345 miles. One way. Even split in two that's a long time in the car with three kids. But they did great. We did ok, too.
We survived because we cheated.
We stopped. A lot.
First at Mt. St. Helens. I'd always wanted to stop and it neatly split the often tedious drive to Portland in half.
Then we spent a couple of days with Grams. We visited with cousins, climbed massive... er... minor volcanos in the center of town, and letterboxed, letterboxed, letterboxed.
It was only a few miles across town, but that's where Goggi was. (Not to mention Uncle Paul and Aunt Rose.) More letterboxing and an honest-to-goodness touron trip through Portland. We thought about the 4T Trail, but skipped the Trail leg in favor of a speedier Tram, Trolley, and Train tour.
But Portland wasn't the whole trip. Heck, it wasn't even half of it. Portland to Redmond was another long trip, but Silver Falls was right in the middle. It's like it was put there by some kind benefactor.
In Redmond we stayed in a sweet, sweet place Amy had found on the Interwebs. Redmond/Bend/Central Oregon was a whirlwind of adventures and visits. We met up with Amy's great aunt and uncle, Amy's parents, my parents, my sister's family, my sister's families relatives. Um... everyone we know.
I climbed another of my bucket list volcanos. The whole family went spelunking and climbed a volcano (kind of). The kids rode horses, played in waterparks, and floated down a real lazy river. Our adventures wrapped up when Amy, Papa, and I went rock climbing (sort of).
Our time in the sun (the hot, hot sun) ended and we packed and squeezed ourselves back into the car for a long one-day drive home. Unfortunately, our route was on fire, so we were forced back to the I-5 corridor. We rolled into home just before midnight.
We had three homes over the course of the trip and never went more than a couple of hours without stopping. It's given me hope that we'll be able to continue to adventure by car and extend our range into Montana and California. We have good times ahead. I'm excited.