adventure

Koosah Falls

While out west, I wanted to go on a hike with big trees and hopefully catch a water fall along the the trail. The choice was Koosah Falls just a little east of Eugene, Oregon.

The drive was a bit boring but the water running along the road was a spectacular view. The view just went on for miles and miles. There was a small stretch where it seemed many were building small cottages on the bank. However the size may have been small in footprint but the cost was probably very high based on the extravagant designs. Nonetheless the road trip was full of things to observe.

Once we arrived at the trail we headed up the right side to the falls. The cool breeze was amazing as the weather showed up at 102 degrees. With the tree coverage from the tall pines and the chilly mist off the water the right side trail was the perfect start to our hike.

As we trekked up the hillside there were many photo ops. The scenery was just so beautiful but even the photos don’t do the landscape justice. The blue water was such a vibrant blue in spots. We caught a few rainbows in the mist of the falls. The water was crystal clear in the pool areas. It was almost like Christmas in July as the whole woods smelled amazing. Pine trees everywhere left the scent of Christmas in the air. It was absolutely divine.

If you look close to the photo above you will see the hint of the rainbow. Again the picture doesn’t do the actual lived experience justice. After making the climb up the right we continued north a bit and crossed a bridge to go down the opposite side.

The descent was a slightly different experience. It was a lot warmer on this side. More sunshine beating down on you and less mist coming your way. Good thing I was going down. However the photos from this side yielded different views and I’m so glad I made the loop trek.

After we finished the trail down we ended up in the pool that feeds the reservoir. Another bridge and a short climb to reach the end of the loop. This path allowed us to see a few fishing in the lower area with less rapids as well as some large log dam areas caused by downed trees. The overall hike was one of my favorites to date. A gradual incline. Not too strenuous but had so many rewards along the way. As I close out I will share a few more photos for you to enjoy.

Oregon is a great place to opt outside. Just read some of my Oregon blog series and you will soon see why.

adventure

Just a Girl In the City

There I was In the city.

The Big Apple kind of city.

The city where dreams are made of.

The hustle and bustle had returned after the pandemic. Lots of people. Lots of noise. Lots of chaos. Just what a big city should offer its visitors. 

Today I was a tourist. My first big observation was the smell. The strong scent of weed. The pungent stinky smell. One time. Two times. At every corner. On the clothing of the passers by. So much of that unique stink. I actually said to myself I think I’m going to get high walking down the street. The group I was with concurred. Such a weird time for me, but it’s today’s world and it’s the reality in some places. Should I really be surprised?

The sounds of horns. Long honks. Short taps of beep beep. Then the full on horn blast of a bus. New York City’s finest drivers together make such a unique symphony. I’m sure somebody has recorded these sounds but it’s like no other. Well maybe Los Angeles. Today I rode the tour bus around the city and took in the sights and the sounds.

What a special perspective. I saw sights from a perch of sorts. I enjoyed the fresh air, which was pleasant in comparison to street level. I smelled the gourmet restaurants to the stink of trash as it was trash day today. Pizza in little Italy. Purses in Chinatown. Neon lights at night. Homeless around each corner.

Bikes. Cars. Buses. Trains. Motorcycles. Zoom. Zoom. Electric bikes weaving in and out of traffic. Fedex and UPS trucks staged as food truck variations for local drop off was oh so intriguing. Skate boards. Scooters. So much excitement. So much chaos among the city blocks. Sirens for ambulances and fire trucks every few minutes. 

The boys in blue. Mounted on horses. Standing on the corner welcoming tourists with a smile. The fully dressed out tactical units guarding a subway stop. I felt like I was in a movie at that corner or greatly underdressed for a shootout. 

A short visit to city. An awakening of sorts. Back to my home base of suburbia. I live the simpler life. Many days may pass before I see a fire truck, ambulance or even homeless people. Such a contrast to my day in the city.

Despite the chaos, New York City has green space. From Bryant Park to small waterfront areas to Central Park. Hidden gems within the city. All set up for community. Concerts. Ping pong ball in the park. Small tables and chair to sip coffee. My favorite was the Bryant Park library where you picked up a book and just enjoyed the time. These are the things you don’t find in suburbia.

Off to see another city just across the water. Hello New Jersey. Time to test out the Jersey pizza.

adventure

Pacific Northwest Coastal Edition

So much to see on the Oregon coast but with limited time on my hands I opted for the best adventures in short time window.

First stop was Cape Arago State Park just south of Coos Bay, Oregon.  Just before reaching our destination we stopped for a quick bite to eat at a fish house eatery.  I had grilled halibut. It was the days special and it was oh so fresh. With full bellies we finished the last bit to the park.

As we were approaching the fog came rolling in. It took away some of the distant views but offered a quaint murky view. The views were amazing in all directions. The sound of the powerful waves hitting the rocks were ever so relaxing. The sounds of the sea lions singing away was an experience in the foggy distance.

The views from up high were great but the views down low yielded another amazing perspective of the same area. From the simplicity of the rocks to the mystery of the logs on the beach. All yielded its own special place in my photos.

