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Seattle, Portland, Crater Lake, Mt Hood, Hood River, Mt Ranier. Help!!!

Seattle, Portland, Crater Lake, Mt Hood, Hood River, Mt Ranier. Help!!!

Feb 19th, 2010, 12:16 PM
  #41  
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That DOES sound like fun. What was on the menu when you were there fro dinner?
maria_so is offline  
Feb 19th, 2010, 01:02 PM
  #42  
 
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You've got to do the canyoning!!!

Yes, it was Matt from Desert Highlights. Just call him. He is typically there the last of July and 1st/2nd week of August. It was myself, daughter, Herb and Matt. Herb was our guide before in Utah. I did Krill Canyon in Utah. Matt says the water in Plesiades is much colder than Oregon. We did 3 or 4 jumps, 3 or 4 slides(much like a water slide), and 4 or 5 rappels. As awesome as it is in Moab, it is even better here. There were 2 raps that were about 50 feet. The final one is a doozy at about 175 ft. The hike to the start of the canyon is only 15 minutes, but the hike out after you finish is pretty much vertical. But oh so worth it. I can't imagine anything else topping it(i haven't jumped from an airplane and don't plan on doing so), my daughter says it beats bungie jumping. And his pricing is just about like Moab. I think it was about $150pp(took most of the day). I did tip him $100, of which I guess they split. This was Herb's first trip down the canyon. He probably is more certified than Matt in some aspects(maybe not, but I got that impression). He is an expert rock climber. It was cool to have them both there. They each had camera's. All the pictures were taken by the two of them. I had entered the photo of my daughter on the final rap in the National Parks Photo Contest. It was down to the final three photos(this would have appeared on the National Parks Pass). I had entered it as me taking the photo, not Herb. anyway, I was honest with them and was disqualified. the photo's could be taken in any national park, monument, forest, etc.

I can't even find anything on Marion Forks when I google it. I was in hope to find out what the population was. It is an unincorporated town. Only thing that I find is the fish hatchery. Anyway, to me being in a canyon on a rope 10 miles in on a dirt road, and then no restaurant, gas station, or lodging anywhere near that- I call that the end of nowhere.

Beachbum has a good point about getting lost on the Sand Dunes. The place that we rented from was right near a Cell Tower. Without that as a reference, we would have been lost. We didn't go all that far, or you couldn't see the tower. Also, my daughter did manage to turn the 4 wheeler over. So , yes it is somewhat dangerous. You would probably have more fun and get better info with a guided ride. And they do charge you extra if you turn over.

You might enjoy the sealions somewhere else, but for us it wasn't a waste of $10.

If you go to St Helens don't miss the movie at the visitor center.
spirobulldog is offline  
Feb 19th, 2010, 01:07 PM
  #43  
 
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Where the houseboats are, is that the one with the seattle skyline too?

Yes, but there are several houseboat areas. Go to http://www.nwoc.com/rental/index.htm and click on "house boats" and you'll see that there are houseboats on both the east and west shores of Lake Union, and along the west side of Portage Bay. The skyline view is taken (usually) from Gasworks Park at the north end of Lake Union, a short paddle from Agua Verde (which is on the water in Portage Bay, right under the "University Bridge" label on that web page) or a slightly longer one from the NWOC offices on the southwest shore of Lake Union. But there are million dollar views from all around the lake. (BTW the "Sleepless in Seattle" houseboat is on the west side of Lake Union, right above the "speed lane" lines.)

The arboretum and lily pads are east of Portage Bay, through the Montlake Cut.
Gardyloo is offline  
Feb 19th, 2010, 02:11 PM
  #44  
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SBD (Spiro...sorry I am short cutting

What a small world! We've done a couple of trips with desert highlights. The tierdrop and the lomatium canyon. The lomatium one was supposed to be Pleides but it was early April when we came and Matt suggested against it because it would still be snowy then so we did lomatium instead. We've also done a trip with Zion adventures at Zion Ntl Park. I left a message with Matt, crossing my fingers about the timing since we already bought our air tickets!

