After a week of near-perfect weather, our luck has run out. We arrive at Crater Lake National Park under gray, cloudy, cold and windy skies, and find ourselves elbow-to-elbow with thousands of other visitors.
The air is thick with the heady scent of Juniper even where there’s nary a Juniper tree in sight. Is it my imagination, or is that magnificent fragrance made all the sweeter by the aroma of local craft beer brewing? It is easy to fall in love with Bend, and we did so within a few short hours.
A legendary rock climbing destination, Smith Rock State Park is a paradise for hikers as well. We made a (not-long-enough) stop here for a few hours on our way south to Bend. What our 4-mile-hiked lacked in length, it made up for with a challenging workout and spectacular scenery.
I almost wept at the thought of leaving Washington. But then Mt. Hood’s Timberline Lodge wrapped me in her warm embrace and made it all better. The lodge is an Arts and Crafts Masterpiece. Oh, and let’s not forget about that pretty impressive mountain she has for a backdrop.
“The World’s Largest Lumber Port,
the yellow hulk of Cats winding bayfront chip yards,
betting on high-school football”
Misty windswept seaside forests. A rocky beach full of mysterious white pods. Giant ancient trees. A myriad of coastal rainforest plants. We’ve many wonders to experience en route to Coos Bay today.
Fresh local cheese + working fishing village + craft beer + beach + camping under the trees? Yes please!
Old growth rainforest hugs the shore. Misty, foggy bluffs overlook dramatic sandy, rocky beaches. Today we fall deeply in love with the Oregon Coast.
The truffle shuffle. Finnish goods. Legendary smoked fish. Water, water everywhere. The still-slightly gritty tourist town of Astoria is right up our ally.