Well, camping last night wasn’t so bad once we got the kids inside the tent and away from the eight million mosquitos. And I actually didn’t mind listening to the cars drive by all night and the cows mooing across the street. I think Josh might disagree with me on that though.
We woke up bright and early, around 7 am. We got dressed, ate a quick breakfast of cereal, and packed up camp. Then we headed down to go canoeing. We got our life jackets on and hopped into a canoe.
Crazy amounts of fun ensued. Well, not exactly. Neither Josh nor I have ever been canoeing or kayaking or any other such water activity. It took us quite awhile to figure out how to get our canoe to go the way we wanted it to. The little creek we were canoeing on had a slow flow, but avoiding all the logs in it was quite tricky.
The kids were mostly whining about the bugs while Josh and I were fussing at each other about steering. FINALLY, we got it all worked out and the last part of our canoe trip was actually pretty fun. We splashed the kids with water from the oars and I stood up and rocked the boat back and forth.
All in all, I’d say it was successful considering we didn’t all end up in the freezing cold creek. Hopefully our next canoe trip is a little less stressful.
After our epic canoeing adventure, we hopped in the car and headed South. We were stoked to go to the Railroad Park in Medford, but as our luck would have it, it was closed when we got there. It was still a little early for lunch, so continued down the road toward Grants Pass.
While we were driving we passed a billboard for the Oregon Vortex. A quick google search enticed us to take the detour and check it out. I was a little unsure if this was going to be lame or not, but it was actually really interesting. We’re suckers for tourist traps.
It was a guided tour and lasted a little over an hour. We hadn’t eaten lunch, so that was a bit of a drag because we were all getting hungry by then. Our tour guide was really knowledgeable and pretty funny. He gave a lot of the history and scientific facts behind the crazy things that happen there. That was really cool for Josh and I. Max thought it was neat, but the girls did not enjoy the back story.
The tour was a little long (and boring for little ones) to hold their attention. But all of them enjoyed watching the golf ball roll uphill and the broom stand up leaning at an angle. The girls did participate in some of the demonstrations, but Max was too shy.
Once we finished up at the Oregon Vortex, we headed to the Depot Street Burger and Malt Shoppe. We had a hard time finding it, but finally did and headed in for lunch. Of course, the kids decided to be super picky. Max wouldn’t eat anything and I had to make Ava a peanut butter sandwich. Lia got a grilled cheese though and ate the whole thing. Josh and I both had burgers and they were great! Then we got some ice cream to go.
We stopped at a gas station to make Max some mac n cheese, then we headed toward Cave Junction. When we first started planning this trip to Oregon, our awesome friend Kristy told us we needed to stay in the tree houses. As soon as we checked out the website, we were sold. Of course, we didn’t actually make a reservation until a few months ago and ended up with one of the most expensive ones. BUT, it actually has a toilet, sink, AND a shower.
Right when we pulled up to Out n About Treehouses Treesort, we knew it was going to be awesome! The site is huge! They have quite a few tree houses, a clubhouse with a breakfast buffet every morning, a cooking cabin with microwaves and toasters, a bunch of gas and charcoal grills, a fire pit, rope swings, tire horse swings, a swimming pool that the creek runs through, horses, a trampoline in the trees, zip lines, and a freaking rooster! I know, right?!
I can’t even begin to describe how awesome this place is! And our treehouse is fabulous! We got the Pleasantree. It’s got a cute little deck outside and you can only get to the treehouse via two swinging bridges. Inside, there are bunk beds built into the wall and a loft with a huge sleeping area. It is super rad!
We got all of our stuff unloaded and up to the treehouse (via a pulley, which was pretty cool!). By then, the kids were itching to explore. We stopped first at the little rope swing, then moved on to the tire horse swings. Next, we headed to the pool. The water was FREEZING, but we put our feet in any way.
After the pool, we headed out to the zip line course. There’s a little baby zip line that you can practice on and the kids can play. They LOVED it! We also discovered the Treepoline, which they had a blast jumping on. And the tarzan swing was fun too… it went way higher than the smaller rope swing.
And then we were starving again. We roasted hot dogs over the grill for dinner, then made ourselves some s’mores (crossing stuff off our summer list). I had to trade out the melted chocolate for non-melted chocolate for the kiddos because they were being whiny about it. Don’t they know that the chocolate being melted is the best part?!
After dessert, it was definitely time for bed. I made them take a quick shower because they were all filthy and then tucked them in. They all went to sleep pretty easily… I think they were tired!
Oregon Vortex – 4 stars: This place was really cool and they did a great job of explaining the science and history behind everything and also what makes the phenomena specific to the area and not just another hokie fake tourist attraction. I think the kids would have enjoyed it more if the tour had been shorter, but overall it was great!
Depot Street Burger and Malt Shoppe – 4 stars: The food was good and the people working there (not sure if they were the owners or not) were super friendly! The ice cream was awesome!! It was hard to find with our GPS and I wish they had served hot dogs or corn dogs too so the kids would have eaten. But overall it was great and we would visit again.
Out n About Treehouses – 88 stars: So far, this place has rocked our world! They have definitely gone above and beyond in making this a complete experience and not just a cool treehouse. Our treehouse is very well designed and constructed and everything about the place is just fabulous. They do get negative points for having a hard-to-navigate website. But seriously, this place needs to go on your bucket list. I knew it would be awesome, but I had no idea it would be this great!
Things I learned today:
1. Lia has to hit her head at least once every time we travel. Today, she fell flat on her face in the gravel AND got whacked in the head with the metal pole from the zip line.
2. My dear husband cannot figure out which way to row to make the canoe turn left and right.
3. I should probably just go ahead and make the assumption that most places we decide to visit will be closed. Even though it’s summer.
4. In a cyclonic vortex, objects (and people) are naturally pulled toward the eye of the vortex instead of toward true North. Also, close your eyes for a cool experience.
5. I should not have thought that we would be able to swim in Oregon. Even though it’s late June, the water everywhere is still freezing cold!
6. Sleeping in a treehouse is awesome!
Cereal at a campsite.Little girl with pine cones.Toddler getting life vest on before canoeing.Man with oars.Family portrait before canoeing.Kids in a canoe.Mom and toddler rowing a canoe.Man in a canoe in Oregon.Kids canoeing.Mom splashing kids with water in a canoe.Fun picture of mom in a canoe.Toddler under her favorite blankie.Boy doing Oregon workbook.Girl drawing a hot air balloon.Smiling toddler on a road trip.

