just as beautiful.
We left before 7am Sunday morning after the wedding, when almost no one was on the road. I filled up at a gas station before we left... well, I went to two gas stations that looked open before finding one that was. And when I got out of my car to pump the attendant was standing right next to my car expectantly. He asked what I wanted and I said I was just going to fill up. I was a little creeped out. He said he'd do it and before I could protest he said he had to because it was state law. He probably noticed my California license plate, or my completely dumbfounded expression, because he explained that New Jersey and Oregon had this law and were the only states to outlaw pumping your own gas. So, I stood there awkwardly while someone else put gas in my car. A truck pulled up at another pump and the driver stayed put, waiting for the attendant. So this really was a thing. So weird. A few hours later I got out of my car again and pumped my own gas. Like a normal person.
The drive back was a bit rough and not something the boyfriend and I are planning to do again. Three hours of Oregon and alllllllll of California. Like, everything except for about 20 miles. Through Bay Area traffic, grapevine traffic, lane closures, and goddamn LA traffic for almost 17 hours. The plan was to get a burrito as soon as we arrived in San Diego but that didn't happen until midnight and I'd been trying to sleep for several hours. If we'd been able to break that drive up into two days it'd have been a thousand times better, but I had a job to get back to.
But it was a fantastic experience and a few great and not-so-great stories came out of it. And the boyfriend and I finally went on a trip together, finally stayed in a hotel together, finally went to a wedding together, finally spent a whole week together. 10/10, would do it again.