Brain injury tools Family Life Marriage pandemic passion perspective Sobriety Tattoos Traumatic brain injury Travel

Oregon Road Trip

An Oregon road trip for my 40th birthday and our 3 year Anniversary in our home state. Alvord Desert, The Painted Hills, Crater Lake, Crane Hot Springs, Bend, Sisters

For my 40th birthday and for our 3 year anniversary we had decided to reschedule our March St Thomas trip to August due to Covid. We both felt it’s not the smartest decision to go to St Thomas although we have been quarantined and feel we have done are part in knowing we are safe, but even with getting a test and going it feels wrong. As a public health major it feels extremely wrong to go. I didn’t want to tell my doctor, I didn’t want to tell my friend who is also a doctor and high risk like I am. We didn’t want to tell our parents. It just felt wrong. So why are we going?

We had so much shame and anxiety for going. So my husband and I made the decision to cancel the trip. St Thomas will always be there. We have had a hard last 2 years, we definitely feel that we deserved this and we needed this. But we didn’t feel right going, so we canceled and have planned a fun Oregon road trip instead. This is what we did and the road trip we went on in our own state. We drove, well my husband did, we started out by staying at a home of a family member that is empty. We did stay at two rental places, but we feel ok about that and their Covid precautions and even had to take our own bedding. This is where we explored, pics, what we learned and how it was. We celebrated my 40th birthday and our 3rd wedding anniversary with just the two of us and I couldn’t have asked for anything else.

Day 1: Friday 8/21 we drove to Sisters to our cousins. We packed up our four runner, got gas, packed a cooler with snacks and water and hit the road at 4pm . We started at 41,000 miles in the 4Runner. Of course we stopped at Poppa Al’s in Mill City, our favorite burger place that we pre ordered from and then ate in our vehicle.

HWY 22 & Mill City

Day 2: We drove to the painted hills. It was beautiful, seriously pictures do not do it justice. Maybe a real photographer and perfect lighting but it was bright out and the pictures I captured do not do the painted hills justice. The hills are made out of different types of soils over thousands of years, they are not solid hills. Hard to explain, google it. They are beautiful and stunning though, definitely glad we went and saw it. I don’t think we will make it a point to go see again, but it was definitely a must see once especially being an Oregon Native and worth going. The drive out was beautiful too from Bend. We headed back on the beautiful drive and went to Bend to Humm Kombucha for lunch and kombucha. Also a must go if ever in Bend and like tacos and Kombucha. The weather was perfect, we got there around 11am and when we left at 1230 it was getting super busy, so go early. And lessons learned today, I did not eat breakfast and had some jerky snack but I definitely need to eat even if not hungry, I was exhausted, dizzy and having trouble getting my words out. Here are some pictures from Day 2:)

The Painted Hills
Beautiful on the drive out close to the Painted Hills
Walking through The Painted Hills
Lunch stop for Kombucha and tacos at Humm in Bend.
Amazing tacos from the taco truck outside of Humm

Day 3: We drove to crater Lake, left at 9am, we got back at 3pm. It was my 40th birthday the day we went so I got a Dutch Bros Coffee on the way out and wore my birthday tank top. We stopped and grabbed breakfast in Bend to go at Big O Bagels to make sure that I ate so we don’t have a repeat of yesterday. It was delicious and right next to my friends house, we will definitely go again. I tried to post a 40th birthday post on Instagram on our way out of town but it wouldn’t work. I had pre planned this post but error wouldn’t let it be posted. Why? What’s the lesson there? It wants me to wait until later, post it when I have additional pictures at Crater Lake, the post I had written yesterday wasn’t in the moment, so instead, now I will post one in the moment. See there are life lessons everywhere even in stupid Instagram issues.

Hello 40, hello Crater Lake

I also recently was put on Ritalin and got a pill container for that, my allergy med and propanol for when I need it and have a anxiety attack. I learned today the importance of having my pill container and not taking my Ritalin from yesterday since I only took 1 of the 2. I couldn’t remember if I took my second dose today, so luckily I took it from my Sunday container and not the one from yesterday, otherwise i would not have known I took both today. It’s important with brain injury to do things by the rules and instructions to not create more confusion and extra doses of medications. Just have to be certain of what day it is. I know that if my larger pill with the 10 on it is left that’s because it’s as needed if I have a panic attack or get super overwhelmed and need to chill the F out!

