Summer Travel: PDX Carpet and the Oregon Forest

My husband and I flew to Portland, Oregon this past weekend and drove to the Oregon forest for a beautiful, fun wedding. Fortunately, this classic Oregon Trail event did not happen to anyone along the way:

We had an amazing view of Mount Rainier Mount St. Helens Mount Hood (we’re bad at geography) as we descended into the Portland area on the plane:

photo-52Did you know that Portland’s nickname is Rose City? I had no idea. You really do learn something new every day. We visited at the perfect time of year, because the roses are are in bloom all over the city—even along the highways!

Due to our current crazy schedule we didn’t really have much time to spend in Portland itself, so we’ll have to make a trip back there some day to do a true visit. But we did get to experience both versions of the #PDXcarpet, which is apparently a THING of which I was not aware until recently. No joke, when I posted pics on Instagram, my pic of the original carpet was liked by an account called PDXcarpet. There are all sorts of goodies you can buy with the carpet print on them (watch for my Friday Five this week + check out that Insta account if you don’t believe me). Also, my friend who is from Portland informed me that the Grand Master of this year’s Rose Festival Parade was a roll of PDX Carpet with a hat, airplane seatbelt, and googly eyes, which 1) you just can’t make up, and 2) is pretty much the best thing ever:

Keep Portland Weird, indeed!

Our drive to the wilderness (Camp Sherman, to be exact) began on Friday morning. Along the way we stopped off for a look at the Detroit Dam and Lake. The weather was seriously amazing! I actually said to my husband, “This weather is perfect. Enjoy the fact that I just said that, because you won’t hear it often.”

IMG_5022 (1)There was a welcoming phrase that I won’t type here scratched into the railing right in front of where we parked our car at the dam. It’s a little hard to read, but you can click the pic for a larger version. You stay classy, Oregon:

IMG_5024 (1)We arrived at the wedding venue, Lake Creek Lodge, in Camp Sherman and checked in to our super cute cabin:

IMG_5029 (1)There was a creek basically in our front yard:

IMG_5040I won’t post wedding pics because it’s not my place to share my pics of another couple’s celebration. BUT, the wedding and all its related festivities were SO much fun! The weekend was everything a wedding should be: lots of food and wine, happy tears, and laughing and dancing our asses off. We even got in some quality pool time and played tennis (twice!). Suffice to say there was a lot of love radiating from our little corner of the Oregon forest this weekend. Oh, and the Friday evening welcome drinks + BBQ were the perfect opportunity to wear my Pixley maxi and Bay to Baubles earrings from my last StitchFix!

On Saturday morning we went into nearby town of Sisters to get breakfast and dined at Takoda’s Restaurant. They do not fuck around with their portions! Our breakfast (for four people) could really have served six or even eight…and it was delicious. That’s my Eggs Benedict cut off there on the bottom right:

photo 1-27And here’s a gratuitous nature selfie before I started getting ready for the wedding:

photo 2-27My husband went for a run each morning and took some photos along the way. He went to see the Metolius River, with Mount Hood in the distance:

IMG_5071Another Metolius pic by my husband:

IMG_5076Everything is so lush and green and beautiful!

The day after the wedding, we started the drive back to Portland and made a minor detour to Sahalie Falls and Koosah Falls in Willamette National Forest. We entered the trail near Sahalie Falls:

IMG_5105Just gorgeous. SO. MUCH. MOSS.

The climate is super weird right in the vicinity of the falls. It was hot outside—apparently this weekend was way hotter than usual—but as soon as we got to the bottom of the stairs from the parking lot, it literally felt like someone turned air conditioning on. It stayed cool for awhile on the trail, but then we would hit a pocket that felt like a furnace came on. Fortunately the cooler temperature prevailed.  🙂

Nature, I am in you!

IMG_5123In some areas the water is an intense aqua color that I usually associate with the ocean:

IMG_5158And suddenly we found ourselves at Koosah Falls:

IMG_5173This was the view from the top of the falls…unreal.

IMG_5170The best part of this little hike, though, was when my husband spotted a native orchid in bloom! I’m saving that story and those pics for my orchid blog, though.  🙂

We made a pit stop at a legit country general store in a tiny town called Idanha (2010 population: 134. The wedding we attended had almost as many guests as the town has residents!). Amazingly, the store offers a veggie burger on their very small menu, as well as a nice selection of what I assume are locally made chocolates. That’s the West Coast for ya.

On the drive back to Portland we also stopped off at Mongold State Park at Detroit Lake for a quick pic:

IMG_5177We had noticed this area on the drive up and wanted to take a closer look. It seems like the lake has been experiencing a drought. The area looks very dried up—many piers aren’t even touching the water at this point—and there are a ton of tree stumps dotting the landscape. Although the water level is low, there were still plenty of folks out there with boats boats boats and fishing gear!

Our trip ended with a little stroll around Portland’s Alberta Arts District and yummy tacos for dinner at Cruzroom. The district reminded me slightly of Little Five Points in Atlanta, where I spent a lot of time hanging out during my college years. All the restaurants in the district had lots of good veggie options, which I always appreciate! I failed to take pics of our food, but we started off with the Tots a la Cruz: spicy tater tots with a smoky cheese sauce…delicious! I had two tacos: the Na-Cho-Taco and the El Tio Rheuben. Both were quite good. We were too tired to do any sightseeing, so after dinner we basically just went back to the hotel room and got in bed while it was still light out. In our defense, it does stay light pretty late out there.

Now that I’ve had a little taste of Portland I definitely want to go back!

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