The Mount Hood Timberline Trail

We camped in the shadow of the mountain and a split rock on our first night.
We camped in the shadow of the mountain and a split rock on our first night.

After spending a few days sight-eating-and-drinking in Portland, we were ready to head back to the wilderness. We picked the Timberline Trail, a ~40 mile loop around Mt. Hood through forests, alpine meadows, and alpine vistas. The mountain is about 90 miles south-east of Portland. Camping on the trail is dispersed, so you can set up anywhere, though preferably in an established spot. We took three days to complete the trail. While challenging, the views were stunning and the terrain was highly varied as you loop up and down the mountain over ridges and through streams. It was one of the best hikes we’ve done so far on the trip. Just look at this face:


Since this was such a great hike, it turned into a very long blog post. You can jump to: Trail Basics, Mt. Hood General Activities, or Our Trip.

Continue reading The Mount Hood Timberline Trail

Multnomah Falls and the Columbia River Gorge

The view of the Columbia River from Angel's Rest.
The view of the Columbia River from Angel’s Rest.

While visiting Portland, Oregon with Adam’s parents, Joe and Kathy, we took a great day trip out to the Columbia River Gorge for a ~9 mile loop through the forest, past waterfalls, and ending at a scenic overlook, Angel’s Rest.

Made it!
Made it! All smiles at the top.

CRG_SmallFallsThe Park: Multnomah Falls is just 30 miles from Portland. The waterfalls and overlooks are the most notable aspects of this park, but the well-marked trails through the lush greenery were also very enjoyable. The park is a FREE national scenic area.  Continue reading Multnomah Falls and the Columbia River Gorge

The First Draft Plan

Hello! I’m Leslie and this is my first blog post ever. My husband Adam and I recently left our jobs, packed up our apartment in the city, and are leaving Chicago this Monday, March 30th. Naturally, many of our friends and family have asked where we are going. While we don’t have a true “plan” in place yet, I have a few ideas for our rough location over the next few months and it looks something like this:

US Map with Rough Draft Roadtrip Plan
US Map with Rough Draft Roadtrip Plan

Go ahead… judge the artwork. I will do my best to improve on that from here on out.

We are planning to hit up a bunch of national and state parks and visit some friends in San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle. Not pictured above is our planned flight back to DC for a late June wedding and then a 3-day Amtrack ride back across the country.

I’m collecting recommendations for any of these areas and have already heard about a place for the best breakfast burritos in San Diego, hot springs just north of Yosemite, a whole spreadsheet of ideas for the Pacific Northwest, and a handful of great blogs from other travelers. I can’t wait to plan out a more detailed itinerary that hits as many of these spots as possible.

We’ll be back in Chicago by the middle of August for my sister-in-law-to-be’s wedding and then head out to the east coast at the end of August for a cousin’s wedding. After that… it’s really, really all up in the air! So, what should be sure to see? Let me know in the comments or via email. And check back soon for more updates from the road!