Exploring this beautiful land

Exploring this beautiful land

Recently I had the opportunity to take an amazing vacation to Costa Rica. It was the most beautiful, exotic, and rich vacation that I have ever experienced. While I could go on forever about this trip, it would simply sound like some sort of advertisement for Costa Rica tourism. However, there is an element to my trip that has just found new meaning to me. That is the fact that it was a wonderful reminder of how truly beautiful and diverse our own local environment is. I have found myself realizing that I have much to explore here and that although I would obviously welcome the chance for a long, more foreign vacation; I have been taking for granted the value of a quick day or weekend trip.

I have vowed to myself that this will be the summer that I get out and explore. I want to maximize my free time by filling it with things that I already know I love and discover even more things to add to that list. It is easy to forget that there is so much diversity of landscape and wildlife all within reach here. There are opportunities for rest and relaxation or an adrenaline boosting activity. Both of which I need and appreciate for a clear mind.

I just made a trip to the northern coast of Oregon and took the time to take a leisurely drive down the coastline to Newport. I made sure to stop at many of the beautiful lookout points that I had neglected to in the past as well as the ones that I continue to return to. I stopped in the small seaside towns that I wasn’t familiar with and took note of where I plan on returning to. On this ride I saw two bald eagles, herons, sea lions, and so many other forms of wildlife. Although Costa Rica offered monkeys, sloths, iguanas, and animals that I had never before expected to see in the wild, I have found that I get just as excited to see our own regional creatures… From snails to hawks to deer I find myself ogling them all in amazement.  At one point, on a night walk down the beach I suddenly realized that I was practically standing in the middle of a large herd of deer. This was a little scary, but more exhilarating than anything else.

Lately I have been thinking about all of the diverse areas of the state I have not experienced as thoroughly as I would like. Mountains, rivers, lakes, forests… I plan on slowly but surely making my way to many of them. I think that this is the summer that I truly embrace that I am a tree hugger at heart and get out there and hug some trees, hike some trails, and see what critters cross my path.

– Dominee Cagle, Spa Director, PDX

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