Posted on Leave a comment

AirBnb Eco-Cottage – Portland, OR

Portland is such a unique city. It has the perfect combination of outdoors, great food and shops. It’s close to the coast, to the forests, to the Columbia River Gorge and so many other gorgeous Oregon natural gems.

It can be hard to find the right combination of nature and the city life, so you don’t have to drive thirty minutes to get to downtown during your stay in the Portland area. Which is why I recommend this gorgeous eco-cottage found near the Pearl District of Portland.

This eco-cottage is very different in such a beautiful way. If you like tiny house living, this place is perfect for you!

This is an Airbnb, so you do need to book it here.

The home is very small and simple, it is almost like glamping; all easily connected to the outside with lots of natural lighting. The bathroom is located outside with lots of wood and rock, a very spa retreat-like feel.

The toilet is very different and has specific rules for use, but it used absolutely no water!

There is a hot tub and an outdoor shower in an area that contains plenty of bamboo and wood, it seems like your showering in Thailand. The hot water is fantastic, we were there in November and it wasn’t too cold outside! But there is also a space heater to help keep it warm outside.

This space is behind the owners home, but very private. It has a wooden gate all around, withholding an overgrown, garden oasis. We saw plenty of squirrels and raccoons wandering around.

Though we were in a neighborhood in the city, it was also quiet. There was plenty of nature around us and even a park across the street. Some bikes and a canoe are available to use during your stay as well.

This retreat has no t. v but plenty of interesting books; which I loved. It truly forces you to unwind and experience something different than the traditional hotel.

My stay was pure bliss.

If you don’t already have an AirBnb, use this link to create yours and you will get a $40 credit!

Posted on 2 Comments

Cape Kiwanda – Pacific City, Oregon

Cape Kiwanda is my favorite cape on the Oregon coast, and that says a lot because Oregon is full of beautiful coastal lines.

IMG_4876.CR2

The best thing about the Oregon coast is it’s Oregon Beach Bill, which allows you to wander anywhere your heart desires on the beaches, as the beaches belong to the people and are protected from being owned or industrialized. So many signs can say to not go beyond this point or something, but it’s more of a warning.

Cape Kiwanda is located in Pacific City, a small, simple and beautiful town that I love so much! The beach is a very public beach and not hard to find, it also has Pelican Brewing (which has great beer) right on the beach, which is a perfect place with outdoor seating to enjoy the view of haystack rock and the sunset.

IMG_5013.CR2

There’s also a good amount of waves to surf, which many people do here. If your entering the beach, you’ll see a huge sandhill to the right, climb this and you will be on top of Cape Kiwanda.

Once you get on top of this sand hill, there is so much to space to wander, and so many views to see, make sure not to miss a single one and to experience it as best you can, ignoring the warning signs!

Also, make sure to take the scenic view to get to Pacific City, which allows you to see two other capes before Cape Kiwanda, it’s called the three capes scenic drive. You’ll take a right about 20 miles before Pacific City to take this route, there will only be one sign, so much sure to keep a look out for it.

IMG_4953.CR2

Map location and directions here

Posted on Leave a comment

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.

cropped-img_7220

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.

IMG_7196

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.

Posted on 1 Comment

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.

 

 

 

Posted on 2 Comments

Fort Stevens – Warrenton, OR

The Oregon coast contains so much beauty, all the way from north to south. The interesting thing about the beach of Fort Stevens in Warrenton, OR is that it contains history that stands strong in it’s place.

Fort Stevens is in the small city of Warrenton, between the lovely Seaside and Astoria, OR near the state of Washington. The main attraction of this area is it’s beach, where the iron skeleton of Peter Iredale ship still remains. This outline of history is so close to the beach that you can climb upon it when the waves go back into the ocean that gives you a beautiful site of the Pacific Ocean in a whole new way.

Though this is the main attraction, there are many batteries to be seen in Fort Stevens as well, this place is really full of gorgeous history.

