Tag Archives: oregon

Lost Lake weekend

#lostlake #oregon

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I just came back from a relaxing weekend at Lost Lake, in the Mount Hood National Forest. It is aptly named because you will lose all cell phone and GPS reception to get there (on Lolo Pass from 26 or coming south from Hood River).  We didn’t plan on being disconnected from the internet but it was definitely nice to have a break from it all.

Lost Lake

This is the majestic view from the north day use area. Lost Lake is actually a privately run campground and you can rent boats. I was able to easily kayak from the boat launch/ general store area to the lakefront by the day use area. The lake is deceptively big, I tried to kayak from the northern part to the other side, close to Mount Hood. I would say Sparks Lake, Trillium Lake, and Waldo Lake are still my favorites but Lost Lake is definitely near the top of the list.

Lost Lake Oregon

There’s also a 3 mile roundtrip trail around the lake and a steep hike up to the butte where you can see 3 mountains.

Without having the internet to distract me, I had to amuse myself by other means. I did a set of plein air lake studies on watercolor paper:

Lost Lake plein air study 6 x 9" on watercolor paper

 

Lost Lake plein air study 6 x 9" on watercolor paper

Lost Lake plein air study 6 x 9" on watercolor paper

 

I normally don’t paint outside, you can’t really in Oregon except in the summer (at least I don’t know how other painters paint in the rain). I had to be much more economical and less fussy- using lake water in a plastic cup, not having a proper palette setup, painting much more directly on the paper. All while having bugs constantly try to distract me from painting.

Wednesday night oil sketches

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Here is a oil painting sketch of Moolack beach where I’m trying to capture the wind blowing across the sands while reflecting the sky during low tide. I’m using Arches oil paper which in theory should be awesome. As someone with a full time job outside of art, time for art is always limited. I have been looking and trying  various  supports that will simplify the task of art production (prepping canvases or boards until I win the lottery and can pay for my own studio assistant) and give me more time to paint. Unfortunately the Arches oil paper is as unappealing to me as their watercolor paper. It has the texture of a bounty paper towel and it is WAY too absorbent—it somehow doesn’t let me to remove any paint off the paper which for me is one of the defining characteristics of the oil paint medium—it’s malleability and wiping-off ease. So anyways for this study, I’m not even trying to do much glazing or thin layers. I’m aiming for bold, thick layers which I would never do on a canvas or linen but I almost have to do on this oil paper. I also did an under layer of acrylic. Actually I think this paper should be marketed as acrylic paper because it is thick and it is pretty decent for acrylics. But the paper is way too expensive to use for just that purpose.

So far this painting is too aggressive and chaotic to me. On this paper it’s hard to make the subtle blends that the location really calls for.  This painting just goes to show you how hard it is to paint simply. I’ve been admiring Katherine Bradford‘s oil painting work for a long time. Her work uses the icons and imagery of children’s art….superheroes, boats, and simplified human forms..but the work is decidedly not childish…it’s beautiful and masterfully done. All the haters that look at this type of work and say I could do that…trust me it’s not as easy as it looks.

Katherine Bradford found on hyperallergic.com
Katherine Bradford found on hyperallergic.com
Katherine Bradford found on painters-table.com

I also did another oil painting study of Bandon beach. We went down to the southern Oregon coast earlier this month. I haven’t posted about that trip but stay tuned. It was AWESOME!!!

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It’s at a stage where I like the looseness and softness (and the maroon color glazes) and I debate if I should continue and risk losing what I’ve already done by potentially overworking it. I’ll probably just keep going.

Emily Henderson, writer of the  design blog I read everyday, says that in the early stage of a creative career, it’s quantity over quality that matters. So in that spirit no point in being a perfectionist and being scared to ruin this painting….right now it’s about learning and exploring.

 

 

I wish I was in Wheeler

You probably haven’t heard of Wheeler, Oregon. It’s a sleepy town on the Oregon Coast named after some timber baron, and is probably my favorite spot so far on the coast.

It’s got everything- water views, mountain views, and forests.

Wheeler

It’s an estuary, which means it’s ecologically diverse from all of the salt water and fresh water coming together, and is home to all sorts of cool birds like cranes and herons.

wheeler3

You know how I love clouds? Wheeler has fantastic clouds. The mist rolls in so, so romantically

Wheeler Bay

The first time we stayed at this hotel that is lucky enough be right on the bay.

wheeler2

I had the best time kayaking in the bay- it was near sunset, with the golden light shining on us and we were paddling right next to all the ducks and birds.

Be careful though, the second time I stayed with them they wouldn’t let me borrow the kayaks. I think you need to be staying with them at least 2 nights.

wheeler7

 

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Little Crater Lake

Tucked in the Mount Hood National Forest is Little Crater Lake.

