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My wife and I are just about to take off from Bend, Oregon to our hotel near Portland the night before the Great American Eclipse. At this point, I cannot wait to see the eclipse tomorrow! Super excited.

You may be wondering why we are switching towns and hotels. As it turns out, when I first got a screaming deal on a hotel room for the eclipse, I was only able to find one in Portland on Sunday for a mere 20,000 Honors points. Bend had no availability.

However, I realized that since our plans included a Friday night in northern California for an out of area doctor’s appointment, and then Sunday night in Portland, we might as well make a weekend of it and spend a third night in between the two. Turned out that the Doubletree in Bend still had hotel rooms available Saturday, so I booked one.

Planning our drive to Portland

This morning things were looking great. Google Maps plotted the trip from Bend to Clackamas as a solid blue line without any problematic traffic. Contrast this with the major snarl we hit in La Pine yesterday.

However, we’d decided to take it easy at the hotel today, and now we’re looking at at two areas of congestion: north of Redmond and in the middle of Madras. This is if we go with my original plan and head north before cutting over on highway 26.

If we go with option B and head west on highways 20 & 22, and then north on I-5, we have to deal with a congested area of I-5 north of Woodburn. Probably a bit better, but not ideal.

I’m also wondering….will the traffic continue to worsen? Or will it remain the same?

Option C: Take the back roads

Right now, the option through Madras is forecasting a total trip time of 3:38. The I-5 route is pegged at 3:33.

What Google didn’t suggest was taking some smaller highways. But I was able to come up with a decent route myself (and Google times it at 3:19). Overall, I think it’s probably our best shot.

I am definitely the person who would rather keep moving, even if you’re moving slower on average, or taking a few minutes longer, than playing stop and go in traffic.


We’ll be hitting the road in less than an hour. Hopefully we’ll make it to Portland without incident.

What about you: are you as traffic-adverse as I am? Or would you just take the “typical” route?

Header image via Pixabay under CC0 license


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