 

Find the location here.

 

IMG_3827.CR2IMG_3771.CR2IMG_3779.CR2IMG_3816.CR2IMG_3830.CR2

 

Posted on 4 Comments

Let Us Celebrate The Lives Of The Dead

This October has been such a beautiful one, I’m realizing that it’s one of my favorite months. It carries on the sunshine from the end of summer and still, the color of autumn within the trees.

Halloween continues to be one of my favorite holidays, maybe it’s because during a period of time as a child I was unable to celebrate it because it was “the devil’s holiday.”

I always found the traditions fun, but these traditions go a lot further back than modern day. The day/night of Halloween is known to be the day that releases the barrier between the dead and our world as the world begins to be darker, colder and bounty begins to die, only to begin again.

Originally, people dressed up to convince the dead that they were dead as well, so that they would not be bothered. People also decorated their houses as so and baked sweet goods as a peace offering to the dead to draw them away from their homes.

It is so interesting that this tradition remains nearly the same without the knowledge of it’s meaning.

None of this is necessarily the scary holiday it has turned to be. Halloween is known as a day of celebration to the people who have passed on and the lives that they had; many celebrate it as Samhain, as it was celebrated back in the Celtic age. This wiccan holiday is celebrated on the same day, but as a way to honor the dead in a beautiful way and also to recognize the original day marked as the end of summer and begin the darker days to restart nature’s cycle once more.

Many Pagans and Wiccan’s participate in rituals to honor the dead, if you’d like to participate in any, here are some examples.

The recognition of death is a very important stage within nature and our lives. I believe the more we recognize it, the less grief we would have for people who pass, but instead celebrate the lives that they had. That is what I see within Halloween… but it’s still fun to hand out candy and dress up as something, other than ourselves, under the moonlight.

I hope everyone has a Happy Halloween!

Posted on 3 Comments

Cape Disappointment, WA

The Washington coast goes a bit unnoticed when put next to the beautiful Oregon and California coast. This coast is unique in so many ways and gives an entirely new moody feel of the ocean. The Washington coast contains lots of rain, wind and fog but it is also what makes it so different and a must-see experience.

Cape Disappointment State Park is located in Ilwaco, WA, very close to Astoria, OR and has many wonders to see within the area full of beautiful temperate rainforests.

When you first enter into the park, each side of the road are covered in greenery, there are a few lookout spots that tell the history of the area, like Beardman’s Hollow. There are many wooden bridges throughout the park as well that work well for photography!

This cape contains two lighthouses, the first you will see is the North Head Lighthouse, which is only a quarter mile, easy hike. Of course it tells you to not go close to edge of the cape, but many people had already crossed the fence so I found no harm in doing the same. The view is gorgeous and you can walk far out onto the grass-covered cape to see the Pacific Ocean.

The next lighthouse is the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, this trail is a half mile and a bit more difficult. There are many hills, but it is a very pretty hike with access to beaches along the way.

Along the way you’ll run into Dead Man’s Cove, one of my favorite views of the coast, especially when the lighting is just right. You have to walk down to the beach if you want the best view, but no matter how you see Dead Man’s Cove, it is a spectacular view.

Once you get to the lighthouse, the view overlooks all of Ilwaco and Astoria, you can see the Astoria bridge and all the boats coming in from the ocean into the bay area. The view is perfect for some photographs.

Within the Cape Disappointment State Park you will also have the chance to see Fort Canby and many of it’s batteries as well as the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.

 

Find the Location here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

The Tamolich Blue Pool

The Tamolich Blue Pool is one of the Pacific Northwest most beautiful natural wonders. When I first saw photos of this place, I was intrigued right away, but couldn’t decide for myself whether the photos were photoshopped or not.

Seeing this magical place for myself, I can say that you cannot describe it’s beauty, it just must be seen.

