Archive for the ‘Oregon’ Category

Clearwater Falls, North Umpqua

Tucked along the North Umpqua Highway is Clearwater Falls and Campground. An easy hike takes you past the clear water stream up to the falls. This is a great place to stop and cool off. Surrounded by old growth Douglas firs and ferns, the micro-climate keeps it cool even in the heat of the summer. There is a campground just above the parking area with 9 campsites and vault toilet. There isn’t running water or garbage cans, but at $10 a night, it’s a pretty great bargain.

Gordon Lakes

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Downtown Oakridge, Oregon

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I’m always surprised how much of small towns I miss on a regular basis. So often, main roads and highways run closely to a town, but it’s easy to drive past the best part – the main downtown core. For years I have been driving through Oakridge, Oregon on my way to Central Oregon. There are plenty of stops along the main highway route, but I had no idea what I was missing. Downtown Oakridge has a lot to offer. With a quick left turn off of the highway, you land in downtown. There’s a brewery, hostel, and an amazing coffee shop/bakery as well as other establishments. Here are some places to stop along the way.

Brewers Union Local 180

Caravan – The Tiny House Hotel in Portland, Oregon

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I cannot wait to visit this Tiny House Hotel located in Portland, Oregon. With 6 different houses to choose from, what a cool experience indeed. For someone considering joining the tiny house movement, this would be a great place to get the feel for it.

Caravan – Tiny House Hotel

From their website:

“Caravan- The Tiny House Hotel is the first tiny house hotel in the United States and is located in NE Portland in the popular and funky Alberta Arts District. Our tiny houses are built on trailers with wheels and range in size from 100-200 square feet.

The tiny houses are located in an urban lot and form a circle around a central gathering space. There is a BBQ, fire pit, Adirondack chairs, a hammock, and lots of funky, locally made metal, stained glass and recycled art. Caravan is located just steps from some of Portland’s favorite establishments for foodies, such as Radio Room, Bye and Bye, the Alberta St. Public House and the famous Grilled Cheese Grill.”

Aufderheide Scenic Drive, Oregon

Spent yet another amazing Oregon day driving the Aufderheide Scenic Road in Oregon. Boasting amazing rivers, hikes and camping spots, there’s a lot to see and do. Stopped in at the Constitution Grove and hiked for awhile along the North Fork. I’ll post pictures soon. The negative today would be the campgrounds and roads gated off by the Forest Service. I continue to find this really disappointing. I need to qualify that I was raised by a now retired Forest Service employee, so my loyalty goes very deep. But I feel that lately we are seeing more areas closed too early. Shame on you Willamette National Forest! Just because Labor Day has passed, doesn’t mean that there aren’t a lot of people still out camping and enjoying our public lands. This is one reason I’m passionate about keeping this website going. The more knowledge and sharing of our natural assets the less likely they will be gated off. Keep your voices heard in a peaceful protest. Keep our campgrounds open and let us access “our” roads – not just the logging companies! Once again – Shame on you WNF! Get your act together!

Willamette Wine Country Vintage Trailer RV Park

Vintage trailers are really making a comeback. Deep in Oregon wine country is a really cool new attraction – The Vintage Trailer RV Park. You can rent a vintage trailer for the night and step back in time. Reserve 2 cruisers and enjoy barbequing under the stars. What a cool idea! I’ll definitely be heading that direction to try out a totally new experience.

The Vintages Trailer Resort

Willamette Wine Country RV Park

 

Fall River Campground, Central Oregon

This is a magical river located in Central Oregon along South Cascade Road. It’s a great place to fish, play in the water, or just enjoy the beauty and hiking in the area. I just stopped here a few days ago and even on the weekend mid summer, it wasn’t that busy.

