Saturday, November 29, 2008

Breitenbush Hotsprings: Peaceful Relaxation in the Middle of the Cascades

Silent Pool
One of the Many Trails Around the Grounds
Main Lodge

Brietenbush Hot Springs is probably one of the most relaxing and peaceful places I have ever been. I spent a day lounging in the middle of the cascades guiltlessly contemplating my inner exsistence at the spirtually inspired, 100% self sustainable, vegetarian retreat.

Unlike most of Oregons hot springs Brietenbush has a restriction on the number of people that are let into the grounds each day. They try, successfully, to keep numbers to a minimum in order to preserve the esscence of the experience along with the peace and tranquility of the environment. Brietenbush has been homesteaded since 1904 but was known much earlier and frequented often by the local Native Americans. Since 1985 the resort has been community owned and across the river, that the springs are named for, lies a small village of individuals who have payed their dues to be allowed to live amongst the hot springs.

Brietenbush is more than the hot springs that it is most famous for it is also a retreat center. The resort has many overnight bungalos ro accomodate those who plan to make their stay a little more permanent. Along with your meditative dips into the geothermally heated and stoned walled pools you can enjoy the sauna which is heated by a hot springs river that flows beneath the wooden slots in the floor and heats the room with the naturally occuring steam. If you are tired of the heat you are allowed take part in one of the many other activities presented for free. Edgu, yoga, or a walk on one of local BLM trails are always an option.

My day began in pools and the sauna where I was told I would feel the best results from each if I altered from hot to cold. In other words this meant getting out of the hot tub/sauna and dousing myself with ice cold water and then returning to the hot tub/sauna. After a good many rotations in the over seven pools I made my way into the lodge for lunch which had been prepared for me and was an amazing organic vegetarian borritto buffet. From this all to filling lunch I headed into the woods and explored the local scenery and the trails which skipped from one side of the Brietenbush River to the other. After returning from my retreat, from my retreat, I ventured over to the sanctuary, a hexagonal building with a steepled roof where I joined about a dozen others on pillows positioned in a circle with legs crossed for an hour and a half yoga session which lasted into the night.

If you have the opportunity the cost is less that you would ever imagine. You are asked to pay what you think the experience should be worth and for your meals in advance. For both myself and my partner it combined cost us less than $50. We recieved an hour and a half long yoga session, amazing hiking, delicious food, and renouned relaxation. Make your way down the gravel path to the humble parking lot and spend the day in the woods.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Break In The Weather, A Day At The Beach... Pacific City, OR

Haystack Rock From The North Side of Cape Kiwanda

The Center of Cape Kiwanda

Cape Kiwanda
Pacific City From Cape Kiwanda

Today was the first in many days (probably around 2-3 weeks) that the sun decided to shine. Today also, fortunately for me, coincided with my day off. I made the most of the opportunity and ventured to Pacific City, OR: .
Pacific City is unique in many ways, the first of which is that it has both a micro-brew at Pelican Pub (I recommend MacPelican's Scottish Style Ale, and a couple of tasting rooms such as Basket Case Vineyards ( Perfect for the man or woman, like myself who enjoys watching the surf with a cocktail. The second is Cape Kiwanda sand dune, where the majority of the above pictures are taken on top, around the side and in the middle of. I was unsure of the parameters associated with my wondering on the cape and often found myself in situations where I would suspect a "Do Not Enter" sign should be. In all of my searching in the aforementioned areas I could not find a single sign or another human being which made the experience even more surreal and exciting. I will admit that at points I was a little uneasy when the force of a wave slamming into the cape shook the sand under my feet. Two of the pictures above (2,3) were taken in situation where I had to capture the shot before the sea captured me. Though there were not signs in the particular areas that I adventured into, after a more thorough search of the cape I did come across many well marked areas that were designated as "Do Not Enter."
Alltogether I loved Pacific City. If you have the chance to go, take the opportunity and don't bother looking for the signs.
Pacific City is located approximately one hour NW of Salem, OR and we would love to bring you there.
Connor & Alyssa