A pill organizer is a must with a brain injury

We got to crater lake and holy moly it was smoky from all the forest fires around. But we still went, it’s fire season so I’m sure this isn’t uncommon. Positive from a negative of Covid is that we went to crater lake and had masks, crater lake was so smoky we were so thankful we had masks. We had a wonderful time despite the smoke and will definitely be back, hopefully later this week if not another time. We came back through Bend and found out they had a Beach Hut sandwich shop, we used to go to one in Granite Bay California, so excited we found one here and learned they have one near home too:) We decided to get a hotel in Bend for the next two nights so we could unwind and be in one place for two nights, this was much needed for me and my brain to really rest. Tomorrow we will just walk to wherever we want to go in Bend and stay in the town and explore as planned anyways, we just changed it up a bit last minute, had to do what was best for us and I am so glad we made this last minute decision.

The rock on the right is The Phantom Ship rock
Amazing but smoky day at Crater Lake
With my amazing husband on my 40th birthday 🎁
Amazing day with my husband 💚

Day 4: We made a last minute decision yesterday to get a hotel room at double tree Hilton in downtown Bend for 2 nights. I needed somewhere for a couple days, to rest and re settle my stuff and organize. I’m so glad we did this. Perfect, simple, comfortable room with a great bed and able to truly relax and rest. I needed this and didn’t realize I would need it. This is very different than the old me, but we make it work. We slept in, went and got a coffee and then went to breakfast at Chow, on Newport Ave right near my friends house. Chris got the Benedict and i got a burger. We sat on the patio outside and dreamed of living over there and talked about our future goals and how this ideally would be there area we want to purchase our next house to use as a as a vacation home to rent out and for us. It’s the perfect area. We came back and relaxed, took a nap and repacked and prepped for our next adventure to Alvord Desert tomorrow which is the longest drive of this road trip. It’s a 4 hour drive to get there.

Day 5: Today we checked out of our hotel in Bend and went to Safeway and restocked our cooler with some sandwiches for dinner, waters and ice. We then started the drive to Alvord Desert at around 10am. It took us down HWY 20 and it’s just long, straight and deserted. It was a beautiful drive though. Neither of us have ever been in this part of Oregon before. We stopped in Burns for lunch at Juniper BBQ and Baked Goods. I had a burger and my husband the tri tip sandwich. It was good.

We got to Alvord Desert and Hot Springs. It’s cool and neat. Once being here is enough for me, it would be more fun with a group of people. We are staying in a mash bunker, no cell service, no tv, but there is a fan. Weather isn’t too hot. Definitely glad we came out to see what it’s all about, we drove the four runner out a bit. It’s an old dried up lake bed. Pretty cool. The gal working at the front desk was great. I ate my salad with my hands, it didn’t come with silverware lol but luckily I had bought baby wipes lol so wiped my hands after! Sometimes you gotta improvise. We played a new game we bought called Itzi and it’s pretty fun and entertaining. It also is good for me and working my brain to think fast. We got the R rated one and it was fun to just play a game with my husband. Not something we do often.

Along the drive, middle of the road to the middle of nowhere.
Just a view we saw out the front window for a long way. Beautiful. Love long, wide open roads.

Day 6: We left Alvord early around 730am as we were awake and ready to go. It was a nice, quiet evening of no distractions. We drove back to Burns, beautiful chill drive. It was our 3rd wedding anniversary the day we drove back. We checked into Crystal Crane Hot Springs, you cant check in early so we waited and went back to town and got an early dinner. We checked in at 3. We got the pinecone suite which has its own private soaking tub on the patio, it’s pretty great. We would definitely come back here to stay, we just won’t be early haha. I looked up the #crystalcranehotsprings hashtag and they have so many rad spots to stay including the teepees with private soaking pools. We most definitely will be back. This place is amazing and has so many accommodations to offer. Crane has great Covid precautions if you want to travel and might be concerned.