Unfortunately, I can’t post every picture from my reel but this will just encourage you to put this area on your bucket list for travel as it is truly an experience worth making time for.

About a half hour away we began our next excursion on the sand. Not the beach per se, but a new sand experience. We took a tour on ATVs on the sand dunes. Since this ride was so monumental, it will have to have its own blog post. Stay tuned for the dunes post in a few days. Until then I will leave you with one more coastal photo to entice you to visit the Oregon coast one day.

adventure

Pacific Northwest Take One

There was a thought of heading west. The conclusion was no. We shall wait a few months. The conversation arose again just before just before the 21- and 14- day advanced flight deadlines would pass. The hemming and hawing began. Yes. No. Maybe. No. For sure no.

Fast forward to a random conversation on a trip with friends. You know I really should go. I didn’t think I needed to go, but I now know it’s time to go. I didn’t hesitate. I just booked the trip. No looking back. Five days to prep. Lots of schedules to adjust. Appointments to reschedule.  Favors to call in. Just to do something spectacular. An opportunity that won’t pop up again. Off we went to hit the Pacific Northwest on a whim.

We grabbed a friend for a travel buddy. Freshened up the contents of the suitcases. Scurried onto to the airport. Smiles galore. A notebook full of fun adventures to squeeze in while in the grand state of Oregon. So much exploring on the horizon.

Took in some beautiful river scenery while biking in Eugene, Oregon. Through this experience we learned it’s faster to move around town by bike because you avoid all the one-way roads. The biking options, trails and city-friendly atmosphere is amazing. I thought I enjoyed the Pinellas Trail in Florida however this was even better. If you head out west, definitely take a stop in track town. So many paths to choose. So much to see.

My flight landed in Portland, Oregon where I had a chance to eat a quick bite at Cartopia. An interesting little pod of food providers in the city. Interesting setting. Food was good. Just an overall fun and quirky experience to fit into the trip. The down side of Portland was all the homeless. From tent camps to tents on the sidewalk. There just seemed to be the largest concentration of homelessness I’ve ever witnessed. Sad to see and think about the stories of how each became a street dweller. I will never know however I was curious. I should mention the drive from Portland to Eugene is less than noteworthy. Boring would be the word that seems to describe it best.

The photo above is a glimpse of my AirBnb. A cute 2 bed/2 bath unit set in a residential area. Close to the river. Close to the bike paths. Close to the college: just close to all things relevant for my stay. The vibe was amazing. The history of where the neat pieces inside came from added to its appeal. A cool door from an old barn. Reclaimed wood. Doors that were once windows.

There were even a few extra touches that I didn’t expect. The book on local trails by a teacher at the university. The picture book about the history of roadie life in make shift campers. Just a few oddities to add flavor to the overall experience.

Conveyor belt sushi was fun in town. The patisserie offered a sweet treat one afternoon. An eclectic sandwich shop filled our bellies on bike day. Oddly enough no good steak places were in this town. Without steak we opted for a boat-to-table seafood market restaurant. Definitely a staple in the area as it was always crowded and the food was good. We even went twice!

I can’t cram all of my experiences into one post but I will leave this as where my Pacific Northwest adventures began. If I’m feeling fancy I will write again on my coastal experiences that are on the horizon. And will that I will leave you with an amazing sunset photo from my travels.

nature

Storm Watching

I spent a few hours storm watching on a recent trip. It wasn’t planned but I ended up enjoying it enough to write about it.

It all started when I was at the beach. Friends and I were bickering back and forth on whether the rain was coming or not. One side was super clear skies while the other side looked like a nasty storm was brewing. The weather app was not showing either view throwing logic out the window.

Back at the vacation spot we sat and watched the clouds in the distance. We heard sounds of thunder near and far. We felt the breeze pick up then die down. We saw single lightning strikes in the distance then flashes that lit up the sky. It was almost like fireworks in the late afternoon but not a drop of rain.

We moved on to a stroll in town before heading back to the beach for sunset views. More strange clouds appeared and almost looked fake. The heavens were about to open up. Our stroll was cut short. Ice cream may have fallen on the ground in the scurry to the car. A sad face appeared after getting wet and dropping the freshly scooped favorite ice cream. Somehow the frown turned upside down.

Back again to the vacation spot to see the sky and a glimpse of sunset. It ended up being amazing. The sunset was different and reflected perfectly off the water. The reflection along with my burning candle made the moment a view to remember with the sweet aroma of my candle floating in the background.

A short distance away on the pier there was another view to admire. As the darkness of night fell the glow of the lights under the dock shined green. The water had a glow. The sky was full of random clouds by now. The sky was painting its own Picasso image tonight. Just breathtaking.

The sky lit up in the distance again. I had tried so hard earlier to capture the flickering lights in the sky or the single bolts of lightening to no avail. Then finally the perfect moment appeared in the distance. The strike was finally captured in the perfect setting.

When you see the beauty of the photos and hear the story I wrote, it is my hope that you feel the experience the same way I did.

Nature is amazing. The sights. The sounds. The smells. When you can immerse yourself in a moment or day outdoors you can feel a different kind of being alive. A true immersion therapy of sorts. Refreshing the soul. The mind.