Hiking along the Umpqua River

To celebrate National Trails Day and to enjoy the outdoors, I joined up with a bunch of women from my church in Eugene for a day of hiking along the Umpqua River in southern Oregon. Following a portion of the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway, we stopped for three short hikes to beautiful cascading waterfalls on the north Umpqua. Each building in size and awe-power, the waterfalls filled the day with relaxing river sounds and a chance to get away and enjoy the fellowship of other women in the wild! Continue reading

Climbing into the Canopy in the McKenzie River Valley

Surrounded by a rainbow of green and the scent of fresh spring forest, I hung out with my feet dangling and wide grin on my face. Nothing could ruin my spirits – especially at 100 feet off the ground! Gazing over the tree tops in the HA Andrews’ Experimental Forest while attached to an old growth, I breathed in the light and clean McKenzie River Valley air and took in the moment of my first successful tree climb.

I had the joy this past week of taking a tree top adventure with Pacific Tree Climbing Institute. Based out of Blue River, Pacific Tree Climbing Institute is a registered Oregon outfitter that takes visitors on an amazing experience to explore the lush and alive forests of the Pacific Northwest. Using ropes and harnesses, the duo who owns the company, assist, train and teach guests of all ages and abilities how to climb into the forest canopy.

Using my legs to boosted myself upward and then gliding my hands up the rope, I slowly but surely moved my way up the tree. The further up in the tree we progressed, the more the beautiful little details of nature popped out: the bark with its rough surface and color like rich, dark chocolate and sweet smell, the hanging gray-green beard-like moss, and the rush of the nearby the river. In the tree top, the forest fully came alive in an animated orchestra of textures, smells and sights.

Only for a brief moment at the beginning was I afraid – where the heart quickly skipped a beat – but amazingly the higher I went the more confident and exciting the trek became. The first one to the top and the last down, I was a kid again as I hung about the limbs in that evergreen park.

Beyond just leading quick day climbs, Pacific Tree Climbing Institute also offers overnight trips in the tree canopy and educational programs. Find out more about Pacific Tree Climbing Institute and book an adventure that you won’t ever, ever forget!

Check out more photos from my climb:

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A Visit to Tipi Village Resort

Hidden in the trees, down a road less travel, just before a ghost town, a sanctuary of Tipis flourish.The white topped tents standout against the green forested path, yet naturally blend in with the landscape as if they somehow belong. Walking the bark chip paths, with light music floating in the air and the soft sounds of the creek and chickens, the whole scene screamed a whisper of bliss.

A retreat to get away from it all or to gather with friends, Tipi Village Resort just outside of Macola, Oregon is a little piece of serenity outside of the Eugene/Springfield metro. With six tipis, a garden cottage, studio, cabin, and master bedroom, the resort is a unique lodging experience for couples or the entire family.

I headed out to Tipi Village Resort last night with a handful of my co-works for a grand Paella feast. Did I forget to mention above that they have large outdoor kitchen and pizza oven? Yes, and man can they cook! Between the grape, fig and cheese pizza to the amazing seafood and meat Spanish Paella and wine, no one went hungry. The crowd this lovely, summer evening was also treated to beautiful music and a special performance of Italian songs.

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