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Oregon & Washington: What are we missing, as we're big fans already?

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Have been numerous times to your fair corner of the world & LOVE the Pac NW.
We tend to repeat the San Juans, regularly, as find them so restorative.
Have a few extra days while driving there to add in either something
new & unexplored by us,
or perhaps repeat an area we haven't been to much...
or at least, never in May.

Areas under consideration to shake it up? I'll share below.

Areas we adore but probably will skip this time include the Olympic
Peninsula/Hurricane Ridge & Oregon coast due to time constraints.
(can easily spend a whole week along the Coast...really in
either gorgeous area)

We have just enough time to add in a little 2-night 'addendum' to the
end of our 20th Anniversary trip...
or while making our way northward.

Thought about Oregon Caves (never been)...the McKenzie River area, etc.
Have done Nor Cal a lot, too...just driving through...but alas, have never done
that cutover.
But will have our dog 'on board' so since she can't visit the Caves...
or Crater Lake's or Caves Lodge (we love old park lodges!)...
we think we'll most likely save these areas for another time.
(when she's left behind)

Saw Crater Lake (very briefly just before dusk 20+ yrs ago)
So haven't really 'done' it either. (to say the least)

Loved the Umpqua River w/its many spectacularly situated waterfalls
& aquamarine color. That was a fun & new discovery just 2 yrs ago!!
Can you help us find another? (equally 'worthy') ;-)

Enjoyed a stay or two, as well, along the Rogue, but near the Gold Beach end.
And Heceta Head. (harder to do now w/the pup)
Didn't get to do the dunes much for hiking. (near Florence & Reedsport...
& that area still tempts) Thinking rhodies might be nice along the Coast.

Oregonians, we've also even made it Silver Falls State Park another time,
the covered bridges area near Cottage Grove, as well as the Columbia Gorge
a couple of times, en route to Canada...
and did a Mt Hood 'fruit' loop by way of Hood River - but again, exceedingly quickly...
plus, Ashland for a brief sleepover.

What are we missing??
Have also driven down through Bend along the eastern side of the state & weren't all that 'taken' at the time, and were there once for a family get-together, too...and saw its nice High Desert Museum, etc. Think we were just bothered by the drive down the eastern side of the state perhaps due to feeling like we couldn't see much
from the road, particularly...but again, that was driving straight south....
and *not* by way of any cutover passes. (and yes, I know getting out of the car is
essential, but just sharing that the drive itself, down that hwy
was particularly frustrating, is all)

Is Santiam Pass something to consider this time of year?
Cascade Lakes? Sisters?
If so, could you share your picks, if time limited?

And Washingtonians...
is Mt Baker worth it this time of year,
or would the upper reaches still be closed, & places like Artists Point
*far* better left for July/Aug? (have never been)

We *have* done Bellingham, however
& Whidbey Island. And of course, Victoria. (yes, I know...
*not* Washington) ;-)

We *have* also seen N Cascades once,
w/a loop through Leavenworth & Winthrop...still was snowed in,
even in early July.

Is it completely too early now for a drive thru *that* Nat'l Park?
(we know it is, for hiking, at least) :-)

And if not, do you prefer the drive from the west
or east?

Are other passes in Wash, particulary 'fetching' in late May?
Or again, best kept til later?

Same with Ranier?
Enjoyed it once MANY moons ago, in early July.
Still too early now, we're thinking?

Also have seen Mt St Helens.

What are we missing?
Anything you'd say is high time to add?
Or do you think one of these areas we've been to in summer, maybe
eons ago...
is well worth another visit?

Thanks so much! Just would like a little mountain or riparian sightseeing
to bookend our island days. :-)

Otherwise, will just hurry northward to Salt Spring, B.C. perhaps, with the 2-3 days
we have left. (but have also been there before)
Thanks again!!
An ardent admirer of the NW

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