You take pretty amazing photos though so you can try again. I like taking photos too and have showed here in Houston but I've never tried to do the national parks pass (we get one every year - such a good deal). I was always too lazy to try. V. cool that yours was in the top three!

Yes, it's not me you have to talk out of getting your own ATV for the dunes. I prefer to ride and hold on for dear life. It's my adrenaline junkie DH but will make note to show him both yours and beachbum's suggestions. We tried to "hike" up great sand dunes in colorado and got lost in a minute. I can imagine with 80+ miles of sand dunes just how lost you can get!
maria_so is offline  
Feb 19th, 2010, 04:23 PM
  #45  
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Hi Orcas! OK, was just looking through your suggestions. I love the idea of a solo joint to Alki beach. Been reading up on it, sounds fantastic! That's definitely going to be in the itinerary for my solo days in Seattle. Question, is there a place to eat just crabs (nothing fancy) there?

We were planning to head straight to Hood River from CL because we want to spend a morning rafting on the washington side, and the afternoon hiking the gajillions of waterfalls off that Hwy (the one from portland to hood river). Then the next day do a day trip to My Hood and do a hike. We really liked Hood river the last time which is why we wanted to stay there for 2 nights this time around. I do realize that the drive from CL to Hood River will be a loooooong one.
The lava sites you included really reminds me of Craters of the Moon Ntl Area in Idaho. They also had similar caves that we went down on where you had to bring a really bright flashlight, etc.

Oregon has so much to see and do but unfortunately very little time.

In visiting the other seattle neighborhoods, is it as easy as Alki beach for someone without a car? Which one would you recommend? How about for great shopping (boutiques).
maria_so is offline  
Feb 19th, 2010, 04:30 PM
  #46  
 
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Nice to see a one-time visitor conceding a point to a life-long resident. ;-) But, I'm betting spiro didn't get the recommendation to hire a dune buggy with driver. Unless they've driven one before and are familiar with the terrain, I wouldn't suggest renting a dune buggy to anyone. I did once, but have hired a driver ever since. Waayyy more fun having someone who knows the capabilities/limitations of the dune buggy, and what's on the other side of that dune. And less anxiety for you.

Do you remember what wineries you visited last time? If I were to guess: Archery Summit, Domaine Drouhin and/or Domaine Serene. Those are all beautiful wineries in equally beautiful settings amongst hillside vineyards between Dundee and Dayton, and selling outrageously priced wines. A couple others in the same area I'd recommend would be De Ponte and Torii Mor. Or, you could head to wineries off North Valley Road, west of Newberg, like Bergstrom, Penner Ash, Willakenzie, Trisaetum... or
Adelsheim. Then there's a cluster southeast of McMinnville that includes Witness Tree, Cristom, St. Innocent, and Bethel Heights. Choices, choices. Tasting fees range from $5 - $15, and in most cases waived if you buy a bottle or two.

To Orcas's Sylvia Beach recommendation, neat place, but not for everyone. The few times we've stayed there I felt like I was in the middle of a high school english teachers' conference. ;-)

"Anyway, to me being...10 miles in on a dirt road, and then no restaurant, gas station, or lodging anywhere near that- I call that the end of nowhere."

That pretty well describes 90% of Oregon, spirobd.
beachbum is offline  
Feb 19th, 2010, 04:35 PM
  #47  
 
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Oh, and St. Helens is only 45 miles north of Portland, so you'd visit it on the drive from Seattle, or while you're in Portland. Doesn't make sense as a day trip from Seattle or included with Rainier.
beachbum is offline  
Feb 19th, 2010, 04:58 PM
  #48  
 
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I apologize, but just one more thought. Last time here, you loved Cannon Beach. In my opinion, there's nothing really similar on Oregon's coast, at least as far as the town goes. But, I'd bet that you just as much love a stay at Overleaf Lodge: http://www.overleaflodge.com/. It's just north of Yachats, about 22 miles south of Newport. Best setting of any lodging on the coast, I think.
beachbum is offline  
Feb 19th, 2010, 07:09 PM
  #49  
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thanks beachbum! I don't know why that never occured to me to stop by Mt St Helens from Seattle to Portland. Duh maria! Really great idea!

