Heading South




We have spent the past two days heading south. Late Saturday morning we left Newport and headed down the Oregon coast. Highway 101 is a beautifully scenic drive. The picturesque views of the ocean are excellent. There are numerous state parks all along the coast. They are lovely and right on the ocean providing terrific views of the Pacific, hiking, and camping. Well done, Oregon! Well done!















We stopped at Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area along the way.











We visited the Coquille River Lighthouse and spent some time at Bullards Beach.




















Saturday night camped at the lovely Bullards Beach State Park. The campsites were spacious and afforded a rare amount of privacy. The beach was only a short walk away.


Unlike yesterday’s beautiful sunshine, today was rather blustery. It was rainy, dreary, and gray. And though I was missing the sun, I must say that the mist and fog added to the charms of Oregon and California’s rugged coastlines.












We are staying along the Klamath River tonight.










Tomorrow I will write about our Redwood Forest adventures. BIG TREES = BIG ADVENTURE

Categories: California, National Forests, National Parks, Oregon, state parks | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome to the Teen Years

Happy 13th Birthday to our George!

It was a wonderful day!


Happy Birthday, George!!!

Happy Birthday, George!!!


Categories: Oregon | 2 Comments

Yaquina Lighthouses and Devils Punch Bowl

After a dreary, rainy morning, the sun made an unexpected, but glorious, appearance this afternoon. We set out for Yaquina Bay State Park to view the historic Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.  It is an adorable little lighthouse in a lovely little park. The lighthouse was actually only in use for 3 years. It sat empty, unused, and dilapidated until it was restored in 1974. The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse’s light was re-lit in 1996.


We then drove up to the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area to see the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. The view of the lighthouse standing boldly on the cliff above the ocean was so picturesque it almost felt surreal. The park was wonderfully rugged and natural. The beauty was breathtaking. Truly.
























From the Yaquina Head Lighthouse, we walked down to Cobble Beach. It was marvelous!  It is an extraordinary beach!  I was in awe of the beauty as I stood with cliffs behind me, the rugged coastline before me, and piles of round basalt rocks beneath my feet. Harbor seals basked in the sun on the rough rocks jutting out of the ocean, while birds flew over head circling the waters below, calling out to their friends.

























We arrived at low tide, which provided an awesome view of mussels, star fish, hermit crabs, turban snails, purple sea urchins, green anemones, and blue crabs.  There is something so amazing and wonderful about seeing these creatures in their natural habitat. Nature, wild and free.



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Finally, we drove to Devils Punch Bowl State Natural Area. It is a great little park overlooking Devils Punch Bowl. Unfortunately, we arrived at low tide, so the punch bowl was empty. Nonetheless, it was quite a sight!



Categories: National Parks, Oregon, state parks | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What Sweet Mystery

 “There is, one knows not what sweet mystery about the sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath.” – Herman Melville

Newport, Oregon

Newport, Oregon

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Mount Hood and the Historic Timberline Lodge

After a less than exciting morning of washing laundry and grocery shopping, we headed up to Mount Hood and Timberline Lodge.  I don’t think I have ever visited Oregon without visiting the lodge. We hadn’t scheduled time for it, but we delayed our move to the coast an extra day because I had to go. It’s tradition. The kids are all old enough now to appreciate its history and craftsmanship, which was great.  We all really enjoyed our time there. It was a lovely drive through the Mount Hood National Forest. Unfortunately, it was very cloudy and most of the mountain was not visible.

National Historic Landmark, Timberline Lodge was constructed during the Great Depression of the 1930’s by craftspeople working under the Federal Works Projects Administration. This stately Cascadian building was constructed of stone and large timbers and has been thoughtfully maintained. Publicly owned, and privately operated, Timberline Lodge is open to the public as a hotel, restaurant, and ski resort. Nearly two million visitors from all over the globe enjoy the lodge’s warm hospitality each year. Forest Service interpretive staff provide tours of the lodge. –http://www.fs.usda.gov/attmain/mthood/specialplaces

Learn more about the lodge’s interesting history here.

