This is what makes the Pacific Northwest spectacular..the GREEN from being a temperate rainforest. I love the moss on the trees, and the Hoh Rainforest has more types of moss than I have ever seen in my life.
It’s a tough decision but I would say the Hoh Rainforest was my favorite spot out of my week at the Olympic National Park.
It is about 45 minutes from the nearest gas station with very spotty cell reception so go prepared. We found an outdoor clothing store on the one road that connects the Hoh Rainforest entrance to 101.
We spent a week this past summer visiting Olympic National Park.
We camped at Kalaloch Beach, very convenient to the Kalaloch Lodge which has a really tasty smoked salmon. It’s a great place but next next time I would have booked a new site for each day in the park. It got to be pretty tiring driving back and forth from Kalaloch to each new destination on the Peninsula.
We hopped down to Silver Fall State Park near Salem, Oregon to take advantage of the free admission on Black Friday. This was our first camping trip in Oregon and it’s still amazing and beautiful. The waterfalls are great and the lighting is so beautiful there.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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!
Devil’s Lake isn’t impressive when you’re rating it on an Oregon scale, because Oregon has freaking Crater Lake, and Waldo Lake, and Trillium Lake, and the list goes on and on. But on a regular lake scale, Devil’s Lake is pretty rad. So even though Devil’s Lake doesn’t make the top of my Oregon Lakes list, I would snatch any affordable lake house/tiny home/cabin/shanty you have to offer.
We camped at the state park there, and it kinda felt like the state park of last resort, where you would go when the other more popular camps get booked up. But it’s super convenient to Lincoln City and the best that the Coast has to offer. Note to other travelers, if you are lucky enough to have a boat, they have boat moors accessible from the campground and extra boat parking lots that you can rent.
I have never needed to think about boat parking but I’d imagine that would be handy if one had a boat. Just like I never thought about where to put my horse when camping, but you can do that at other Oregon state parks like Nehalem Bay.
The lots were lined with these interesting leafy things called skunk cabbage.
There were raccoons and random ducks cruising around for food. Given the convenience of the location, I think I will come back and I’d like to try their yurts.