Thursday, October 13, 2011

California Redwoods - Just a teaser

I've just returned from a family tour through Northern California - and I've much to share about the trip... 

But first (as I'm gathering photos & thoughts for the longer post), a teaser:

Glass Beach - Fort Bragg.

One of the places that is a glimmer in my far-back memories, is visiting the magical Glass Beach as a child. Exploring and finding all sorts of colorful amazing treasures are the memories I hold. I photographed this on the last day of our 5-day march through the Redwoods, and my brother and I were able to bring our children here to explore and find some amazing treasures.

It was magical. To say the least.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Camp Sherman - Our last hurrah...

Before we packed the trailer up for the season, we found one beautifully empty Saturday around which to build a quick getaway.

While we have been to the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery - we never really did explore the nearby Camp Sherman area. We found the Cold Springs Resort & RV park online, and had a wonderful getaway less than an hour from home.

There are tons of US Forest Service campgrounds, as well as private resorts. You can certainly find something to fit your getaway preferences. Here's a link to the Metolius River Association - with lots of helpful information on the area.

A bucolic sunset as seen from the road leading to our campground.

The Cold Springs Resort office.

What happens when there is idle space in our day.

We were fortunate to book this wonderfully open spot by the creek.

A quick visit to check out the Head of the Metolius River. 

We brought the bikes and wandered along the trails, and happened upon these jumps - much to the Teichrow boys' delight (all 3 of them). Biking photos were shot with the "old" D80 and a kit lens. Not to shabby - eh? Click to enlarge...

Boys and fire. Properly supervised - a kid's dream!

They were quite proud.

Enjoying the fruits of their labor. Are marshmallows considered a fruit?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Backyard Tourist - Central Oregon Adventures

We love living in Bend – it’s an ideal place for many reasons. I’m ashamed to admit, however, that we don’t take advantage of our beautiful back yard as often as we should. I suppose that is fairly common, right? We get caught up in our daily dailies – and it takes a gentle nudge to push us out of our ruts.

Last weekend our gentle nudge was our lovely houseguests – old friends of ours from our days of living in Washington state.  What a perfect excuse to share the beautiful scenery & adventures of Central Oregon.

Don’t feel like you have to do all of these adventures in one weekend – but it DOES make for a good one! Be sure to pack mosquito repellant, sunscreen, an array of layers for temperature changes & lots of food/water! Quick note: most of the links are to the official federal sites. Feel free to comment and ask specific questions!

While I have been to the area before, I'd never driven to Paulina Peak for a personal overview of the crater. It was an ideal way to begin our Newberry tour, as we could get a perspective of the big crater in which we were about to explore. From there, we drove down and hiked the Big Obsidian Flow (amazing), then checked out the hot springs bubbling up at East Lake, and finally checked out Paulina Falls. There are longer hikes in the area, but with the crew we had, thought best to do short & sweet adventures at each stop.

The boys - looking out on Paulina Lake from Paulina Peak.

Paulina Lake, with South Sister and Broken Top peaks in the background. Luckily we were able to see them, despite the many wildfires in the area.

From Paulina Peak - the view over the Big Obsidian flow - with East Lake in the background.

Our hikers - along the short, scenic Big Obsidian Flow hike.

Park at the Hot Springs Boat Launch - walk along the south side of the lake, until you come upon the hot springs, bubbling up from the ground. The level of the lake may determine how easy it is to access the springs, and what they may look like.

This was taken last October - when the lake was a bit lower than last weekend. The minerals in this spring had turned the pool a lovely green. Last weekend, however, the springs were not as colorful - but just as hot and impressive.
Here are the springs in early September, with the lake at a higher level than last October. The water is bubbling like mad.

The view of Paulina Falls (a separate stop at the monument), as seen from half-way to the lower viewpoint. Worth the short hike downhill.

Day 2: Mt. Bachelor Summer Adventure

This day we packed a picnic and headed for the hill! We took the chair lift to Pine Marten Lodge - and enjoyed breathtaking views. I've wanted to do this for several years - and always think of it too late in the season - the summer season ends at Labor Day. Luck was with us - as the views were basically clear of the many wildfires in the surrounding areas.

