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Exploring The Columbia River Gorge

I’ve drove through this amazing gorge in the past and gazed upon it’s beauty but never really stopped and explored the area, so that’s exactly what we did last weekend and it’s one of my favorite locations in both Washington and Oregon, as it is located on both sides.

We made our way to the Columbia River Gorge from the Oregon side, which has more of the popular views and waterfalls. I recommend taking the Historic Highway, just the drive is gorgeous and you will find many waterfalls along the way that I cannot find the names to, as they are a little smaller, but it is a must do. If you have an R. V, it may not be quiet safe for you to drive it though.

The first official stop we made was Latourell Falls, one of my favorite Oregon waterfalls, you can get right up to where the water meets. It’s so powerful you can feel the spray without being too close, this thing is massive!

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We saw a trail that led further down that I definitely recommend taking, the entire area is gorgeous.

There are many other stops along the Historic Highway, Multnomah Falls, the tallest waterfall in Oregon, was unfortunately blocked off during the season, so we couldn’t get any good shots, but it is still quiet the view. When on the Washington side of the Gorge, you can still see this massive waterfall on the other side of the Columbia River.

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We didn’t get photos of Bridal Veil Falls or Horsetail Falls because that part of the Historic Highway was closed when we were there, but we will be sure to be back to these natural wonders.

When driving along the Gorge, make sure to look onto the Washington side of the river to see an enormous waterfall going down into the river, I’m not sure of the name of this but it is absolutely breathtaking.

As I said before, you will run into waterfalls along this highway every few minutes and each one is worth stopping to see, some even without names. For a full list of the popular waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge, click here.

We crossed over the Bridge Of The Gods, which links the Oregon portion of the Gorge to Washington and is a two dollar toll bridge that is pretty awesome.

Once we got onto the Washington side, we found a local secret waterfall that took us on a National Forest Development road all the way up a mountain where it began to snow! By the time we left this area, we had about two feet of snow!

The waterfall we saw was Panther Creek Falls and it was amazing, it was a short hike downhill with an overlook, it also has a little rock climb down to the lower level. It has a rope to help you down and I definitely recommend it.

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Afterwards, we started heading towards our Airbnb towards Washougal and stopped at Cape Horn, right off the highway and it is STUNNING! You can see the entire Gorge and even spot the waterfalls on the Oregon side.

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In Washougal, we stayed at a Treehouse we found on Airbnb, and it was perfect for our lifestyle! I definitely recommend Airbnb for travelers, it allows you to meet new people and discover new creative homes and places.

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Washougal Treehouse. Click here to sign up for Airbnb and get $40 off your first stay.

We are going to be heading back to this area soon, the summer would be more ideal for this area so we wont run into snow again. But after doing some research, we realized that there is an incredible amount of hidden waterfalls on the Washington side of the Gorge that we must see! We already have a wish list.

We used the book, Curious Gorge, to help us find all these waterfalls and it was extremely helpful and will be our guide for our next adventure here.

If you’d like to check this book out, click here.

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Crater Lake, Oregon

Crater Lake is an absolute must-see location in the Pacific Northwest and one of my favorites! When I first saw Crater Lake with my own eyes, I could only describe it as heaven on Earth. This could have very well been because of the timing of which I was there, which I recommend to anyone wanting to visit there. I was in Crater Lake in July, early in the morning, with a blue sky and clouds within it. The water was incredibly still and the water was a beautiful reflection of the snow of the crater and the sky above it, so perfectly that it was difficult to tell where the water began and the sky started.

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Crater Lake was once a volcano, called Mount Mazama. This volcano’s eruption was so enormous, that it caused the volcano to collapse into itself, leaving a giant crater, almost 2,000 feet deep. This crater filled with water through rainfall and melted snow, making it insanely clean and therefore a gorgeous, bright blue.

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There are many different areas to view the crater and there is one area that you can actually get into the water, this place is called Cleetwood Cove and is about a 20 foot cliff. This jump is a must do! Seeing the snow-covered crater from the crystal clear water is like pure magic and the water isn’t as cold as you would expect. You have to hike about a mile downhill to reach this area, the hike down is wonderful and the hike up can be a little difficult, but well worth it.

The main area of Crater Lake has a lot of information to learn everything about the area, as well as buy souvenirs and some fancy food, which wasn’t as expensive as I expected, with the view that we had.

It is, till this day, the most beautiful place I have ever seen, if you are anywhere in the Pacific Northwest, this is a place that you must see, and I recommend it in the early morning in good weather, and to stay throughout the day.

