Hobbit Beach Trail

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I have been dying to talk to the world about Hobbit Beach and its gorgeous trail. This is a little bit of a secret. I had to do some digging to get proper directions for this place. And! It’s easy to miss.

But so worth the effort.

Hobbit Beach Train in Oregon

12 miles north of Florence, Oregon is where you can find the trailhead. It’s easy to pass right on by without noticing. With a very little parking lot that’s across the highway from the actual trail. About half a mile from the Heceta Head Lighthouse Scenic Viewpoint. Be looking for that parking area. TINY.

Once you’ve parked, carefully cross the highway. Once you trot across the scary street, you’ll be plunged into a rainforest like place that Tolkien himself couldn’t have better imagined.

Trek down a bit and you’ll see this:

Hobbit Beach Trailhead sign Oregon Coast

Yay! You’re in the right place!

Now, we didn’t venture along the Lighthouse trail, but I’ve heard lovely things about it. Take the turn for Hobbit Beach and you’re on your way!

I’m going to level with you here and now. We loved this hike and beach so very much, we returned the next day. We adventured this place twice. It wasn’t crowded and the beach is incredible. Ah! I’m getting ahead of myself.

Hobbit Beach Trail Central Oregon Coast

Pardon the blur… I was too excited and enthralled to sit still. But this it the kind of trail you get. AWESOME.

I know. I know. Blurry photo. I almost didn’t include it. But! It shows the scenery of the trail so well. This is what you get on the Hobbit Beach Trail. Mysticism. Whimsy. The feeling your an elf on a mighty quest to save the world. IT’S JUST SUPER COOL, OKAY?

The trail is only about half a mile. But! It’s all down hill. Hooray! Except… the hike back is just that. A HIKE. It’s quite the incline. Since it’s so short, I’d still rate it easy/moderate. But know that when you go down… you gotta go up. I’m lazy and a whiner. Meaning Husband had many giggles at my struggle up the mountain. Still though… SO TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY WORTH IT. Every drop of sweat on the way back to the car was appreciated because: what I felt inside that forest, and on that beach, was unforgettable. And, like I said, we went back the next day. So it wasn’t strenuous enough to deter me from returning.

Toward the end of the trail you come to this…

Hobbit Beach Trail Tunnel on the Oregon Coast

Is that… Is that a tunnel…?

Indeed it is a tunnel! Only the coolest tunnel you’ve ever seen in your entire life. Talk about a fantasy world!

Hobbit Beach Trail Tunnel on the Oregon Coast

LOOK AT IT.

This is just the coolest place. I almost sat down mid tunnel to write the next great high fantasy book series. I may go back next year and do just that.

Hobbit Beach Trail Cool Tunnel on the Oregon Coast

Cannot get enough of this freaking awesome trail

If you can calm yourself and get over the phenomenal scene in which you are actually standing, proceed through the tunnel. Trust me. The Hobbit Beach Trail is a “there and back” trail, so you HAVE to return through the super awesome tunnel. Keep trekking…

Because once you exit the tunnel, you see this!

 

The gorgeous nature view of Hobbit Beach in Central Oregon

Hobbit Beach! We made it! Look at that gorgeous view!

It’s like… another different world. From highways, and speeding cars, to a secret mythical forest, to perfect serene beach.

Let me illustrate why this beach is so  perfect…

  1. It’s super NOT crowded. The beach is so huge, and tricky to get to, there aren’t a lot of people on it. Yes!
  2. TIDEPOOLS! I’m a tidepool freak. This is a great place to see some anemone, barnacles, maybe even an urchin or two. Little crabbies. Cool shells. So much to explore around here. Remember though, be kind to the nature. It’s lovely and wonderful and needs to stay that way. Don’t make me lecture you.
  3. Sandollars. We found many whole, unbroken, ones. Very neat.

Seriously, the list could go on and on and on and on… we just fell in love with this place. Please, if you’re along the central Oregon coast pop over here. Explore for a few hours. Enjoy the true magic that is Hobbit Beach. We’ve been to a lot of places, each one incredible. Hobbit Beach and its trail are one of my favorites, if not my most favorite. This place is… special.

The beautiful Hobbit Beach Trail on the central Oregon coast

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Toketee Falls, Oregon

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Toketee Falls trail, hike, and waterfall in Southern Oregon

Did you know there’s a road in Southern Oregon named “The Highway of Waterfalls”?

Well, there is. Highway 138. And, it’s awesome. We could have spent a week there. So many waterfall hikes. From easy to moderate. Sadly, we were only passing through, and only had time for two. But, let me tell you… They were incredible and I want to go back and I want to see more and I’m out of breath because they took it away.

Off highway 138, if you turn north at milepost 58.6 onto Road 34, you’ll find you’re on your way to Toketee Falls (keep left and cross the bridge). It’s a bit famous and popular. It’s away from the cities, though. So it’s not crowded. Which is refreshing. Also, it’s GORGEOUS. Not only the falls, but the entire trail leading to it. This part of the U.S. is so beautiful. I want to move there and live in a hut. Write books about hobbits and trees. But, I digress…

Toccata Falls Trail, trailhead sign

Okay. There’s a handy sign at the trailhead to let you know you’ve made it. Also, if you see this cool giant pipe…

Giant old pipe at the Toketee Falls Trailhead in Oregon

…you’re in the right place.

