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!
With the energy that came in the month of October, I can say that this energy has impacted my life greatly. It has brought me to my knees and one point and I had to get myself back up and believe that everything has a purpose and I am grateful to simply be alive every morning.
That’s why at the end of this month, this full moon has great meaning to me, and I believe it may to a lot of people, as the energy this month has been a little weird.
It is important to verbally remind yourself of all the things in life you are truly grateful for, I hope you will partake in these actions tonight under this full moon in the Taurus.
Set Your Aura
You’re aura is the energy you give off around you, this is with you always. But when I take the time aside to meditate, I like to set my atmosphere to amplify my emotions in a spiritual way. I like to set out crystals that resonate with me, light candles and incense. This helps me to meditate deeper, but these things are absolutely not a necessity to do.
Just be sure to be in a safe and quiet place, where you can close your eyes and focus on your intentions and nothing else.
You can choose to have silence, meditation music, nature sounds, singing bowls or whichever you choose. I like all four of these options and it always changes which one I choose to listen to.
I do simple affirmations every day, but on this full moon I want to go deeper and I think this is good to do every now and again.
Sometimes I will meditate in silence first and sometimes I will do my affirmations before I meditate, what you choose to do is up to you. How you choose to sit, stand or lay is up to you. I do not believe specific guidelines during meditation.
Take this time to envision your life in a grateful way, every thing and every person you are grateful for, feel that gratefulness within you. Imagine yourself exactly as the person you wish to be five years from now, where you are, what you’re doing… see yourself exactly as you want to be and feel it as if it’s already here.
Everyone’s affirmations should be different, mine should be different from yours as yours should be from another. But I will give you some ideas, as these are the affirmations that I will tell myself on this full moon.
I am happy.
I am happy to wake up this morning, to sleep comfortably tonight.
I am grateful for this day I had to live, for the food and drink that I was so fortunate to have.
It is in my power to be happy every day, I make that choice.
I am grateful for the love in my life, my family, my boyfriend, my animals, my friends. I’m grateful for my home, for my warmth. I know that I am fortunate.
I am confident, I am honest, I am grateful. I am loved, I am smart, I am creative, I am a go-getter. I am happy, I spread happiness, I spread laughter, I spread love. I am well-spoken, I am successful, I can do anything that I want to do.
I am kind, I am strong, I am powerful, I am persistent.
I leave all things that no longer serve me to make space for the things that I need in my life.
Affirmations are all about speaking to your conscious and subconscious, saying all the things you want to be as if you already are them. In it’s own miracle way it helps you to become all of these things within time.
I always add gratefulness to this, and doing so allows you to realize exactly how much you have to be thankful for, no matter how simple they are. Afterwards, the negative things begin to disappear and more positive things begin to come your way.
Allow these affirmations to help you realize that your life is all you pertain it to be, it’s all you say it is and it’s all that you focus on.
This is among the most beautiful places to explore nature in Washington. Filled with gorgeous mountains, inactive volcanoes and luscious forests. This place is worth a long camping trip in the summer, or even the long drive to see some of it’s wonders in a day trip. The hikes and waterfalls in this area are endless because of all the mountains in the area.
Here are some of this forests best sites.
Mount Saint Helens Area
This inactive volcano is famous for it’s incredible destruction in 1980, you can see incredible views of this volcano and the effects of it’s eruption and learn more about it. It’s pretty amazing.
The ape caves are truly unique, make sure to bring a flash light and warm clothing, because it is pitch dark! It’s quiet the adventure to work you way through this two and half mile lava tube, the longest continuous cave in the U. S!
This is the easiest viewpoint to see Mount St. Helens, it’s a stunning view where you can also see Spirit Lake. There is also a hike along Windy Ridge called Loowit trail, a 28 mile round-trip hike that has gorgeous waterfall along the way. Make sure to research required permits for hikes such as this in the area.
Mt. Adams Area
This area is particularly known for climbing Mt. Adams, it is a a 10 mile, round trip hike with a 4500 ft elevation gain, and leads to some amazing views!
With the Columbia River Gorge being on the opposite site of this area, it has no shortage of gorgeous waterfalls, some of my favorite in the state are in this area!
