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

Wetlands at Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

With over 3,000 acres of salt and freshwater grasslands, marshes and wetlands, the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge located just north of Olympia, Washington is bird-lover’s and nature photographer’s haven. Established in 1974, the reserve offers natural protection for thousands of migratory birds along the southern bays of the Puget Sound. Continue reading

Reversing the Reflecting

Last Friday I posted the photo “Reflecting the Sky,” which overlooked the Delta Ponds in Eugene from the view point of the Delta Bridge. In the far distance, spanning one of the ponds you can see a small wooden bridge. Today I decided while out for my run to go find that bridge and do a reverse shot looking back over the ponds. This is the beautiful view I found:

Delta Ponds and the Delta Footbridge.

Sometimes you have to turn around and take in the space you forgot to find bliss.

The Tree Hugger In Me: Eugene to the Redwoods

In two weekends of road trip extravaganzas and less than seven days, Sarah and I drove the entire state of Oregon twice – plus some if you count those wrong turns.

This past weekend to finish off the southern half of the state and check another off the Bucket List, we travel three hours south of Eugene to Ashland to visit friends. With another late start, we swerved through the curvy, valley-filled turns of I-5 South during sunset for some miraculous palate splashes against the wooded hillsides.

Line of traffic as the sun sets

Quizzing Sarah on vocab with my feet up on the dash, I made inane sentences in hope that she would remember them for her GRE test on Monday – but in reality it just made us laugh until we cried and miss our exit. Luckily we noticed just in time before crossing into California at one of those creepily pitch black turnarounds like where horror stories start.

After catching up with our friends, we hit downtown Ashland to explore and grab a drink. Stopping at one of the only open clothing stores on the way to the pub, I found an “Oregon, America’s Happy Place” shirt that I just had to have and ultimately ordered online once home. Then we continued to the Black Sheep for an authentic British beer at this English style pub. With high ceilings and long dark drapes against the memorabilia covered walls and red telephone booth in the corner, the pub added interest to the evening and a few wise-crack accents.

Yet this bar was not our only foreign trek of the weekend. Rising and shining, the next morning we set off for the wild and unknown land to our south –California!

In two hours time we crossed the border – no fruit in hand of course – and made our way into the Redwood forests.  In the land of the giants we exploded these towering limbs that burst from the ground at Jedediah Smith State Park. Filled with dense undercover of ferns, the whole forest circled upward in a gradient of green and brown to the sun break branches. Here I found out that I truly am a tree hugger!

Sarah and I LOVE TREES!

After enough bug bitten time in the forests we spent the remainder of the afternoon playing in the river, jumping off roads and hiking up the beautiful shallow stream.

Here are more photos from the trip:

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Blue River Reservoir Trip

Here are some more photos from this weekends boating and camping trip. Enjoy!