Like I said, the hiking trail is BEAUTIFUL. And easy! Lots of stairs, but not too strenuous at all. I’d still rate it at “moderate” because there is an incline. I absolutely hate when a trail is labeled “easy” and is, indeed, not. So to err on the side of “I hate cardio” I’m going to say it’s a moderate level hike.

Please don’t let that deter you from visiting. It really isn’t bad at all. The trail is only 0.4 mile and starts like this:

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So it’s worth the tiny bit of sweat. Also, it’s usually coolish there. We visited in July, and it was all misty and a bit rainy and all the way perfect. But, I love the rain and such. Of course this was my cup of tea.

Along side the trail is the river. Which gives you that relaxing and enchanting rushing water sound we all crave.

Toccata Falls Trail river view

(Random girl, get out of my shot. Please and thank you.)

Seriously, you’re surrounded by awesome here. Once you’ve reached the falls, there’s a viewing platform that’s both convenient and treehouse like. Perfect for admiring the roar of Toketee Falls and the wondrous nature encasing it.

Toketee Falls and hiking trail in Southern Oregon along the Highway of Waterfalls

See? True beauty, no? Gives me the good chills. I could have sat there all day. All week. All my life. Sigh…

Now, here’s where it gets a little interesting. (As if that view isn’t enough to convince you to stop by.) We came across some people on the trail who were soaking wet and speckled with mud. Mysterious… Turns out, you can scramble over, under, or through the railing around the viewing platform and scale down the mountain to  reach the pool below.We didn’t try it ourselves. I mean… I’m adventurous. But, in a chicken sort of way. I like to see stuff. However, I’m not one to risk my neck for a better look. (Or Husband’s for that matter. Thankfully, he was cold and didn’t want to get wet. So I was spared having to tell him no like the overprotective wife I am.) This guy, however, did venture down the cliff. He got a great shot, and visited the hot springs down the road. Check it out.

So! If you’re anywhere near Oregon, do yourself a favor and coast along Highway 138 and see the majesty of Toketee falls. In fact, see ALL THE FALLS. Each one is spectacular. Highway of Waterfalls is appropriately named and worth all the fuel, footsteps, and raindrops.

Toketee Falls. Waterfall in Southern Oregon along Highway 138, the Highway of Waterfalls

9 Must-Have Camping Accessories You Don’t Already Own

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Husband and I recently purchased our first camper trailer. It only made sense. We’ve been galavanting around from hotel room to hotel room, why not bring our room with us?

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So we bought this Fun Finder trailer! More photos to come soon, but for now you can peruse its brochure, if you’re curious. It’s tiny, and cozy, and wonderful. We’re very excited for her “maiden voyage” so to speak. Just a couple more weeks…

In the mean time, I got a nice little promotional email from our friends at Ebay. 9 Must-Have Camping Accessories You Don’t Already Own. Naturally, I had to check that out! There were a few interesting items, a few head scratchers, and one or two possible must haves, at least for us.

I was a big fan of the portable propane coffeemaker. But then, I’m always drawn to anything coffee. Any who! Check it out and let me know of any other camping “must-haves” you know of!

Falling Water

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I was so excited to find out on our Honeymoon the hotel we booked in Pennsylvania was only a short distance from Falling Water. The next morning, we drove into the forest and behold! The wonder that is Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece!

Alright, we didn’t go on the tour of the house. Sadly. We didn’t have the time. But! We did get to walk around the grounds, which was awesome, and gave us more than one vantage point for photos. Access to the grounds was $8 per person. I found that more than worth it, since there was a little visitor center, we could take all the pictures our little hearts desired, and we could wander through the gorgeous trees and long as we wanted (well, as long as the grounds were open).

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(Please excuse the gentleman enjoying his tour, and simultaneously ruining my photo. Oh well, at least he’s having a good time…?)

I wish we would have had the time for a tour. However, as you can see, we got all kinds of up close and personal. The general house tour is $25 a person, in case you were wondering, and children under six aren’t allowed. It’s also closed on Wednesdays. The house also has some mobility issues, so if you’re contemplating a visit, check out their website before you make any final plans.

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See? All sorts of different views of the house are available with only access to the grounds.

If you’re one for art, architecture, or nature, I would definitely add Falling Water onto your travel bucket list. It’s beautiful.

Maybe I just like to see really famous things with my own eyeballs, but I loved it!

Churchill Downs

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Okay. I’m only a mild horse racing enthusiast. But! I’m incredibly happy with our decision to make a pit-stop there, while passing through Louisville.

For our Honeymoon, Husband and I drove from little ol’ Utah, across the country, as far as New England. I picked out a few places for us to explore, and Churchill Downs was one of them. So grateful I did!

As I said, I’m not HUGE into horse racing. I make sure to catch the Triple Crown races, and that’s about it. Once, when I was in my youth, my mom took me to Evanston Wyoming to watch the races for a day. And it was a really fun experience. Sunburn and all. I had a blast.

