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.
Arguably the prettiest coastal state park in the country, Deception Pass earned a non-negotiable spot in our itinerary, but for a purely emotional reason: This was one of my late father’s favorite places.
The scenic route north on Chuckanut Drive winds through farmland and up the side of Chuckanut Mountain, providing teaser views of the Salish Sea and San Juan Islands. Upon discovery of the sweet campground and shoreline at Larrabee State Park, we decide to stay here for four nights and explore the area. By the end of our time in Bellingham, I will find myself dreaming about a life here.
“It is necessary to leave the impersonal highway, to step inside the rusty gate and close it behind. One is now inside the orange grove, out of one world and mysteriously in the heart of another. And after long years of spiritual homelessness, of nostalgia, here is that mystic loveliness of childhood again.” — Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (Cross Creek, 1942)
“The World’s Largest Lumber Port,
the yellow hulk of Cats winding bayfront chip yards,
betting on high-school football”
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.
Don’t come here, you’ll be disappointed. SAID NO ONE EVER. Well, except for that one guy maybe.
The photographer in me finds the charred remains of the burnt forest darkly beautiful. I quickly push that ugly thought from my mind and do not stop to take pictures of the scarred landscape. The sky is hazy. The west is burning. But in New Mexico’s Enchanted Circle we will find blue skies and a surprisingly sweet tourist town.
My ears fresh from the city and not yet in tune with nature sounds, I do not immediately discern what makes the sound. Perhaps a child? A moment later, a cacophony of yelps and howls tells me it is a pack of coyotes. Aside from the wind, the birds, and the chorus of grasshoppers, these are the only sounds we hear from our campsite during our stay.