The super eclipse of 2017 is coming up soon! I’m still trying to decide where I want to be to view it but I have been gathering lots of information that I’d like to share. Visit my Eclipse 2017 page for all of my links and information.
Have you made your plans yet? Where are you going?
Wildflower season is upon us and luckily wildflowers about in the Pacific Northwest. Last weekend Sheri and I were looking to take advantage of the lovely Easter Sunday weather for a hike and we wanted to see some wildflowers.
On a sunny October Sunday, I drove out to Astoria with my parents and Sheri. The real reason for the trip was for my parents to see Tillamook Rock Lighthouse – the only one they hadn’t seen yet on this trip. However after we hiked to see the lighthouse we were all starving! So it was off to Astoria and Sheri recommended Fort George Brewery for lunch. We snagged a sweet parking space…I love that so many towns have free parking on Sunday!
Now it got a little confusing when we walked in. We could eat at the Public House or the fancier restaurant upstairs or the Tap Room just down a few doors. I wanted seafood so the waitress recommended the Public House. We got a taster tray to share among three of us, as my mom doesn’t drink beer.
I liked quite a few of the beers but when I ordered my pint I went for the seasonal Drunkin’ Pumpkin. My dad got the Cavatica Stout. I believe we paid $17 for the 12 beer taster tray. Everything was good but rather pricey as we spent $95 before tip on lunch for four.
The brewery does weekend tours at 1pm and 4pm. We didn’t finish lunch in time to catch the 4pm.
Sometimes you can go on an adventure without leaving your living room. I was on Facetime with my mom when I spotted this amazing sunset. I went to grab my camera to get a few shots before this insane vibrant sunset ended.
I loved logging on to instagram and seeing everyone posting up sunset photos from all over Portland. It was definitely a great way to kick off a new year!!
How do you start off a new year? With a little adventuring of course! One of my instafriends is always posting amazing photos from Kelly Point Park in North Portland, and Sheri and I have been wanting to go for ages.
Kelly Point Park is located where the Willamette River splits off from the Columbia. I learned by reading the information board in the park that Lewis & Clark missed the Willamette – twice!
As we parked we saw quite a few cars but it felt quite desolate. Walking onto the beach we spotted a man with his 3 dogs – two of which were frolicking in the icy water. We later spotted a group of people huddled around a beach fire pit after taking a plunge in the river too. Brr! They must have arrived just after us.
Old pilings and docks loomed like ghosts in the fog. Children were building sand castles and nearly everyone had a dog with them.
In addition to the beach, there is a treed area with paved walking paths, picnic tables, and fire pits. I’d love to go back in sunny weather where it must appear to be a totally different place. I definitely recommend Kelly Point Park on a foggy day though, where the silence and eerie fog is oddly peaceful.
Early in November the Portland Timbers qualified for the MLS playoffs for the first time and I was lucky enough to score tickets in the Timbers Army. Their first game was against arch rival Seattle Sounders and the stadium was rocking.
Standing with the Timbers Army is really a can’t miss Portland experience. If you think you will get tired or bored standing for over 90 minutes you are wrong. Chanting, screaming, singing, and drinking beer makes time fly by.
The Portland Art Museum has a pretty amazing exhibit of Samurai armor that runs until January 12, 2014. Recently Sheri and I decided we needed a culture day and met at the museum. The first thing you see when you get in the main lobby are 3 Samurai on full size horses. The backdrop is pretty sweet.
Aside from armor, the exhibit features other objects used by samurai like this saddle lacquered with embedded abalone (mother of pearl) shells. Totally bling!
The details on the armor is amazing. I was particularly interested in some of the fancy knot work.
A few unique items caught my eye – a crazy helmet made from paper mâché, a battle fan, and the firefighter uniform below.
The Portland Art Museum is free the fourth Friday of every month 5-8pm, and the first full weekend of every month for Bank of America Card Holders. I head that this exhibit had a 2-3 hour wait this past weekend.
A short drive heading west out of Bend will get you to Tumalo Falls. It also requires driving 2.5 miles on a gravel road which can be rough in spots, but the reward is this gorgeous view of Tumalo Falls a few steps from the parking lot. This spot was pretty crowded on the October Saturday that we visited, but the crowd thinned once you got past the top of the falls.
A short but steep hike takes you to the top of the falls for another great view. Continue on the North Fork Trail to see more waterfalls. Be aware the mountain bikers are allowed on this trail going uphill only.
Keep walking along the trail for another 30-45 minutes and you can see two more gorgeous waterfalls. The rest of the hike is much easier than hiking to the top of the first waterfall.
For the first part of the path you will be walking near the river and you’ll see trains down to the river where you can take a closer look. This seemed to be a popular spot.
You’ll start ascending again and eventually come to a rock outcropping which gives you a fantastic view of Double Falls. There was a log bobbing around endlessly in the lower pool. This is around the 1 mile mark.
We came across one more waterfall..and it was a loud one! You can continue to hike up to get a different viewpoint of the falls. As far as I can tell this waterfall is nameless.
At this point it had been an hour since we had left the top of the first waterfall. That included lots of time for taking sidetrails and snapping photos. This is definitely a hike that I wish I had my SLR camera with me instead of just my iphone! It took us 30 minutes to get back to the parking lot.
FACT SHEET: Tumalo Falls
Address: Tumalo Falls Rd, Bend, OR Fees: $5/car (May 1- September 30) or NW Forest Pass Open: May 1 – September 30
May be open later depending on snow. Check USDA site for Current Conditions. Note: We were able to enter on October 19. GPS: 44.031281,-121.567825
Just a short drive from downtown Bend, Oregon is a spot that is not to be missed – Pilot Butte. It’s a short spiraling drive up to the top of this scenic viewpoint. If you are feeling energetic you can hike to the top. This seemed a popular activity and we saw plenty of people walking, hiking and even running on Pilot Butte.
From the top of this cinder cone you have panoramic views of the surrounding mountains – even Mount Hood! In case you were wondering exactly which peaks were the Sisters and where exactly is Mt Bachelor, there is a handy plaque mapping out all the mountains. I had a deep discussion with a 7 year old girl about which mountains were the Sisters.
Pilot Butte is open year round but you are going to want to wait for a nice clear day for the best viewing conditions. It would also be a great place to take in a sunrise or sunset. Aside from the mountains we had a great view of all the fall colors.