Back home and blessed to have such a wonderful trip with my wonderful mom!
Aside from it getting smoky (from wildfires) and hot toward the end, our time in Oregon was great.
The Columbia River Gorge is just as amazing as its reputation. In some ways the land reminded me of Yosemite, save with a massive river in the middle and on a larger scale. The five waterfalls we visited were all fantastic, and it was a real treat to visit the Bonneville Dam, take a tour, and see a barge come through the lock with the swing bridge.
After seven years of wanting to return to the seaside town of Florence and properly explore it, we did. What a fun place to shop!
Getting to see The Odyssey at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland was amazing. I think it was the most creative and brilliant adaptation of any story I've seen on stage. Even more special, since it had to be cancelled twice that week due to poor air quality from smoke. We were really blessed to get to enjoy it. (But we'd better actually watch a Shakespeare play the third time we go there! ;)
A huge unexpected joy in our discovery of Jacksonville (near Medford). The historic district with dozens of buildings from the 1880s was amazing, the trolley tour was a delight, and the shopping loads of fun.
Visiting Bend and the amazing nearby town of Sisters was a treat as well, though I couldn't really see the surrounding mountains.
Can't forget all the great restaurants we enjoyed, the amazing Sweet Life Patisserie in Eugene, and Bontà Natural Artisan Gelato in Bend! The rental car was great, and no big complaints about our lodging either. I'm impatient to go back!