Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Photos From the Columbia Gorge, Oregon Side

The Columbia Gorge separates the state of Washington from the state of Oregon. There is a highway on either side in both states. Driving from Portland you witness the houses give way to wilderness and endless opportunities to look at wildlife and go for walks by the numerous waterfalls that abound during the winter time. We stopped at Multnomah Falls, one of the most popular waterfalls outside of Portland.

Multnomah Falls

We even got to see a little snow high up in the mountains.

There is beauty to be had here even in the winter time.

We stopped to have lunch at Cascade Locks as well enjoying some yummy soup and a big slice of German Chocolate cake.

I love this time off. I can't wait for a few more days at New Year's.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas From Oregon!

I have been spending the wonderful holidays with my partner and he and I have pretty much relaxing at home by the Christmas tree. We did make one journey out to the Columbia Gorge yesterday for a drive to get out since it stopped raining for a few hours. We walked around and saw flowers, berries, white swans, and seals attacking sturgeon. More photos to come! In the meantime Merry Christmas and I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Clamming in Siletz Bay, Oregon

I went clamming on Thanksgiving day for Purple Varnish clams all by myself for the first time in beautiful Siletz Bay on the northern Oregon coast. Go during low tide and easily dig them out by using a clam gun which suctions out the sand and clams. I eventually talked my mom and dad into being my assistants. Clams are easy to cook with butter and garlic on medium heat for about 4-5 minutes. I like to add mine to spaghetti - yum! Just remember to get your license to go clamming and call your local hotline before you dig them up because at certain times they can be toxic to eat! 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lincoln City, Oregon

Can I just say how much I love that my parents live in such a cute little beach town? And I can escape to it whenever I want.

I did spend my weekend there enjoying Mom's food, going shopping at the outlets (and getting some amazing deals!), and walking on the beach. Time really went to fast. I need a few more days out of work and in nature. Sometimes you just need a break from it all--you know?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Columbia Gorge - Rooster Rock State Park

Rooster Rock State Park - Columbia Gorge

 There are lots of changes in the air. With weather, time changes, and people.

I drove 30 minutes here to the Columbia Gorge to think and be quiet with my thoughts.

With that, I am going to do a bit of self reflection, self love, and live in the present. I can't wait for the weekend and time away from my job to see my family and go to the beach.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Chanterelle Hunt

October in the Pacific Northwest means the beginning of Fall rains and first appearance of savory chanterelle mushrooms. A mushroom hunt is a great way to spend a day being outdoors in fresh mountain air while gathering a fresh and tasty addition for your dinner. Chanterelle’s are a versatile mushroom and can be added to virtually any meal.  My personal favorite is a breakfast of Chanterelles sautéed in butter and added to eggs with a dash of fresh chopped parsley. They also work well on top of meat dishes like steak or pasta and also make a mouthwatering soup. 

Ready to try this on your own?

When to look:
Chanterelle growth is very weather dependent. The best time to start your search is after three inches of rain has fallen before the Chanterelles begin to appear. It is best to wait at least a week or two after the first storms have passed. The most favorable conditions are a large storm with a few weeks of cloudy and light rain fall. Too much rain and the Chanterelles become mushy and conditions that are too dry shorten the harvest season. 

Where to look:
The ideal place to find Chanterelle’s are in Doug Fir forests with south facing slopes. The forest floor where they like to grow is predominantly is composed of fir needles and the ground is undisturbed. Chanterelles can be found in forests that have predominantly one type of tree, like the Doug Fir.

What to Bring:
A knife for cutting the mushroom, a bag (preferably mesh so the mushroom can breathe), and good hiking shoes. Chanterelles are found in forests during the rainy season and it is best to wear warm, rain resistant gear to stay dry and comfortable on your hunt! Store them in paper bags after rinsing them when you get home.

What to watch out for:
Lookalikes. There are many types of mushrooms, like Jack-O-Lantern’s and Boletus, that appear very similar to Chanterelle mushrooms. The ones I search for here in Northwest are the Pacific Golden Chanterelle which are usually a dull or bright yellow color and have a flute like top with wavy, uneven ends. The defining characteristic of a Chanterelle are the forking ridges underneath the cap. It is recommended that you 100% identify the mushroom you are picking before you eat it. If you aren’t sure, don’t pick it. I recommend going with an experienced local expert or friend who can help you especially on the first try.
And remember, don’t give up if you don’t find them the first time! Scout other locations or try again when weather conditions are more ideal.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tillamook State Forest and Tillamook Bay

We went on a nice Sunday drive from Portland to Tillamook State Forest on Sunday and took a nice little hike in the forest and then we went down to the beach and took a nice (stormy) walk.

We also passed a farm on the way to Tillamook and I had to stop the car and visit with the cute farm animals. They loved posing for the camera!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Last Trip. Really this time.

Pictures from our last weekend at Deschutes River because now it is way too cold to least for us! Fall is here. I am going to suck it up and enjoy Fall with Pumpkin flavored everything.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fall Colors in Mt. Hood National Park

We went for a lovely drive in 70F degree weather to Mt. Hood National Park. We stopped at the Clackamas River to take in the view.