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Travel Tuesday: Adventures in the Pacific Northwest - A Wild Weekend in Oregon

It's been about a month since we returned from Oregon, but for some reason, it feels like it was ages ago already.  The Fab Fam has been super busy with back-to-school and work routines, home décor projects, the start of college football season (and our UT tailgates), and of course, trying to keep up with Fab Everyday's momentum as of late!
But I digress... I promised you a recap of our long weekend in Oregon, so I'll get to it!  I'll preview by saying that the weekend was epic, with adventure at every turn during our brief time there!
My family had an occasion to celebrate that brought us to the Pacific Northwest for a reunion.  I actually lived in Oregon from ages 2-8 (between England, where I was born, and California, where I grew up).  I still have a lot of family in Oregon, including two of my sisters, nephews, nieces, and two great-nieces! 
The hubs and I flew into Portland, where we spent the night before heading to Eugene for the family gathering.  Before we hit the road, we stopped for breakfast at Pine State Biscuits.  In addition to a great cup of coffee, they have (what else) amazing biscuits!  We tried two different biscuit sandwiches: their famous Reggie, and the Wedgie (which included a fried green tomato).   
The Reggie and the Wedgie at Pine State Biscuits in Portland

We went to the location on NE Alberta (in the Alberta Arts District), which was in a super cute, Austin-esque arts district.  I was wearing a new outfit, and fell in love with several walls and backdrops in the area, so to my husband's chagrin, we took quite a few photos before stopping for breakfast!

Here's my Banana Republic Factory stripe 3/4-sleeve romper in front of the first backdrop.  I wore it with my cross-body bag and Yaelis heels from JustFab.  Yaelis is only available in limited quantities- get it before it's gone!

Backdrop number two...

... Number three (my poor husband... he just wanted to be done so he could eat his biscuits!)...

... and we have a winner!  How fab are all these walls in Portland's Alberta Arts District, though?

We spent the first full day in Eugene (go Ducks!) for our family reunion.  With my brother being a professional chef, and family members who had previously worked in Japanese restaurants, we feasted and mostly chilled around my sister's house that first day.

Since five out of the six siblings were able to get together for this trip, we knew we had to do something awesome to mark the occasion.  What better way to celebrate getting to see each other than jumping out of an airplane together from 11,000 feet?  We drove back up towards Portland to Mulino, OR to Pacific Northwest Skydiving Center

This was less of a big deal for me, as I was the only one in our jumping group who had done it before.  In fact, this was my third skydive!  And while I have jumped from even higher altitude before, this was a really special skydiving experience.  Not just because of the great company of my siblings, but also because of the scenery!  On our jump, we exited the plane at the same height as nearby Mt. Hood.  We could see eight peaks during our jump, including Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Jefferson!  Having jumped before and knowing what to expect, I feel like I was able to take it in more in the moment.  I was so full of gratitude and joy to have gotten to experience this jump in this gorgeous location. 

The staff at PNW Skydiving were also amazing, and the price was great.  I highly recommend this skydiving center if you are looking for some adventure amidst the incredible scenery of Oregon.

Getting strapped into my tandem gear!

Trying to act calm and cool

My jump group getting ready to fly!

My sister and I are just a little excited at this point

Not so calm anymore!


... we...

... go!

Adrenaline charged!

An experience we will never forget!

Jump buddies!

After the adrenaline wore off a bit, it was back to Eugene, and a home-cooked Puerto Rican meal, for the night.

One of my goals for the weekend was to see some beautiful Oregon scenery.  My sister reminded me "that's everywhere!"  So we had a decision to make for how we would spend our next day.  We decided to drive up to the McKenzie River Trail to see some waterfalls and beautiful lakes.  Unfortunately, Tamolitch Blue Pool was temporarily closed due to some recent fire damage, but there was still plenty of amazing nature for us to see.

After seeing several roadside stands selling berries the day before on the way to and from Mulino, I became obsessed with the idea of getting fresh berries.  We were able to stop for some delicious fresh fruit on our drive to the McKenzie River.

We got delicious, fresh strawberries and frozen blueberries, which were very refreshing on the unseasonably hot day.

First, we decided to do a hike between two of the waterfalls on the McKenzie River, Sahalie and Koosah Falls.  The names mean "heaven" and "sky," so naturally we had to see them for ourselves!

Almost right off the road and the trailhead is Sahalie Falls. 

Look how lush and green it is near Sahalie Falls

The hike between the two waterfalls was about a half mile, with the entire loop around both at about three total miles. 

Beautiful, mossy logs lined the forest along the trail

The giant, ancient pine trees were majestic

Even more stunning to me than the green of the forest was the turquoise blue color of the water, which was also clean and clear

My photographer in action

Pausing to appreciate the scenery

The water became more tumultuous as we approached the second waterfall

We came across Koosah Falls from the top of it!

The view from the top of Koosah Falls

I couldn't get over the color of this beautiful river, even here atop one of the waterfalls!

Sitting at the top of this continuously running fall was a great spot for some quiet introspection

After our group members enjoyed the view from the top of Koosah, we decided to come around the front of it to appreciate it from a different perspective.

The powerful Koosah Falls spills into a beautiful blue pool

We chose our wardrobe color palette rather nicely for the scenery!

With my mommy and two of my sissies!

Even though Tamolitch was closed, we weren't done exploring the area.  We decided to have a picnic dinner at Clear Lake, which was just north of the Sahalie and Koosah Falls trail, and is the headwaters of the McKenzie River. 

Just as it's name would indicate, it is a very clear and blue lake.  It also provides mirrored reflections when the water is just the right amount of calm. 

Mt. Washington in the background of Clear Lake

I love the way the trees reflect on the crystal-clear water

The water was so blue!

The combination of blue water and green trees was a treat for the eyes

From here, we went our separate ways - half of us back to Eugene, and half of us back to Portland to prepare for our various flights home.  I look forward to the next time we get to spend some time in Oregon.  I have a feeling skydiving will end up on the agenda again... who knows, we might have created a new tradition!

1 comment :

sarah said...

This river reminds me of the Lech river in Germany!! It's turquoise. So beautiful and unexpected for a river. Beautiful pics!