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Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor – Brookings, OR

Brookings, Oregon is one of my favorite locations in the PNW, for simple reasons such as the beauty and the both Oregon and California coastal feel. Brookings is on the beautiful southern Oregon coast, just thirty minutes from The Redwood Forest in California.

The main attraction here is the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, which is several stops right before you enter into the city off of the famous highway 101. It is a total of 12 miles along the Oregon coast trail and all views can be accessed through simply walking the trail. If you have planned this out beforehand, this would be a gorgeous hike.

These stops are full of incredible views of natural arches and bright blue ocean waters. Some of my favorites are the Natural Bridges, where you can hike on top of the arched rocks themselves, Arch Rock Point, Spruce Island Viewpoints and Cape Forrelo Loop. There is a total of ten hikes and viewpoints. If your doing any of these trails from right off the freeway, the hikes are short, magnificent and not difficult at all.

 

See it on Google Maps here.

 

 

 

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Work You Can Travel With

The most common question I get when I speak about our upcoming travels to our surrounding six states is how I will afford it. Though this question has formed to seem little to me, I am prepared to answer every question thrown at me.

Many people think travel is incredibly expensive and they may never be able to see all the beautiful locations that they wish to see. But the reality of this is, if it truly means enough to you, you will always find a way.

It is law, it is the power of attraction. If you want something enough, it is on your mind always, you are truly dedicated to it, therefore it is drawn to you. New ideas and solutions will come your way every day if you believe that one day you will see this place.

This is how I have felt lately, the only thing I focus most of my attention is to this coming May, when we can start driving our R.V and count the miles. I trust in the universe to allow this to happen, it is set in the stars, in my palm; it is not a simple thought that comes and goes. It is called a passion, a passion to travel, to explore, and when you have a passion, you find a way.

The reason we haven’t already left is because we are waiting for our income tax, which will be our half down on a 37ft R. V that a friend of ours is selling to us for very inexpensive. Once we have this R. V, we have a home, a home on wheels that we own and the possibilities are endless.

Nothing about this trip has to do with the fact that I have a lot of money. If I am being quite honest with you all, I am living off pay check to pay check while saving little bits on the side, but I do not believe this to be a bad thing like most people may. I live my life day to day, I do not worry about my financials outside of making sure I can afford to live with the simple necessities and the current bills that I pay. I do not stress trying to make sure I have an access in money.

As I had written in another post, I do side work to make extra money, sell things I find that I don’t need often and have an app called Qapital to round up my dollars I spend into an account dedicated towards our travels.

There are many sites for paid online surveys, such as Surveys on the Go and Inbox Dollars. There are also sites for freelancers to work on small company projects online, such as freelancer.com and upwork.com. Another tool we hope to take advantage of is workamping, which is working at campsites that either supply free camping, pay or both for short spans of time.

I partake in travel photography with Getty Images as well as miscellaneous photography work for extra money. I have also become affiliated with other brands to promote their products through my photography on social media platforms, some of which pay commission for any sales I bring their way.

Other than this, I have not a worry in the world about travelling wherever I feel need be. There are plenty of ways to make money outside of a scheduled career, there is so much time in the day to come up with creative ways to make money, focus on your dreams and to challenge yourself to think outside the box. The only thing is, it is not what most modern society to trained to do. We are told to stay in one designated city and work and travel when we have the time off. I do not see it this way, I believe my home is anywhere on this Earth; Mother Earth is my home.

“But how can I leave my home? My home is everywhere,” – Yogananda.

Each city we plan to stay in is approximately three hours away from one another. From one location to the next, our agenda is to see the many natural wonders I had mentioned in my last adventure post and to find local jobs using Craiglist under the gigs tab. We currently use this in Spokane for side work, so we know how this works.

We will stay in each city until we gather up enough gas money to get to the next city. Our only concerns will be food and gas and occasionally R. V Parks, as there are free campgrounds and boondocking (free campgrounds without hookups) all over the place. Anyone who believes that road tripping is expensive, has not done their research.

So what if we don’t have a dime in our pocket, we can’t find work and we have no gas? You see, I believe that if I am grateful for the small things I do have and think positively, that this negative energy wont direct my way, but if by chance it does (of course, there are always credit cards) but there are also many places that pay you a decent chunk of money to donate your blood or plasma. On average, they pay about $15 per donation, sometimes more, this will supply us with at least $30 within two hours. Yes, this is for the very desperate.

Many people do not realize exactly how many options there really is.

We do not wish to stay in five star resorts, go out to dinner and have drinks on the weekends or to buy from local shops wherever we go, we are only trying to experience nature and challenge our creativity to focus on our true passions.

