Spontaneous Weekend Roadtrip

M and I decided to take a random roadtrip from San Francisco to Oregon. Neither of us have gone to Oregon so we thought it would be a fun and quick vacation. I rented an economical Chevy Aveo Hatchback from Hertz for about $25/day. Our original destination was Portland, which was about 630 miles from where we were. That would take 11 hours according to Google Maps. However, we didn’t really care if we made it or not. We left after M got off work on Friday night.


Late night eating at Denny's

6pm: We ate sushi at Joshu-Ya in Berkeley, California. We ordered the Spicy Crunch sushi roll and the Pork Belly Soba cold noodles. I highly recommend the Pork Belly Soba!

7pm: We stopped by Safeway to pick up some snacks for the trip including bottles of water. It was definitely a good idea to get some snacks for the road.

8:30pm: Because we missed an exit to get on one of the main freeways to Oregon, we ended up on I-80 for a lot longer than we intended. When we were rerouting, we noticed that we would be passing by University of California, Davis. Neither of us had ever gone to the UC Davis campus before. So, we took the next exit and drove to the campus. We walked around the campus and even went into some of the buildings. The campus was having some kind of big formal dance. M thought it would be funny if we went to the dance. We tried. Alas, tickets had to be pre-purchased.

10:30pm: As we were driving on the deserted freeway, we noticed an area with tons of bright lights. It was a casino resort! I’ve never gambled in a casino before so we took the exit to the resort called Rolling Hills Casino. The resort had two hotels that connected to the casino. We stayed at the Lodge, which was very nice. The room was very spacious and clean. The hotel also had a really nice indoor swimming pool and jacuzzi. We played some slot machines before heading for a swim.

12:30am: After the swim, we got hungry. The casino was in the middle of nowhere so we had to drive to the next city for food. We went and had Denny’s and ordered their Veggie Sizzling Plate and some breakfast plate. The Veggie Sizzling Plate is delicious.


Driving into Oregon!

10am: Staying at the hotel meant that we got two free vouchers to the Casino Breakfast Buffet. The buffet had a pretty wide variety of food so we enjoyed it.

1pm: We stopped by William B. Ide Adobe State Park and hiked down to the river nearby. Then, we went and explored an old housing complex in the park that was built in the 1800s.

4pm: Lake Shasta is absolutely gorgeous so we had to take a pit stop there. We wanted to go by the water, but we couldn’t find a trail that took us there. I parked the car on the side of one of the dirt roads that was closest the water. Then we took a steep hike down to the water. The area that we were in did not have any beaches where we can sit and relax. From the top of the hill to the water is completely covered in small rocks, which make it difficult to walk.

6pm: As we drove into Oregon, we noticed a sign that said “Southern Oregon University: Next Right.” We decided that it would be cool to stay at a college town. We drove into Ashland, where the university is located. After parking on the university’s campus, we proceeded to explore their library and then their student union. The campus is similar to other small university campuses.

7pm: We drove to downtown Ashland, which is very chic. We ate at Taroko Pan-Pacific Bistro and ordered their Korean Spicy Noodle and Kung-Pao Chicken. The Korean Spicy Noodle is one of my favorite dishes. I will definitely order that again if I ever go there. The restaurant is overall very well decorated, with a gorgeous ensemble of paintings, modern furniture, and colors.

8pm: We checked into Ashland Springs Hotel, which we learned is a famous historic hotel. The hotel is probably the tallest building in the area. The inside is very elegant, with a distinct European feel. The room has an upscale appeal too, with a lavender sachet neatly placed on the hotel bed.

9pm: The front desk of the hotel recommended for us to check out the bars in the area since it was a Saturday night. Since M and I are from San Francisco where Saturday night meant clubs that were packed with young people. Ashland’s popular bar is much more low-scale. We then went to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for dessert. We got a dark chocolate carmel apple and a dark chocolate truffle.

10pm: We downloaded Transformers 3 and fell asleep watching the movie.


It snowed on the way back to California!

10am: We ate brunch at Wiley’s World Pasta Shoppe and Eatery, which was a convenient 5 minute drive from downtown Ashland. I ordered the Spicy Hunan Noodle, which is extremely delicious!

4pm: There was a random Wal-Mart in the middle of nowhere on the road. We decided we would take a stop there to shop for some groceries. The Wal-Mart had just opened so the foods were all so cheap! (i.e. a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch was only $2.50).

6pm: We ate at the highly-acclaimed Vik’s Chaat and Market Indian restaurant back in Berkeley. The chicken biryani is awesome!

7pm: We went to M’s fitness club and played tennis back in San Francisco.

Cost: $$$ (The rental car + gas + hotels + food). We didn’t do any activity that cost any money though.

Difficulty: Some skill

Time: Long

Materials you will need:

1. Car

2. Snacks

3. Changes of clothes including athletic clothing and running/hiking shoes

4. Towels (in case you decide to swim in a lake)

The key to a spontaneous roadtrip is not planning! Make sure you don’t plan any stops. Of course, you can have a general list of things you’d like to do. The trip is all about relaxing and not stressing about making it to a certain destination by a certain time. Just enjoy the conversations you have on the road and stop by any place you find interesting!


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