Aug 8, 2017

Summer Adventures in the Pacific Northwest

This summer has been full of traveling. We temporarily moved to Oregon for three months for a summer internship, and while in the Pacific Northwest, we wanted to explore the completely different landscape out here. Compared to Texas, New Mexico, or Utah, Oregon is like a whole other world. Everything is so beautifully GREEN! There are trees everywhere! Every hike we went on had waterfalls. And we still got the beauty of the mountains. One of my favorite things about this summer is that by being in Oregon, we were able to escape the blazing heat of the high plains and the Utah desert. I'm going to miss these high of 80 degrees days.

When we accepted the summer job in Oregon, we made a list of the things we absolutely must-do while in Oregon, and being the planner that I am I scheduled time to do them all. This was my list:

Serve in the Portland Temple

The Portland Temple was the first temple I'd ever served in, which I did as a youth. It was great to be back and to appreciate the beauty of the temple and the peace of the spirit.

The Portland temple is so beautiful, inside and out. The grounds are forested and filled with lovely flowers.

Go to OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry)

OMSI was my favorite place to go to when I was a teenager. I've always been a science nerd, and this science museum has a lot to offer! We visited every exhibit, did experiments in the labs, and even toured a submarine.

We toured the USS Blueback Submarine, the submarine that was in the movie Hunt for Red October
We went to see the special exhibit on Pompeii

We didn't have time to see a planetarium show, but we did get to see their meteorite exhibit.
There were a lot of different science labs and we did an experiment in each one of them. The hands on science was awesome
The Earth science room was right up my husband's ally, since he's a geologist.

And the Life Science Hall was my favorite exhibit!
Our last stop was to the gift shop! They had all sorts of science experiments to take home, and some really great science shirts and souvenirs.

Visit the Oregon Coast, and see a Lighthouse

What trip to Oregon would be complete without a visit to the coast? We went out on a perfect day. The weather in Albany was near 100 degrees, and the coast was a nice 70 degrees at the warmest. We enjoyed the beach, the lighthouses, the piers, and the clam chowder!
We saw Devil's low tide. At high tide, the water comes over this sandstone formation and it looks majestic.
We visited the high tides at Yaquina Head beach. The beach was covered in these basalt cobbles making it a rocky beach.
We got to hike to the Yaquina Head Lighthouse.
We had a great view of Beverly Beach. I used to do beach clean-ups with my church here when I was a youth.
Our last stop was to the historic Newport Bay Pier. We got fresh salt water taffy and fresh clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl.

Hike Silver Falls State Park

We wanted to hike in an Oregon temperate rain forest and see a lot of waterfalls, so Silver Falls State Park was a great choice. We hiked the Trail of Ten Falls, and it was saturated with green and trees and plants everywhere, with ten waterfalls!
We hiked the trail of 10 falls with amazing views of the waterfalls!

Some of the trails went behind the waterfalls!
It was an 8.5 mile hike, and it was well worth every step.

Visit Northern California

This was the closest I've been to my Northern Califonia family, that we made sure to take our long Fourth of July weekend to visit them. We went to Redding and to San Jose, and had such a good time with family.

We visited Shasta Lake and Shasta Dam

We also went to Turtle Bay--it has a cryptozoology exhibit! I saw a dragon,
a kracken,
A griffin,

a unicorn,
another dragon,
and a huge eagle.

- See Redwoods while in Northern California
We used to go to Henry Cowell State Park all the the time when I was a kid. It has this cross section of a redwood that fell and they labeled the lines with historic events.
 The Freemont tree, which is the one my husband crawled in, is huge and hollowed out on a bit on the inside, It is said the the explorer John Freemont camped in here overnight.

This is the tallest tree in the park!

Camp at Crater Lake

 I have wanted to visit Crater Lake ever since I heard of this lake in the crater of a volcano. It was even more beautiful that I thought it would be, and even more incredible to see in person. This is definitely a must-visit if you are planning an Oregon trip.
We had the most beautiful campsite! It was surrounded by trees and by a creek.
Crater Lake is the most beautiful lake I've ever seen! It's so clear, it was like looking into a mirror.

It was still snowed in, even in June, that we couldn't do any hikes or go into the water, but we did at least get to see the lake. We made up the time by watching the video about how Crater Lake formed and by exploring the places we could walk.

See Multnomah Falls

I really wanted to see the famous Multnomah Falls before we left Oregon, and initially I thought it would be hard to make the trip. I was pleased to find that the falls were right on our way into the Portland, so this was the first thing we got to see!
These falls are one of  the most famous in Oregon, at it's easy to see why.

 In addition to these activities, I was also able to visit the town I spent some of my teenage years in, go to the Sherwood Robin Hood Festival, hike the highest peak in the Coastal Range (Mary's Peak), visit the state capitol, and make some new great friends. We even visited Washington and Montana for a quick weekend to see family and to go to a scientific conference. Now THAT was a lot of driving.

This Oregon trip has been quite the adventure with my husband, and I'm glad we got this opportunity to travel and see more of this great nation. But it's been a long time since we've been in a place we can call home, and I miss my awesome bed and my friends. So, it's time we make the trip back. I'm not looking forward to all the driving, but I am looking forward to being back in my home. Farewell Oregon! It's been a great summer.

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