We have discussed starting an Etsy shop here real soon with homemade teas and incents that we may be able to make a profit while travelling as well, this plan is still in process and we can’t wait to see what is to come from it, I will make sure to keep you updated as this progresses. We are also in the process of a Youtube channel that we will start within the upcoming month and continue throughout our travels. Though this may not make us money at first, in the long run the possibilities are infinite.

We will use free Wi-Fi at coffee shops to job search when needed and to provide all my lovely followers with new blog posts and photos of our travels.

There is so much stuff we live with that we believe we need, but we really don’t. To us, it has become overbearing and we wish to clear our minds and our spirits within nature. We wish to be in touch with the real world of Mother Earth and simplicity, instead of what we know the real world to be, as buildings and roadways, schedules and deadlines.

 

<3 staywildmoonchild

 

 

 

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The Adventure Destinations

I am excited for so many things to come during this adventure, but of course the most exciting is going to be experiencing the beautiful locations and nature around us. We have an elaborate plan as to how exactly we’re going to travel these six states and they’re amazing natural wonders.

We would like to keep things as spontaneous as we can, knowing that we are never on a timed schedule so we can slow down and really soak in every moment. Though we have a detailed plan, we are open to new ideas along the way.

We currently reside in Spokane, WA. Coming this May, we will work our way down to the Mt. Saint Helens Ape Caves. We will stay in Portland, OR for a week or so while we explore Lower Lewis Falls, Ponytail Falls, Oneonta Falls, Latourell Falls, Elowah Falls and Mahclella Falls and the Columbia River Gorge. These seems like quite a bit of waterfalls, but each of these are followed by beautiful nature hikes.

From there, we will move down to Bend, OR, where we plan to stay for several weeks, travelling to Drift Creek Falls, Opal Creek, Silver Falls State Park, Cougar hot springs, Tumalo Falls, which leads to a beautiful small, incredibly blue pool, the Painted Hills and Proxy Falls.

On our way downward, we will also see Toketee Falls and Crater Lake before we move towards the coast to the Oregon Caves and Boardman State Park. After this, we will enter California, where we will stay in Crescent City for about a week, exploring the Redwood Forest.

Next, we will move towards Central Valley, CA, where we plan to also stay several weeks while adventuring these beautiful waterfalls, Mossbrae Falls, Burney Falls, Whiskeytown Falls and Subway Cave and Lassen Volcanic National Park. From there, we will move south to Lake Tahoe, spanning off to Yosemite National Park, Mono Lake, Rainbow Falls and Devil’s Postpile.

Then we will head west to Big Sur, CA, where we will get time on the beautiful coast and see Pfeiffer Beach and Mcway Falls, where the sand turns a brilliant lavender at sunset. We will stay here for several weeks before moving on to our next destination, the Sequoia National Park, to Death Valley, then crossing over to Las Vegas, Nevada.

Neither of us have been to Las Vegas since we have turned 21, this will be a fun experience for us both. But you would be surprised how beautiful Las Vegas is outside of the casinos. There we will stay several weeks exploring the Valley of Fire, Gold Strike Hot Springs, Big Falls and First Creek Waterfall.

Arizona is real close by, we will venture off to Grand Canyon and see many incredibly beautiful waterfalls as well as deserts, including Rock Falls, Beaver Falls, Havasu Falls, Mooney Falls, Grand Falls, The Painted Desert, Petrified Forest, Antelope Canyon and of course the Grand Canyon.

After this, we will begin to head up north again, but by no means does the adventure end. We will head up to Utah to see Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon, we will be staying in Junction for about a week to see some other nearby locations.

After that, three hours north is Salt Lake City, where we will stay a few weeks and see Stewart Falls, Cataract Gorge, Upper Provo Falls and Grotto Falls.

Another three hours north is Twin Falls, Idaho, where we will travel to Shoshore Falls, Deadman Falls, Cauldrin Linn Falls and Malad Gorge State Park.

Only an hour up is Boise, where we’ll also see Jump Creek Falls, Kirkhas hot springs and Gold Fork hot springs.

Technically, this is the last of our trip. We have several road maps of every state with every destination pin-pointed, as well as the time and miles it will take to travel to these locations, which on average is only three hours from one city to another.

There are so many other destinations I wish we could see in these states, but we must plan smart. I am also sure that we will find more excursions in every place, upon asking the local tourist information places.

This may all seem like a lot, it may all seem impossible, expensive or risky. But life is not meant to be spent in one comfort zone, or behind a desk right out of college, this is the message I wish to teach to everyone who responds to this with, “I wish I could do that.”

We must realize within ourselves that there is more to our lives than what we experience every day, and we must go out and find what it is that really makes us happy. This will not be the same for everybody, as it shouldn’t. We are meant to challenge ourselves and the role of which we play on this Earth, what sets us apart from one another.

