Boise to Newport

The last day of my Route 20 journey took me from Boise, Idaho, to Newport, Oregon, where Route 20 vanished into the ocean.

Soon after leaving Boise, I crossed the Snake River into the state of Oregon.

The Snake River, at the border of Oregon (left) and Idaho (right)

Unfortunately, like Illinois and Iowa, Oregon did not welcome me to the state. Perhaps there had been a welcome sign but someone took it down? This was the first sign I saw to mention Oregon.

Entering Oregon - State Marine Board / Fish and Wildlife Sign

Soon after seeing that watercraft sign, the town of Nyssa did welcome me in the form of an Oregon-shaped sign. I guess that’s as good as it gets!

Entering Oregon - Welcome to Nyssa

I again saw signs for the Oregon Trail. Then, about 100 miles into the state of Oregon, I entered Pacific Time for the first time in my life!

Pacific Time - Drewsey, OR

Oregon has an amazing variety of different landscapes. When I entered Nyssa, I saw cacti growing in people’s front lawns. From there, Oregon got hilly:

Hills in eastern Oregon

I went through many forests:

Deschutes National Forest

Then snow-capped mountains:

Oregon's Mount Washington, at right

And finally, the ocean shore, which made me feel right at home (I grew up near the Massachusetts south shore, and now live in Baltimore, near Chesapeake Bay and its Maryland shores):

The Pacific Ocean, Newport

Along the way, Route 20 is a scenic byway through parts of Oregon. One piece is called “Over the Rivers and Through the Woods”:

Scenic Byway Sign

Over a River

And Through the Woods

Outside Bend, I saw the Three Sisters mountains:

Three Sisters

I saw several town/city names for the second time. Route 20 goes through both Albany, NY, and Albany, OR. Same for Toledo, OH, and Toledo, OR.

At last, I was entering the town of Newport, Oregon. The last town on U.S. Route 20.

Newport, OR

Route 20 ends not quite at the ocean, but at its intersection with U.S. Highway 101. Route 101 goes most of the way north and south along the Pacific coast, from Olympia, Washington, through San Francisco, to Los Angeles.

Sign foretelling the end of Route 20: JCT 101

And, at 8:46pm local time, on July 11, 2011, I arrived at the end of U.S. Route 20. Or was it the beginning?

End 20 West, or Begin 20 East?

Although it was no longer Rte 20, a road continued straight through the intersection. Taking it, I arrived at a City of Newport park / beach, and a view of the Pacific Ocean.

First View of the Pacific Ocean

This was my first time on the United States west coast (I had been to the Pacific once before, in Nicaragua). I took several pictures.

Pacific Ocean & beach, with lighthouse blinking

Then I dipped my feet in the waters.

My feet, in the Pacific Ocean

The water was very cold! Of course, it was 9:00 at night and the air temperature was 59° Fahrenheit. So I might have expected that! Still, I had to experience the Pacific Ocean without delay, at the end of two weeks of travel across the country from the Atlantic Ocean.

It has been a fun two weeks, with lots of incidental stops and side-trips, and I have completely traversed the longest road in the country! Hooray!


A bit of a postscript: as many of you know, I am well past Newport now. I arrived in Newport, Oregon, on the evening of July 11. I am finishing this post from Richfield, Utah, on the return trip back to Baltimore. All pictures are from that day, and more are here.

I will continue to post some snippets from the road on my way back, but not a day-by-day description like I did for Route 20. I plan to write about my travels up and down the Pacific coast, visiting with my friend Brett in Seattle, seeing the sights in San Francisco, the conference in SF, and Yosemite National Park so far. My route back, following I-70 and U.S. Rte 40, will be less meandering and more direct. It will take me through Denver, Kansas City, St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Columbus. Let me know if there’s anything I should absolutely see or do in any of those places.

I hope everyone had a wonderful International Pi Approximation Day today, 22/7! If it slipped your mind [and for those of you on the east coast, 22/7 is already over], you can always celebrate tomorrow, 23/7, as Not-A-Very-Good-Pi-Approximation-But-Still-Somewhat-Approximate-To-Pi-Day. Happy mathing to all!



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6 responses to “Boise to Newport

  1. veronica_shannon

    Nick thank you for sharing your photographs from my favorite part of the world! Oregon

    • nyates314

      Sure! A few more pictures to come soon from driving up and down the coast. Were you the one who recommended to me that I visit Pacific City, OR?

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