Frivolous Friday! Wolf Pup RV Adventure #9 (Part Two: Misty Fun in Oregon)
It’s Frivolous Friday!
Thought I would share some of the fun I squeezed in this week (in between all my portrait sessions and retouching work.)
Yep, this happened #1:
If you tuned in last week, you already know I’m on a 23 day RV adventure to Oregon.
In case you missed it, (CLICK HERE see Part One of the trip!)
We continued venturing up the coast and were amazed to see sunny skies – we really didn’t have any rainy days!
The views ahead AND behind us were beautiful!
We passed this warning sign about 17 million times….every time the road dipped down to sea level there was another warning sign!
We camped near the Umpqua Lighthouse and enjoyed some misty walks around the park….
The poodle enjoyed exploring too…and reveled in being our team mascot…
We’ve found that state campgrounds are super beautiful and right in the middle of where you want to be….Umpqua Lighthouse State Park didn’t disappoint!
I will say it was the first time we’ve been handed a Tsunami evacuation map when we checked into our campground!
There was a beautiful, misty lake next to the campground too – I love an interesting view on my morning walk!
And did you know that in Oregon, the trees are furry? lol
Algae, lichens, and mosses grow profusely on trunks, limbs, and twigs of many trees and shrubs.
The cool, cloudy, wet weather in western Washington and Oregon is ideal for them!
Here’s something else you might not know.
The Pacific Northwest is all about Bigfoot and Banana Slugs!
The Pacific banana slug is the second-largest species of terrestrial slug in the world, growing up to 9 inches long and can live up to seven YEARS!
They are kinda icky to me but they are beloved by Oregonians – so beloved that gift shops sell stuffed banana slug toys…..
Can you stand it?
One of the highlights of my trip was the morning we woke up before dawn to meet a naturalist guide to learn about the world famous Haystack Rock on Cannon Beach.
As a photographer I was IN HEAVEN.
Haystack Rock is one of Oregon’s most recognizable landmarks, home to colorful tidepools and diverse birdlife.
This basalt sea stack rises 235 feet from the edge of the shoreline and is the third-tallest intertidal structure in the world!
(Warmth tip from Pam: This lined fleece plaid jacket is the softest thing ON EARTH and is on sale now at Costco and is THE BOMB – go get one!)
There are thousands of nesting birds on Haystack rock – here’s a zoomed in view of one tiny little part:
There is plenty of amazing wildlife up close too!
At low tide, you can walk right up to the rock to see colorful sea stars and other fascinating tidepool creatures in its intertidal area.
The tidepools were amazing – and what was especially noteworthy to me was that the sea stars were the size of dinner plates! GASP!
I’ve never seen one that large in San Diego!
And there were thousands and thousands of all different colors of sea stars!
Is it just me or does this sea star look like an exhausted mamma who just got the kids to bed? ha!
Here’s something else I’ve never seen.
A sea gull EATING a sea star!
WHAT THE HECK?
He had to pause halfway to rest because it was too big of a bite for him….!
But he managed to get it down it just fine….barf!
And then went swimming around looking for another….
The coast was misty and chilly but so exciting!
After our sunrise adventure, we headed inland a bit for some sunshine….
And then slurped down an Oregon specialty: a “Marionberry Milkshake” SO GOOD!
Take a look at this mountain and tell me if you recognize it?
It’s Mt. Saint Helens!
If you need a quick refresher – the volcano erupted in May of 1980 and it is still the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in U.S. history.
(Fifty-seven people were killed; 200 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles of railways, and 185 miles of highway were destroyed.)
A massive debris avalanche, triggered by a magnitude 5.1 earthquake reduced the elevation of the mountain’s summit from 9,677 ft to 8,363 ft.
Forty two years later you can still see the devastation – from the debris flows, to barren forests that were leveled by the blast!
The National Park Service has done a great job telling the story with three different Visitor’s Centers and lots of hikes and look-out points.
One of the highlights for us was walking in an underground Lava Tube.
This is the third longest lava tube (2.5 miles long) in North America and cave temperature is 42 degrees year-round.
There are also smaller tunnels and caves you can explore!
Well after all that coastal adventure, we moved camp: Portland here we come!
First of all, let me say that Portland is a fun city and there’s lots to do!
We made sure to visit the International Rose Test Garden which displays more than 10,000 individual rose bushes – and we were at the perfect time of year for maximum bloom!
The primary purpose of the garden is to serve as a testing ground for new rose varieties.
Here are a few of my favorites….
Even Flash picked out his favorite (yes, doggies are allowed!)
As book lovers, OF COURSE we had to visit the world’s largest bookstore!
Powell’s City of Books occupies a full city block with 1.6 acres of retail floor space, nine color-coded rooms and over 3,500 different sections
The inventory for its retail and online sales is over four million!
We bought a Road Atlas of the USA as a souvenir for the little Wolf Pup!
When lunch time rolled around, we headed straight to one of Portland’s many famous food truck pods: Cartopia!
Unlike other cities’ mobile food trucks, most Portland carts stay put in groups dubbed “pods,” making it a snap to sample several at a time.
We wanted to explore international flavors— without the wait of a sit-down restaurant — I enjoyed Pad Thai and Hubby had a Greek Gyro.
The next day we pulled on our hiking boots and ventured out to explore some waterfalls — did you know there are 238 waterfalls in Oregon?
We visited five of them: Multnomah Falls, Latourell Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Wahkeena Falls and Horsetail Falls….
I won’t make you sit through all of them but here are a couple favs.
We weren’t finished with our water-theme though – next up on our travels was a visit to the Bonneville Lock & Dam.
The amount of water from the Columbia River Gorge rushing through the dam was jaw dropping!
The lock, right next door to the dam, lifts and lowers boats (in this case three barges pushed by a tug boat) 70 feet in elevation!
We got to watch the barges lower down and the lock gates open – the whole process takes 20 minutes (stay tuned for a video)
One of my favorite parts of the visitor center was the views of migrating fish in the Fish Ladder. We watched through underwater windows…I’d always heard about fish jumping up and over fish ladders to bypass a dam but never really could picture it – so this was awesome!
Here’s a fish ladder “rung” above the water. It’s hard to see but that splash is a salmon making it up and over the ladder…really so amazing to watch!
And you just can’t visit Portland without visiting the World Famous VooDoo Doughnuts, am I right?
We’d been seeing it on TV and food and travel shows for years so we knew we had to try it!
We chose a Voodoo, a hibiscus flavored raised glazed, an m&m supreme and hubby’s fav, plain ole buttermilk.
Such a fun stop!!!
And with one final sunset we packed up to leave Portland and start our southbound journey….stay tuned next Friday for the third and final part of our big 23 day, 3123 mile vacation!
What can I say: I’m Feeling Blessed!
And do you know what else I’m blessed by? Capturing amazing moments for you to treasure for a lifetime!
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