LeMay: America's Car Museum, Tacoma

Two of the most recognizable roofs in the entire Tacoma, Washington, area sit side by side right off the I-5 freeway: the massive concrete hemisphere of the Tacoma Dome (the world's largest wooden dome) and the shining silver semicylinder of the LeMay: America's Car Museum or ACM. I toured the ACM in June 2017 with Travel Tacoma. The beautiful space holds about 300 cars and trucks in 165,000 square feet...

Shore Acres, Oregon Coast

Just south of the town of Coos Bay is one of the most wonderful destinations on the southern Oregon coast, Shore Acres State park. Shore Acres is the site of an old estate, whose wonderful gardens are still maintained, and which sits on sandstone cliffs above the Pacific. Truly spectacular ocean views combine with truly spectacular sandstone formations, wow...

The Beaches of Bandon, Oregon

In May 2015, I explored the incredible beaches of Bandon, Oregon. The rock monoliths there, particularly the well-named Face Rock, are surreally beautiful, and while I did my best to capture them, they truly must be seen in person to be believed. Bandon, about a four-hour drive from Portland, is one of the western-most towns along the coast and sits at the mouth of the Coquille River... where you can find the also-well-named Coquille River lighthouse.

Flower Gardens, May 2017

On Memorial Day weekend 2017, Amanda and I visited two incredible flower farms (both family-owned) north of Salem, Oregon: Adelman Peony Gardens and Schreiner's Iris Gardens. I've seen a fair number of breathtakingly lovely sights in my life, but it's hard to top looking out across acres and acres of irises or peonies, wow! And the aromas, sigh, were so good too. It's hard to beat Oregon in the spring, and these spots (along with the Wooden Shoe tulips earlier) are living proof. Plus, you can buy the flowers for your own yard...

Molalla River Recreation Area, May 2017

Southeast of the town of Molalla (itself southeast of Portland) is an Oregon hidden gem, the Molalla River Recreation Area. It follows the river as it cuts through foothills of the Cascade mountains and has a series of hiking and mountain biking trails that take you through forests so thick they make you feel a million lightyears from the Willamette Valley just a little below.

Fields Bridge Park, West Linn, Oregon

Continuing my quest to visit all the parks of Oregon, Amanda and I visited Fields Bridge Park in April 2017. The park is not large, and a good deal of its 19 acres is devoted to ball fields and parking. And yet I would call this park a real gem for the town of West Linn, particularly for someone in a wheelchair, as its flat, well maintained trails hug right along the shore of the gorgeous Tualatin River... 

Winter Hike in Champoeg, Oregon

In early February 2017, on a very cold, wet winter's day, I hiked around the Champoeg State Heritage Area outside of Butteville, Oregon. Champoeg (pronounced like "shampooey") was an important settlement in the 19th century and in 1843 formed an early regional government, a key step for the area eventually becoming a state. Today the former townsite is merely a field, but the surrounding 600 or so acres have become a park with forested trails easing along the Willamette River....

Ellie Pritts and Portland's Mississippi District

Angeleno power-player Ellie Pritts and I wandered in April 2017 around a couple of blocks in North Portland's Mississippi District, where there are fun little shops, bars, and coffee shops. Plus, we got to see one of the most wonderfully named parks in town, DeNorval Unthank City Park, or as it's more commonly known: Unthank Park. What a name! And from what I hear, Dr. Unthank himself was pretty amazing too, breaking numerous racial barriers in 20th century Portland...

Leach Botanical Garden

After our trip to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in April 2017 Amanda Ulrich and I visited the Leach Botanical Garden on the outer edge of southeast Portland.  We didn't have much time as we got there just a few minutes before closing. It is such a lovely spot though that I still had a blast. There are so many interesting plants there, and the whole estate (of about 17 acres) is serene and gorgeous...