Autumn Love

Fall has always been my favorite time of year. I’m loving it even more now that we’re back in New England. Unfortunately, some of the most spectacular fall colors take place while I’m driving with no place to pull over and take pictures. Those sugar maples with their bright orange and fiery red leaves are just mind-blowing.

We’re still settling in. Spent over four hours at the DMV (which was already an hour drive away) getting our new CT driver’s licenses and registering my car. We’re officially Connecticut residents now! I was a bit sad to have to turn in my California driver’s license, but glad I could keep my CA plates. Weird sentimentality, perhaps.

Sharing some photo love:

Trixie and I are still taking 2 or 3 walks a day while we can – while the weather is nice!

A huge perk of living on the point is that we get both sunrises and sunsets! This is sunset.

We finally had some downtime to go hiking in Bluff Point State Park. We didn’t get to walk all the way to the bluff (which is ranked as one of the top ten birdwatching sites in the state) because we had a house hunting appointment to make. We’ll definitely make a point of getting there next time! Trixie seemed to really love her time out in the woods and on the shore.

Loved walking through the woods, watching leaves rain down like flecks of gold in the sunlight.

This is the view from one of the houses we looked at today. Lovely, yes???

As I write up this blog post, Bob is across the street on a pier fishing on the ocean. Heavenly! Yes, I do have moments of extreme home-sickness. I miss my CA friends and family tremendously, and I miss our home there – but I have to say if we had to move anywhere, I’m glad we moved here!

Categories: CT home, hiking, photo | 2 Comments

Forest Park, Portland OR

Forest Park is located right within the city limits of Portland, Oregon. Encompassing 5,100 wooded acres, it claims to be the largest forested natural area within city limits. It is astounding, how insulated we felt as we hiked the trails within. It was hard to remember there was a city out there.

The morning was cool but not too chilly as Bob, Trixie (our rat terrier), I joined Bob’s son, Jason, and his pooch, Sasha, on a hike through the forest. The web site for the park claims an abundance of wildlife. While we saw and heard signs of wildlife, we only encountered a woodpecker (too far away for me to identify) and this outrageous creature:

He wasn’t the only slug we saw either. Slugs in Oregon are ginormous! I even saw one of this size in my sister’s front garden! I’m not overly squeamish when it comes to wildlife but slugs? *shiver* My niece doesn’t feel the same, however:

This was taken on another day, not in the park on a hike, but at the beach house. This is L’s friend Sluggo. Yes, she named him. Yes, she brought him in the house. Yes, Gail and I screamed. 😉  Back to the hike —

I think we walked for a couple of hours at least. I lost my sense of time as we hiked (mostly uphill it seemed). It was peaceful and serene and very lovely. We had a great time!

This is a short series about our recent trip to Oregon. If you want to see previous posts, click here. There’s a couple more posts still to come!

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Hiking Silver Falls

After driving 12 plus hours from our home in the Peninsula/Bay Area of California, we arrived late at my sister’s home in Portland, OR. Not so late that my 4-1/2 year old niece couldn’t properly and enthusiastically greet us, however! Our first full day there, Bob went white water rafting on a class 4 river (his first time) with John, my brother-in-law and John’s 18 year old son. They had a blast – and Bob saw bald eagles, osprey, and river otters. (I opted for the less adventurous but just as fun outing to the outets to go shopping with my sister and niece.)

The following day, at John’s suggestion, Bob and I drove 1-1/2 hours to Silver Falls State Park where we hiked most of the 8.7 mile Trail of Ten Falls. Because we parked at the North entrance, we were able to see most of the falls on our four hour hike (we stopped a lot to gawk at the waterfalls and to take photos). The landscape of Oregon is visibly different than Northern CA – more rocky and very green with amazing rivers.

Hiking here was like being lost in time.

Upper North Falls – 65 ft

North Falls – 136 ft  We were able to hike behind the falls. Amazing!

Us in shadow on a bridge.

The river views were soothing.

Double Falls – 178 ft, the largest in the park. I had fun scrambling around on the rocks below (and proudly did NOT slip and fall)!

We saw a lot of butterflies and birds too far away for me to identify. A small garter snake crossed the path right in front of me, and we saw a lizard skitter in the bushes. It was an invigorating, fabulous hike – one of my favorites, ever!

Categories: hiking, Oregon | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Hiking Crystal Cove State Park

Bob and I are frequent visitors to Huntington Beach, California where my parents live. It’s about a 6 hour drive from our house to theirs. One of our favorite hiking spots is in Crystal Cove State Park which is located off PCH (the Pacific Coast Hwy) in Newport Beach. From the parking lot, we walk along a wooden boardwalk (where we’ve previously come across rattlesnakes) bordered by flora and fauna of the Southern California coastline. Off the boardwalk is a windy dirt path along the cliff that takes you down to the beach. At low tide, tidepools are filled with marine life. More often than not, we have the entire area to ourselves. Recently, we took our 17 year old daughter with us. She was, let’s say, less than enthusiastic to go hiking with us, but she ended up having a fabulous time!

It was difficult to choose what photos to share with you. We saw plenty of verbena, lupine, ground squirrels, phoebes, pelicans, anemone, crabs, lizards, and more! Bob got me a new camera (Canon PowerShot SX260HS) for my birthday – still a mostly compact, automatic one, but this one does give me the option to take the camera off of “Auto” and it has a 20x zoom. I had a blast using it and look forward to learning to use it better.


Categories: California, hiking | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Hiking Close To Home

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We are fortunate to live near so many fantastic hiking trails and parks. Bob and I used to hike often when we lived in the Berkshires in Massachusetts, but that was a long time ago. We decided it was time to take it up again.  We’re starting off slowly, locally, and on fairly short trails of 3 miles or less. Currently, one of our favorite hikes is by Water Dog Lake in Belmont. Trixie, our rat terrier, has decided she loves hiking. We hike maybe 3 times a week, but we walk every day without fail. Trixie gets extremely excited when we get her leash and put on our hiking shoes – but when she realizes we’re not going to the car, that we’re not going hiking but instead going for a walk in our neighborhood, her disappointment is visible and comical.  Poor thing!  I promise to blog about our hiking adventures!

Categories: hiking, hometown tourist | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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