Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Sylvia Beach Hotel – Newport Oregon

I have heard about this place for years, but haven’t had the opportunity to stay here yet. What hotel offers you the opportunity to choose your room by your favorite author? What a concept! This is definitely on my list for Oregon Coast retreats. Interestingly enough, it is co-owned by the person who owns a magical coffee house in Portland called Rimsky-Korsakoffee House. That too might be a place to check out – an adventure in it’s own right.

Sylvia Beach Hotel

Rimsky-Korsakoffee House

Fort Rock, Oregon

If you are headed out towards southeastern Oregon this summer, take a quick detour through Fort Rock. Fort Rock is in interesting place full of history, geology and infamous sunsets. Fort Rock is located about 70 miles southeast of Bend and 40 miles southeast of LaPine. From highway 97, you turn left at the Highway 31 junction just south of LaPine. At around 30 miles you will see the sign for Fort Rock. A little ways before the junction leading you towards Fort Rock, you will see a grouping of trees with a few buildings on your left. This is Horse Ranch – and it too is steeped in pioneer history.

As you are coming into Fort Rock, on your right is the Homestead Village Museum. The museum is a great stop. It’s filled with homestead buildings that were once scattered throughout the Fort Rock Valley. They are filled with history – and what a treat! The homesteads were steadily disappearing and a group got together to try to save them. They moved building after building into the town of Fort Rock to create the museum. This saved these historical structures from being damaged by cattle and vandals.

Check out their terrific site: Homestead Village Museum

There are some other great places to check out while you are in the Fort Rock region including – Crack in the Ground, Fort Rock Cave – or better known to the locals as Cow Cave (though it does sit on private land – this is the spot they found the sage brush sandals), and Hole in the Ground. There are also places to see petroglyphs, lava caves and lava tubes. A little tidbit about me is that I grew up out here. Believe me when I say that there is a lot to explore throughout the Fort Rock/Christmas Valley and Silver Lake region. Feel free to contact me with questions about some of the out-of-the way spots.

There are some fun books about the area  including: Portraits Fort Rock Valley Homestead Years and Pioneer Homesteaders of the Fort Rock Valley.

Watch for Golden and Bald Eagles as well as the Desert Primrose Flower. Most people overlook these little flowers nestled throughout the sagebrush. They have the most amazing fragrance. Try not to pick them as they are a little rare to find. It might take a knees and hands in the sand moment to draw in their delicate scent, but it’s something you will always remember. Also watch for arrowheads – especially after a nice summer rain. Make sure you make a quick stop at the old Fort Rock Store. This little spot is also filled with history. In the town there is an old grange hall, and the remnants of Fort Rock Elementary school – now long closed. I would recommend staying overnight. A quick drive through this area won’t do it justice. It’s not until you witness a Fort Rock sunset or even better sunrise will you truly feel the magic of this area.

Maui Revealed, Kauai Revealed, Hawaii Guidebook

Headed for Maui, Kauai or one of the other Hawaiian Islands? I would definitely recommend picking up a copy of Andrew Doughty’s books. So far I have used them for Kauai and Maui. They are a perfect guide for finding those great beaches, consulting which tours to take and where to eat. I give his books an enthusiastic “ONO”! There’s a little history tucked in as well – which makes exploring fun. As always though – use caution and good judgement. Hiking safety and ocean safety are no joke – especially in paradise.

More Guides to the Southwest

A few more recommendations if you are headed to the southwest this summer – or winter (which in my opinion is even better – no snakes and cooler weather).

Ancient Ruins of the Southwest by David Grant Noble

Canyon Country Arches and Bridges by F.A. Barnes

The Utah Guide by Allan Kent Powell  – I love this guide for the “on the road” portion of the adventure. It gives you great information about the areas you are driving through from history, to where to stay, good places to eat, landmarks, museums etc. If you have a co-pilot, it’s great to have them read about the areas you are driving through. It makes the adventure even better.

Day Trips with a Splash: Swimming Holes of the Southwest by Doll and Freely

Pacific Northwest Plant Identification Guide

By far the best plant identification guide for the northwest in my opinion is ~ Plants Of The Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, British Columbia & Alaska by Pojar and Mackinnon. I stumbled across this book while taking a botany class in college.

Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast @ Amazon



Southwest Utah Guidebook ~ Hiking the Southwest’s Canyon Country

Are you headed out to explore Southwest Utah and Northern Arizona? It can be difficult to find a good guidebook as there are many mediocre ones flooding the market. The first book we stumbled across that had a lot of substance is Sandra Hinchman’s ~ Hiking the Southwest’s Canyon Country. We own an older version that is now tattered and marked up. To me, that is the sign of a good guidebook. The author uses a great format that leads you on an adventure throughout the canyon country of the southwest. We didn’t follow her journey, but gleaned tons of information and hikes from it. One of our favorite adventures was in Mule Canyon – but that is for another post.

@ Amazon

Have Map Will Travel

The two most important things we travel with is our Gazetteer and Road & Recreation Atlas. They make different versions for different states, but we do not ever leave home without them. At this point in our travels, we have worn out a few copies. Our adventures always build themselves and we never know for sure where we will end up, so usually packing all of our gazetteers is pretty good insurance. I find that it’s easiest to put them in a plastic tote with other guide books. This keeps them organized and helps to keep them intact longer.

Oregon Atlas & Gazetteer

Amazon – Oregon Atlas and Gazetteer


Oregon Road and Recreation Atlas (Benchmark Atlas)

@ Amazon – Oregon Road and Rec. Atlas

I personally travel with both of these as they offer different information. I have also found that with any map or atlas, there are sometimes mistakes. When you are off the main roads and miles from civilization, it’s important to have both to reference from. I have always found having both to be vitally important. You will also find that one will be better at pointing out landmarks where the other has more details for smaller roads and spur roads.

Tales from the Dog Parks

As a huge dog enthusiast and Dog Park Activist – I wanted to let you know about a great little book called Tales From the Dog Park. Check out the site!

Cabin Fever: Notes from a Part-time Pioneer by William L. Sullivan

This is a great book to check out. Actually, any book by William L. Sullivan is worth your time. His hiking books are awesome and my other favorite read is Listening for Coyote (though Cabin Fever is about a tie). We have used his hiking books until they are so worn and tattered we have to replace them. One of the best features is that he list in the back of books different out of the way hikes that are not as well known. We have had a great time exploring all that he has to offer. Every once in awhile he will put on a lecture and slide show. It is definitely worth going to! I have always enjoyed talking to him. He is as nice as his books are great! Always a plus in my book.