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McNeil Point Oregon

NW USA, Photography, Travel, USA, Video

I don’t understand why but my favorite shoes have been these adidas skate shoes that I seem to take everywhere. This hike was no exception.  McNeil Point Oregon sits about 2/3rds the way to the top of Mt. Hood. throughout the hike the feeling of constantly being lost was trumped by the scale of the mountain. there was no wrong direction as we reached the snow level that thought process seemed to hold true as the footprints weaved in and out of each other up the side of the ridge. Regardless we pushed on through the snow and up the crumbling rock. Right when the trail seemed to pitter out we pushed through the trees in front only to be spit out on McNeil Point its self.

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Horsetail Falls Video copy

What To Do When It Rains In Oregon

NW USA, Travel, USA

Go Outside – Horsetail Falls

There is only so much time I can stay inside during the rainy season in Oregon. It seems to go on forever and there is only so much entertainment I can get from sipping coffee, reading, and watching movies. I get antsy. What To Do When It Rains In Oregon?

Today seemed like it was the breaking point. Kelsey and I grabbed our rain coats and jumped in the truck with the conclusion that we would go to the closest, mind-blowing natural formations we could find. 20 minutes later, we were at the base of the Horsetail Falls trail.

Horsetail falls 2015

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Horsetail falls 2015

Horsetail falls 2015

The hike was wet. And by that I mean so wet that the ground could not even keep up. We found ourselves traversing washed out trails and damaged bridges. We hiked along three hundred foot slippery-as-hell cliffs that plunged into icy cold shallow pools. This also meant, however, that the scenery was astounding.

Horsetail falls 2015

Horsetail falls 2015

Horsetail falls 2015

Horsetail falls 2015

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Horsetail falls 2015

Horsetail falls 2015

Horsetail falls 2015

Horsetail Falls itself cascades over the trail. Hikers are able to walk behind the powerful falls and escape the downpour of the rain. From behind the falls we were able to look out over the Columbia River Gorge, mostly filled with clouds at this point.

Horsetail falls 2015

Horsetail falls 2015

Horsetail falls 2015

The hike is a little over 3.5 miles, good for an afternoon with only a couple of hours to spare.  And don’t be mad of you get muddy, it is a rainy day in Oregon after all.

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Out past a tourist trap town, what would you find?

NW USA, Travel, USA

Sisters, Oregon, a place I had grown to know for its random western charm and unavoidable 20mph speed limit. This small town is home to the biggest quilt festival and home to our Airbnb for the weekend. On our arrival, it seemed as touristy as ever, with scenes of wide-eyed middle-aged mothers dragging their phone-attached entourage into yet another faux western store on every corner.

As Siri directed us through town, it was only a matter of time before we realized that the place we had booked was “off-the-beaten-path” to say the least. Passing the last kitschy storefront, we continued into the suburbs that quickly gave way to forest and, without much notice, an unpaved road.

The red rock gravel road slowed us to a break neck speed of 15 mph. It was several miles before a small house caught my eye as we passed under a large gateway of treated logs. Two dogs ran up to the car from both directions, and then we saw the main house.

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Are you into hiking? The house butts up next to miles of nature preserve. What about rock climbing? The house was accompanied by a small climbing pillar set for multiple levels of skill. A relaxing book more your cup of tea? The house was 15 meters from a cliffside overlooking a valley with only the sound of birds and the faint trickle of the river below.

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Most importantly, there is the hot tub. As night fell we were able to soak and look up to see the stars, many of which had been forgotten, suffocated into obscurity by the city’s fast burning glow. From the speed limit to the quiet of the forested abode, we were forced to physically and mentally slow down; an abrupt but welcomed state of relaxation.

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If you are in the area of Sisters, Oregon, this is a place where you can be certain to escape. Be aware, however, that the owner is allergic to any synthetic smells. You are not allowed to have any perfumes, detergents, deodorants inside the house. She is a wonderful woman — warm, welcoming and wildly enthusiastic about the area, so please adhere to her small request. Click here for the Airbnb Listing and more photos!

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Champoeg State Park Rickety Bike Ride

NW USA, Travel, USA

If you know me, you know that I am an active gentleman of many active interests. I do not commit fully to one but instead spread my skills around to a variety of vocations…. basically, I have too many hobbies and not enough money to get the top notch equipment. I think that always brings more to the adventure. “Will I make it all the way?” is not only just about personal stamina but about resourcefulness and mechanical skill. Problem solving is of the utmost importance.

Luckily for Kelsey and I, the bike held up despite the obvious signs of self destruction. Not much more to say than that a beautiful bike ride was had by all and we were only almost run off of the road on a couple of occasions.