The 8-day journey started in Camp Sherman for 3 nights, just north of Sisters and Bend, one of my favorite places. We stayed at Camp Sherman Lodges in a small cabin right on the Metolius River, which is known for fly fishing and it's beauty. There's plenty to do including biking, hiking and kayaking at nearby Suttle Lake. You can't tell from the picture, but it was windy that day and a lot of work kayaking through white caps.
The next 2 days were spent in Terrebonne, Oregon. We stayed near a golf course there and hiked at Smith Rock State Park, which is spectacular!
Also near Terrebonne is Cove Palisades/Lake Billy Chinook, great for camping and kayaking.
Then it was on to Steens Mountain in Eastern Oregon, a place I've wanted to go to for years, ever since someone gave me a book about it. It was not disappointing, but pictures cannot capture the beauty and grandeur of Steens. It's so big you'd think it's a mountain range, but it's one huge mountain. We took the loop tour, which goes around the mountain on a gravel road for 60 miles. That ride includes canyons, meadows, a lake and lots of wildlife like Golden Eagles.
There are basically 2 places to stay near Steens Mountain, one is very close to the opening to the loop and that is Frenchglen, which has an historic hotel. The other place is Diamond which is at a dead end in the road, literally. I chose Diamond, partly because Hotel Diamond is known for its home-cooked, amazing meals...it did not disappoint. I highly recommend staying here, very nice accomodations, great hospitality...and the food!
The last day was spent driving back to Portland through the John Day Fossil Beds, which I had seen before, but won't mind seeing many times again.