MISSION: To visit every state and territory in the U.S. For my mission a visit is greater than a stop over; I wish to explore the natural and cultural environments of these areas. Each of these locations has a story to tell, and I want to find it.

As of February 2018 I have visited all 50 states (and Puerto Rico and 2 island in the US Virgin Islands) at least once.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Who Goes to the Pacific NW in February?

Leave it to work to pick Oregon for the location of a workshop in February!  Who knows what weather to expect... right now, it is warmer than here and that is a good thing.  But I can't depend on it.

A few years ago, a friend moved to Portland - I took the opportunity to visit once.  That friend has since moved, and since that move work has sent me to Portland several times in the last year... ironic, maybe.  My friend took me on my first trip to Oregon's rocky coast.  I remain struck with its rugged beauty.  I also remember how cold the water was (when I got soaked taking pictures).  Since that trip, I have not explored much beyond the city and the Columbia River Gorge area.  Going back again, I do not want to just stay in Portland, I want to get out and see some more of the area.

I am taking my chances with the weather and planning a quick 2 day excursion.  A friend also attending the workshop will join me.  She is leaving the planning to me...  I have a lot to figure out.
  • Of course being that close to Washington state is tempting.  My friend asked if we could cross the border, so I am trying to figure out how.  My first instinct would be to see Mt St Helens, ever from the visitor center.  I have never made it to that volcano.  It seems that most observation areas are closed in the winter... I have have research to do to see if this is feasible.
  • What I really want to do is explore the central coastline.  I would love to check out the famous Seal Cave in Florence.  Reading up, it seems that while the seals will not be active in the water, they will be hanging out inside the cave.  
  • Consistently ranked in the Top 10 of US aquariums - the Oregon Coast Aquarium, in Newport is a must for me... I make it a point to check them out whenever I can.  Good aquariums only spot light the local ecosystem in addition to highlighting the pretty fish of the coral reefs.  From what I have read, the Oregon Aquarium has special information on tidepools and the rocky shore, as well as an interesting special exhibit sea plastic made into art.
  • In that same area, is the Oregon Dunes National Recreation area.  I am not interested necessarily in renting dune buggies, but the prospect of nice weather for a nice walk by the water and huge sand dunes looking at tree islands sounds relaxing... 

It is lots of work for a quick trip... but I am excited that I have company.  If the weather works out it could be great.  If they get the weather that we are having on the East coast ...  well, I might want to check out what is to do in Eugene and Salem.

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