Hobbit Beach Trail

Standard

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

Advertisements

4 Reasons You Should Visit Washington D.C.

Standard

It’s no secret that I’m sort of a political nerd. So, visiting the capitol has been a dream of mine since I dressed up as a Congress Woman for career day in 3rd grade. Complete with briefcase, blazer, and ball point pens. We didn’t get to spend NEARLY enough time there. I didn’t see Ruth Bader Ginsburg, or the Library of Congress. But what I did see, blew my pea-brain into oblivion.

Thinking of visiting D.C. but not sure it’s worth it. THINK AGAIN.

4 reasons you should visit Washington D.C. and the Lincoln Memorial

1. IT HAS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE

For history buffs, artsy fartsy types, science geeks, and political nerds, the National Mall is the place to be. If you’re a human being, you’ll find more than one thing to like about D.C. Art museums, monuments, memorials, nature, you name it. Something there will entertain you. And for a good chunk of the day.

Hello? Smithsonian anyone?!

Smithsonian Castle Washington D.C.

They even have a castle.

2. IT CAN BE SUPER DUPER CHEAP

Cheapskates can have a good time too. The National Mall is technically a National Park minus the entrance fee. So it’s basically all free. Not kidding. The museums, the archives, the zoo, and the monuments have free admissions. I’m being serious. Fun + free admission = a splendid time for all.

Husband is a money worrier. Everyone has that person who constantly says “how much is that going to cost?!” He’s mine. I love him for it, because it keeps us on track, and responsible, blah blah blah. But when we’re on vacation… he’ll get the angry eyes from me more than once on the issue. In D.C. however… he tried to find somewhere to complain about this and couldn’t. Ha! Point for Wife!

Washington Monument at the National Mall in Washington D.C.

Washington Monument from the ground up. Coolest way to see it.

The White House Washington D.C.

You can even wave to the President for free.

3. IT HAS ART

The Smithsonian has a plethora of art museums to choose from. From classic to modern. Paintings to sculpture. Master works, guys. Amazing stuff. This also ties into reason #2. THEY’RE ALL FREE. Stare at the art all day. Do it. I did.

Renoir Painting at the American Art Museum in Washington D.C.

Dude… I’m talking MASTERPIECES.

4. IT CAN TEACH YOU STUFF

Science, history, government, technology… The list is infinite. I can’t wait to go back and learn more of the stuff! I’m a nerd, though. Knowledge is attractive to me. I was seriously in intellectual heaven in D.C. They’ve got things for kids and grown ups to absorb. I’m a space geek, so we went to the Air and Space Museum. I’m also fascinated by history and politics, so I dragged Husband to the National Archives to see the Declaration of Independence. He had to drag me out hours later because they were closing. There is just SO MUCH to see and take in. Gah! So much!

space-shuttle-discovery

SPAAAAAAACE!!*

 

See? You HAVE to visit D.C. It’s just one of the coolest cities I’ve ever been to. And, not to brag, but I’ve been to a whole slew of places. This one, though. Top o’ the list. Obviously, there are more than 4 reasons to acquaint yourself with America’s capitol city. But I’d be here all night spewing fact after fact, about every monument and why it’s awesome. Just go there, so you and I can talk about why we love it, okay?

Also, quick note about the Lincoln Memorial up at the top of the post… We visited the memorial at the end of our day. Before then we visited the National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (home of the Space Shuttle Discovery) and the Declaration of Independence at the National Archives, so we were borderline exhausted. The walk from the Archives to the Lincoln Memorial seemed NEVER-ENDING. But! As I said before, I insisted we make the trek. IT WAS SO WORTH IT. Even Husband said so, and he’s not even American. He really thought it was a cool sight see.

Anyway. I cannot recommend Washington D.C. enough. And if you do go, make sure you visit Abe. There’s a feeling of hope and peace there, that isn’t matched. It’s nice to look out over the Reflecting Pool with Lincoln at your back being his wise and serene self. To sum up, it’s just… nice.

*The Space Shuttle Discovery is actually at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (which is basically the hangars for the Air and Space Museum. It’s where they keep the BIG stuff.) It’s 30-40 minutes west of D.C. Still free admission, but parking is $15. WORTH IT.

 

Toketee Falls, Oregon

Standard

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:

toketee-falls-trail-hike-bridge

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

LA Nightlife

Standard

I kid you not, we took these all on the same night, on the same mountain top, within half an hour of each other. GORGEOUS.

We visited the Griffith Observatory (which has FREE admission and is incredible), and arrived right at sunset. Breathtaking.

DSCF2595 DSCF2600 DSCF2611

Ferry Building

Image

Ferry Building

Went to San Francisco last week, and let me just say…
I’M SUPER DUPER BUMMED WE’RE NOT STILL THERE
What an incredible, unique, city. It has such a great vibe about it. That city put me in this fantastic state of mind. Kind of like an “every thing is shiny and wonderful and I want to frolic about” sort of mood.
I’ll be posting more details later, but I couldn’t keep it in anymore!!