Saturday, February 6, 2010

Foggy winter morning

I spotted this field of towering wind turbines creating shadows across the hills near Maryhill, WA just as the sunlight peeked through the fog. The wind turbine fields are becoming a common sight along the Columbia River that divides Oregon and Washington. It's a perfect place to install this form of alternative energy as there is rarely a day that the wind isn't blowing!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Stormy day at the Oregon Coast

The end of January promised some great "storm watching" over on the Oregon Coast, so my husband and I decided to drive over to the Newport area to do some photography and eat some clam chowder. (More on that later)

One of my favorite areas for crashing waves is Boiler Bay State Park. There are several good sites along the paved road into the park, and at the turn-around area, you will find picnic tables and several great viewing spots. If you look back toward the highway, you will see a small waterfall just back from the tide line which offers some great photo opportunities. Just make sure to protect your camera gear from the ocean spray!

Newport and Depoe Bay both offer some great restaurants offering everything from fresh seafood to Japanese sushi! One of our long-time favorites had been Mo's Restaurant in Newport - down on the historic bayfront. While on our trip, w decided to go to Mo's for the famous chowder and ordered a couple large bowls. But when the waitress brought out our lunch, we noticed the chowder didn't look the same as it had before. After tasting it, it didn't taste like the Mo's chowder, either! When the waitress came by to ask how our lunch was, we told her we were very disappointed in the chowder - one of the bowls even had small pieces of gravel or large sand pebbles in the bottom! The waitress informed us they had been inspected recently by the USDA and were told they needed to change the way they processed their chowder. They manager the employees that the new procedures would affect the taste and texture of the chowder and he was worried that long-time patrons would be upset. He was right! After that lunch, we will be searching for a new place to eat clam chowder, that's for sure! Too bad, we've had lots of good memories of eating chowder at Mo's for over 40 years!

Long break between posting

I realize there has been a long break between my last posting to this blog but I hope to catch up and get back on track again now. Thanks for your patience and I'm glad you have checked back to see what's new!

I recently started a new blog that you might want to take a look at, especially for those of you who might be planning a trip to Alaska in the near future. This blog deals with travel writing including reviews and recommendations for hotels, restaurants, tourist sites, and much more. It's located at


Thursday, June 25, 2009

The scenic Deschutes National Forest in central Oregon

The Deschutes National Forest near Bend, Oregon is a scenic forest with a variety of natural landscapes. From forests of Ponderosa Pine and fir trees, to sagebrush flats with rocky lava flows. Dormant volcanoes and sparkling clear lakes, wildflowers and wildlife everywhere. This is truly an outdoor lovers paradise! Whether you are a fisherman, hiker, mountain biker, kayaker, golfer, windsurfer, camper or photographer, the Deschutes National Forest has something for everyone.

Beautiful Elk Lake is popular with windsurfers and fishermen, and the beach area is a favorite for families. Wildlife in the area includes Osprey, Mule Deer, Elk, Black Bear, Coyotes, Chipmunks, with a wide variety of other birds and insects.

Travel the Cascades Lakes Highway out of Bend for unprecedented views of snow-capped mountains, clear blue lakes, and deep green forests. Adjoining the forest are beautiful resorts and golf courses including Inn of the Seventh Mountain, Black Butte Ranch, Sunriver Resort, and Widgi Creek.

For an unforgettable outdoor vacation - spend your next one in central Oregon on the beautiful Deschutes Naitonal Forest. And don't forget your camera!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

On the trail of Wildflowers

During the months of June through August, the Ochoco National Forest in central Oregon is a haven for wildflower lovers. Photographers will find a large variety of wildflowers on each district of the forest, with some locations providing an outstanding variety in a single area. Examples of wildflowers to be found on the forest include Indian Paintbrush, Penstemon, Columbine, Lupine, Yellow Violet, Yellow Bell, Scarlet Gilia, and many more.

One of the top wildflower viewing areas is Big Summit Prairie. This area not only has a wide variety of flowers, but also offers some wonderful camping areas and fishing in nearby streams. Other great wildflower viewing areas include Walton Lake, Maury Mountains, meadows along Mark's Creek, and on the far east side of the forest around Paulina.

When visiting Central Oregon in the spring and summer, don't pass up a trip to the Ochoco National Forest east of Prineville. Wildflowers, wildlife, camping, fishing, hiking, mountain biking and more!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Heceta Head and the Oregon Coast

The coast of Oregon is not only well-known for it's picturesque beauty and the relaxing sounds of waves breaking on the sandy shores, but it has a history full of wonderful stories and colorful unique buildings.

One of the favorite stops for travelers is the Sea Lion Caves which is located south of Newport on Highway 101. Here visitors can either take an elevator down into the caves, or walk to several viewpoints where Sea Lions rest on the rocks below.

Another popular destination is the historical Heceta Head Lighthouse State Park also located off Highway 101. There are several turnouts along the highway that offer outstanding views of the lighthouse and lightkeepers residence. For the more adventurous visitor, tours are offered to the top of the lighthouse for amazing views. There are docents that will lead tours and offer information about the history of the lighthouse and the people who worked here.

The Oregon Coast is a must-see for visitors traveling to the western United States, and be sure to take your camera!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Alaska Highway - Delta Junction

Delta Junction, Alaska is the terminus of the 1422 mile Alaska Highway. This scenic small town (Population under 1000) offers the visitor many interesting sites to check out and is well worth spending a couple of days enjoying.

The Visitor Center is a great place to have your photo taken with the monument that marks the end of the Alaska Highway. There are also giant mosquito sculptures, a display of pipe used in 3 different pipeline projects, and of course, plenty of free brochures, displays of wildflowers, and mounted wildlife and examples of furs that visitors can touch. Don't forget to pick up your certificate, certifying you have reached the end of the Alaska Highway!

Delta Junction is home to many family-run farms and also the well-known "Delta Meats" where visitors can taste free samples of their famous sausage. Other sites to see in Delta Junction include: Rika's Roadhouse, Sullivan Roadhouse, Pipeline Crossing, wildlife viewing including Bison herds and bird watching, not to mention camping and fishing.

Delta Junction is also the junction of the Alaska Highway and the Richardson Highway. The scenic views of the Alaska Range are sure to have you grabbing your camera at each turn in the road.

Delta Junction is a special place and often becomes a favorite of everyone who takes time to investigate and explore this gorgeous part of Alaska. Take lot of photos for a lifetime of memories.