Thanks for the winery suggestions. The ones we went to before were teeny tiny ones off that hwy from portland to HR so not in the valley area. All of those will be new for us! So we'll be driving from Portland to McMinnville and want to do wineries then (basically end up in McMinnville for dinner and lodging). What do you think makes more sense for newbies to the area? Thanks again beachbum.

p.s. Hubby says he takes your point about the dune buggies and says thanks for the tip!

I did look at Overleaf before but the cheapest rooms do not have a balcony. ESI at newport is about $20 cheaper than the cheapest rooms from Overleaf and it looks nicer too.
maria_so is offline  
Feb 19th, 2010, 07:44 PM
  #50  
 
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Maria,

Lomatium and Krill(we did Krill) are really the same area in Arches and I think the same Canyon. Matt sent me an email yesterday and said that the new chief ranger at Arches wasn't going to allow him in to guide this year. I sent her an email asking her to reconsider. I hope to do Granary Canyon and Medieval with the Tryolean Traverse sometime in the next couple of years. I also plan on doing plesiades. In Plesiades you actually wear a drysuit, we just wore wetsuits in Oregon. Krill had one 100 foot rap and then a couple of 20's. I find it totally amazing at what those guys can do with ropes.

I've been to The Great Sand Dunes. Much easier to get lost on the Oregon Dunes, IMO. All the dune buggys and atv have red flags. If you turn one over your flag is going to break. If you are a seasoned rider on sand, you would probably be ok. Another problem when renting is allowing enough time for your return. If you rent for 2 hours(doesn't matter how long your rental is), it is somewhat hard to know when to turn around.

One other thing, I don't remember anything being mentioned above about the "fruit loop'. We drove that before Mount Hood(i think). Great cherries. Although, after buying a couple of sacks, I was mad at the California border a couple of days later. I had forgotten that you can't cross into California with produce. My funniest Oregon moment was when I got into an arguement with a gas attendant on my first time to fuel. I didn't know what the heck he was doing. I thought he was someone just wanting a tip. I don't think I have seen anyone pump gas for someone in 25 years. I never did get use to that while we were there.

Have a great trip!! hope you get to do the canyoning(canyoneering in Utah, canyoning in Oregon).
spirobulldog is offline  
Feb 19th, 2010, 08:13 PM
  #51  
 
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About your stay at Mount Rainier... there are several terrific, amazing, gorgeous, beautiful hikes right out of Paradise. I love the paradise flowers trail and mazama ridge, reflection lake... really, those are the best ones. If you have a car, maybe drive a bit down to Ohanapecosh to hike the Grove of the patriarchs trail to see the really big trees, too.
Rielle is offline  
Feb 19th, 2010, 08:15 PM
  #52  
 
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A few more things... for dining in Portland, I love the Bread and Ink cafe / bistro on Hawthorne.
I also love the Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport. For other cheapish but high value places to stay in the Northwest, check out the website www.nwcheapsleeps.org. Renting a yurt on the Oregon Coast would be loads of fun.
Rielle is offline  
Feb 19th, 2010, 10:55 PM
  #53  
 
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Mt. Hood is beautiful but Mt. Rainier has it all over Mt. Hood. It is 3,000 feet taller, far more massive, with more glaciers, more of everything, and is a national park with full park services, unlike Mt. Hood. I'd skip Mt Hood and spend more time on Mt. Rainier.

For waterfalls, you can't beat the Columbia River Gorge, though. Only Silver Falls State Park, east of Salem has as great trails through, under and over falls. (I've never gotten excited about Snoqualmie Falls near Seattle after having visited the Gorge and Silver Falls Pk so many times.)

