Day 69: Sunday, August 8th, 2021

I was so exhausted last night that I was out cold by 9 p.m…and then slept through the night until 6 a.m. A FIRST for me in a while, pretty sure I needed it. This hotel room feels like I am staying at a friend’s home, the bed is super comfortable, everything is decorated, just feel’s nice. It was my day off from working out, so it was nice to just take a slow morning and snail pace it for my day.

I headed out by 8:30 to catch the opening of the “Lava River Cave” right at it’s 9 a.m. start. I’ve learned that on the weekends, especially this summer, to get to ANYTHING right at open to assure my self of a spot or chance to see it.  I got there about 5 minutes to, and there was a huge line of cars waiting for them to lift the gate.  So I just played on my phone until they let us in, and then it was park and line up.  They count out so many people, then space it out that one group get’s the information about the Cave, and another group lines up for the next briefing.  A third group is then waiting back on the road, where they intermittently put the gate down during the day to space out the groups. Online it was STRONGLY recommended to wear layers to go into the cave, so I wore my brand new Forks sweatshirt.

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

They had us all sit down and explained to us all about the Lava River Cave and how it was formed. When the  “Newberry Volcano” erupted over 75,000 years ago, it sent lava down it’s cone and it formed lava tubes. These tubes were formed by channels where the lava flowed over and over again, eventually cooling by the surface. The cave was born from these tubes, and if the volcano erupted again, this cave would fill with lava the same way, making them bigger.  It cost $5 for a parking pass, or INCLUDED if you have the “America the Beautiful” NP annual pass.  They offered a lantern to be rented for $5, and I was ALL about that!  They hold your car keys until you return it, apparently someone had sticky fingers in the past. Once you have your lantern, or bring your own light source, it was time to take the walk down to the cave and then IN the cave.

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

It is SELF-GUIDED, which I was THRILLED about! You can take your time, but you don’t want to spend to much time away from the groups- it is INSANELY dark down there.  I was so happy I rented a lantern, because a dinky flashlight or my phone light wouldn’t have done anything, the darkness just eats any small light.  You walk down these steep, steel steps, which feels like forever, until you get to the bottom and then it’s watching your step for the mile in and out. It take about an hour or more to walk to the end and back, but oh so worth it. Terrifying, exhilarating, 42 degrees, and dark.  I explored on the way in and on the way back I ghost hunted. Yes, with ZERO wifi, my ghost app was picking up all sorts of words. The most interesting was “Gone person.” It was crazy scary and I LOVED IT!! 

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

IMG_7340 (1)

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave

IMG_7235 (1)

Once up and out, I headed to the Newberry Volcano which is located close by. I decided to hike it after a lovely sit in the parking lot with my granola bar, powerade, and a cool breeze today. It was so incredibly cool to see all the lava rock, the way it formed the earth, how life grows amongst it today, and it’s set amongst the backdrop of the “Three Sisters” Mountain Range. I had to get a pic of me touching lava…just so incredible.  Yes, she is an active volcano that is monitored every day. It was a first for me to be on a volcano, seeing lava, and experiencing the cave that was formed by the lava as well. You may think our planet is in the crapper right now, but I am telling you, I have seen things that tell me otherwise and a beautiful God that has hand designed it all.

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

IMG_E7270

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

Newberry Volcano

On the way back into town, I saw a Walmart and I tell you, seeing that or Target is the best site in the World. I am ALWAYS replenishing supplies, but I was particularly looking for solar lights to post in my campsite coming up. I got the idea online and I was like OH that is genius!! So I stop at the Walmart here in Bend, Oregon, and I can’t even describe to you what I saw, but I’ll try.  I walk into the produce area first, hoping to grab a salad for dinner tonight in my room.  All of the produce is moved to the middle in small coolers, and everything else is covered- all the big coolers have shower curtains over them. Ok, probably lost power, coolers went out, whatever right? Then I start walking around the ENTIRE store, looking at what I might need coming up here, and I notice that you can’t cross to the other side of the aisles….they have boxed merch lining every middle space. I mean, pallets and pallets of stuff. I get to the Lawn and Garden section, and I see this MASSIVE pile of boxes there. I saw a Walmart employee and asked “What the heck is going on in your store?”  He said it wasn’t staffing, he said all of it happened the last couple of days, stuff just keeps coming. I mean, LOOK at the pic I took…WHY do they have so many fans lining the shelves above this mess??? He was so nice, went and found me some solar lights, and I thanked him over and over again.  I was happy to leave tho, it was a really off vibe there.

