Summer 2018 Adventure Highlights

Mt. Hood, Ramona Falls

I make no secret of the fact that summer is my favorite season. No, not because it is my name. It tops the list for me (and my husband Mike) because it is the short window of reliably warm weather in which we can engage in our favorite recreational pursuits.

Hiking, swimming, kayaking, camping, cycling, and others are some of our favorite things to do. While I’ll admit they can be done year round, it just isn’t as appealing to do most of them when it is dripping buckets and 45 degrees outside. Since we have two, maybe three months each year with heavenly weather, it is during that time that we feverishly try to cram in as much outdoor activity as we can, knowing that nine months of rain stands between the next round of adventures.  For a two-minute video explanation of that, set to some of my favorite scenery, click here.

These are the A-B-Cs of me.

That being said, I figured I’d post a handful of highlights of some of our adventures this summer. I have become increasingly bad at posting things on social media regularly, so here they are, at least some of them, in one place.


Betting on good weather in June in the Pacific Northwest is about as reliable as betting on a drunkard to win a game of darts.  So when nice weather rears its head earlier than expected, it is time to spring into action.

Seeing as one of our greatest loves is hiking, and we’ve not managed to do much of it in the last several years, I made sure to earmark a few Saturdays to strap on our boots.

The following pics are from our trek up Saddle Mountain, a coast range hike which yields a stunning panoramic view of the ocean and surrounding terrain, on a clear day.

The stunning wildflower vistas and tree-lined hills on the way up!
Saddle Mountain
Yep, we’re going all the way up there!
The top was all socked in with fog, but here is a midway selfie.

OK, so we didn’t get that 360-degree view, but we got a good workout. Then…

We proceeded to Cannon Beach, where again the drunkard at the dart game pulled one out for the team; a rare clear, warm, sunny day greeted us as we grabbed lunch and then headed to the sand for a stroll.

Michael David Sorensen
Watercolor artist hubby (Michael David Sorensen) grabs reference shots for a future painting.

The weather was so unusually beautiful that we decided to be spontaneous and stay overnight since we were already there under favorable conditions and didn’t want to go home. There were SO MANY people at the coast, we were lucky to find a hotel room, even more so, an affordable one.

In a busy life full of hustle, work and responsibilities, a reprieve and the opportunity to savor a perfect day are a treat that we remember for a long while.


The month of July held two more beach weekends, which totals up to two or three more than usual for us.

The first was a trek down to Depoe Bay, OR where we were generously provided lodging at a vacation home belonging to the owner of an art gallery in town where Mike has some of his watercolor painting for sale.

A general rule of thumb: if you’re driving that far away for the weekend, might as well do more exploring while out and about. On the agenda: lunch at one of our favorite coastal brewpubs (guess which one?), a hike up Cascade Head, driving down the coast for lighthouse viewings, and exploring the sights in Florence, Oregon.

Pacific City, Pelican Brewing
There is usually a long wait for a table on Saturday afternoon at Pelican Brewpub, but the view is hard to beat!
Cascade Head
An early morning jaunt to the top of Cascade Head. Gotta burn off those mochas & pastries from Dutch Bros. somehow!
Heceta Head lighthouse
The beach below Heceta Head lighthouse in Florence is fairly magical IMO.
Lunch along the Siuslaw River in Florence. The place was mediocre, but the view was great.

Our next beach trip involved camping with some friends in Brookings, OR – the southernmost city on the Oregon Coast before heading into California. It was a long drive (about six hours) for a weekend trip; good thing the scenery was beautiful!

Sea stacks in Brookings, Oregon
The sea stacks on the Southern Oregon coast always blow me away with their beauty.
We happened upon a stunning bay with turquoise water and a beach that is inaccessible by land. Special bonus: a slackline across the bay, and someone crazy enough to do it while we watched!

On the July weekends that we stayed in town, we put some miles on our hiking boots.

Ramona Falls
Ramona Falls on July 4th weekend with our friends Larry & Sarah.
Mt. Hood, Ramona Falls
Stunning up-close view of Mt. Hood from the Ramona Falls trail.

After the devasting wildfire in the Columbia River Gorge last September and the resultant closure of many of our favorite close by hikes, we ended up going further out, to less popular trails. One such hike afforded views of Mounts Hood, Adams, Rainier & Jefferson. I didn’t get any good pictures on that hike, however.


Typically the warmest month of the year, August was a little tricky this year as I had a lingering cold for the first part of the month, to be followed by wildfire smoke for most of two weeks, obscuring the sun, dropping temperatures, and making it less than pleasant to be outside. Nevertheless, we did enjoy some outdoor time.

Another camping trip up to beautiful Lake Quinault in Olympic National Park yielded a mix of clouds, smoke, cool temperatures and rain (it rained buckets on Saturday).

Lake Quinault
Lake Quinault, under the cover of clouds & rain.
Lake Quinault
We moved sites the second day, to a GIANT walk-in site Mike found that had just been vacated.

Though the hopes for a trip camping next to a beautiful lake included swimming and kayaking, we adjusted plans in light of the uncooperative weather. Instead, we napped, sat by the fire, read, went for short hikes and visited. We are decent lemonade makers if you know what I mean.

The rest of the story

Those were some of the highlights of the summer. There were plenty of others, but I don’t want to bore you with excruciating details. Suffice it to say, other hikes, camping, backyard BBQs with friends, family reunions and parties filled our summer with many delightful memories.

We continue to appreciate the stunning beauty of the region in which we live. We count ourselves fortunate to have both our families close by, and a myriad of great friends with whom we share life. It is truly, a wonderful life. We are grateful.








6 responses to “Summer 2018 Adventure Highlights”

  1. You and Mike definitely were blessed with lots of lovely scenery on your weekend trips this past summer. In my opinion, the Pacific Northwest is one of the most beautiful places on earth. I am so happy to have the privilege of living here!

    1. Couldn’t agree more. I love living here! Just wish people from other regions would stop moving here!

  2. wow. what luck to get that weather on the oregon coast! its like hitting the jackpot! Gorgeous views and memories made all summer long!

  3. You had a beautiful day in Florence!!! The weather there can definitely be hit or miss!!! And totally agree on the Pelican for the best brews & views on the coast!

  4. so many great hikes this summer! Love your photos, and glad you got to go on so many adventures!

  5. That being said, I figured I’d post a handful of highlights of some of our adventures this summer. I have become increasingly bad at posting things on social media regularly, so here they are, at least some of them, in one place.

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