We went to the location on NE Alberta (in the Alberta Arts District), which was in a super cute, Austin-esque arts district. I was wearing a new outfit, and fell in love with several walls and backdrops in the area, so to my husband’s chagrin, we took quite a few photos before stopping for breakfast!
We spent the first full day in Eugene (go Ducks!) for our family reunion. With my brother being a professional chef, and family members who had previously worked in Japanese restaurants, we feasted and mostly chilled around my sister’s house that first day.
Since five out of the six siblings were able to get together for this trip, we knew we had to do something awesome to mark the occasion. What better way to celebrate getting to see each other than jumping out of an airplane together from 11,000 feet? We drove back up towards Portland to Mulino, OR to Pacific Northwest Skydiving Center.
This was less of a big deal for me, as I was the only one in our jumping group who had done it before. In fact, this was my third skydive! And while I have jumped from even higher altitude before, this was a really special skydiving experience. Not just because of the great company of my siblings, but also because of the scenery! On our jump, we exited the plane at the same height as nearby Mt. Hood. We could see eight peaks during our jump, including Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Jefferson! Having jumped before and knowing what to expect, I feel like I was able to take it in more in the moment. I was so full of gratitude and joy to have gotten to experience this jump in this gorgeous location.
The staff at PNW Skydiving were also amazing, and the price was great. I highly recommend this skydiving center if you are looking for some adventure amidst the incredible scenery of Oregon.
After the adrenaline wore off a bit, it was back to Eugene, and a home-cooked Puerto Rican meal, for the night.
One of my goals for the weekend was to see some beautiful Oregon scenery. My sister reminded me “that’s everywhere!” So we had a decision to make for how we would spend our next day. We decided to drive up to the McKenzie River Trail to see some waterfalls and beautiful lakes. Unfortunately, Tamolitch Blue Pool was temporarily closed due to some recent fire damage, but there was still plenty of amazing nature for us to see.
After seeing several roadside stands selling berries the day before on the way to and from Mulino, I became obsessed with the idea of getting fresh berries. We were able to stop for some delicious fresh fruit on our drive to the McKenzie River.
First, we decided to do a hike between two of the waterfalls on the McKenzie River, Sahalie and Koosah Falls. The names mean “heaven” and “sky,” so naturally we had to see them for ourselves!
The hike between the two waterfalls was about a half mile, with the entire loop around both at about three total miles.
After our group members enjoyed the view from the top of Koosah, we decided to come around the front of it to appreciate it from a different perspective.
Even though Tamolitch was closed, we weren’t done exploring the area. We decided to have a picnic dinner at Clear Lake, which was just north of the Sahalie and Koosah Falls trail, and is the headwaters of the McKenzie River.
Just as it’s name would indicate, it is a very clear and blue lake. It also provides mirrored reflections when the water is just the right amount of calm.
From here, we went our separate ways – half of us back to Eugene, and half of us back to Portland to prepare for our various flights home. I look forward to the next time we get to spend some time in Oregon. I have a feeling skydiving will end up on the agenda again… who knows, we might have created a new tradition!