The Tamolich Blue Pool used to be a waterfall, Tamolich Falls, but after a nearby volcanic eruption that left lava rock covering the waterfall, leaving the water flowing out the bottom of where the waterfall was. Because of this, it slowed down the water, creating a still pool that allows you to see the beautiful, blue water of the Mckenzie River.

The trailhead was a bit tricky to find. The main trail, called the Mckenzie Trail is about a six mile hike to three different waterfalls, including the Tamolich Blue Pool. With preparation, this would be an amazing hike. Though, if you just want to see the blue pool, it is located off the Mckenzie Highway down NF-730.

The trail is two miles long and is not a difficult hike. Most of the time you will be alongside the Mckenzie River, so the entire hike is very beautiful. The trail is very popular, so if your trying to hike with not too many people, I would recommend not going during the weekend.

Once you arrive where the pool is, it will be below you and it will blow your mind! There are many places to cliff jump into the pool, varying from 20 to 30 feet. The water is plenty deep to jump into confidently, though incredibly cold.

You can also hike all around the pool unto the other side where you can get right next to the water without jumping at all. I recommend both experiences!

If your looking for a new nature trip in the beautiful state of Oregon, travelling along the Mckenzie Highway to the blue pool will never be a regret, as there is so much to see, including Sahalie Falls and Koosah Falls.

Find directions here.

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Best Places To Travel In The PNW

So many times, I’ve heard of people wanting to travel outside of the U. S, before exploring the wonders of this very country. I was once that person, but I have discovered that there is so much beauty so close to our homes.

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and never realized that it is a prized area to live until I chose to explore it. Here are my favorite places I would recommend to anyone wanting to explore the outdoors of the PNW.

Washington:

Olympic National Park:

rocky3-1-of-1
murhut7-1-of-1

The Olympic National Park is a broad place to mention, but every waterfall and every trail at this park is unlike any other in Washington state. There are waterfalls every 10 miles or less (my favorite is Rocky Brook Falls), it is full of temperate rainforests and located so close to the beautiful salt waters of Washington.

Vance Creek Bridge:

This 422 feet long famous railroad hovers 347 feet over Vance Creek and is located right outside the Olympic National Forest. It is the second highest railway in the U. S. Directions to this cannot be found on Google maps, possibly because it is considered trespassing on land owned by a logging company and there are many ways they have tried to keep hikers out, like signs, knocked down trees and gates.

The bridge is in Shelton, you’ll take NF-1700 for a while before turning onto NF-23, where it is right off to the right. You’ll see lots of knocked down trees and a gate near the entrance. Many of the articles I read made it seem like it was dangerous to go and you could be arrested, but I did not run into any cops, any logging trucks or security of any sort. The hike is about a mile long, but not difficult and well worth it! The bridge is spectacular, surrounded by trees and covered in art by the last rebel hikers. It’s an adrenaline rush to walk on this massive abandoned railroad, surrounded by trees. The beginning portion of the bridge has been taken down, though you can still reach the wooden part of the bridge if your brave enough! I recommend anyone to see this bridge before it is totally demolished.

Lower Lewis Falls:

Unfortunately, I am yet to see this amazing waterfall, but it is next on my to-do list. It is a wide, gorgeous waterfall located in the south/east portion of Mt. Rainier National Forest.

Palouse Falls:

waterfall (1 of 1)

This waterfall is one of Washington’s largest. Located in Lacrosse, in west eastern, WA. You can get a stunning view of the enormous waterfall before taking the hike down towards the waterfall that can be difficult at times and has many alternate routes. You’ll see another waterfall before reaching an overlook of Palouse. There is a small trail down to the bottom of the falls, leading into a small lake as well.

Rattlesnake Ridge:

IMG_8687.CR2

This is a wondrous two hike located in North Bend. It starts off at Rattlesnake lake and you hike to the top of a wide ledge, where you can see the bright blue lake from above. It is quiet the site!

