Mix It Up!

Homemade Trail Mix

Trail mix is another versatile food to pack with you when hiking.  It comes pre-made in grocery stores, in brightly colored packages, with little bits of melty chocolate or yogurt covered somethings.  It's kind of spendy, too!  Even though nuts and dried fruit aren't exactly cheap, I can mix up my own blend for... maybe … Continue reading Mix It Up!

Logan Bread

logan bread

The kids and I have been preparing food to pack with us on an upcoming hiking/camping trip we hope to be taking the next few days.  Tonight we made a variation of Logan Bread, from "The Well-Fed Backpacker" by June Flemming.  My dad used to make this when I was a kid. Now my kids … Continue reading Logan Bread

Skunk Cabbage at McGowan Creek

Lysichiton americanus along McGowan Creek, near where the McKenzie river meets the Willamette River.

Exploring the Solar System on Bicycles

Solar System Model

The Eugene, Oregon Scale Model of the Solar System was created by a father and son to show relative sizes and distances between the planets and the Sun.  The planets are steel balls set upon pyramids with information panels positioned along Eugene's Willamette river Riverbank bike path.  The scale is 1:1 billion and dimensions are taken from the … Continue reading Exploring the Solar System on Bicycles

Sand Dunes and Coastal Native Plants

Sand Dunes and Coastal Native Plants

Gaultheria shallon (Salal) native Rubus ursinus (Pacific Blackberry) native Achillea millefolium (Yarrow) native Maianthemum dilatatum (False Lily-of-The Valley) native Bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum) native Blechnum spicant (Deer Fern) native Typha latifolia (Cattail) native   Digitalis purpurea (foxglove) native

Skunk Cabbage, and Cobra Lilies, and Man-eating Plants! Oh, my!

darlingtonia cobra lily, skunk cabbage, salal, deer fern, man eating plant

Our visit to Darlingtonia State Natural Site was the perfect supplement to Apologia's Exploring Creation with Botany Lesson #3 section about carnivorous plants.  This place happens to be the only Oregon State Park for the purpose of preserving a single species.  Darlingtonia californica (cobra lily) is very rare and the only carnivorous plant in Oregon. Lysichiton americanus (skunk cabbage) is a Pacific Northwest native plant that … Continue reading Skunk Cabbage, and Cobra Lilies, and Man-eating Plants! Oh, my!

Spring Wildflowers Along the Willamette River

Thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus)

This is likely to become a series of posts about wildflowers. I'm very interested in our native plants, wildflowers and edible plants in particular.  These aren't all necessarily indigenous.  I'll be looking for other varieties, and hopefully I have a camera handy when I find them! Cow Parsnip (Heracleum maximum) This native plant towers above my daughter's head … Continue reading Spring Wildflowers Along the Willamette River

Fern Ridge bike path and Fern Ridge Wildlife Area

Sunset at Fern Ridge Wildlife Refuge

I can't help looking forward to nice weather and summer days.  Here's a trip from last summer.  The whole ride was about 35 miles with a pretty steep climb both there and back and quite a bit of riding on really rough gravel.  This was the most difficult ride we've taken yet, and the kids … Continue reading Fern Ridge bike path and Fern Ridge Wildlife Area

How to hike the McKenzie River Trail from Eugene, Car-free

Kids on log bridge over river

On one of the last few days of August, having the looming realization that there were only a few days left before starting school again, we decided to give summer one last good hurrah. With the lower trailhead just over 50 miles from Eugene, the beautiful 26.5 mile long McKenzie River National Recreation Trail is a very popular trail among … Continue reading How to hike the McKenzie River Trail from Eugene, Car-free

Hiking Spencer’s Butte Via the City Bus

Kids at trailhead

My biggest concern about not replacing my minivan and going the summer car-free was thinking that we'd be stuck in town all summer and miss out on outdoor adventures. It was a silly fear really, when you consider that not having a car means that you are outside all of the time. We have plenty … Continue reading Hiking Spencer’s Butte Via the City Bus