Roses, Clover, & Beaches…Oh, My!


142 City of Roses

While we were anxious to get to the coast, we knew that we needed to stop by the Washington Park International Rose Test Garden before we left the Portland area. Even though they weren’t all in bloom (in fact, only around a dozen were when we went), it was well worth the time.

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Climbing roses and clematis….one of my favorite combinations.

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Ryan’s favorite flower is the rose, so she was really excited to see why Portland is called The City of Roses. This was Ryan’s favorite rose, she enjoyed smelling all of them, to help figure that out.

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While we were all enjoying our self-guided tour of the gardens, Simon decided he wanted to climb the hill…..

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Such a stinker!

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Rhapsody In Blue was Aaron’s favorite. He likes a more subtle scent (at least that is what he told me, when I asked). LOL I love that he enjoys nature as much as I do.

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Mother of Pearl was nice.

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This lovely building, covered in moss and ivy was the restroom. I would love to have a bathroom that looked like that!

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Here is the men’s side….beautiful.

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This packed purple rose was amazing, as well….

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But this peach rose was my favorite for scent. I spent 5 minutes digging around in the bushes, trying to find the name of it…..somebody must have taken it home with them. It wasn’t there. Seriously? It was sort of a peachy scent. So delicious! If you make it in to the gardens, make sure you take a whiff of this rose. It is located up by the parking, next to the middle tennis court.

167 Pittock Mansion

As we exited the gardens, I saw a sign for the Pittock Mansion. I had plans to do a tour with the kids, if we had enough money in our budget. After paying around $400 for new tires, we were too tight to go in here. But Aaron knew how much I had wanted to go in there, so he insisted that I at least get some pics. I spent around 20 minutes walking & snapping pics and I just happened to be walking past the Gate House, when a FREE tour was beginning, so I can was able to see some of the Pittock Mansion. LOL

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The views of Portland from the Pittock Mansion property were breathtaking.

173 Clover Fields copy

We stopped to grab some gas and some food, then we headed out towards the coast. I had asked the manager at our hotel what the best route was to take out. He said that 30 was more beautiful, but 26 would cut off around 15-20 minutes of out time. We had planned to take 30 (after all, we knew I would be stopping to take pics every 5 minutes along the way, whichever route we took). In the end, we ended up so far south that 26 was actually 45 minutes shorter. I was kind of bummed. Until I saw how magnificent Highway 26 was…..I am still wondering how amazing 30 was, after driving along 26!

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Aaron and I both gasped when we saw the red fields. When we stopped so I could get a closer look, I saw that someone else had also stopped to grab a shot of this intoxicating red clover. There was already a path down to the field.


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I can now say I know why bees love clover. I felt like I had walked into the poppy field in the Wizard of Oz….so relaxing. Simon said the clover smelled like marshmallows and cheese….I thought it smelled like honey.

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Even pit stops provided some lovely shots, along the way! We drove up to Fort Stevens for the evening. As we arrived, it was apparent that the rains had come in and weren’t leaving. We didn’t have a rain fly for our tent, so we couldn’t tent it. We drove up to Astoria. So many people have raved about how amazing Astoria is. Um, I am not sure if we just went on a really crappy week for Astoria, but I didn’t even post the photos I took….it was that un-amazing. My personal suggestion, if you don’t have to go up into the town of Astoria, save yourself the trip. I seriously was shocked for the entire 2 hours we were driving around and calling hotels and motels to try and find a room.

We did finally find a hotel in Seaside. I told them we had 5 kids and wanted to keep the cost within our budget. Fortunately, they had a larger room with enough sleeping for us. Such a blessing!

179 Lewis & Clark

The next morning, we headed out to Fort Clatsop to see where Lewis & Clark camped and adventured for a few years. I wasn’t expecting this National Site to be so beautiful. As the kids worked on their Junior Ranger badges, I found so many of God’s wonders to capture.

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Aaron was stoked that these were thimbleberries!

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Ryan loves Sacagawea.

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And the salmonberries looked like they would be nummy to snack on!

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Luken & Clark….(Luken came up with the name).

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I thought the bathrooms at the rose gardens topped it all….then I found this garbage can along the trails at Fort Clatsop. I know. I am strange. I find beauty in the strangest places.

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WHO puts that much work into a garbage can?  I would love to have this in my home….not as a garbage can, though.

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The kids really enjoyed seeing where Lewis & Clark stayed during their expedition out west.

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Being in nationally-protected sites has been a new experience for our curious little monkey. He is getting better. He used to keep bringing me rocks, pinecones, and sticks…now he knows better, once he hears it is a state or national park.

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He was our leader….just waiting for the rest of the group to catch up.

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You can go through the next few pics quickly….they are all of the wonders I found along our path. So much beauty all around!

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When I look out over this river, I can’t help but think of the Natives who lived here for centuries and the expedition that “discovered” this area. It must have been magical for them. Such a treat!

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Our own little Voyage of Discovery to the Pacific Coast….love these guys!

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The gift shop was like being in a candy store for some of us….

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The kids were thrilled to learn that they had earned not only a badge, but a patch, a rank patch, and a certificate.

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Love my Junior Rangers!

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And this man….who is such a great father.

207 Seaside Lupine

After we were done at Fort Clatsop, we headed back down to Seaside. One of the sisters at the Portland temple had told Ryan about some swings that were right on the beach. She was determined to swing on that beach.

208 Seaside Swings

While swinging on the seaside was awesome, that was about all that we could find that was awesome there.

209 Seaside Swings

The kids enjoyed time on the beach.

210 Ecola NP

A lot of the residents and businesses along 101 have these buoys decorating their yards.

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We drove up to Ecola State Park and enjoyed the views.

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216  Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach was pretty cool. The water was warm, the sand was warm, the atmosphere was mellow.

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Looking at Nehalem Beach from this angle makes me a little dizzy…what about you?

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The kids were so excited to finally be able to camp out! We told them we would head down to the beach, once our tent was set up.

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The beach was only a 2 minute walk from our camp spot. Love Nehalem State Park’s Campground!

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Acrobats down the hills to the beach….you don’t want to know where we found sand. 😉

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Three beaches in one day….makes Aaron a very happy man.

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As we were driving out of the campground, we saw this beautiful doe, grazing in the waning sun.

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We found a great pizza shop right outside of camp, inside the town of Manzanita. Pizza and Marshmallows. The perfect way to begin our camping adventure. Make sure you get a good look at all of these blue skies….you will be shocked to hear about the next couple of days of our adventure. Until then….

Pura Vida!

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