A FEW AMAZING PLACES RIGHT NEAR MY HOME
If you saw my recent post about spending time in the Columbia River Gorge (click here to check it out), you’ll know I feel pretty lucky to live in a place as gorgeous as Oregon. Holidays don’t have to be this grand affair to faraway lands… and they don’t even have to last for days. A holiday can just be a simple trip to a place that makes you happy where you spend some quality time, even if it’s a short amount of time like a few hours.
I want to share with you some more Oregon adventures I’ve had just in the last few weeks. All of these places are just within an hour or so from my home and are a great reminder not to forget to explore the world that’s close by!
First up is more Columbia River Gorge, it never gets old. My brother and his wife came out to Portland for 4th of July and we took them out to Mt. Hood. Rather than driving on the Oregon side, we went up to Washington and drove east. We stopped at Cape Horn viewpoint, which is equally stunning as Vista House at Crown Point on the Oregon side, though Cape Horn is just a large spot on the road to pull over as opposed to Vista’s building and visitor’s center. The views are just as amazing at Cape Horn.
Then we headed to Mt. Hood by crossing over the Columbia River from Washington into Hood River, OR. We were trying to get to the famous Timberline Lodge, famous if you’ve seen The Shining, but after taking a wrong turn we ended up on the wrong side of the mountain. Here’s a shot from The Shining next to an actual shot of Timberline today.
Before redirecting to Timberline we headed to Trillium Lake. It has amazing views of Mt. Hood and the walk around the lake itself is only a short 2 miles. It’s one of so many state parks here that make Oregon awesome… $5 for a day pass to park and you’re in like Flynn.
Then it was off to Timberline. The first pic is a few hundred yards up the mountain looking back out, the second is from Timberline looking up at Mt. Hood – not much snow this time of year but that didn’t deter hardcore snowboarders. This was viewed with a surprisingly reasonably priced beer from the Rams Head bar inside the lodge… seems the best way to take in the view. After that it was home for an awesome BBQ by way of the back roads of Washington County, Oregon’s wine country, some of which you’ll see in the next pic.
So I mentioned wine country in Washington Co, Oregon. Having moved out here just over a year ago I had no idea of the beautiful country just a few minutes from my house. Oregon has a growing and well know wine industry and the vineyards are gorgeous. My own neck of the woods has some really stunning ones. My friend asked if I’d like to do a walk in Cooper Mountain Nature Park. It’s a park with simple gravel trails for foot traffic only, no dogs or bikes allowed (which is nice to have that separation sometimes, and I say that as a dog owner and mountain biker). In the pic you can see some trails, the great views of the wine country and a rock stack I did for the hell of it.
The next weekend it was off to Henry Hagg lake, just 30 minutes from my house. It’s a man-made lake aimed at families with fishing, swimming and boating. It also has a great series of trails as you can see below, you can hike in forest or around the lake.
Oregon is never shy on natural beauty or things to do! A special thank you to Northwest Tree Pros – www.NorthwestTreePros.com – who sponsored this post. They’re a local full service, tree care and maintenance service and I’m happy to mention them here! The Pacific Northwest wouldn’t be what it is without all of the beautiful trees, but somebody’s gotta take care of them!
More on the Ireland vacation up next and given that it’s summer, more Oregon adventures to follow.
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