Walmart Bend Oregon

Dropped by Blockbuster a second time for some more merch for others, grabbed myself some drinking glasses and stickers that I missed the first time.  Then headed to Panda Express, another beacon of light when I was starving and just wanted some comfort food.  They haven’t had their dining rooms open across the U.S. since I have been on the trip, so it was sitting in my hot box of a car until I had my Chinese goodness. 

QMUK3748

IMG_7357

IMG_7356

Nothing I love better than getting back to my hotel room with good food to eat, an accomplished day, a phone full of memories, and fun souvenirs that will be shipped out this week to the family.  So I have enjoyed my late afternoon here in the room, and will head out to Idaho tomorrow.  It’s been fun Oregon, a beautiful state!

This is what I do for a living, so every donation helps!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! Spreading the kindness is my goal on this amazing journey, and I thank you for helping me make magic for so many people. So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

Day 68: Saturday, August 7th, 2021

As I wrapped up my stay at Sisters Inn and Suites, I was almost depressed to leave this one.  Probably the largest room I have had so far, and it was so nice to have a kitchenette to cook food on. Loved the free upgrade, the huge king size bed, and being able to park outside my door.  I booked all of these hotels months ago, around March, so I got some killer good prices because a lot of them were hurting due to the pandemic.  Booking so many hotels, there is bound to be a mistake at some point right? Keep reading.

Sisters Inn & Suites

IMG_7154

Check-out was fine, they give you a snack bag instead of a breakfast. I said goodbye to Sisters and headed to Bend, Oregon for the weekend.  Since I couldn’t check in until 3 p.m., I headed to the High Desert Museum located on the outside of town.  I got there right at opening at 9 a.m., figured it was a Saturday and it may be busy so I got the closest spot and paid my $17 to get in.  (Masks required here). This was an interesting place….part Museum, part zoo, part farm, and all among the forest which they just had a control burn in.  I am an otters fan, so I went and watched them for a while, then headed to the Birds of Prey Center and took pics of the owls, and then got lost back in the sawmill/farm area.  It took me about an hour and a half to tour the entire place, beautiful grounds, cute animals, definitely worth the money. (Also take note of the tower of handmade blankets).

The HIgh Desert Museum

The HIgh Desert Museum

The HIgh Desert Museum

The HIgh Desert Museum

The HIgh Desert Museum

The HIgh Desert Museum

The HIgh Desert Museum

The HIgh Desert Museum

The HIgh Desert Museum

The HIgh Desert Museum

The HIgh Desert Museum

The HIgh Desert Museum

The HIgh Desert Museum

The HIgh Desert Museum

The HIgh Desert Museum

Now this next stop….this seemed to be the one that MANY who knew I was here wanted to see me report on. THE LAST BLOCKBUSTER ON THE PLANET located here in Bend, Oregon! Yes, the one you heard about on John Oliver’s show, and the Netflix series. I can tell you it was like walking through a time warp as you push open the door and the yellow and blue smack you in the face!  Videos and DVD’s line the shelves, a mini-museum with a shrine to the old and new of what has happened at this store, and od course, they have gotten smart and sold merch as the last one standing.  My arms were FULL of stuff!!! So much I may head back tomorrow and grab some other items too. It’s the last one, it’s special, you know? The video is on The Relocated Tourist Facebook page, check it out! It was everything I had hoped for, and I encourage everyone to try to get to this store to just get the “feels” one. More. Time.  I even got lucky to see the owner pop in, she waved and then left. LOL

The Last Blockbuster

The HIgh Desert Museum

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

 

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

The Last Blockbuster

Next I headed to the downtown area, happy to find easy parking. And I just walked, and walked.  I was hoping to find lunch, but nothing was sounding good. As I was getting hotter in the sun, I just wanted to chill somewhere with a drink and just BE for a while. I found a little café on the banks of Drake Park, a beautiful place. So I sat, I enjoyed, and I just relaxed.

Bend Oregon

Bend Oregon

Bend Oregon

Bend Oregon

Bend Oregon

Bend Oregon

Bend Oregon

Bend Oregon

Bend Oregon

Bend Oregon

Drake Park Bend Oregon

Drake Park Bend Oregon

Drake Park Bend Oregon

Getting pretty hungry, I put in my GPS the familiar spots that I was hankering for.  MOD Pizza came up, a FAVORITE of mine in Illinois, so I stopped and ate inside…it was heaven.  What do I get on my pizza? Extra mushrooms, onions, sausage, cheese, and red sauce. I didn’t think I could eat the medium, but decided it was lupper and made peace with every bite.

