Eel Lake: Winchester Bay

I know that many people go to the coast specifically to walk the beach -- and I love the beach too -- but I also like walking through the coastal forests with its salal and rhododendrons filling in the understory. While at the coast a couple weeks ago, we stopped by Eel Lake to explore. Eel Lake is a good-sized, fresh water lake, surrounded by forest.  Located a few miles south of Winchester Bay on Highway 101, the lake is accessed through William M. Tugman State Park. We found a wide, … [Read more...]

Elkton Oregon: Wine Tastes Different Here

  Fall is here and, for me, it brings thoughts of wine tasting. Over the past 25 years or so, I feel like I've had a front row seat to the blossoming Oregon wine industry. With family and friends I've sampled wine in historic buildings in downtown Hood River, up dusty lanes lined with oak trees in Douglas County, amongst Christmas tree farms in the Willamette Valley, and overlooking the beautiful Applegate Valley outside of Grants Pass. With over 400 wineries located around the state, … [Read more...]

Tempranillo Trail

For the past 20-some years, our Thanksgiving weekend traditions have involved a day of wine tasting. Early on, we spent a lot of time in the Willamette Valley, especially the lower and mid-valley wineries, but we've ventured as far north as Dundee. Lately, though, with the current popularity of Thanksgiving weekend wine tasting, we have been heading south to the Umpqua Valley where the vibe is more relaxed and the wine varieties have a broader range. This year, our wine tour was sparked by a … [Read more...]

Watson Falls

Dropping 293 feet, Watson Falls is the highest waterfall in Southwestern Oregon. We visited the waterfall at the end of our annual BFF camping weekend along the North Umpqua River this summer. Prior to our trip, I had seen some spectacular pictures of the near-by Toketee Falls, but I did not know much about Watson Falls and I was pleasantly surprised by what we found. Access to the waterfall trail head is conveniently located just off Highway 138. From the parking lot, the trail climbs .4 … [Read more...]

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 to the beautiful pictures I had seen of it? In short, Yes. The beauty of Toketee Falls cannot be … [Read more...]