When I first came across it on Google, I was intrigued. I had been to Crater Lake, which was of course amazing, and I wondered what was Little Crater Lake. I asked a few of my native Oregonian friends- they had never heard of it. It turns out Little Crater Lake is aptly named…it’s much, much smaller than Crater Lake in diameter, but also very deep  at around 45 feet deep. Yes that’s feet, not inches. And it is freezing cold. I think they said the water was 34 degrees…brrrr! I actually thought Little Crater Lake felt colder than the water at Crater Lake.

The depth gives Little Crater Lake this amazing turquoise blue color, none of my iphone photos really could do the color justice.

From most of the photos (including mine) that I’ve seen of it, Little Crater Lake looks like a small, ordinary lake. But up close, you see shallow water that immediately veers off into an abyss. There were a few fallen trees, but you really cannot see the bottom.

I am proud to say that I jumped into this freezing water. And one must jump in Little Crater Lake to experience it.  You can’t ease into it, your body just won’t let you.

Even a few seconds of dipping my feet into the water, when the weather was a horrid 100 degrees back in Portland and most of Oregon was scorching,  left me running back to shore.   The water was cold, but man it felt so clean.

The other cool thing about this campground?

There’s a trail, about 1/2 mile from Little Crater Lake that takes you to the head of Timothy Lake where it looks more like a river than a lake. The water there is also pretty cold.

And yes, I accidentally hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, in my bathing suit and wet shoes.

Accidentally hiked the #pacificcresttrail #wild

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Hood River

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I haven’t been to Hood River in over a year- it had been too long! We love going to this English pub called Oak Street Pub, although I was bummed that they no longer serve St Peter’s English Ale that comes in the great green glass bottle. This time we found this amazing playground on the waterfront. They just make playgrounds way cooler these days. There was a mini climbing wall which I made a fool of myself in front of little kids who were much more adept at scaling the structure. The colors of the foliage reminded me of Colorado: silvers,yellows, and burnt orange.

As I walked along the water towards the Columbia Gorge windsurfing association rental spot, I spied a snow cap peering over the gorge. Does anyone know what mountain or butte that could be?

I’m so glad I had my water shoes on. There were several paths down to the water and I walked in the river hugging the bank. The most beautiful glowing light filtered through the red twig dogwood and other river flowers.

I love the way the light shimmers across the water and how it illuminates the rolling layers of hills that make up the Columbia Gorge.

I can’t wait to come back to Hood River!

Siletz Bay

Siletz Bay near Lincoln City on Highway 101 is a great family friendly beach option.

Siletz Bay

It’s right next to Mo’s Seafood, a restaurant that has got their operations locked down, I mean they get you in and out – fast- and the food is reliably good. Get the clam chowder in a bread bowl. Of course if you have kiddos be warned that even though the wait is only ever 10 minutes at peak holiday times, you will be forced to go through their gift shop to get to your table. Brilliant business.

There’s parking near the restaurant with public bathrooms. The lot does get filled up early, but it was pretty easy to find street parking near there. My definition of easy street parking is a ginormous amount of space that you can pull straight into. No backing up or parallel parking.

And the beach is not windy. I will post about these other beaches on the Oregon Coast where I felt like I was lost in  a wild sandstorm, and then had the brilliant idea to lose my iphone.  But anyways Siletz Bay is relatively more protected from the beach, and while I usually would strongly recommend bringing some kind of umbrella/tent/ shade, this beach is fine for lounging about with just a towel.

One thing that is very interesting about Siletz Bay is how much it changes from low tide to high tide. Here we are just hanging out on this enormous stretch of sand with no neighbors as typical of the OR coast.

It almost looks like we could just wade across to that peninsula/sand bar that is in the distance.  But come high tide, and then the beach becomes a bay.

I was shocked how far inland the water comes in. What was a fun splash through some puddles to get to where we were sunbathing earlier in the day, would have been a full on potential Darwin Award ordeal to ford the bay during high tide.

These changes make Siletz Bay a very interesting place to explore, with these cool pools and ripples that form during low tide.

And speaking of Darwin Awards, my favorite part of Siletz Bay are the three rock formations that are near the road.

During low tide, you can simply walk from the parking lot near Mo’s all the way to this area.

There’s actually another parking lot on 101 that is directly adjacent to this area. But I guess they don’t really want people to hike down this part, because the path is pretty steep and they actually have completely blocked off the entrance with a wooden fence.

Siletz Bay

I had an awesome time climbing these rocks and perching along side these trees to get a spectacular view of the bay.

But climbing down from there was a bit more precarious than I would have liked.

Oregon Coast: Moolack Beach

Moolack Beach

Ok, so I already expressed my love for Beverly Beach. And I’m not sure where technically Moolack Beach starts and Beverly Beach ends. The Oregon coast is great like that…it’s so expansive.