So, I definitely wanted to visit the home of the Kentucky Derby, if only to dream of wearing a fancy hat. (They had some to buy there, but I decided I didn’t want to try to cart that thing all the way back across the country without bending it.)

Technically speaking we visited the Kentucky Derby Museum, which included a walking tour of Churchill Downs, a 360 degree movie, and you get to meet the resident thoroughbred.  The movie presentation made me cry a little. Husband, not being an American, didn’t understand my emotional state watching those racers win the Derby, but I didn’t care. It was cool to watch American Pharaoh win the Triple Crown on my TV live, and cool to see again with the sweeping music in the place it began. Anyway! I highly recommend visiting the museum for the walking tour alone, and it wasn’t too outrageous of a price. $15 for adults. Not the worst we’ve paid for an attraction. But, not the cheapest either. Worth every penny though, for someone like me. So I wasn’t upset about it.

They have other specialty tours available. I can’t say anything on those, since we didn’t go beyond general admission, but I bet, for fans at least, they’re super awesome.

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See? The hats! Including one worn by Queen Elizabeth II. That’s a royal hat! They were all so gorgeous to see, and such a fun tradition to relish in.

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This is how close you get to the actual track. Yes. I’m not using zoom.

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Okay. Okay. I did zoom in for a better photo of the Finish Post. But, you could clearly tell what it was in person. An awesome thing to see.

To sum up, if you’re in or passing through Louisville Kentucky. Give this place a looksee. I absolutely loved it, and was all tingly with excitement over the dreams made there. Very cool.

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As an added bonus for reading the entire post, here’s a picture of horse poop, because I thought it was funny.

An Apology and Coffee Excitement.

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I screw up a lot. Like, all the time. I usually learn something from my screw ups, though. This particular time I learned that for one to operate a travel blog one has to… ahem… travel.

So we did!

We took a little stroll on down to the bay area of California. And what a time it was! I do want to apologize to all of my lovely followers, though. I’m sorry I wasn’t around for a week or so to dazzle you with my mad blogging skills. I do hope you can forgive me… I’ll be posting properly about California later, worry not!

But first, I have to tell you about this thing I did.

Yes… Yes… I did a thing.

To preface this, I feel it’s important to inform you that I am a coffee lover.

“Lover” is a pretty subjective term, so let’s just say I need it. All the time.

To combat my road trip, middle of nowhere, coffee blues Boyfriend and I purchased a coffee maker for our car   and believe you me, it was a lifesaver! It plugs right into your cigarette lighter and BAM, 15 minutes later you’ve got your self a precious little pot of coffee.

I got a fresh coffee on I-80 in the middle of Nevada (and if you’ve ever driven that particular stretch of highway, you know there is little to NOTHING there).

Anywho, I was one happy little traveler. So happy in fact, I even shared my coffee with Boyfriend.

Woah.

The Grand Canyon

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Here’s the thing about the Grand Canyon.

It’s Grand.

Silly, I know, but the entire time we were there the only thing I could say was “it’s just so GRAND!!”

It really is the grandest of canyons.

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Can you find anything not grand about that?

Don’t bother, the answer is no. There is nothing boring, there is only fantastic.

We’re very fortunate to live in the part of the US of A where incredible wonders such as this are within driving distance. Arizona isn’t far from Utah, and Arizona kicks butt. Because, seriously, this is one of the most awesome sights to ever behold. Nothing will make you feel like a minuscule spec of a living thing faster than the Grand Canyon. And, not small in an “I’m insignificant” kind of way… more of an “I’m tiny, but I’m part of something huge and wondrous!!” kind of way.  I swear, when you breathe while you’re at the Grand Canyon, it feeds your soul, not just your lungs.

And there are so many colors! Not only the rock, but the sky! We were lucky to get a sunset shot on my cellyphone:

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I was also double happy that we were there when it was winter. While I’m not a “winter sports” person, (people who know me personally would literally LOL at the mere thought of me trying to do any sport) I love the rain and snow. I really thought it was extra special to have snow on the ground for our visit. BONUS: it wasn’t scorching hot while we were hanging out, so having planned ahead, we were quite comfortable and not sweating our tushies off. No rump roasting on this trip!

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You just can’t be mad while your at the Grand Canyon. It’s truly a wonder and I’m thrilled we got to see it with our very own eyeballs. We’ll be heading back there some day, as we only had one day to say “hi” to one of America’s most famous destinations. I’m very excited to see what we didn’t have time to see, and will of course, be sharing new Grand Canyon adventures with all of my friends here. Does anyone have a good Grand Canyon story? I feel like everyone who’s been, has a specific “story” to tell. Mine is: Boyfriend wanted a picture on a certain rock and I was too chicken to hop the safety railing and rock climb* to the “perfect photo” spot. (Isn’t that how people DIE??) so we settled for a, what I deemed, “safer” place, and now that picture is one of our Christmas ornaments. 

Anybody else have a Grand Canyon story?

*when I say “rock climb” I really mean walk down a slightly rocky, but pretty smooth, surface to a place over looking a seemingly infinite drop off that could easily cause my death. And, let me tell you… that is NOT how I want to go.