Most Recent Posts

Toketee Falls

Toketee Falls

When my friend and I started planning our camping trip up the North Umpqua River earlier this month, I knew one thing – I wanted to see Toketee Falls. I’ve been captivated by this waterfall since the first time I saw a photograph of it. However, as we were walking in on the .4 mile trail, up and down a series of stairways, I worried that I would be disappointed – could the waterfall live up … [Read More...]

North Umpqua Trail

Hiking the North Umpqua Trail

Every summer I get together with my old college roommate for our annual BFF camping trip. Since my friend lives in Klamath Falls and I live in Cottage Grove, we find a campground roughly halfway between us and plan to spend 24 hours hiking, swimming, talking, and laughing together. Over the years, we’ve camped at Davis Lake, Odell Lake, and Waldo Lake all along Highway 58. This year when my friend … [Read More...]

The Strawberry Mountains provide a beautiful backdrop to the John Day Valley

Getting Out of Town: John Day, Oregon

I’ll admit at the start of this post that my roots run deep in the John Day Valley in Eastern Oregon and it has been common for me to head over there every year or two to see family. This most recent trip, however, was a bit different because we “played tourist” more than we usually do. The city of John Day (population 1,850) lies along the John Day River in the heart of Grant County. The local … [Read More...]

Opal Whiteley Sculpture

Ellen Tykeson: Artist

I have always been intrigued by the sculpture of Opal Whiteley in the Cottage Grove library. Opal looks so happy running with the butterflies in our local forests (or, at least, that is how I interpret it). The artist who created Opal, Ellen Tykeson, calls it a “tribute to joy,” and it beautifully conveys this. It was by accident the other day when I came across Ms. Tykeson’s website. Ms. … [Read More...]

Positioned along the McKenzie Highway, Sahalie Falls are a popular stopping stop for travelers.

Sahalie and Koosah Falls

During a recent drive along the McKenzie River Highway, we stopped at both Sahalie and Koosah Falls to stretch our legs and take photographs. Of the two falls, Sahalie Falls is the most popular stopping point for travelers. This 73 foot tall waterfall is near the head of the McKenzie River (which originates at Clear Lake just a couple miles upstream), and you can hear the thundering water as you … [Read More...]

Hikes and Walks

Swordfern Trail

Swordfern Trail

I have a hard time believing that we’ve lived in Cottage Grove for almost 15 years and we just discovered Swordfern Trail. Located in the Umpqua National Forest, it is a gem of a trail that we will be … [Read More...]