South Sister and Broken Top are the peaks, with a peek-a-boo of Todd Lake, just below Broken Top's peak - and the colorful green meadows of Sparks Lake to the far left of the photo. You can see the wildfire haze along the horizon to the left.

From the Pine Marten Lodge - we take a short hike uphill to the top of the Northwest Express lift - affording us amazing views - and giving the youngsters a bit of a workout. From the lift we were able to see Elk Lake in its entirety, as well as Hosmer Lake.

My hubby the tour guide - showing off Sparks Lake to the left, and South Sister's peak.

After our mountain top adventure - we send the kids on a memorable sled dog ride with Rachel Scdoris's team of dogs.
Absolutely worth the time - stop by and meet these world class athletes: Rachel Scdoris and her sled dog team. You can even take a summer ride - or come back in the winter for an amazing one-hour tour in the snow!
Our kids loved the adventure - and got to have an amazing, up close experience with world class athletes.

Future sled dog rock star!

The kids wrapped up their mountain adventure by taking a walk through a mountain stream in their skivvies - but we won't share those gems!

Day 3 - Deep in a Cave - and Low and Slow on the River.

The Lava River Cave - this is such a fun adventure! You can rent lanterns there - which is a great idea, but also consider a light source for each of the kiddos in your party - as well as a very bright light to turn on occasionally to view special features.

Heading down.... be sure to wear sturdy shoes for the uneven surfaces you'll be walking along.

At 42 degrees F year round - you'll see your breath for certain! Be sure to dress warm!

It looks unreal - don't forget to shine your light on the cave walls, or you'll miss this amazing, drippy (but hard as a, well... rock), phenomenon.

At the end of the cave - you'll see these striations along the walls. Gorgeous.

Make no mistake - reaching the end of the cave is much easier on the little folks in your life. But worth the adventure! Just about anyone will be crawling - on sometimes hard, sometimes soft, but always damp and dirty sand.

Low and Slow on the River: We wrapped up our Day 3 with the popular float along the Deschutes River after a quick lunch. We put in at Farewell Bend Park - a quick portage along the dangerous (but easily avoidable if you watch the signs) spillway, and took out at Drake Park. We'd shuffled a couple of vehicles ourselves for transportation - but you can utilize the public transportation - Ride the River through Labor Day. Sorry folks - you'll have to wait for pictures – if any. This is a great float - but best when HOT, as the river is very cold.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Chelan - here we come

It's that time of year. The hectic week before we head to Lake Chelan, Washington to meet up with our good friends and enjoy all the lake and Chelan has to offer. It's typically a hectic week - the mayhem getting the house ready for the dog/house sitter... packing, etc. But, to get myself in the mood, I peeked through a few of the photos from one of our early Chelan years - 2008. Max looks so young. 

This was taken just next door to the campground (Lakeshore RV Park), at the city park, just by the lake. 

Okay, off to pack!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mackenzie River Trail - near Koosah and Sahalie Falls

Last May we camped at Belknap Hot Springs, and enjoyed both soothing relaxation in the hot springs, and a few hiking adventures, including very accessible waterfalls - Koosah & Sahalie Falls. If you're ever in the area - and enjoy beautiful old growth, moss-covered forests, clear rivers and amazing waterfalls, you won't want to miss this adventure. You can spend as little or much time as your day allows - with both easy and extended hikes. There's even a loop that takes you on the opposite side of the river, to enjoy views of the falls from both sides of the river.

At the trail, just off the parking lot - a few stairs, and you're treated to the view below.
We visited in May - at full flow. It was quite impressive - and the water spray kept fogging up my lens!

Sam was just as impressed as I.

A perfect spot for adventures and exploration.

My budding photographer.
They were calm, cool and collected.