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McPhillips Beach – Near Pacific City Oregon

My newest trek took me back along Three Capes Loop and I couldn’t help but make a stop at McPhillip’s Beach. Once again I was blessed with an incredibly sunny morning; not so rare in the winter along the Oregon coast. With a little more time to explore, it was fun to check out some of the rock formations. It’s pretty easy to drive down onto this beach. The road is rocky but firm. I’ll post a few photos to tantalize you, but just a bit. It’s so much more fun to explore in a blind way. There is a small trail leading off the beach and has that very hobbity feel – I’m assuming it’s part of the Oregon Coast Trail. With a campground across the road from the turn in, I’m guessing this place may get pretty busy during the summer. But, during the winter, the campground is closed, making this a deserted place to sip coffee on a bright sunny winter morning.

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Three Capes Loop

Three Capes Loop – Oregon Coast

IMG_2131One of my favorite coastal loops – I headed up that direction over the Christmas Holiday. As I was driving north along 101, I was blasted with a winter storm. Trudging north of Lincoln City, I noticed the weather beginning to break up. I turned off of 101 towards the ocean via Brooten Road on my way to Pacific City and the sun came out. I’ve visited Pacific City numerous times throughout my life and I always remember it being sunny there – even in the middle of the winter. Sure enough, this trip promised the same.

My first stop was at the beach at Pacific City. As you walk down to the beach to your right is a large sandy cliff and tide pools. This is a great place to watch surfers and the launching of dory boats. The amazing Pelican Brewery is right next to the parking area. The menu is diverse and they have a pretty tasty Kiwanda Cream Ale. I did sample the Mother of All Storms – and that it was! A little to strong for my taste but still pretty good.

Pelican Brewery

There’s also a great hotel across the street and an excellent coffee shop.

Stimulus Espresso Cafe

There’s nothing like walking along the Oregon Coast with a hot cup of coffee. I did stay at the Inn at Cape Kiwanda. The views were great – and they are dog friendly! It was nice to stay in a well-appointed clean room and not feel like I was stuffed in the “dog” room. Watch for the little black bunnies.

Inn at Cape Kiwanda

Traveling north from the hotel, I found what I would consider a locals beach – as there are no markings on the road. There’s a little paved road that dips down into the trees, into a parking area with beach access. It’s about a mile north of Inn at Cape Kiwanda – just before the stop sign. It looks as if you can drive out onto the beach, but I didn’t have a current permit on hand. There was nobody there. It’s pretty exciting to find a quiet beach site along the very found Oregon Coast. With any situation like this, there’s always the dilemma of whether to share or not. I hate to see areas overused, but in today’s climate of closed down parks and campgrounds, I feel that our only defense is to try to publicize places enough to keep them open. So here is McPhillips Beach –

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Continuing north along Sandlake Road, you will come across the turn off for Clay Myers Natural Area at Whalen Island. I can’t wait to return to canoe this area. You would definitely need to canoe or kayak during high tide, but I think it would be amazing. The campground and park area is really quaint. There is definitely a lot to explore here.

Clay Myers Natural Area

IMG_2120 IMG_2122 IMG_2123 IMG_2124 IMG_2126 IMG_2128Heading north, you will drive up to amazing scenic vistas and down along Netarts Bay. I would recommend taking time to stop or stay at Cape Lookout State Park. They offer cabins, yurts and a pretty nice campground. There’s a lot to explore in this area and during the winter months, there’s hardly anyone there.

Cape Lookout State Park

I’m going to stop here for now because an adventure is just that – an adventure. I hope you enjoy this area as much as I do!

Moon Falls, Lane County

IMG_0177This is probably one of my favorite waterfalls in Oregon. Located in Lane county – in the Oakridge area, it makes a great fall hiking spot. Be careful though, as heavy rains can cause slides along the Cascade back roads. Always let someone know where you are headed. What I love about this waterfall is that you can walk down to the base of the falls. So often we have to admire from a distance, but here you get the full experience. I always caution about swimming under falls as rocks and debris can come washing down on top of you, but hey – it’s Oregon. What are the odds of swimming in our freezing mountain waters anyway. You are probably more at risk for hypothermia. The drive up is beautiful and there are some great hiking spots along Brice Creek.

Here’s a great link with specific directions. Also check out nearby Spirit Falls.

Moon Falls