I think we will always surprise ourselves with all the things that we can do that we believed we never could. Not one person can tell me that I will fail, and if they do, then they don’t understand passion and the power of the mind.

In my next entry I will explain exactly how we are financially planning this adventure. I will explain every step until I leave and every exploration on the road. <3

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My Strides Towards Minimalism

Recently, I watched another documentary (I’m a big fan of documentaries) called Minimalism. I would say that it was this documentary that changed my outlook on life, but it hit me like a load of useless junk laying around in my house! I just needed that extra push, I needed that extra knowledge.

I have never been a hoarder, collector or shopaholic; but I did buy things for the simple reason that it is cute, I guess you can call that being a woman, or simply being a human in modern society.

The very next day, my boyfriend and I started clearing out our house and ridding all the things collecting dust, we found things we forgot we even had and the things that served no purpose, but sat there looking pretty, just because.

The beginning of the process can be difficult, you want to justify the things that you think you’ll use or think you’ll wear, but the truth is, you quite simply do not use that object, and someone else will appreciate it much more than you do.

To this day, we are still ridding our home of the things we do not need, going through them every day as we come across them and realizing we haven’t used that in a month, and it has been a breath of fresh air.

We have sold, thrown away and donated so many things, and yet I feel as if I am missing nothing. All the art work on the walls that I thought made this house look homey, clearly have served no purpose towards that fact. The truth is, the less things we have, the less worry we seem to have as well.

When we have all these things that linger around our home it just results in clutter. It results in an overabundance in “cute” things that you don’t use that you once thought would fill a void inside of you, but then you forgot about it a few weeks after you purchased it and moved onto the next thing. We keep moving onto the next thing and the next thing. When one object has made us feel happy for a week, we go off to find the next thing that will.

I’m starting to realize that there is no end to this process, there will always be something new, something cuter, something better. This is a hunt that never ends, resulting in a void of unhappiness that never ceases, because we’ve been filling it with all the wrong things, all the wrong stuff.

The thing is, it’s not about stuff at all. It’s about the things you fill your time with without all the stuff around to distract you from the things that really matter in life. You see, when you have all these electronics, all this TV, all these decorations, clothes, makeup, jewelry, shoes, movies, dirty dishes, perfumes, too many purses, a junk drawer that’s always full, so many decorative rugs to vacuum, you end up with all this clutter to pick up, all these distractions to preoccupy your brain because they’re there!

I have found that without all the distractions, with all the simpler space around me, I have found peace of mind and a stronger devotion to write more, paint more, do yoga more, meditate more, read more and learn more. I stress less about how dirty our house is because we don’t have much things to create a mess in the first place. And it feels wonderful.

Modern society tells us to buy, buy, buy. We are taught by trends, that this season you need lace up shirts, contour, thigh-high boots and false eyelashes and next season, you’ll get rid of all that old season stuff and move onto the next. We are taught to buy this perfume or cologne because it’ll make you sexy, buy this watch because it’ll make you popular, this mascara because it’ll make you beautiful, this car because it’ll make you superior, or this necklace because it’ll make you happy.

People always hear that you can’t buy your way to happiness, but no one every pays attention to this phrase, they think it’s overrated and we’ll never know this until we’re rich enough to test it out. But we test this theory every day, with every dollar we spend, no matter how small, it is a matter of priorities.

When people are unhappy and too scared to truly find happiness within themselves and no one and nothing else, they tend to fill the empty space with things. Things to make them seem lavish, things to distract them from the bigger issue.

I am not one to judge, I used to do the same thing. I think most people that have ever been a position to do such a thing, probably have. It has become a habit of society; it is how we are told to live.

The humbler you become, the more you appreciate the smaller things, you will realize that you actually need very little and that we are very fortunate to have a comfy home to live in, with heating, blankets, bedrooms, pillows, food and a thousand things many people are not fortunate to have. I believe that people may hear this often, but rarely take it to heart.

Therefore, I challenge you this week, to take the first steps towards a simpler life. The first thing I did to minimize the things that I have was to empty my closet of the clothes and shoes I haven’t worn in several months; start with this. Put them in a few large bags and bring them to Plato’s Closet or sell them on an online local selling app, the point is to get rid of it before you have the chance to second guess your decision.

With each step, the process will become easier, the next thing that is relatively easy and useful is to pay attention to the things that you use in your everyday life. If you find yourself not using something for that entire month, get rid of it!

Let me know of any questions you have, recommendations or comments about how this challenge has worked for you.

I promise you that with less things, you will create more abundance within the soul. 🙂