Bend Oregon

Bend Oregon

So, I get to my Motel for the evening. Remember, I booked these MONTHS ago.  I am checking in, and they have NO record of me. Of course. I look up my records, and for some reason I had booked tomorrow and Monday, and not this weekend.  Embarrassed, I asked if I could move it to this weekend instead. Sure, but it cost me greatly. He wouldn’t honor my online prices, but today’s going rate, $100 more!  I just said “ok” and trudged to my room. I closed the door and had a good cry….feeling stupid. I worked so hard on this trip, and I just can’t afford a $100 mistake, so it hurt and it hurt that I was alone to deal with it.  Yes, I am capable, but sometimes when you feel down and stupid, you want that physical presence of a hug that says “It’ll be ok, it’s just money.”  So I am tucked in for the evening, trying to still calm down from my stupidity and now checking all the rest of my bookings coming up.  There are days I wish I had had an assistant to keep all of this straight. Anyways, I will live, but that was my day. See you tomorrow.

The Last Blockbuster

Thanks for your donation…..it helps me out when I need it most.

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! Spreading the kindness is my goal on this amazing journey, and I thank you for helping me make magic for so many people. So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

Day 67: Friday, August 6th, 2021

Another hotel room, another new bed, another restless night. You’d think you get used to life on the road, but I think it ebbs and flows. I try to stay positive, enjoy every moment, good or bad- but I am human and I get lonely sometimes. All of my loved ones have been checking in, and that helps me quite a bit, but I find that its in the quite moments I can start to overthink sometimes.  It passes, I am good, but it’s pointful to note it because this blog has become my living journal and photo album of my trip.  With that being said, I needed a mental health morning. I was getting up slower than usual, very sore, so I tried to just take it easy. Still got my routine in, happy that I did, and finally out the door around 9:30 a.m.

Located in the Willamette National Forest here in Oregon, lies several beautiful waterfalls. I headed to the easiest to find, which was Sahalie Falls, about 30 miles outside of Sisters. The drive was spectacular among woods and Mountains. The drive takes you past Mt. Washington, with a great overlook to stop and take it all in. 

IMG_6922

IMG_6921

Sahalie Falls is free to visit, but has limited parking. It is an easy walk on paved sidewalk to view it, and you can view it from afar or hike to the bottom or top.  Great for families and any age, and the sight takes your breath away.  HIGHLY recommend this if you are in the area!

Sahalie Falls

Sahalie Falls

Sahalie Falls

Sahalie Falls

Sahalie Falls

Sahalie Falls

Sahalie Falls

Sahalie Falls

Sahalie Falls

After the Falls I drove back in to town, found free parking, and started to just walk. Only 66 degrees out when I started, it was just a beautiful day to shop their fun Main Street. I LOVE when a town makes their garbage cans something special, the streetlights too!  Looking for stickers, found some amazing finds at an Antique Store, and then saw these beautiful pieces or iron work outside between the stores.  As I approached what looked like Cinderella’s Carriage, a family was there getting a group shot.  Because I am on this kindness quest, I offered to take their entire family pic. (What MANY of us have been conditioned to do when in Disney World all the time).  We got to talking, they live in Bend (my weekend plans), and it was such a nice interaction with strangers now friends. Walter was not a long, but he would have loved to have met them. They gave me great advice on my weekend plans, where to park this weekend, and what to see. I AM EXCITED!!  I took pics with the family and told them to check out the blog tonight- so hello new friends!! Thank you for being so kind to me, it meant a lot!

Sisters Oregon

Sisters Oregon

Sisters Oregon

Sisters Oregon

Sisters Oregon

Sisters Oregon

Sisters Oregon

IMG_6907

Sisters Oregon

Sisters Oregon

Sisters Oregon

Sisters Oregon

Sisters Oregon

Sisters Oregon

Sisters Oregon

Sisters Oregon

Sisters Oregon

Sisters Oregon

Sisters Oregon

Sisters Oregon

IMG_6897

Sisters Oregon

Sisters Oregon

Sisters Oregon

Sisters Oregon

Sisters Oregon

Sisters Oregon

Sisters Oregon

With such a lovely boost to my day, I felt like I was walking on cloud 9. I felt amazing to meet more new friends, and the sun shining felt so good on my skin.  After getting the area done, I wanted to grab a burger at “Sno Cap Drive In” which just SCREAMED Route 66 to me!  A popular foodie destination, I ordered a Mushroom and Swiss with onion rings, and found a table to grab some shade while I waited for my food.  A couple walked up and asked if they could share my table for the shade, and I said “Of course!” Well, ya’ll should know me that I don’t sit in silence. So we of course talked, and I got to know them…so hello to Jerry and Margie who not only were VERY kind to me, but also prayed over me and my travels (and fixing my ac). GREAT interaction, strangers now friends, it made my lunch so much better and I thank them for their kindness in talking to me and making me feel welcome in their space and lives.

