Tag Archives: Oregon

Z is for Zoo! If we were having coffee – at the zoo!

zToday rounds up our month of travel with the Eclectic Express, and where better to end the journey than a sunny-day trip to the Zoo?

I’m particularly fond of the Oregon Zoo — perhaps because it’s the zoo that I’ve spent the most time at since I grew up not far from it.  I’ll admit, I was completely surprised when I reached college and realized that not everyone had a Zoo to visit just a short drive from home!

Since it’s also a Saturday we’ll encourage everyone to explore the park, but also take some time to sit down with someone, enjoy some coffee, and share a bit about their week.


If I were having coffee with you I’d suggest we sip our coffee as we wander through some of the area’s of the zoo.  Let’s take a meander through the Africa Exhibit first.  I’d be excited to tell you not so much about my week (which was fairly average) but rather about the plans I have to continue the Eclectic Express past this month.

It’s really all Hannah‘s fault, she’s the one who brought my attention to a particular reading challenge that sparked the idea.  Eclectic Express is going to continue to explore Travel Tales, but we’ll explore new places through reading books that take place in them. Books for the continents and books for each of the US states is where I’ll start (and hopefully I’ll get others to help out with this journey as well – because I love being able to bring other voices to the blog!  It will be a grand reading adventure!

Oh!  I’d also tell you how fun it was to guest post over at Part TIme Monster this week with yet another Into-The-Woods based post… I swear, I have a non-ITW-based post coming up in the next few months… 🙂

As we wander through a bit more of the Zoo I’d love to hear what you’ve thought of our A to Z journey.  And if you have a favorite book that you think I must read for a certain location?  Suggestions are always welcome!

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W is for Waldo Lake

wWe’re approaching the end of the journey on the Eclectic Express and I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride!  We’ve gone all over the place, so today I want to take a trip today to a place that followers of this blog will be familiar with.

Waldo Lake.

We’ve visited the lake before, it’s an important place to me.  I invite you to stroll along the shore, follow the trail that wanders around the lake or just meander a few of the trails nearby. You could sit at the beach, play in (or on) the water, and just enjoy a day of relaxation.

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Having fun?


C is for Crater Lake

cHope you all enjoyed our day of travel yesterday, as we chugged our way across the country, enjoying some coffee together!

Today we find ourselves up at Crater Lake.  Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States, and the 9th deepest in the world.
It’s a beautiful lake, and the train will stop to let people off to participate in any number of activities!

Just like Baxter, there is hiking for those who are so inclined (you can even hike down to the lake and enjoy some time on a boat and perhaps a trip out to Wizard Island).

You can stay at the lodge and enjoy the views from the comfort of a lounge-chair with a few simple walks on a relatively level surface.

Or you can stay on the train for a ride around the lake, with occasional viewpoint stops along the way!

As we approach Crater Lake we’re going in through the side that saw some spectacular fires this fall. This was a controlled burn, a fire set to burn debris and thin out the woods in order to help keep the other fires from spreading.
Looking out at the lake from one of the viewpoints.
The blues of the water are spectacular. Deep and rich, with a variety of blues depending on the depth at the various points.
Wizard Island – accessible only by boat, sits towards one edge of the lake.
If you choose to remain at the lodge there are some lovely paths to walk, a few places to enjoy a meal, and these chairs that allow you a beautiful view of the lake. Also be sure to wander down the path a ways to listen in on some of the Ranger Talks and explore a bit more about the history of the lake!
A view-point near the lodge
At moments when the water is still the reflection on the lake is pretty spectacular.
Surrounding the lake is a variety of landscape, including some tree-filled slopes.
The “Phantom Ship.”
A distant view of Castle Rock.
Zooming in on the neat formation
Informational signs abound in the park — this is one of the older ones, explaining the trees that are found in that area.

There are a lot of stories to tell about Crater Lake, and many people have their own experiences there — have you been before?


History All Around

For my answer to the Go Play Go Learn Challenge this week I paid attention to the history that surrounds me every day.  I took pictures of the signs that I would often pass by, signs that tell bits and pieces of the history of my city for all to see.  I’ve put them together in a slideshow to share!

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If We Were Having Coffee… Friends Time!

Today’s post is a part of the Weekend Coffee Share, graciously hosted by Part Time Monster every weekend. A time for us to come together, share a cup of coffee (or our beverage of choice) to share some of what is going on in our lives.  It’s a lovely check-in!

If We Were Having Coffee I would all sorts of things to tell you!

Last Sunday I went to a Gluten-Free Fest, and got to eat all sorts of yummy food (and got a ridiculous amount of swag!)

IMG_20150927_145630I’ve been lucky, since I had to go Gluten-Free I’ve lived in a number of places where there are good options – and Portland has been amazing for it.  Still, though, it can be hard (especially to find quick-grab options) so it was awesome to get to see some of the products that are out there.  What I’m most excited about is the fact that Cheerio’s is going Gluten-Free for five of their cereals (including Multi-Grain and Honey-Oat which are my two favorites)!

