Oregon Vacation: Looking Back and Looking Forward

My 7-day Oregon vacation is over. It took even longer for me to blog about this experience:

  1. Planning and Departure explains why I chose Oregon, how I planned the trip, and a personal record I set on the departure day.
  2. GC12 and GC17 follows my adventure to Oregon's oldest geocache.
  3. Birthplace of Geocaching introduces a landmark that started one of my favorite sports.
  4. Hillsboro and Outlets tells how I met a Twitter friend in real life, how I contributed to American economy, and a painful DNF story.
  5. Eight Waterfalls, Two Beaches, and a Webcam takes me outdoors to the scenic Multnomah Falls recreation area.
  6. Portland calms me down in the peaceful Portland Japanese Garden, and gets me running around in Portland State University.
  7. Breakfast and Laundry Solutions discusses some logistic issues during my travels.
  8. GC16 in Molalla River makes me huff and puff in seek of a 19-year-old plastic jar.
  9. Oregon City lifts me up along the only vertical street in North America.
  10. Last Day brings me from the peak of Portland to the other side of the state line, and then back to the normal life.


My vacation did not have a planned day-to-day schedule, but adopted a semi-flexible strategy. This differs from my previous vacations such as the Yuma Mega trip, where the planning covered exactly where to exit the highway and take a rest. Being flexible allowed me to spontaneously decide where to go next, based on weather, mood, and other factors. It enabled me to add destinations that I did not know before departure, such as Multnomah Falls and Oregon City, as well as fulfill friend's request of an IRL meet up. This strategy did backfire once, when I went to a museum only to find it closed.

Eventually, my trip achieved an interleaved structure between urban and rural environments:

  1. Jun 07: urban, flying around airports.
  2. Jun 08: rural, nabbing GC12 and GC17 in a national forest, and worshipping the Original Stash.
  3. Jun 09: urban, spending money at Premium Outlets.
  4. Jun 10: rural, hiking around waterfalls and cooling off on the beach.
  5. Jun 11: urban, taking a tram into Portland downtown.
  6. Jun 12: rural, geocaching in and around Molalla River.
  7. Jun 13: urban, staying cool in air-conditioned Museum of Oregon Territory and Pearson Air Museum.

Favorites and Wishlist

Among all the places I visited, the top 5 favorites are:

  1. GC17, a 2000-Jul geocache that requires a modest hike and offers a scenic view of the mountain, without the distraction of civilization.
  2. Multnomah Falls, a gorgeous view of two waterfalls and the Columbia River.
  3. Portland Japanese Garden, a beautiful garden where everything is green.
  4. Oregon City Municipal Elevator, the one-of-a-kind municipal elevator in the United States.
  5. The spiky blackberry bushes leading to GC25WP9, which made me bleed my own blood.

There are many more places that I learned about during the trip, wanted to visit, but wasn't able to:

  1. Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum, a collection of antique airplanes that can still fly.
  2. GCA5 Hembre Ridge, a 2000-Nov geocache. Passing this one means that I would have to make a trip to New York state to find a cache hidden in that month.
  3. Salem, the state capital of Oregon. I used to believe Portland is the state capital, until when I was writing these articles.
  4. More river confluences. I visited four confluences but there must be more, and I'm obsessed with "corners".
  5. Pechuck Fire Lookout, a location with great view and a lonely 2001-Sep geocache. Getting there would require hiking 8.3 km and an overnight stay at the Fire Lookout. I know the limits of my outdoor skills, and this is beyond what I'm trained for.

Some Stats

Geocaching related

  • Finds: 53, including two D4 and two T4
  • DNFs: 10
  • PAFs: 2, one resulted in a smiley and the other resulted in a very painful frown
  • Jasmer boxes filled: 2000-May, 2000-Jun, 2000-Jul, 2000-Oct, 2001-Feb
  • New record: maximum distance in a day - 3784 km
  • Nanos encountered: 0
  • Bison tubes encountered: 0

Google Maps Timeline and Fitbit data

date drive steps effective sleep
Jun 07 12 mi 0:48 6946 5:23
Jun 08 148 mi 4:34 21479 3:42
Jun 09 107 mi 3:55 16933 5:13
Jun 10 86 mi 3:22 26683 5:13
Jun 11 9 mi 0:46 30521 5:51
Jun 12 97 mi 4:22 19396 3:17, plus 0:57 nap
Jun 13 34 mi 3:22 18251 4:44
Jun 14 8342 1:02 in air and 2:31 in apartment


  • Airfare: $19.90 and 25000 AAdvantage miles
  • Hotel and car package: $747.75
  • Rental car insurance: $125.49
  • Gasoline: $48.26
  • Transit (bus and Uber): $43.53
  • Admissions (gardens, museums, and arcade games): $66.52
  • SUBTOTAL of the above: $1051.45
  • Food: I count food in calories, not in dollars
  • Bragging rights: a lot!
  • Memories: priceless!