Photograph of Waldo Lake at dawn in Central Oregon.

Waldo Lake

Those of you who have spent time with me know that I’m a big fan of Oregon’s Waldo Lake – our second largest lake and one of the three purest water bodies in the entire world. It’s a pretty spectacular place, bordered on one side by designated Wilderness, but with many of the forests surrounding…

Strawberry Mountain Wilderness near John Day, Oregon.

Strawberry Mountains

My dog isn’t a big fan of fireworks, so every July 4th weekend we make it a point to disappear into the woods for a few days. This year brought us to Oregon’s remote Strawberry Mountain Wilderness. The Strawberry Mountains are surrounded by Eastern Oregon Desert, near John Day and the highest peak, Strawberry Mountain,…

Mount Defiance

At 4,959 feet, Mount Defiance is the highest peak in the Columbia River Gorge, and the hike to its summit is known as one of the most difficult hikes in the Pacific Northwest. (In fact, one guide refers to it as “the mother of all day hikes!”). The trail starts at an unimpressive parking lot at the Starvation…

Fire and Lights

My recent trip to Bend in central Oregon proved to be a bit more interesting than I initially expected. While I was there, the Two Bulls forest fire erupted just outside of the City. The sky became thick with smoke, turning the sun blood red and casting an eerie light across the City. But, as…

Table Mountain

On May 31, Kim and I celebrated our 11th anniversary at the top of Table Mountain in Oregonian’s Columbia River Gorge. It was a pretty grueling climb up, and at the top I decided we needed a celebratory selfie to capture the moment. You can see the result below, and I’m pretty sure I’m going…

Photograph of a harbor seal swimming near Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands National Monument in Washington.

Orcas Island

If you’re looking for an exotic island vacation without leaving the Pacific Northwest, look no further than the San Juan archipelago in Washinton’s Northwest corner! And in particular, check out Orcas Island, a hilly, 57 square mile, horseshoe-shaped Island that’s just a hop, skip, a few hours drive and an hour-long ferry-ride from downtown Seattle. …

Balsamroot

I found my way up into the Columbia Hills just a few weeks to late this year — the Balsamroot blossoms (those big yellow flowers you see below) were just a bit past their prime. But, with a background full of beautiful billowing white clouds against a bright blue sky, I couldn’t not take the…