In the Oregon Vortex, crazy stuff happens. Check out Ava & Lia’s height difference on a completely level surface.

Kids at the Oregon Vortex.Kids at the Oregon Vortex.Oregon Vortex standing sideways.Family picture at the Oregon Vortex.The house of Mystery at the Oregon Vortex.Oregon Vortex sign.Girl in an old hamburger stand.Kids waiting for food at Depot St. Burger restaurant in Rogue Valley.Girl at an old diner counter.Oregon map.Kid in a treehouse.Happy girl at out n about treehouses in Oregon.Family portrait in front of a treehouse.Girl on a rope swing.Woman on a rope swing.Mom and toddler swinging on a rope swing.Boy on a rope swing at Out N About Treehouses.Mom pushing daughter on a rope swing.Girl on a rope swing.Toddler on a horse swing.Feet in the water.Girl in cold river water.Funny mom picture.Toddler in the Out N About Treehouse river.Cool Oregon flowers.Kid at Out N About Treehouses.Kids running through an Oregon field.Girl on a zip line.Mom and toddler on a zip line at Out N About Treehouse.Boy on a zip line.Boy laying on a treepoline.Girl laying on a treepoline.Toddler laying on a treepoline.Girl jumping on a treepoline at Out N About treehouses in Oregon.Mom jumping with daughter on treepoline.Gigantic trees in Oregon.Girl on the treepoline.Boy on the Tarzan Swing at Out n About treehouse.Mom and son on the Tarzan rope swing.Daddy high up on the rope swing.Mommy swinging on the rope swing.Toddler on the treepoline.Girl sliding on the treepoline at Out N About treehouses.Boy on the treepoline.Laying on the treepoline in Oregon.Girl sliding at Out N About treehouses in southern Oregon.Toddler on the zipline.Toddler riding on daddy's shoulders.Stu, the rooster, at Out N About treehouses in Oregon.Pleasantree treehouse in Southern Oregon.Pleasantree treehouse sign.Toddler roasting hot dogs.Hot dog on a stick.Kids roasting marshmallows to make s'mores.S'mores on the grill.Kids making s'mores.S'mores.Girl eating s'mores.Toddler eating s'mores.Boy eating s'mores in Oregon.Mom eating s'mores.Dad eating s'mores.Happy girl eating s'mores in Oregon.Kids walking on rope bridge to treehouse in Oregon.Beautiful treehouse in Oregon at night.
PS. Like following along with our road trips and want to have a fun adventure of your own? Check out our awesome Road Trip in a Box kit. It has everything you’ll need plus our step by step guide on road trippin’ with kids 🙂


  • Saw this via a link from Kristy on Facebook, she is a GREAT friend isn’t she?
    I live in Southern Oregon, I don’t have kids and I’ve been to the vortex mystery house as well.
    Here’s some tips for you: If you still want to go to the railroad park, go on the weekend they aren’t open weekdays. That park has a couple miles of tracks with a running train on it too! 🙂
    Never knew the treehouses existed in Oregon, you have some pretty wicked (GREAT) pictures!
    I don’t know your plans or how far north you are planning on going but do these:
    Oregon Caves (I believe you are not too far from it since the treehouses are out towards Cave Junction).
    If you come back towards Grants Pass go to Wildlife Images
    then if you are going further north to Roseburg go to Wildlife Safari they have two parts: zoo style and of course Safari style where you drive through each gated pen.
    If you are going further than that I highly recommend you get to the Evergreen Air & Space Museum. You could see the museum in a whole day, but now that they have added the water park you’ll need a couple days.
    If you want other tips or ideas, etc you can email me or ask Kristy 🙂
    Oh one other things since you already figured out the canoeing thing; the side both oars row on is how you turn it (think like rudders) if you have oars on each side the boat will not turn (and this is true for any boat that uses oars)

  • Oh my gosh those tree houses! Are those even real?! That place looks amazing! You guys all look like you’re having a blast.
    Oh, and it’s official. You’re the coolest family ever.

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