You will want to rent a bike or have a car on Alki, I think. It's also worth going to Lincoln Park, when you are there. The beach at Lincoln Park is very much like the beaches on the islands - very scenic. Alki has some good restaurants, but Salties is the seafood one where you could get crabs, but it isn't inexpensive. The Phoenicia, Cactus, and Alki Bakery are nice places to pick up food. They are near the Statue of Liberty, which you will see at Alki (a scaled down version).

Another day trip from Seattle that would be fun is a boat ride to Blake Island for the salmon bake and native American dance show. http://www.tillicumvillage.com/

A lot of the view photos of Seattle are from Kerry Park.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerry_Park_(Seattle)

Today was gorgious. The cherry trees are blooming - was 60 yesterday! Yikes! Spring has sprung and it's February. We'd better get air conditioning before summer. At this rate, we're going to be boiling by summer!
Orcas is offline  
Feb 19th, 2010, 11:29 PM
  #54  
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Orcas! That cruise sounds great! My only problem now is that my husband wants to join me for all your solo day trips for me now too! I guess we'll have to do the 6:30 one so we both can come. Keep them coming and many thanks!
maria_so is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2010, 04:24 PM
  #55  
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beachbum, looks like sel gris is closed due to fire. hope it reopens by the time we get there! the menu looks nice. Is it in the downtown area?
maria_so is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 10:28 AM
  #56  
 
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Sel Gris has been closed for a couple months now, so I'm sure it'll be open by the time you're here. Great little restaurant! It's on the east side of the river, about a mile from the center of town.

To your earlier question, the usual route from Portland to McMinnville takes you through Dundee, so Archery Summit, Domaines Drouhin and Serene, De Ponte, and Torii Mor would all make sense. Then, a bit further down 99W you'd pass Stoller, which would also be a good stop. If I were to choose for you, I'd go with Archery Summit, De Ponte, Torii Mor, and Stoller. Nothing at all wrong with Domaine Drouhin and Domaine Serene, just that, like Archery Summit, tasting fees are high, and I think the wines are waayyy over-priced. If either of you like sparkling wine, stop by Argyle in Dundee; they're making some nice bubbles there.
beachbum is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 01:40 PM
  #57  
 
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I agree with beachbum, Argyle makes good bubbly in addition to some very nice pinot noir. When we were there last the tasting fee was $10. If you decide to stop in Dundee, you might want to try the Dundee Bistro. I loved their clams in white wine and shallot cream sauce with hand cut truffle oil fries. Tina's is also a good choice.
saige is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 08:30 PM
  #58  
 
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you asked which was the most beautiful of the wineries - I think the most beautiful one I have been to is King Estate - not far from Eugene
Beautiful scenery- there is a restaurant- you can have lunch or dinner - great place to spend an afternoon
sunbum1944 is online now  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 09:00 PM
  #59  
 
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I think the coast between Lincoln City and Florence is one of the prettiest parts of the coast so don't rush through that area - lots of places to stop and enjoy.
There is a nice hike at Heceta Head lighthouse- and my favorite beach is here. Trail goes from the beach up to lighthouse and then continues on behind the lighthouse down to a secluded beach - on a trail called the Hobbit Trail . You can also stay at the lighthouse keepers house- its a B&B- great spot to stay and they serve a fabulous breakfast in am

I stayed at the Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport a couple of weeks ago- it is quite eclectic and not for everyone but we enjoyed. Room price includes a huge breakfast in am in the dining room with great ocean views. Every room is decorated in the theme of an author

Both hotels are featured in Oregon Magazine this month.

I would not stay in Coos Bay - in fact, I would only go as far as Florence- not much to see on the coast south of Florence until you get to Bandon.

If you can fit it in, I think Silver Falls State Park has one of the best hikes in Oregon- 10 waterfalls in about 7 miles - it is pretty spectacular.

lots to see and do
sunbum1944 is online now  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 11:24 PM
  #60  
 
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I agree with sunbum. Silver Falls has spectacular hikes with incredible waterfalls. Plus it has a large swimming and sunning area where you can play frisbee, picnic and spend a nice day. It's a great place to go if you have the time. It is maybe an hour east of where I-5 goes through Salem.
Orcas is offline  

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