I believe this to be the most beautiful waterfall in Washington, it flows so perfectly and is wide, and it is easy to get to the bottom of the falls for amazing views and a swim 🙂 The long drive is beautiful and it is a short quarter mile hike that allows every viewpoint.
I love the location of this waterfall, I saw it in the middle of winter. It was snowing and everything was covered in white as this waterfall trickles down a rock wall high up in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. This waterfall is located near the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge and the whole area is gorgeous!
You can also hike to the bottom of this, it’s not difficult, it was just too slippery for us at that time but I recommend it!
This is my second favorite waterfall in Washington. Located on the Hood Canal near the Olympic National Forest, an area full of beautiful waterfalls, but this one is well hidden and contains only a small sign you couldn’t see from the road. It’s about a quarter mile, easy hike to the waterfall and you can get right up to it and even climb up it a bit!
There is also a small pool at the bottom that we were pleased to jump off rocks into 🙂
The area of which this waterfall is, is spectacular. Near the Olympic National Forest and the ever-so-blue Lake Crecent, you’ll find a short half-mile hike to find this waterfall. I think it’s the location that makes this waterfall stand out to me
This is my favorite waterfall I’ve seen in Washington! This spectacular waterfall is one of the many waterfalls in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, it is not a waterfall that is right off the side of the road by any means, it is deep into this forest, a long drive up towards Ape Caves in the Mt. St. Helens region. The hike once you hit the parking lot is only a quarter mile and there are many viewpoints and even access to get to the bottom of the waterfall, where you can swim or walk on the shallow grounds! You can also access the top of the waterfall and find some swimming holes or cliff jump into the deeper parts of bottom of the waterfall.
This waterfall is massive! The biggest in Washington I’m pretty damn sure! You can see the waterfall from the parking lot, it pours into a giant crater so perfectly. You are able to hike along the rock sides and where the river flows before it leaves down the waterfall. You can even climb dangerously along the rocks where the waterfall falls off the giant ledge. There is also a small path to get down to the bottom, it looks a little sketchy, we didn’t do it but it would be an amazing view!
The Wailua River is a wide river very popular for kayaking and paddle boarding. It takes about three hours round trip to paddle board and it is full of luscious rainforest and stunning views every where you turn. From it, you can paddle to Secret Falls, located in a small village about half way through your trip and one other waterfall. We rented our boards from an amazing shop very close to the main entrance for the river, Stand Up Paddle.
O’opaka Falls is easily accessible to view, it is a massive waterfall that you can see from a distance right off the road, in the middle of Kauai’s luscious rain forests.
Wimea Falls is a very tall waterfall, also easily accessible. The view point allows you to see from the top down, though you can also climb to the bottom which I highly recommend.
Wimea Canyon State Park
Wimea Canyon State Park is an absolute MUST SEE on the island of Kauai. You can spot gorgeous views throughout the entire park, waterfalls, canyons, forests, red sand areas and several incredible viewpoints.
There are several hiking paths in this park as well that supply spectacular views!
There are many ways to access the Na Pali Coast, most of which costs you money, such as a boat tour or a helicopter tour. Both of these, we wished to have done, but it was simply too expensive but I do recommend it if you have the money for it.
There are many other incredible places to see on the island of Kauai, but these were my absolute favorites.
This island is magical, you can even spot the forbidden island of Niihau, from the western part of the island.
It is much more luscious greenery than the other islands.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Though I’ve lived at the bottom of the Washington coast all my life, last weekend was the first time I drove all the way up 101 North. We’ve just about traveled all of the 101 highway now, and Washington’s coast is not much short of Oregon’s.
We took advantage of good winter weather and traveled from South Bend, WA, up 101 all the way to the most northwestern tip of the United States, Cape Flattery. Of course we stopped at some destinations along the way, and all of them were amazing, where the temperate rainforests of Washington meet with the coastal waves.
Our first stop was Quinault, a beautiful area full of nature trails from a quarter mile long, to full backpacking trips. The largest Sitka Spruce tree in the world lives in this lush forest, as well as many other large trees and some coastal redwoods. There are plenty of waterfalls, some you can hike to and some right off of the road.
