Thursday, May 12, 2011

CA/OR Road Trip - Redding and beyond

Wednesday morning we left Amy and Tyler's neighborhood after the time at the playground. We drove north while both boys slept. Stopped in Williams for some gas and snacks and pretty much did a snacky lunch thing in the car on the way to Redding.

Once to Redding we stopped and went to the Turtle Bay Museum. This was definitely one of my favorite parts of the trip! (Turtle Bay Museum is free if you have OMSI membership!)

Jake likes to collect those flat penny souvenirs.
We went to the outdoor animal/native wildlife area. I thought this gray fox was beautiful.
This bat has a longer wingspan than Jake has an arm span!
This was the path from the Admissions entrance to the museum, though beautiful cottonwood trees.

Petrified cottonwood tree. You can see the roots through the glass floor.
This elderly salmon gave me a big yawn when I first walked up to him. The native PNW aquarium was wonderful.

The museum's current exhibit was Grossology. Totally cool!
When Mike and Jake went to use the restroom, this was the picture inside their stall door. I should have taken a picture of mine -- mine said "In a survey of non-English speakers, the word 'diarrhea' was most often picked as the most beautiful-sounding word among a list of choices."
There was a 'playstructure' of the digestive tract.

We left the museum at closing time. Right outside the museum is the Sundial Bridge. It accurately tells the time on June 21st.

One of my new favorite family photos!! Thanks to the random guy who was walking over the bridge.

Then we went to a restaurant close by in Redding called Gorilla Bites. Their food was awesome -- a mixture of yummy vegan/vegetarian food but also naturally-raised meats. Mike had a buffalo burger and I loved my vegan meatloaf so much that I took a picture of it.
After dinner it was back in the car. Ryan slept most of the way but Jake enjoyed the scenery with us.

Driving through the Mt. Shasta area was so beautiful! This is a picture of Black Butte. I thought it was so cool since we have our own Black Butte in Oregon.
Mt. Shasta, obscured by clouds (darn).
I just liked the light from the setting sun here.
We made it to Ashland at about 8:30pm. Jake was kind of wired and Ryan woke up from a 2.5 hour "nap" so it was perfect that the Stratford Inn had a lovely indoor pool and hot tub which all 4 of us thoroughly enjoyed. Then it was bedtime (but not before Jake vomited on the floor of our hotel room, he was still sick during the trip). Oddly enough, we had our best sleep of the trip here, perhaps because we were back in Oregon? :)

The next day after a relaxing morning we enjoyed breakfast at the hotel (they actually had a very decent breakfast spread!) Then we hopped in the car. The boys were both still tired and immediately went to sleep! I drove all the way to Roseburg. On the way, the BMW, which has a nice computer, informed me that the coolant was low. Huh.

We got to Roseburg and stopped at the Visitor's Information Center because we couldn't find a park that we were looking for. We stretched our legs and went for a short jaunt along the river where there were beautiful flowers.
Returning to the car, we looked through the manual to try and figure out what was going on with the coolant, i.e. how serious it was. When we turned the car back on, the message was more serious: "Coolant extremely low!" Uh oh. So we stopped at a little natural foods grocery store and got crackers, goat's milk cheese, and pears for lunch. We spotted an "import specialists" auto repair shop across the street, and asked for help with the coolant issue. Turns out that there was NO coolant left and they could see that there was a leak somewhere. Bad. After waiting for the engine to cool down, they filled the tank with more coolant. We had no idea how fast the coolant leak was, so we pointed the car toward home and drove. Our planned Eugene stop got thrown out the window, but we did stop for a short time at a rest area since Ryan was yowling to get out of his car seat. He'd had enough of this road trip, although he did very, very well for most of it!! I found that new toys/activities for both boys and their favorite Raffi album 'Bananaphone' was perfect for the trip.

All in all we had a fantastic time and would love to do another road trip at some point!

(The BMW was taken to the shop the next day and it turns out that the radiator was cracked... it was a slow leak that probably started before the car even left Portland... so glad it wasn't a problem until the very end!)

1 comment:

Jstar said...

what a fun trip! so glad the car didn't cause any major delays. i've never heard of that museum and we do a lot of driving down to bakersfield. we will definitely have to check it out!