My sentiments exactly. This bridge, although plenty sturdy, made my heart skip about 30 beats.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Beautiful Mackenzie River

I was sifting through a few of my photos this morning, and came across this one. It's proving to be a hectic day - and the gorgeous, calming colors just spoke to me.

I shot this on a wonderful vacation that was part family vacation, part couples getaway. We spent the first part of the week with the kids at Tillicum Beach, then their {blessed} grandparents took them home to Bend for the school week, while my husband and I had a camping getaway at Beverly Beach for 4 nights. We migrated to Belknap Hot Springs on Thursday, where my parents dropped the boys back off to us on Saturday for a last family-hurrah before heading back to Bend, and back to reality.

I'll continue to elaborate on this trip (you can find the links under the "Where We've Been" list to the right) - but for now... Enjoy this jeweled gem of the Mackenzie River, near Sahalie Falls.

Amazing, accessible hikes. Gorgeous wooded forest.
Wish I were there right now.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My all-time favorite travel tip.

Three or four years ago, when we were returning from one of our  Las Vegas vacations, my oldest son wasn't feeling great and threw up on the plane. Now, I'd anticipated this to a certain extent - I knew he was queasy, and I had the air-sick bag ready to go... but I'd missed my cue by a half second, and let's just say he didn't exactly hit his mark. 

Of course he was in the window seat, I was in the middle, and some poor business man was on the aisle. No sooner had I gathered my wits and was looking up to figure out how in the world I'd manage the clean up on this, than the stewardess came over and without warning proceeded to dump coffee grounds all over his lap, my lap, the floor and the air sick bag.  I was a bit stunned - this wasn't exactly what I'd expected. To my surprise, however, the icky smell that we all know and dread, particularly on an airplane was completely overwhelmed by the pleasant aroma of coffee grounds. 

My son wound up making it home without further incidents, and I came home with a valuable travel tip - and have since added a ziploc of coffee grounds to our emergency travel box that always travels with us in the car. I've been known to grab one or two of the ready-packs of coffee from hotel rooms we stay in for just such emergencies.

We recently put the coffee ground tip to the test on our last Las Vegas vacation, which you can read about here (no gory details, I promise, just a healthy perspective on getting sick during vacations). I mean, when you're on vacation, you don't live in a bubble - we touch things, we get germs... we deal with it, right?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

In Search of Triple D...

We watch a lot of Food Network TV. In fact, the boys are typically the first to request it.

On our last trip to Las Vegas, we thought it would be fun to visit a couple of restaurants we'd seen featured on Food TV. The show Meat and Potatoes boasted fantastic Mexican food at Agave, across from the Red Rock Canyon Casino - and the food did not disappoint. We'll be back, for certain - and we'll definitely take advantage of their killer happy hour deals.

Our true Food TV love, however, is Guy Fieri. We've been known to get sucked into back to back episodes of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. The boys love his personality and of course all of the talk of delicious food. I love seeing different takes on American cuisine - and a glimpse of hard working entrepreneurs across the country where something special happens every day.  I will say that I credit our TV habits to raising a couple of Foodies. I like that they appreciate food beyond the (typical) Kiddie Menu.

We kicked off our Hoover Dam day with a stop at Boulder City's own World Famous Coffee Cup, known for, and featured on "Triple D" for their Chile Verde, which I'll elaborate on in a bit. The boys were clearly excited and a bit nervous to visit the Coffee Cup - having seen in on TV made it a bit magical, and I'll admit I was caught up in the excitement as well - if not sheepishly so. The decor was charming, and it was quiet enough (for late morning, mid-week) to not feel rushed. I won't go into elaborate details about the breakfast, other to say that I thoroughly enjoyed embarrassing the boys by asking our server (a family member featured on the show), a bit about the experience - and we ate amazing food. I will elaborate, however, about their famous Chile Verde.

I'm a big fan of the dish, regardless of where we are – and this was by far, the best I've ever had. Clearly homemade, I just wish I'd been able to prolong the enjoyment for at least a few hours. Alas, I filled my belly up before I could entirely satiate my desire for more!