Southern Oregon ~ A Wrap Up and Review of our Two-Week Surprise Trip

May 13th ~ Southern California

Four friends on the rim of Crater Lake with Wizard Island in the background

Our friends, Laura and Michael knew that we would be gone for two weeks, traveling together in our small RV and that we would be visiting three National Parks. Beyond that, the trip was to be a surprise, unfolding day-by-day as we went along. 

We agreed to meet at our shop in the San Fernando Valley, just north of Los Angeles, early on April 28th. I had provided them with a packing list, suggested they bring along their favorite snacks, and of course a camera.

I used Roadtrippers.com to plot out our course. Here is a synopsis and highlights of our trip, with links to show pictures of each days special events:

Planning a Surprise Trip

Tim, Laura and Michael – ready to go!

Lets go on an Adventure

Our first day was mainly driving north on Interstate 5 with an overnight at an Army Corps of Engineers park.

Black Butte Lake – Army Corps of Engineers Park

The next day included a photo stop and short hike to Castle Crags before we arrived to meet my sister, Jan and brother-in-law, Mark, at Howard Prairie Lake for Morel Mushroom hunting

Castle Crags

At Howard Prairie Lake

Howard Prairie Lake, Southern Oregon

Backstage tour and play tickets had been ordered in advance, followed by a stroll through Lithia Park.

Michael and Laura in the Japanese Garden of Lithia Park

Ashland Oregon ~ Backstage tour, a play and Lithia Park

A brief stop at Lake of the Woods before continuing on to explore the old mining town of Jacksonville.

Jacksonville Tavern sign

Oregon ~ Lake of the Woods to Jacksonville

I got to spend one final day and evening with my sister and brother-in-law before we parted ways.

Laura, Joanne, Jan

Tim, Mark, Michael

Onwards further west with stops at It’s a Burl and the Oregon Caves.

It’s a Burl Gallery

Laura at Oregon Caves

Oregon Caves and Jedediah Smith State Park

Redwoods National Park was awe-inspiring, peaceful, impressive and moving.

Stout Grove, Redwoods National Park

Redwoods National Park

There is nothing that compares to the wild and incredibly scenic Oregon coastline where we explored between Cape Blanco Lighthouse and Brookings.

Cape Blanco Lighthouse

Miller Creek Beach?

Passing by lovely Myers Beach

The Beaches of Southern Oregon

Looking for a thrill? Check out taking a jet boat up the Rogue River from Gold Beach, OR.

Jerry’s Rogue Jets

Scenery on the Wild Rogue River

Jerry’s Rogue Jets

Heading back inland we questioned what was real at the House of Mystery.

Oregon Vortex ~ House of Mystery

House of Mystery ~ Oregon Vortex

Crater Lake National Park was still dressed in a layer of snow.

It still takes my breath away each time I see it

Crater Lake National Park with Snow and Rogue Gorge

Heading the RV back toward the south, we witnessed Mount Shasta in all her glory.

Mount Shasta peaking above the clouds

Drive from Medford to Lassen Volcanic National Park

Our original hiking plans to do Bumpass Hell Trail got derailed due to road closures and a boardwalk being reconstructed, so we had to settle for an easy hike around Manzanita Lake.

Manzanita Lake Hike ~ Lassen Volcanic National Park

Manzanita Lake with Lassen Peak

Two weeks of sharing, caring, laughter, and a couple thousand pictures later we returned safely home to Southern California.

Now it is time to get the laundry done, repack and on Sunday, May 20th we will be taking off on our next RV adventure ~ three weeks to explore the highlights of Colorado!

Hope you will join us as we will be visiting several more of our amazing National Parks along the way.

GRATITUDE MOMENT: It feels good to be back “home”, even if only for a week before we once again load up our RV, Ellie Mae Camp-it, and hook up our tow vehicle, Jethro. I was blessed to get to spend some time with our son, Dane on Mother’s Day. Checking in on our cabin remodeling showed progress can be made, even when we are absent. Feeling especially blessed by the family and friends we surround ourselves with. Our lives are so rich, full and rewarding.

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our "next chapter". At a stage in life where traveling the world, taking pictures, and sharing our adventures with friends and family will be our dream come true.
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21 Responses to Southern Oregon ~ A Wrap Up and Review of our Two-Week Surprise Trip

  1. Stunning photos Joanne and I love the one of you all on the rim of Crater Lake. Happy people adventuring and exploring together. Xx

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  2. Laura Urban says:

    We are so thankful and blessed to have amazing friends that we could travel with for two weeks in an RV. There’s not a lot of people that can do that. We had an experience of a lifetime with lots of great pictures to prove it. Love you guys so much

    Thank you

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    • Well, we were long overdue in planning a surprise trip. Hope this made up a bit for the long gap 🙄 Thank you both for being easy going and being willing to put yourselves in our hands for two weeks. I do think we will be talking about this trip many years from now ❤️

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  3. Terry says:

    What a wonderful trip and a great surprise for your friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Arati says:

    Lovely tour. Definitely adding Crater lake to my list of places to visit. It’s about a day’s drive from here. Very doable. Thanks.

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  5. Brenda Thompson says:

    What a fabulous surprise trip you planned!!!
    Love all the beautiful photos. The Wild Rogue River is stunning.

    Like

  6. roninjax says:

    It’s amazing how you get around so much. The photos are fantastic and provide excellent insight for the area.

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  7. Widdershins says:

    Oh gawd! I just got ‘Ellie-Mae’ and ‘Jethro’. 😀

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  8. Leah says:

    Wow! You and your group certainly saw a lot of beauty on your trip! A friend of mine swears by RoadTrippers, but I haven’t had much luck with the app in Canada. Here’s hoping I can put that travel tool to use on my next trip to the US.

    Two weeks in an RV together. That’s also Wow-worthy! Well done.

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    • I found RoadTrippers a little awkward at times to manipulate, but overall it was quite helpful in plotting out our trip. I have used them on several occasions, including planning our next adventure through Colorado which will begin in a few days. Being in that close quarters for two weeks would not work for everyone, but the four of us are pretty easy going and travel well together.

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  9. TracyNicole says:

    Thanks again for sharing your trip with the rest of us! It’s great having close travel companions; we’re hoping to visit New Orleans next year and possibly have the couple go with us who went on the cruise this past fall. I don’t know that we’re ready to test out sharing the same space, but touring places and trying new restaurants is more fun with others! Looking forward to following your Colorado adventures!

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    • Tracy, I agree that sharing adventures and touring with friends adds so much to the overall trip. We will be meeting Dick and Karen (another couple we have traveled with extensively) in Denver. They have their own motor home, so more room for everyone this time. Most of our planned stops will be all new for me. Super excited! I hope you have a fabulous time in New Orleans. We have not been there since 1991!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. joliesattic says:

    Gorgeous trip and blessed for sure.

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  11. curvyroads says:

    Great wrap-up of a fun tour! I am excited you are coming to Colorado next! We are work camping in Estes Park for the summer, so if you are in the area, we would love to meet you! Will look for a contact link on your page to send out info privately. Safe travels!

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