Oregon coast: Astoria and Shipwreck Beach

Coastal Oregon is as impressive as one might expect, featuring dramatic cliffs, ghostly beaches, and lush forests. We began our southward trip along the coast in Astoria, a sweet and unassuming town, across the water from Fort Stevens State Park.

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Oregon – Bend, Portland, Willamette Valley

We arrived in the magnificent Pacific Northwest at last in August! After sweating it out in the high desert of Idaho, the woods of LaPine, Oregon welcomed us with much needed shade and cooler temperatures.

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Potato Potahto on the Moon – Idaho

One of the world’s most productive potato areas, south-eastern Idaho, is also the home of the spectacular lunar terrain that makes up the Craters of the Moon National Monument. Crossing the arid land heading west, US 20 seem to go on forever, flanked by spiky shoots of volcanic rock where the only living things seemed to be fragrant sage-brush bushes, with no bird or other critter in sight.

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Grand Tetons

It is with good reason that this impressive mountain range has the descriptive “grand” in its name. The Grand Tetons’ razor back walls reach up to 13,776 feet, spawning over 45 miles from north to south, backing up to Yellowstone National Park. Once home of the Shoshone tribes, the park is now home to over 300 species of birds and more than 900 types of flowering plants.

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Yellowstone National Park

Stretching over three states, Yellowstone is a treasure chest of breathtaking vistas, wildlife, steaming geysers, and bubbling cascades. Each of the four days we spent in the park brought about a different and more impressive side of the diverse ecosystem.

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