Showing my ass in our private tub and my tattoo. The leg and butt tattoo covered my vitiligo.
My husband in our private soaking tub filled with hot spring water💙
Along our drive back to Burns and to Crystal Crane Hot Springs for our Anniversary 💙
Room 2, The Pinecone at Crystal Crane
The community soaking pool
Crystal Crane Hot Springs

Day 7: We checked out of Crystal Crane at 11am and headed back to Bend. We stayed at Loge Bend and got an amazing sauna suite. Our goal for our last day is to detox, relax and enjoy each other’s company at a fun unique hotel. They had great Covid precautions. The in room sauna and jetted tub is amazing! This is an old converted motel totally Bend style. Even have boot warmers in the room for winter sports and bike hooks to hang your mountain bikes, a hammock above the bed and trails right off the property. We definitely found our new favorite place to stay in Bend. Lots of outdoor places to hang and games to play. Dog friendly too when we come back with dogs. Highly recommend and prefect ending to our road trip and vacation. Absolutely love this place. I feel SO relaxed. We ordered some grub hub to bring us some local Bend food from The Hideaway Bend. Some pizza, wings and a burger. We stopped at Humm earlier and got some kombucha. I got a cute beanie and tshirt from the Loge to have as a memory to the end of our trip:)

Our rad sauna room with a jetted tub and hammock.
Tshirt and beanie to take home:)
Cool little camp map for The Loge
About The Loge
Ordered The Hideaway from Grub Hub for dinner. It was good.

As of Thursday Day 7 we hit 1300 miles driven and just got back to Bend. We hit 42 and 43k this trip total mileage averaging 17.5MPG with a supercharger and lifted on 33s. Not bad. Definitely a rad off road vehicle and road trip vehicle. Amazing for a trip just like we did:) We stopped and got a Dutch as soon as we passed one back in town, it’s the only coffee my fancy ass drinks lol or likes, one specific that they have 🤣. It’s been a few days, makes me wonder if my mood issues the last 2 days were due to not having it or my exhaustion. Overall it’s been an amazing road trip with the love of my life. Tomorrow we head home. Can’t wait to see our dogs and Jaxson and get back to our normal routine.

Day 8: Drove back home from Bend. Went and got our dogs and wished my mom Happy birthday and took her a card and gift 🎁. Our dogs are already asleep and pooped on the couch. We had an amazing road trip, anniversary and I had a great 40th birthday. I love adventures like this with my husband and it was so fun to do one in our own state experiencing so much we haven’t before in our own state. Just making the best of not being able to travel out of state right now and keeping to our own state and putting money in our own economy and amazing sites to see. This is definitely the highlight of our 2020 and I’m so grateful for my husband and that we were able to adapt to what’s happening in the world and have a guilt free vacation. It’s been a rough 2 years, this was much needed for us, our marriage and just to have time off together and not because I’m in the hospital. Our ending mileage is 42,480. We drove 1,480 miles in 7 days and we still love each other 💚😉

Check out my Yelp reviews for more of our travels, places we go to or eat out at and more, I do a lot of reviews on yelp since I use it to find places for myself:)

By jessymunch826

I am a TBI Survivor and woman who has been through a lot of good and bad. My goal by this blog is to share what I have learned and how life has happened for me and not to me. I have found purpose in it all and am here to share it. I am also sober and quitting drinking was the best choice for me. I will post about TBI, Brain Injury, life, travel, lessons learned and more. I am not a doctor or a nurse, I am a traumatic brain injury survivor who has lived 40 years of life and have an amazing mindset from it all. None of this is medical advice, that is what your doctor is for or 911 if you are having an true emergency and need help right away. I am here for community and am a certified health educator who knows how to navigate the healthcare system and Insurance. Always willing to help. Find me on Instagram jessymunch82617 or email me at Click on the white title of the blog post to read, just saying in case you might be confused like I am with all this 🤣

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s