Jordan & Alyson Ogren


Posted on June 3rd, 2010 by Alyson Ogren

The morning of Sunday, May 30th, we left Bozeman, Montana toward our destination: Seattle, Washington. We fueled up at The Daily Coffee Bar with delicious breakfast burritos and a much needed cup of coffee. The drive was beautiful as we traversed up the Idaho Mountains and descended into the plains of Eastern Washington. As we approached Seattle, we stopped at the Columbia River near Vantage, WA to stretch our legs.

Sagebrush near the Columbia River

We arrived in Seattle around 9:00pm PST, and were greeted by my sister Averi and friends. That night, we went to The Shelter Lounge in Ballard and enjoyed good food, good drink, and great company. The next day we toured around the city visiting Averi’s church/workplace – Epic Life, enjoyed lunch with friends at the Greenlake Bar and Grill, explored Gasworks Park, saw the Space Needle, and took a water taxi to Alki to wander the beach.

Gasworks Park, Seattle, Washington

Space Needle, Seattle, Washington

Alki Beach

After taking the taxi back across the Sound, we went to the Zig Zag Café, home to Murray Stenson (one of the top 10 bartenders in the United States), and enjoyed a cocktail. For dinner, we went to Café Champagne near Pike’s Market to celebrate Averi’s birthday. To end the day, we stopped by Kerry Park and viewed the amazing skyline at night.

Seagull near Pike's Market

Seagull near Pike's Market

Kerry Park, Seattle, Washington

Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park

Posted on May 30th, 2010 by Jordan Ogren

After being on the road for 10 hours, we reached Wyoming at 2:42pm MST, Saturday, May 29th. We continued to drive through Wyoming, diverging from I-90 onto State Highway 14. By 6:30am we had reached Bighorn National Forest. We climbed 8,347 feet up into the Bighorn Mountains, where it was 32° and snowing. We saw a moose, a marmot, and mule deer; a large waterfall; many precarious cliffs; and lots of Sagebrush.

Sagebrush and Snow in Bighorn National Forest.

We then descended into the land between the Bighorns and Yellowstone, where we stopped in Greybull, WY for a hearty breakfast at the Uptown Cafe (Think small town Wyoming, Ma & Pop cafe, and cigarettes).

The last of the Bighorn Mountains

Thistle in Wyoming

We passed through the Buffalo Bill State Park, and entered Yellowstone National Park around Noon through the East Entrance. Yellowstone is a land of steam and peculiarities. We saw lots of buffalo and some elk, many tourists from many states and Japan, and we missed watching Old Faithful explode by about 45 seconds (we actually saw it shooting over the trees from the parking lot). It was about 2:30pm when we were at Old Faithful, and we were just to tired, from all the driving, to wait the approximated 90 minutes until the next eruption. We took some video of it steaming though, which we’ll post at some point.

Steam and Trees in Yellowstone
Buffalo, the American Bison

After Old Faithful, we spent some time at the Grand Prismatic Spring. We felt like we were on another planet.

Grand Prismatic Springs emptying into Firehole river.
Grand Prismatic Springs
Grand Prismatic Springs
Boardwalk engulfed in steam at the Grand Prismatic Springs

After spending about 4 hours in the park, we were exhausted, and ready for food, a bath, and bed. We left through the West entrance and drove North about 2 hours to Bozeman, Montana. After we checked into the hotel, we ate some excellent, handmade pizza from Audrey’s Pizza Oven. If you are ever in Bozeman, you should check them out; their Great Northwestern Bread is fabulous. And then… we crashed.

Goodbye Minnesota. Hello South Dakota.

Posted on May 30th, 2010 by Jordan Ogren

We left Winona a little before 5pm, and reached South Dakota by about 9pm.

The Jolly Green Giant. Blue Earth, MN.

We stopped in Blue Earth, MN to to eat, and to wave at the Jolly Green Giant.

Cement tepee at sunset.  South Dakota visitor center.

We also stopped at the South Dakota visitor center to get a map, and take a closer look at this large, cement tepee.

Under the cement tepee. South Dakota visitor center.

Really Big Road Trip

Posted on May 26th, 2010 by Jordan Ogren

Alyson and I are about to embark on our really big road trip. Estimated at 6,800 miles, to be covered in 16 days, we’ve planned a tour of the Pacific Coast, the South West, and some of the Deep South. Below is a map that shows an overview of our planned route and it shows some of our major stops.

Map of our route.

This Friday, May 28th, we will begin the first leg of our trip; Our destination: Seattle, Washington. Starting in Winona, Minnesota, we’ll drive non-stop for 17 hours to Bozeman, Montana and arrive at about Noon on Saturday. If we are feeling energetic, we’ll venture into Yellowstone National Park for the afternoon. Sunday morning we’ll get back on the road towards Seattle, arriving there in the early evening. Alyson’s sister, Averi, and several of our good friends live in Seattle. We will spend all of Memorial day visiting them and sightseeing in downtown Seattle.

Tuesday, June 1st, we will start the second leg of the trip by heading to the Pacific Coast Highway which begins in California. We will drive through Portland, Oregon; camp in Redwood National Park, just inside the California border; and drive across the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco, California. From San Francisco, we will drive East to the Sierra Nevada, stopping in Yosemite National Park. We’ll then go South along the Sierras to Sequoia National Park. We’ll end this leg of the trip by driving through Los Angeles, visiting with some of our family, to Carlsbad where our friend, Paul Rohde, lives. That Saturday, June 5th, we will venture to Joshua Tree National Park, with Paul, for exploration and photography. We’ll will most likely spend the evening on a beach near Carlsbad resting up for our next jaunt.

Sunday, after we attend church with Paul, the third leg will commence with a drive along the California/Mexico border to Yuma, Arizona and then Tucson, Arizona. We’ll then drive though the southernmost part of New Mexico and El Paso, Texas to get to Big Bend National Park where we plan to camp. From Big Bend, we’ll travel on to Austin, Texas were we will spend a day, or two, exploring the city and surrounding areas. We’ll also spend some time in Corpus Christi, probably enjoying Padre Island National Seashore. Finally we will drive through the bayous to New Orleans, Louisiana.

Our final leg will begin with our departure from New Orleans towards Memphis, Tennessee. From Memphis, we will drive through St Louis, Missouri, and finally reach our home, back in Winona, Minnesota.

This trip will be very long, but Alyson and I are excited to drive through countless places we’ve never been, and see what we can see. We plan to take copious amounts photographs, and document the trip here on our blog, every day or so. Stats from the trip will be collected at

We invite you to follow us here at, at our Twitter feeds (@JordanOgren & @AlysonOgren), or at Facebook.

-Jordan and Alyson


Posted on May 23rd, 2010 by Alyson Ogren

After four years of blood, sweat, and tears, I finally graduated from Winona State University. On Friday May 7 2010,  I received a Bachelor of Liberal Arts Degree in Advertising with a minor in Photojournalism. On graduation morning, Jordan surprised me with a beautiful string of fresh water pearls and earrings to match. The entire weekend was filled with food, fun, and family. Averi flew in from Seattle to watch her baby sister graduate. G&G Norgaard and G&G Ogren were also able to attend commencement along with my parents and the Ogren crew. I felt truly blessed to have such a large cheering section as I walked across the stage to receive my diploma. On Saturday, my parents hosted a celebration at their home in Melrose, WI. G&G Patel and Erik & Kasia were able to join the rest of us for this celebration.  Entering college, I never would have guessed that the size of my family would have doubled in size by the end. Thanks to everyone for the well-wishes, gifts, and support. I couldn’t have done it without you!