Currently sitting down writing this waiting for my flight to take off, and reflecting back on all the great adventures I had on this trip. I think some people can relate to me when I say that, I do not like flying. Flying makes me nervous, TSA makes me nervous, there is just a lot of hustle and bustle and not going to lie it stresses me out. I wish that we could teleport places and be there in 5 minutes whenever we wanted (scientists get on that!). But anyways, lets me take this time to distract myself from all of my anxieties and talk about all of my favorite spots we visited during this trip.
*Every place mentioned is public and trails are available on All Trails*
On Sunday, I flew in from Atlanta to Portland and arrived around 8:30PM PST. The start of the trip was definitely ~rough~ to say the least. I'm not going to bore you with all the details because to be fair, it is disgusting and I don't want to churn any stomachs right now :P ,but I did get sick. I think from motion sickness/anxiety/stress and everything in between. Because like I said before, I do not like flying and I hadn't done it since I was 6 years old. And to be fair, it is scary flying by yourself for the first time as an adult when you hadn't flown in like 14 years.
On Sunday, I flew in from Atlanta to Portland and arrived around 8:30PM PST. The start of the trip was definitely ~rough~ to say the least. I'm not going to bore you with all the details because to be fair, it is disgusting and I don't want to churn any stomachs right now :P ,but I did get sick. I think from motion sickness/anxiety/stress and everything in between. Because like I said before, I do not like flying and I hadn't done it since I was 6 years old. And too be fair, it is scary flying by yourself for the first time as an adult when you hadn't flown in like 14 years.
Once I got over my ~sick~ I felt better. The next morning, Hailey and I shuttled to the airport to go grab our rental car.
Travel tip #1: Always go to the hotel near the airport that has a shuttle (A LIFESAVER) and its free :)
My experience with rental car situations has always been difficult, and because we aren't technically of age to rent a car I thought they were going to give us trouble. But the Hertz associate was so kind to us, that he even upgraded us to Gold for free (which was totally unexpected but so appreciated because we definitely needed a larger car with all the stuff we had to carry around).
Travel tip #2: If you are under the age of 25 but over the age of 18 years old use Hertz for your rental car. They allow us ~children~ to rent a car with a small fee.
Once we got the rental car, and picked out the cutest orange sedan Nissan we were ready to hit the road for the coast. Our airBNB was about 2 hours away from Portland so we hit the road to get settled. And once we got to the AirBNB, dropped our stuff off, went grocery shopping, we stopped at the local beach to go check it out and it was CHILLY!!
Location: Agate Beach in Newport, OR
Unfortunately, we had photoshoots scheduled for the week that didn't end up happening the way we had planned. On Tuesday, we were supposed to have a photoshoot at God's Thumb but never got a response back from the couple (which happens all the time, so don't feel bad) but I am kind of thankful that it didn't happen because this hike...I was so unprepared. Nothing could've prepared me for it. It was muddy, rocky, wet, raining, hailing, sunny, cold, and hot all at the same time.
So here's what they don't tell you but I will: God's Thumb is a round trip 4.4 mile hike. It will take you about 4 hours to complete. It is extremely dangerous. There are some parts of it that the trail is off the side of a cliff and one wrong move and you are done-zo. I literally could not imagine hiking that in the summer because of how hard of a hike it was. Yes the view is amazing, and so worth it once you do get there. But please do your research before you go trying to hike God's Thumb. If you are wanting to get there around sunset, I would start your hike around 12:30pm but be aware that you may have to hike back in the dark (or in the evening).
Travel tip #3: Pack hiking shoes and athletic wear. You might think "DUH... Olivia" but when I tell you that I had no idea that God's Thumb was a hike until I got to Oregon, I mean that I was shook. Let's normalize being transparent with each other.
Location: God's Thumb in Lincoln City, OR
I woke up Wednesday morning sore as all get out. Literally I don't think I could move (I'm dramatic). On our hike (to God's Thumb) we met two other hikers that gave us some amazing spots to go visit nearby to get the full Oregon experience. One of those places was The Dunes... so we went and rented 4 wheelers to go ride of the Oregon Dunes on Wednesday and that was so much fun!
It was such a cool experience, we saw some deer that just really didn't mind that we were there and rode around this entire landscape for about 2 hours for $150 per person.
Some things to be aware of when you are riding on the dunes. The dunes can be very dangerous, near the beach there are trails (extremely fun) and there are also very steep hills and the sand is obviously slick and you can slide when you approach the situation the wrong way. To play it safe, don't travel on the trails. In the park that we were in there were many access points to the dunes to go to the different spots and there was one entrance to the trails, the wide open dunes, and then to the beach. Do your research on whichever park you go to, and remember to always handle the 4 wheelers with care!
Travel tip #3: Do use 4 wheel drive while driving on the dunes; Do not use 4 wheel drive when taking sharp turns or else you will turn over or in worse case scenarios ... flip (learned from experience, we don't talk about it); Do, make sure you wear appropriate clothes, bring gloves (for the winter), bring a mask (for the coldness on your face), and bring goggles (to prevent the sand from getting in your eyes). Most places do not give these accessories to you, they will only provide the helmet for you.
The Oregon Dunes in Florence, OR
We woke up to 3-4 inches of snow on the coast on Thursday morning, which we later found out that was the first time in 35 years that the coast has seen that much snow (of course it would only happen when we go to visit LOL). Such an amazing surprise!
What we had planned: We planned to drive down to The Red Woods in Northern California and stay in Brookings, OR for a night before driving back to Portland Friday evening.
What happened: With all of the snow, our plans were stomped on a little bit but here is how I look at it - if God wanted it to happen it would've. So, we drove almost 6 hours down and got all the way to Northern California when the roads were absolutely terrible. Very snowy, very icy and it was still snowing. Keep in mind we were 30 minutes away, but with the snow it was going to take us another hour and then we would've gotten there at night and wouldn't have been able to see the trees (bummer, but that just means that we can go back now).