Anyway when we went to Moolack Beach we had the bright idea to bring our tent. Having a tent on the Oregon Coast was a brilliant thing..shielding us from the sun and and the wind, and we got a nice private area to snooze in. Naps on the beach are a win!

#pnw #oregon tents are great for the beach #camping #adventure #bestoforegon

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Not sure if we’re technically allowed to have a fire on the beach, so shhhh don’t tell anyone. Food tastes soooo much better over a wood fire.

campfire Moolack Beach

Yes we enjoy long walks on the beach.

Heading off into the sunset…

Breathtaking Beverly Beach

We liked this state park so much that we went back and camped on Thanksgiving week. Because pilgrim sandwiches and canned cranberries are so much better by the fire on the Oregon Coast 🙂

The entrance to Beverly Beach is actually underneath Highway 101. Neat!

 

I was obsessed with the way the sand looked at low tide, the ripples and the shimmer.

Low tide ripples #beach #oregoncoast #pnwcollective #pnwonderland #pnw #oregon #grammaster3

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Because I had anticipated some stormy late autumn weather, we booked a yurt.

We actually had awesome weather. And then we came back to Portland for the start of the rainiest December on record. It rained, A LOT. And it sucked. So I guess our glamping on the beach was kind of like the eye of the storm, tricking us into a false sense of security and bam! rain for days. I’ve never ever seen it rain that hard for so long. But enough of the doom and gloom, check out these amazing views.

And man look at this sunset. The sand was so smooth and endless … I really have no words. And yes this photo was #nofilter, that was all mother nature.

I couldn’t resist..here’s one more:

Cascade Head

Cascade Head is amazing. I learned about this hike in a great travel book, Photographing Oregon. Apparently there’s a super easy hike that you can do in the summertime, but I went over Memorial Day weekend where you have to climb about 2.5  miles to get to the top lookout point.

Road's End State Park

We went early in the morning so parking was no issue at Knight County park. It’s incredible that such an amazing location is free- not even a parking pass required. Later in the day when we were leaving we did see cars parked on the street along 3 rock road so I imagine on busy holidays the parking situation might get worse.

Thank you to the Nature Conservancy for maintaining such a breathtaking trail. It cuts through parts of National Forest land.

When I think of the Pacific Northwest, I think of trees like these- large, shady, moss covered with so many branches that look like spindles that radiate outward.

It’s an amazing, humbling experience to be in their presence. One of my favorite Georgia O’Keefe paintings is the experience of looking upwards at this giant Lawrence tree:

www.ljclark.com

The awe and the beauty that she captures in that painting, it’s like being in these forests.

You hike through the trees and over creeks and small waterfalls until you finally get to the lower viewpoint and a hint of the amazing view above. Here there are rolling fields of native wildflowers.

We did see elk traveling along some of the lower meadows. I kept thinking there should be little lambs – or hobbits- frolicking through the fields. It reminded me of pictures I have seen of Norway in the summer.

The last stretch is a climb, and next time I will bring hiking poles. There are no guard rails so for someone scared of heights like me I did feel nervous at points. But it was so worth it. From the top you can clearly see the best of that area of the Central Coast, from Siletz Bay, to Devil’s Lake, D River State Park, Road’s End State Park and the 3 Rivers Rock. You can see further inland where the coast becomes an estuary and the salmon river snakes through. It’s so beautiful.

Road’s End

Road’s End State Park caught me by surprise. It was a last minute addition to my Memorial Day trip and it quickly earned itself a place in my top 5 locations to the Oregon Coast. Impressive.

Road's End State Park

This beach is very long, and a large stretch is very windy. Bring your hat and sunscreen. Plan on walking over a mile to get to the best part, Road’s End Point. It’s well worth the trip. There the sand turns into a floor of kelp covered rocks.

Road's End State Park

I remember the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California as one of my favorite childhood trips because of their great interactive exhibits of tide pools. At Road’s End, you can see real tide pools up close. They form in between the rocks and crevices and you can see kelp, barnacles, mussels, crabs, and schools of tiny fish. The only thing missing were starfish.

Road's End State Park

There’s another beach that’s tucked behind the cove that you need to climb across boulders to get to. I’d recommend making the trip during low tide.

Road's End State Park

Road's End State Park

This beach is made of these perfectly tiny pebbles, so smooth and fine grained, like a nice exfoliant.

Road's End State Park

There were also collections of larger rocks that reminded me of my trips to the rock store in the NJ mall.

So many piles of shiny black rocks, jasper, agate, and other unknown rocks to sift through. I so wished I had a giant excavator to grab all of these great river rock for my front yard.

Road's End State Park