hello from southern oregon

Oh, Oregon!

I have no recipe for you today. Nothing to whet the appetite and nothing to get you excited to scurry into your kitchens. What I have for you is a simple hello. A wave from Southern Oregon where we’re staying at the moment. Today we’re going to visit Crater Lake. Yesterday, we left the redwoods in Northern California and my heart ached a little. Such trees! Such beauty! I felt so small, so insignificant – and it was humbling, liberating, glorious. I was an ant, surrounded by trees that were twenty feet wide and thousands of years old. What these trees have seen… The trees I’m seeing now, I think, “Well, someone’s an underachiever, I mean have you seen what a redwood has done? Why don’t you try growing a little wider, or taller, tree!”

CA redwoods

We spent a few days in Northern California, which now has my heart. The trees, the fog, the brooding skies, the chill in the air – I love it all. That light, diffused through thick clouds and the mist – is some good photography light. Seriously.

Evening sun- so pretty.

Now we’re in Southern Oregon. At the moment, I’m sitting in bed, in our cabin, which, while modest, has all the accommodations we need. There’s even a coffee maker and I am drinking coffee in bed. How amazing is that? Our cabin is also meticulously clean and well-kept – in fact, it’s more impressive than the Palace Hotel where we spent the night in San Francisco after getting in at 3am PST. As I write, Andrew is sleeping to my right and he looks so peaceful, so comfortable, that I can’t wake him up yet. He is, in general, a very sweet sleeper, unlike me, where my face gets all scrunched up and I bury myself under the sheets and blankets. It’s vacation after all and if you can’t sleep in on your vacation, when can you sleep in?

En route to Arcata

We have been blessed with the most glorious and beautiful drives. Route 66, could you be any more stunning? Could you? I think not. As we were driving higher and higher into the mountains, Andrew said to me, “It’s like we’re in a movie!” – and all I could do is nod. The beauty of it all really renders you speechless. The views of mountains, hills, valleys, and rivers as far as the eye can see, distant mountains hazy and glowing in the sun, tiny cows dotting the horizon chewing peacefully in the distance.


I’ve been thinking, these past few days especially, on the importance of taking time off, about letting your mind rest, about living in the now. This is fresh coming from someone who is still working while on vacation and is actually checking email and writing this very post. But the thought of living in the moment has very much been at the foreground of my mind these past few weeks. I’m a planner by nature, a saver, a worrier. It’s part of my immigrant DNA, and I doubt I could ever fully shake it off. I suppose everything in moderation, which is why this trip is such a necessary thing.

Fog overlooking clamath river

Truthfully, were we a little more practical, we’d have chosen a less expensive journey. At the time, it seemed like a good idea, flights on points, SF and Portland hotels – also on points. But then the car rental cost factored in, and gas, and food, and x and y variables, and by the time all was said and done, we were hardly being frugal. But we decided to do it anyway. Not since last fall have we taken a proper vacation. And we needed one. And much as we plan for our future (and we should), all that we really have, all that we can really count on, is the now; the today.


And so I wanted to write this to you because, much as it sounds trite and saccharine, I feel that the importance of “today” cannot be diminished. We should give it our all, our undivided attention, our most. What that means for each of us will vary with our lives, priorities, abilities. Maybe it means taking a vacation (for us it did), or taking a long walk around your neighborhood or a park. Maybe it means running that race you’ve always wanted to do. Or learning to play an instrument, or taking a class. Or maybe it’s even less ambitious, but nonetheless important, just having a quiet night with a book or a movie.

Good lord, Oregon, you're one sexy state

Whatever it is, I hope it’s what you need and what you want. Us, we’re going to look at a giant lake. And sigh and wonder at nature’s creations. But that’s just today – tomorrow we’re in wine country, and you know that that means.


  • Radish

    Kalyn – sadly, not this time! Duty calls us home at the end of the week! Maybe next time?

    Gretchen – thank you so much!

  • Ali Mc

    I love the antique feel to all your photos. I too fell in love with northern cali <3 it's just like BC in Canada (where I am from) but Cali is warmer and if you guys had free health care I'd live there :) Nice post!

  • Renee

    My heart just fluttered – my husband and I honeymooned in Oregon! We flew into Medford and spent an amazing week on the coast. I also went to Ashland for a few consecutive summers in my teens to go to the Shakespeare Festival. Crater Lake is the most gorgeous blue, right??
    A sight to behold for Northeasterners like us. Do enjoy – so happy for you! :)

  • Zina Chernus

    This is one of my favorite road trips to take. Oregon rocks with clean air and water. Love the bucolic settings and grass fed beef. Don’t miss the wineries!

  • Christine

    We loved our time in SF and Napa Valley this past December. It’s so so beautiful there.

    (Also hipstamatic geek that I am, I am trying to figure out what films/lenses you used…but MAN those photos are gorgeous).

    I hope you enjoyed you well earned vacation!

  • Janine

    You were went by hometown! I feel so honored to have had you here! Fun to see pictures from home from someone else’s perspective. Beautiful, indeed. I live in Northern California, just about and hour from the Oregon border.

  • Claudia from Idiot's Kitchen

    What a lovely post and lovlier sentiment. While my husband and I were in Yosemite backpacking this summer, he turned to me and said, “This is always here. Even when I’m sitting at my desk at work, this is always here.” Enjoy your vacation. Drink Pinot!

  • Andrea @ Fork Fingers Chopsticks

    My husband and I made a very similar trip to northern California and southern Oregon a few years ago. We took Highway 1 up – it was a fantastic drive. When we got to Crater Lake, we were so disappointed because the forest fires that summer fogged out the vista. It was still a great getaway and one of the best moments was an impromptu hike in N.Cali along the beach when we encountered some elk – who also decided they wanted to take a stroll.

    Have a wonderful trip.

  • Vicki

    I hope while you’re in Oregon you visit the Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport (a book lover’s hotel) …and Breitenbush Hot Springs, which is a little off the beaten track, adjacent to an old-growth forest…little cabins set into the woods

  • nicole

    So true. So, so, so true. I’m glad you were able to take a vacation — it is essential to our overall health, for sure. And, how funny, I was just up in that area a few weeks ago (Mendo) for a wedding — I recognize that drive-thru-turned-RV-lot! Hope you had a wonderful rest of your trip.

  • Jennie

    Definitely live for the moment, and savor each and everyone one of them. Work will always be there, but the chance to unwind, hand in hand, seeing natural beauty like this doesn’t come along often in the loud, crowded city we live in. Love you my dear.

  • Lynn

    Glad you are enjoying our corner the world. When my husband and I were first married and concerned about our budget and vacations, a very wise man told us “You can’t reposess a good time.” That piece of advice has stood us in good stead for over 30 years.

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