Oregon – Alis Volat Propiis – meaning “She Flies With Her Own Wings” is the State motto. Wow – that’s one I can relate to!
My first foray into this Pacific wonderland came in the Fall, with several incredible days spent deep in the city scene that defines Portland – see photos here: https://www.jacquelynnbuck.com/portland-oregon-in-the-city/ and a smaller, but no less memorable, piece exploring the natural oh-so-green side – driving along the pine-tree laden Oregon country roads, alternately sun streaked and heavy with fog, splashing in rivers, running over rocks, all en route to the coast. I definitely did not see enough of what nature had to offer (there is SO much of it there), but I saw enough to make me want to go back! To do your own research on Oregon, head over to Lonely Planet and research their guide books! I still love buying or downloading guide books because I feel like they have sooooo many options in just one place!
Portland Japanese Garden
The first green space that took my breath away were in the heart of the City of Portland – the Portland Japanese Gardens https://japanesegarden.org/ In a word (ok, 3 words) – mind-blowingly beautiful. Having been to similar gardens in Japan, I can tell you this was as authentic as those. And the view of Mt. Hood in the distance was stunning. We went towards the end of the day, so the light coming into the trees was bright and glowy and gorgeous. I highly recommend this excursion. And man – I bet it would be amazing when the leaves change.
Into the Woods
In keeping up the adventurous spirit, and my constant draw to the coast, we rented a car for the day and took to the road, into the woods and along some of the densest forest growth and tallest trees I’d been in the midst of, to date. You could taste the oxygen in the air. And though the banks were a bit muddy, we spent some time walking around the river beds and enjoying the relaxation of the water running over the rocks.
Garibaldi and Rockaway Beach
ahh, ocean. I had hoped for a more rugged coastline, but this stretch of the Oregon coast was more flat. There were some of those iconic rock formations in the middle of the ocean, viewable from the road, and I captured what I could. Overall, though, it was a gray and rainy day by the water, so we didn’t linger long beyond a late lunch (late, because, of course we stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory https://www.tillamook.com/creamery/index.html on the way in). And wine was calling.
David Hill Winery
Pinot Noir is my jam, and Oregon’s Willamette Valley delivers some of the finest that now are my new favorites. Headed back to Portland from the coast, we stopped at the David Hill Winery for some tasting. Everything sip was delicious and we bought a few bottles to have shipped home. Totally worth the investment. I highly recommend a visit! https://www.davidhillwinery.com/
If you’re into wine, like I am, and want someone else to do the choosing for you, I recommend checking out Vinesse wine club. It’s one of my favorite wine clubs, and it’s super easy to use, sign up now and cancel at any time!