Cloud covered Mount Hood

Cloud covered Mount Hood


Categories: National Forests, Oregon | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Cannon Beach and Fort Clatsop

Yesterday was yet another fun-filled day! We decided to spend the day in Cannon Beach and Astoria. These two places are dear to my heart. First, I have been going there since I was a very young girl and I have wonderful memories of my visits. Second, adding to its charms, is my love of The Goonies (if you were a kid in the 80s you’ll understand).

We headed to Cannon Beach in the morning. Cannon Beach is a lovely little town full of art galleries, souvenir shops, restaurants, and bakeries. The beach itself is rugged and beautiful. It is wild and free and wonderful. And it is delightfully windy. I have never been there when the wind wasn’t trying to sweep me off my feet. It is also home to the famous and amazing Haystack Rock.

Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach































Later in the afternoon we headed up toward Astoria. We stopped at the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park. We visited a replica of Fort Clatsop, the 1805-1806 winter encampment for the Lewis and Clark expedition. We also spent some time at the interpretive center. We had recently watched a fascinating documentary by Ken Burns about Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery, so this was especially interesting. Visiting the fort really made history come to life.

Fort Clatsop

Fort Clatsop

A replica of Fort Clatsop

A replica of Fort Clatsop

Oregon and rain go together like peanut butter and jelly

Oregon and rain go together like peanut butter and jelly

beautiful trees

beautiful trees

interpretive center

interpretive center

Lewis and Clark River

Lewis and Clark River

Categories: National Parks, Oregon | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


We spent a terrific weekend in Portland with our wonderful family!  Spending time with relatives who live on the opposite side of the country is definitely a perk to this cross country adventure. Friday evening we went to my cousin’s birthday party. We had so much fun and we were happy to get to celebrate a milestone birthday with him.

Saturday we went to the Oregon Zoo with my Aunt and Uncle. It was a fantastic day!























We packed a lot into Sunday – breakfast in Estacada (Yum!), downtown Portland with Powell’s Books, lunch at Canteen (delicious!), shopping at Fry’s (What could say Father’s Day better than a trip to Fry’s?!), a trip to the airport (Likewise, what could be more fun for Father’s Day than airplanes, races cars, and manly tools?), and a fun dinner out!  It was definitely a fun Father’s Day and Nick had a great time!


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Columbia River Gorge

We have enjoyed a wonderful week in the Columbia River Gorge!  After reading this review, we decided to camp in Memaloose State Park. It is a lovely park with an amazing view of the river!  Memaloose is situated between the little towns of Hood River and The Dalles, which has been a lot of fun.  Today we are moving on toward Mt. Hood for new adventures!


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Taking It In Stride

Some days don’t go as planned…











…but there is still beauty all around.














Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s handwriting – a wayside sacrament.  Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson








Categories: Oregon | Tags: | 1 Comment

Multnomah Falls and Other Adventures

I love Oregon! It is one of my two favorite states (North Carolina is the other). It is so green and lush. Oregon is home to a gorgeous coastline, beautiful mountains, the Columbia River Gorge, and interesting desert-type areas in the east. It is all amazing and beautiful!

In addition to all of these fantastic wonders, I have some beloved family here in the Portland area. We have been having a wonderful time with my Uncle, Aunt, and cousin. This is our fist time back since we lived out here (2001-2002), and we are making the most of our visit. Friday night was dinner with family – delicious food and great conversation. Then yesterday, we visited the lovely and amazing Multnomah Falls with my aunt and cousin, followed by lunch in Hood River. It was a beautiful day and we had a wonderful time!

(Click on the pictures to view them larger)


Late in the afternoon, Nick and I went for a hike at the Mark O. Hatfield Trailhead to the Twin Tunnels. The view of the Columbia River was quite lovely!


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