Cape Flattery:

Another natural wonder I have yet to see, but will be soon! Cape flattery has to be one, if not the most beautiful, cape in Washington state. This cape is located on the very top of the state, on the western edge.

Oregon:

Cape Kiwanda:

IMG_4876.CR2

I shall admit, the entire route down 101 south through Oregon is absolutely stunning and a must-do summer trip! There is a route right outside of Tillamook, called Three Capes Scenic Route. Unfortunately, I had missed the turn to this route and missed the other two capes, but Cape Kiwanda is quiet possibly Oregon’s most beautiful cape.

It is located in Pacific City, it starts off as a popular beach and you walk up the sandy hills to stand on the cape. There are many signs and gates that tell you that beyond this gate is dangerous, but it is important to keep in mind that Oregon’s Beach Bill states that the people may still roam wherever the please, as the beaches belong to the people.

Tamolich Blue Pool:

This is one of my favorite locations in the PNW! The tamolich blue pool used to be a waterfall, but after a volcanic eruption, the waterfall was covered with lava rock. The water now seems from the bottom of the rocks and slows the water down enough to create a clear, still pool that is the most brilliant blue you’ll ever see. It is spectacular!

The blue pool is located off of the Mckenzie Highway and was a little difficult to find, as there are no signs off the highway. You’ll turn on NF-730, which leads to the trailhead, it is a two mile hike and not difficult. You can walk all around the water and there are several places to cliff jump into the frigid water, though you can also walk around to get right into the water.

Crater Lake:

IMG_7220
IMG_7196

This magnificent location shares a special place in my heart. Crater lake is in central Oregon and is one the top places to see the in the Pacific Northwest. This lake lies in the Cascade Range, it used to be a volcano named Mount Mazama. This volcano had a massive eruption that caused the mountain to implode on itself, forming a giant crater that filled with rain and snowfall. It is also a magnificent blue and surrounded by gorgeous mountains.

I recommend coming to this place in the early morning. We showed up around 7am, when the water was still and there were some clouds in the sky. The reflection of the mountains and the sky coming off of the lake was like pure magic, it took a few moments of staring to really understand where the water started. It was absolutely stunning, like nothing I’ve ever seen before. You can hike many trails at Crater Lake National Park and drive around the entire crater.

There is one area that you can hike a mile down to cliff jump into 2000 feet deep beautiful water, called Cleetwood Cove and it is an absolute must!

Toketee Falls:

IMG_7283

This waterfall is not far from Crater Lake, when leaving the north entrance, it is off highway 138. The hike is about 1.5 miles and not very difficult. There is a viewpoint that allows you to see the waterfall, but viewpoints are never quiet good enough… So there is a rope next to the main viewpoint area and a sign telling you not to go down to the waterfall, but many have done it anyways. The rope is absolutely necessary, as it is very steep getting down to the falls, but well worth it. The water is the perfect place to swim, but very cold!

Proxy Falls:

One of my favorite Oregon waterfalls! It is about 226 feet tall and flows beautifully, close to the rock wall. The hike is almost two miles and not difficult.

Samuel Boardman Scenic Corridor:

This is several different pull offs off 101 south in Brookings, OR. Each pull off is so gorgeous, full of capes and natural arches that you can hike to. It coordinates with the gorgeous Oregon coast trail.

Painted Hills:

An absolutely magical place, where the desert hills are decorated in vivid color, in central/eastern Oregon. It is an absolute must see and should be a wonder of the world!

California:

Redwood Forest:

IMG_7627

This forest is located in many places in northwest California; the tallest trees on Earth, reaching over 300 feet tall! All the forest areas are full of wonder and are a must see right next to the coast! Some trees were at least ten feet in width!

McArthur Burney Falls:

This waterfall is one of Earth’s ten wonders of the world and located in northern California near Burney, CA. It spans 250 feet wide with numerous falls, surrounded by luscious forest.

