Smoky summer in the Northwest.

Of all the places I have traveled in my life. So far, my favorite area is in the NW of the US. 

The summer & fall is just paradise.

Beauty is abundant around every bend. 

It was a hot smoky summer. Most days were just to darn hazy to get quality pics or videos. It seemed like Idaho & Montana were the worst. Along the Oregon Coast seemed to be clear where as the rest of the state was hit or miss.

   Don't get me wrong there was still plenty beauty & adventures to be had. 

 

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It was a great summer despite the smoke. I found adventures around every corner. Kyaking, fishing & hiking took me to new places regularly. I'm going to share several videos & stories from the summer. I hope you enjoy. 

What is it about waterfalls that draw our attention? Why do they seem so magical that people will hike miles to appreciate them?

I'm not sure there is a simple answer, but I am eternally grateful to them.

  I spent more time slowing down this year & made it a point to go the extra mile to fill my views with beauty.

This next video is from right next to my favorite seafood shack on the Oregon coast. 

Griffs on the dock. By far the best value for Seafood in Oregon. It doesn't get any fresher then eating at the docks.  I love the character & laid back vibe

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Part of the reason I am on this journey is to find healing for my body & I have had some great progress this year.

For the first time in decades, I can walk with zero pain in my lower back. Considering I have a fractured vertebra & I am on zero pain medications. It's kind of incredible.

  So I decided to buy a kayak.

Before sitting in, one was very uncomfortable. I took my new toy out on the Snake River for her first run. It was a great experience. I did get into a few spots where my heart raced a bit & at one point, a bald eagle crashed into the water after a fish about 50' in front of me. It was such a surprise that a "holy shit" escaped my mouth. It was the coolest thing ever. 

Wallace, Idaho, is a must-stop & see when you are in the Coeur d'Alene area.

The short vid does not do it justice. So many cools shops & food places.

This town is a true jewel you don't want to miss.

You could spend weeks exploring the Coeur D' Alene area. There is so much beauty to experience: so many pristine rivers & lakes. I have given much thought to making this my home one day however the winters do give me pause. 

It's a challenge to pick from the hundreds of beautiful photos from this year. 

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I love driving in the mountains but none more than the Cascades of WA & OR. 

There is so much green life all around. You can almost feel it pulsing & growing. I never feel so connected as I do when I am surrounded by nature. 

My all-time favorite part of the NW is the Oregon Coast. I have always had a special love affair with her since the moment we met. It seemed only fitting to end my summer with my forever love. I left the cascades & motored to the crown jewel of the OR. coast, Astoria. Home of beloved movies like Goonies & Kindergarten Cop. I visited several Goonie sites. The Courthouse & Jail. The Fathers museum & even the Goonies house. Where for the first time we all got to see the Truffel Shuffle. 

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Goonie House

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Astoria is a fabulous little city. Wonderful seafood everywhere. I searched in vain for a place that had these incredible crab-stuffed mushrooms 4 or 5 years ago. I have dreamt of those shrooms. Tried to replicate them in vain. Whether they went out of business from COVID as so many have or I just could not remember where it was, I'm not sure. So I settled for some fish & chips at this landmark shack made from an old fishing troller.

  Now you could spend a few days here easily & I have in the past. The old downtown section is worth the trip alone. I plan on putting together a video just for Astoria soon. So onward down the coast. I spent a few weeks in Seaside. An adorable little town with great beach access & a nice big free area to park Daisy. Only a block fromt the beach. 

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As I moved farther south I found this sweet spot to camp for free. 

 

I headed on south to end out my waning days of fall in Gold Beach. There is this place I have camped for years. Just feet from the beautiful Rogue River. But first I have to stop at my favorite seafood shack Griffs on the dock. 

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Right next to Griffs there are these great tidal pools & views of massive rock cliffs. Nothing like dinner with a view.

Camping on the Rogue River is my kind of heaven. I love the sound of the big jetboats going up & down the river with tourists. 

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I spent a few weeks here before the days became too short, windy & chilled.

I would bid farewell to one of my favorite spots on the planet with a bit of sadness while looking forward to the next time when spring will have sprung & I will return like the migrating soul I am.  

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Thank you for joining me.

Drake Ryder