We stayed in the Quinault lodge, though in the summer there are so many beautiful camping spots next to the Lake Quinault. This lodge is gorgeous and relaxing though, with access to trails and the lake right outside. It has a nice restaurant, pool, game room and an overall nice environment.
The next morning we woke up and started heading further north, our next stop being Kalaloch and Ruby Beach, some of the coastal gems of Washington.
Kalaloch Beach has a famous tree called the Tree of Life or Big Tree Cave. You can see the entire root system from the beach, it grows in the air and the ends connect to the ground, above the beach.
Ruby Beach has lots of giant coastal rocks, easily accessible from the sand. One has a natural arch, others have holes through them, it is quite the site. You can spot some star fish, sea urchins and other marine life as well.
This beach is called Ruby Beach because you can find ruby clusters within the rocks if you look hard enough!
After this pit stop, we headed up North towards Port Angeles, I recommend stopping at Lake Crescent along the way, as it is beautiful and has a hike to a waterfall that is lovely. We stayed in Port Angeles for the night and headed west to the northwestern tip of the U. S, Cape Flattery. This is about two hours from Port Angeles and well worth it.
Located on an Indian Reservation, it is a well-kept trail with handmade walking sticks for anyone in need. The trail is wooden and an absolute gorgeous two-mile hike, round-trip. There are several viewpoints along this trail, and every one is worth seeing. You can see coastal rock caves where the ocean meets, many coastal rocks and an island not too far from the edge of the cape with a lighthouse.
The northwestern tip is nothing short of magical, and every step to get there makes the adventure even more beautiful.
Cape Kiwanda is my favorite cape on the Oregon coast, and that says a lot because Oregon is full of beautiful coastal lines.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
About a year ago, I started thinking about my life in a completely different way; to notice the positive things in life and realize that they overcame the negative. I chose to be grateful for all the little things instead of complaining about all the small things that weren’t going my way.
At first, this wasn’t entirely easy to switch my mindset overnight, it took practice just like any other thing. But turning my mindset around was the best decision I’ve ever made and it has allowed me to see so much clearer and with such gratefulness.
One thing that I started doing when I first decided to think of life differently, still sticks with me to this day and I would love to share it with you all. 🙂
I began practicing meditation in my every day life, it didn’t matter how much time I had before work, whether it was two minutes or thirty minutes, it was better than not practicing at all.
Sit yourself down in a quiet space, where you will not be interrupted. I like to surround myself with crystals, candles and incense (though it is not necessary) and meditated for a few minutes to begin to slow your mind. Afterwards, keep your eyes closed and name all the things that you are grateful for.
Don’t overthink this part, you will soon start to realize that you are grateful for so much, that the list is endless, this is the point. I found myself saying I was grateful for my cup of coffee and just another day to be alive and healthy. Other things I say is that I am grateful for my job and to live in a home, to have loving friends, family and animals.
Name these things until the feeling of positivity starts to sink in, when naming things to be grateful for doesn’t seem like a chore anymore, but rather something joyous.
After this, state the qualities of yourself and of the day that you want, but stating them in a way of how your day is already played out to be.
Sometimes I’ll say, “May I carry positivity throughout my day, may I attract all the good things in life. May I spread light to others. I am strong, confident and positive.”
Sometimes I would go on for longer, sometimes it would be shorter, but try to switch up what you say so that it stays genuine and does not become a routine and lose it’s meaning.
Depending of the time you have set out, you can also send light out to others. You can call it praying for others, but I believe that when you send your light out to others, your light burns even brighter. Send your light out to those you wish to that day, knowing that it will find it’s way back to you.
Afterwards, meditate and leave your thoughts behind you, clear your mind to begin your day. Once you feel at peace, reach your arms up high, gather up the energy within your powerful aura you just created and bring your hands together in Namaste.
Practice this regularly and if you will think of your life with much more positivity than you had previously. I sometimes would do this twice a day, it drug me out of a situation where I felt a disconnect with the world and myself and was very unhappy. Therefore, this practice is sacred to me.