Sunday night I enjoyed the Lunar Eclipse. I love the sky at night, but usually exciting sky events are happening too late for me to be awake.  This time I was able to be awake and could see it without having to leave my neighborhood (light pollution makes it awfully hard to see a lot of the stars, but the moon shone bright enough)!

The work week went fine for me — I’ve been enjoying the Go Play, Go Learn activity that people have been doing for my History Challenge — and am looking forward to more potential collaboration with Nerd In The Brain on Go Play, Go Learn Challenges!

Friday, though, was my grand adventure.  A friend came into town (as she does about once a year) and so Friday night was the start of the Weekend fun.  Usually there’s a “Friendsgiving” when she’s here, but scattered gatherings throughout the weekend is what we’re able to swing this year.  So after work I headed out to our first meeting place — a McMennamin’s I’d never been to before called the White Eagle.


The White Eagle is said to be highly haunted! I got some time to sit and write while I was waiting, and I really enjoyed the atmosphere.  Then we all gathered together, enjoyed some drinks, and wandered a bit further up the street to get some food.

I don’t really get out in Portland much at night – public transit for the last leg of my trip home stops running at about 10pm – so it was fun to get to explore and enjoy a little.

We sat outside (with on and off light sprinkles) enjoying drinks and food, surrounded by people (and dogs) having a good time.


Though we were stuffed, we then went to ice cream!  I didn’t get home till about 1 am (super late for me these days) and had a great time.  Today I’ve got a bunch of writing to do – excited about some guest-appearances I’ll be making over at Part-Time Monster this week, and then a Feminist Friday Post here! Tomorrow is Friendsgiving Part Two – some Powell’s time and wandering around Downtown.  I’m looking forward to it!

How are you doing?  Do you have any fun plans this weekend?

If We Were Having Coffee – Vacation Return!

Today’s post is a part of the Weekend Coffee Share, graciously hosted by Part Time Monster every weekend. A time for us to come together, share a cup of coffee (or our beverage of choice) to share some of what is going on in our lives.  It’s a lovely check-in!

If we were having coffee I’d have so much I wanted to tell you, but I might have some trouble finding just the right words.  I just got back from a very wonderful camping trip at Waldo Lake.  Honestly my brain is a bit scattered at the moment, so probably I’d just show you some pictures for now.  With the promise to tell you much much much more soon.  I’ve been having fun with Nerd In The Brain’s Go Play Challenges – so will have some more posts soon!

For now, a few highlights:

Our campsite!
Our campsite!
I was so happy to be there! Out on the lake, my favorite place in the world (it’s been nine years since I was able to make it out there).
Night One sunset – I love the sunsets at Waldo Lake.
The water level was very low – which meant I was able to wade out to this island – I spent a lot of time on this little island, writing, reading, and generally just relaxing.
We took a day trip to Crater Lake – there are still fires in the area, this was a boundary burn – intentionally set to create a boundary for the fires in the area.
We took a day trip to Crater Lake! Somehow I hadn’t managed to make it here before, even with living in Oregon for most of my life.
Looking back at the shore from “my” island – it really became my favorite place for this visit, I always had it completely to myself!


I need to sort through my pictures, write some more things about all I did, and then I’ll post those!

How was your week?


If We Were Having Coffee… Vacation and the Coast!

Today’s post is a part of the Weekend Coffee Share, graciously hosted by Part Time Monster every weekend. A time for us to come together, share a cup of coffee (or our beverage of choice) to share some of what is going on in our lives.  It’s a lovely check-in!

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that my friend is visiting from Maine!  It’s been a great visit so far, and we have the weekend ahead of us still.  Today we’re going to spend some time downtown, Powell’s is high on the list.

Yesterday we tried to beat the heat (it’s hitting the 100’s here in the Portland Metro Area, which is just not okay) by going to the coast.  It was a perfect day and I had so much fun.  For the first time in a long time I played a game that I loved when I was younger — chase the waves.  The goal is to reach the edge of the waves reach before it does. If you wade out enough before picking the wave to run from you get soaked in the race.  I just did one round but it was so fun!

Racing the wave! With the bag I won from Nerd In The Brain Summer Reading Program! It’s such an amazing beach-bag!

We walked quite a ways then sat and wrote for a while before heading to Mo’s for lunch.  Then we drove down the coast a bit, stopping to take a little hike to another great beach.  I love the coast so much, the salt air, the sounds and smell, it is one of my favorite places to be.

Check out the pictures… just a few that I took.

I’m looking forward to the rest of the visit.  We’re sticking around town for the weekend, but Monday a trip to Mount Hood is in the plans!  I’ll be posting pictures on Instagram throughout, I’m sure 🙂

I know that there was other things going on but… the beach.  A day enjoying good company and relaxing by the water had wiped most everything else from my mind.

Late edit!  I just remembered the other thing I wanted to mention here!  Monday I am guest posting over at Part Time Monster!  I’m very excited about my “Monday Monster” post – I hope you’ll all come over to check it out!