By Sam Landsberg, 14, Hamilton HS
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Last summer I had the incredible opportunity to go to China. While there I wrote a weekly blog about my travels in the Far East. This summer I’m traveling again, but this time I’m hitting the road. My family and I are driving from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon and back in two weeks with a lot of stops along the way. This time I’ll be blogging about my trip also.
The long drives can be boring, but I mostly sleep through them. When I’m not, I listen to my iPod, read, and watch the world fly by. But once in a while the traveling gets to me. My legs start cramping up after three hours, I can’t stand my brother or I’m simply bored of looking at plants. It’s always an adventure, though, and I love it.

Our first stop was in Salinas, California. Salinas is a small town near Monterey in Northern California. It’s about 300 miles from Los Angeles. It took around six hours to get there. Our close family friend was visiting her parents there, so we stopped for the day to hang out with them. We went out to lunch and then walked around the marina in Monterey, but the highlight of the day was dinner. My family, our friend and her parents went to dinner at Phil’s Fish Market, a seafood restaurant with a beach on one side and a power plant on the other. The fish was fresh and the cooking was delicious. I had fried fish and shrimp. There was also crab, crab cakes and fish tacos at our table. All together, it was a fun day. We stayed in Salinas that night and the next day we were back on the road.

Sam and his brother Galen on Lake Siskiyou.

We drove to Lake Siskiyou, a beautiful lake only a few hours from the California and Oregon border. Lake Siskiyou is 365 miles from Salinas, but it didn’t take much longer than the last drive. The whole trip seems like a blur though. When we arrived my brother and I set up our tent and stretched out our legs. We camped there for three days and two nights. I slept better than I ever have camping. I was finally catching up on all the sleep I lost during the school year. It was so relaxing. We didn’t have to do anything.

The lake had kayaks, canoes and paddleboats for rent. My family and I went kayaking one day and then canoeing another. We took the canoe across the lake and ate lunch on the opposite bank. It was a lot of fun, but hard sometimes. Canoes are easy to tip, although miraculously we didn’t, but even so keeping a straight course with four people rowing is very difficult. I had a great time all the same. Two of the nights we went to a nightly free movie outside in a very small amphitheatre. The movies were all little kid movies, but I enjoyed them anyway. The second night was one of my favorite animated movies ever: The Aristocats. I used to watch The Aristocats all the time when I was a little kid, and now I realize that it has adult humor too and it’s still funny.

Thursday morning we packed up and piled in the car. First we stopped at the Black Bear Diner, a local diner that has now become a chain. It was a small, charming, little diner. The menus were replicas of 1969 local newspapers. It was really fun. After that, we took the short hour-and-a-half-trip (only 78 miles) to Ashland, Oregon home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The festival is supposed to be incredible and I’m really excited for it. I’m just settling in to our beautiful guesthouse as I write this. Ashland is a real hippie town and so far I love it. It’s a mix of young people, either from Southern Oregon University or just living here for fun, and older, retired people.

Till next time,