Sno Cap Drive In

Sno Cap Drive In

Sno Cap Drive In

Sno Cap Drive In

SIDE NOTE: I found out that they ONLY do FULL SERVICE Gas Stations here and in New Jersey. Apparently it’s State Law that you are NOT allowed to get your own gas. On the way here yesterday, I had stopped at a 76 Station and the guy walked up and just started opening up my gas cap. I got out and said “Woh woh, I can get my own gas thank you.” Now, he didn’t say anything about why he was there, and I didn’t feel comfortable with him touching my car. I paid at the pump like I normally do and got the heck away from that station. WELL come to find out after talking with new friends who live here in Oregon, that it is STATE LAW that you CANNOT fill your own gas here. WHO KNEW??!? We laughed about it as I told them my story from yesterday, so embarassing. LOL And now you know, and knowing is half the battle!!

Headed back to the Hotel, took a nap, heated up my leftovers from cooking last night, and now writing this.  Have to pack up tonight to head to Bend tomorrow….perhaps Ill need to rent a video somewhere there…..stay tuned!

This is what I do for a living, so THANK YOU for donating to my hard work.

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! Spreading the kindness is my goal on this amazing journey, and I thank you for helping me make magic for so many people. So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

Day 66: Thursday, August 5th, 2021

After such a chill day yesterday, it was almost disappointing to have things to do today. I have more rest time coming up, so I got into my routine right away, and checked out by 9:30 a.m. Cold is almost gone, just that last, little stuff is left…annoying but oh so thankful that it wasn’t something more serious. Fun side note, today marks the longest road trip I have been on thus far. The 2018 road trip lasted about 65 days, so we are now in new territory folks, it’s getting exciting!!

The idea for today was to hit a really cool, old place that I had seen my boys on “Ghost Adventures” investigate. This small theme park is hella haunted, so I couldn’t wait to play in the tunnels and see if I could get anyone to talk to me there.  Making sure I avoided Portland, I drove around it to get to Turner, where “Enchanted Forest” lives. Owned and operated by the Tofte family since 1971, generations of families have made their pilgrimage to this sweet theme park over the last 50 years. (Yes their 50th anniversary is this weekend).  Thankfully I did my research yesterday and learned that I had to not only buy my ticket online for today’s date, but also reserve the time.  They are closed a couple days a week now due to short staffing, so look ahead and reserve accordingly. 

I went in at my ticketed time of 12:45 and probably headed out about 3 p.m.  Ride tickets are extra, $1 a piece, most taking 3 or more per ride, and they are sold at the main gate and through out the park.  I wasn’t interested in the rides, just seeing the Park itself, and it did NOT disappoint!  Walter and I had a blast going through the storybook tales, then the Western town and finished up in the Village watching a really cool water, light show. Lunch was a pulled pork sandwich with potato salad, delicious and affordable.  I ghost hunted the tunnels, and I ogt a couple of hits – I passed a window with a display of lights and it said “window” and so I figured someone was standing by the window as I walked past. The tunnels are pretty dark, no light, but lots of kids so it’s impossible to get a “moment” to do much investigating. So I just did it when I could. Small, sweet, and magical place, proving you don’t have to be a mega place to be amazing. HIGHLY recommend this for families and anyone interested in the childlike feel of this place. No, not Disney, but that’s why it was amazing. $15 admission, definitely worth it.

Over the next two hours to Sisters, Oregon, I drove on the 22 past National Forests and Detroit Dam.  And then came into where the forest fires had been….my mouth just dropped open. I had never seen anything like it, forests with black trees, orange skies, empty spaces, and to boot, lightning streaked the sky as I pulled into town for the night.  What was 5 p.m. felt like 10p.m. with the air quality and storm passing through.  I will have to see what I can or am able to do tomorrow, I may be staying inside because of the fires. I have to investigate more, here for 2 nights.