The trail from Sky Lakes to Cold Spring trailhead has so many pristine lakes it was hard to keep track of them all. What a beautiful fall day! Cold, but sunny, we hiked through snowfields and frozen mini-lakes (ultra big puddles that filled the trail on occasion). We've had an unusually wet October; this is the first time we've seen snow this early in the high country.Click for more pictures >
We hiked to several lakes in the Sky Lakes Wilderness at the height of huckleberry season. They are tiny, but this year oh so delicious. You won't get enough to make even a huckleberry pancake but they make for wonderful snack breaks on the trail. We had lunch at Red Lake sitting right on the shore and then after our 7.5 mile hike scrambling over lots of deadfall we ended up at Lake of the Woods for an early dinner on their deck. Beautiful autumn in the mountains near Ashland, OR.
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We left Youngberg Hill Winery after a rough night - the guy in the room next door snored and the wall didn't seem to block any noise. We had the typical B and B breakfast experience with other guests and luckily the breakfast wasn't that great so we were primed and ready for a great lunch at Gathering Together Farm near Corvallis. Traveling through the wine country we had expected to see lots of vineyards, but no . . . it was hazelnut trees and grass growing operations. The huge 'lawns' were beautiful, dotted by groves of trees. We stopped at Benton Lane Winery and picked up a few bottles of their Pinot Gris, one of our favorites. Then on to Eugene for some shopping at the mall and then a check in at Inn at the 5th. We are getting a little road weary and since we have been eating and drinking our way through Oregon, decided to stay in and just enjoy our nice room. Tomorrow, home and back to 'real life.' Great trip. We got lots of ideas for our next trip - in a few years.Click for more pictures >
The Astoria Tower, newly restored and opened this past weekend, was the first thing on our agenda. Actually, the second thing. First was breakfast at The Columbian Cafe, a truly interesting experience. A true hippy cafe attached to a nightclub with counter seating and clientele ordering vodka drinks to go with their eggs and bacon. The owner spends half his time in New Orleans and the other half in Astoria and "New Orleans' is evident throughout. We climbed to the top of the tower and boy was it a climb - our thighs are sore this AM. We took the backroads over to the Willamette Valley to the B and B at Youngberg Hills Winery. Beautiful views from our room but enhanced by the seasonal Box Elder Bugs on the windows - we were told they happen for a couple of weeks in October and then go away. Sure hope so for the next guests in this room. Had dinner in McMinnville at Thistle - pretty nice.Click for more pictures >
Day 4, Oregon Coast Road Trip: Cannon Beach (think Carmel, CA) through Seaside (think Ocean Beach, CA) and on to Astoria, a working port, mostly shipping logs to China these days. It's really sad to drive along so many roadways with their 'beauty strips' of trees to hide the stumps and spindly planted "forests." People have to make a living but it's too bad hemp wasn't chosen as the building material of choice a long time ago. Oh well, enough of the rant. This visit to Astoria we skipped the great museums we've visited in the past and went to the Lewis and Clark exhibit at the state park. Then on to our hotel, the Cannery Pier, built right over the water. The pic of the water and bridge is from our balcony over the Columbia River. We went over the high, don't look down, bridge to Washington for dinner at The Depot.Click for more pictures >