MossBrae Falls:

Another stunning waterfall with a wide span, this waterfall trickles against a rock wall, covered in bright green moss. It is a very unique waterfall and I love the way that it flows! It’s located in Dunsmuir, CA.

Lassen Volcanic National Park:

This park is covered in colorful desert and also bright blue waters, which makes a gorgeous combination. Full of clear, blue lakes, waterfalls and mountains.

Many people do not consider southern California as the Pacific Northwest, but if it were, I would mention Yosemite National Park and Joshua Tree Park. Both unique and stunning locations.

It is difficult not to mention even more places within the PNW, but the area is covered in natural wonders.

Posted on 2 Comments

R. V Travel Tips

My boyfriend and I have been traveling in our R. V for about four months now; there have been many challenges and mistakes that we have learned from this new experience and we’ve realized that living in a house on wheels is much different.

Here are some tips to help your R. V travels go a bit smoother, these are the resources that we took advantage of while living on the road.

Boondocking:

Boondocking is a term used for overnight parking for free in many areas. National Forests are the best places to boondock, as it is completely legal to overnight park in National Forests for nearly a month as long as your not disrespectful to the forest. Other things we looked out for were abandoned parking lots, or any lots that had no signage saying that they’re is no overnight parking in that area.

Some stores such as Walmart and Safeway were useful to us often, we spent a total of two weeks in an R. V park during our four month travel and saved a ton of money doing it.

Finding Internet:

During our travels, we shared a pay-as-you-go phone, our internet was limited, which we needed to look for work, email and my blog here! We’ve found that you can find WI-FI without a password in a lot of unexpected places. If we were parked someplace near a store, we would find internet almost every time.

Starbucks was a common place to go and use internet. We had tried other places, but found that Starbucks was consistent, with plugins, reliable internet and a coffee every time.

Sewage:

Many cities will actually have a free area to dump your sewage, make sure to look up if any city your traveling by has it, an extra $10 adds up if you’re needing it every week.

Water:

We ran into many situations where we had no water in our tank. In some ways, this is good; it did not weigh us down when we were driving and saved us gas money. I recommend emptying your tank before driving a long distance.

We made sure to keep our one gallon jugs we bought previously and refill them whenever we could for usually only about 40 cents. If we couldn’t get water in our tanks than we would use that water to drink, wash our hands, brush our teeth, give to our pets and any way we found need be.

Craigslist:

Craigslist was our number one resource for finding work on the road. We could find one day to a few months worth of work all in one area where it is easy to communicate. A few times we would put up posts asking for a place to park our R. V, we got a few responses that led us to other helpful resources and even met some amazing people along the way.

Showers:

Because we didn’t stay in many R. V parks, our showering situation was a little different. We are quiet the naturalists and for the most part would cleanse ourselves in natural waters, but we took advantage of free trial gym memberships often. Every new city we entered that we knew we would be in for a good amount of time, we would get free week trials, where we would use their equipment, pools, steam rooms and showers every day while we had it.

Not having it for so long would allow us to appreciate it even more when we finally got our free trial.

Road Atlas:

During our entire travels, we only used maps. Beforehand, we had gotten a state map for every state and an atlas. The atlas is what I most recommend for finding roads, but every map will show something that another doesn’t and goes unnoticed on a GPS. I recommend maps in general, rather than a GPS, as you can see where the next National Forest will be and any other natural areas to visit.

When we entered a new city, we would visit the visitors center with magazines on attractions and city maps as well. There are so many things that you can discover at a visitors center than you never knew existed.

R. V Travelers App:

There are some extremely useful apps to help travelers find the cheapest gas near them, let travelers know if a Walmart is okay for overnight stay or not. Not all Walmart’s are overnight stay like people say, but as long as they’re are a few other R. V’s there, that was enough for us to stay one night.

A few of these apps are GasBuddy and Walmart Parking App. There are plenty more useful apps as well, depending on what your looking for.