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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Oregon Road Trip: Waterfalls of the Historic Columbia River Highway

Our first official stop of the trip was to hike and stop along Waterfall Drive.  Now waterfall drive isn't a real thing, but it's the pseudo name we made for the beautiful drive along Historic Columbia River Highway (a scenic byway - Route 30 in Oregon).  You could easily spend a few days driving down this 70 mile scenic drive, hiking and exploring all of these trails, parks, and viewpoints along the way (and I would have lovvved to).  However, we were on a tight schedule so we had to improvise.  A hike, a few stops, and lot of fun exploring this area (I had never even heard of until this trip!). 

Historic Columbia River Scenic Byway Map
Historic Columbia River Highway Map

Our "Waterfall Drive Waypoints" were:
--a Hike at Horsetail Falls, Ponytail Falls and Oneonta Falls,
 --stopping to view Multnomah Falls,
 --a stop at Guy W. Talbot State Park to see Latourell Falls, 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Oregon Road Trip: Columbia River

I have to admit.  I have fallen in love with the idea of the Pacific Northwest.  I spent some time in Northern California, as well as Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington.  I have to also admit, that many moons ago, I planned a trip to visit friends in Seattle for Thatcher's birthday as a way to lure him to the Pacific Northwest (specifically Seattle).  I was smitten with the idea of living by the Puget Sound, with the Pacific at my door step and a whole new range of adventure.

Somehow I landed in Utah, and I have to admit, it all worked out.

After visiting a few gorgeous spots on the Pacific Coast (especially northern CA and Seattle) the Oregon Coast gained top ranking on my "must see" list while living out West.  I had visited Portland, Oregon which wasn't exactly my cup of tea, but I knew the coast would be something right up my alley (read ocean, sea lions and seafood). 

Total Road Trip Map and Miles

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

My favorite light weight day pack - REI Flash 18 Pack

I rarely do gear reviews.  
But when I come across something I really like, 
I have to share it with you all. 

It can be hard to find a day pack that is light weight or a quick day hike, or easy to fit in a suit case. A lot of them are bulky and take up way too much room in my carry on suitcase. When I was flying to Puerto Rico and wanted a bag to throw in my suitcase, I could not find anything that was small enough to fit in my carryon, yet big enough to carry what I needed.  

One day, I was getting ready to go on a day hike, and was so unsatisfied with my bag options. My Osprey bag is great, but too big and bulky for an easy day hike. My running camelbak is a good option for size and weight, but doesn't have room to hold anything besides keys and water, and I like to bring snacks, my camera, and some things for Olive. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Ferguson Canyon Hike - Waterfalls and Overlook

Near the top of Ferguson Canyon, Utah 
I had heard this name once before, but it didn't really stick.  On a Sunday evening after a long day of Spring Cleaning, I decided it was time to get out of the house and take the dog for a Sunday evening hike.  I was getting bored of doing the same close to the city spring hikes, especially here in Utah where there are so many amazing hiking options.  I did a little research on a dog friendly spring hike when I stumbled across Ferguson Canyon.  (side note: a good way to see if a trail is ready is to look it up on instagram!)

First Impressions:  One of my new favorite close to SLC hikes.  Following a creek almost the entire way, and several small waterfalls.  Shaded and green with wild flowers growing along the trail.  Amazing dog option as there is water for them the entire way.  Everything was so green, and the view from the overlook of the valley and into Big Cottonwood Canyon was an added bonus.   The trail reminded me of the Pacific Northwest and is a great workout with its steady steep climb to the overlook. 

Trail in Ferguson Canyon
Trail in Ferguson Canyon

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Top Six Favorite Trips

Today is a funky fun Friday.  
Two things for you today:

First, check out Naomi in Wonderland to read my interview on her blog.  Naomi is the gorgeous girl behind the Belgian travel blog.  She's currently in Australia and her posts are making me weak in the knees (diving and snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef anyone?).  Naomi also has a soft spot for California (we share a deep love for Monterey), and I am proud to say I have even turned her on to visiting Salt Lake City and it got the number 9 on her 10 must see U.S. cities.  Utah Represent

Over on her blog she shares a monthly travel blogger interview series and I was over the moon when she asked me to be involved.  Head on over to her blog to see my interview, and read about the time I walked into a water fountain in Miami.  And then check out today's post where I share six of my favorite trips. 

I thought it was going to be really hard to pick a few of my favorite trips, but I am proud to say these six stood out to me more than most.  Looking back at these trips, I smile at all the awesome memories, disasters, and photos.  These are the six trips that make me stop and think how lucky I am to live this life.  Forward and onward: 

1.  Northern California Road Trip:  This was my first time to California, and there is nothing like seeing California from your car (trust me!).  Having the freedom to drive wherever you want and see so many aspects of the state on your time schedule is key.  We saw so much of Northern California from Lake Tahoe to Napa Valley, Sausalito over the Golden Gate Bridge to San Fransisco, Monterey, and driving the Pacific Coast Highway down to Big Sur.  California is truly a dream with mountains, oceans, and everything in between.  It is a state that has a little bit of everything, and then so many of the special little things.  Vineyards and sealions, I loved dipping my toes in the Pacific under CA's famous bridge.  This was definitely one of my best travel adventures so far and top 3 road trips. 

View of San Francisco from Sausalito