an oregonian bestie road trip

thinking of roadtripping with your best soon but need some ideas? you guys, trust me: give oregon a try. i promise you will NOT be disappointed. there is so so much to see. anywhere in the pacific northwest, actually. this is my 3rd october in a row visiting the pnw, not counting my trip to big sur this past summer. i didn't plan to be in the pnw 3 years in a row, it just happened! it's that breathtaking.

so sometimes you get really blessed with an awesome best friend. the kind of best friend who is always down to adventure with you. the kind that loves tacos as much as you do. the meredith to your christina, the lorelai to your sookie. the kind of best friend who dreams big with you, who you talk about everything with, & who has yo back. what a blessing, right?!

for as long as my bestie charlotte & i have been best friends, i can recall her saying she's always wanted to go to the pnw... portland, oregon specifically. so when her birthday rolled around back in april, i decided to give her a few of her faaaavorite things in the world: fog, waterfalls, fall, & bridges.. aka surprise plane tickets to portland! we got together about a week before our departure to finalize our list of places we wanted to visit. once we had that figured out, we used roadtrippers to figure out the best route to hit all our 'must-see' spots.

we had a lot to see, & only 3 days to see it. first, we drove toward columbia river gorge & stopped at latourell falls. what an amazing first stop. as you'll soon start to see, we are obsessed with waterfalls.

there was a friendly crew of construction workers who actually had closed the trail to the falls for whatever they were doing, but we asked if we could just hurry down to see the falls, & they kindly gave us 10 minutes. an easy hike from the parking lot led us to a muddy path leading up to the falls. excited squeals soon escaped charlotte & i as we caught sight of our first waterfall of the trip.

after thanking the construction crew, we explored around the area a bit before heading to our next spot, stopping along the way at shepperd's dell.

i knew our next spot would be one of charlotte's favorites cuz i was pretty sure it was one of the first oregon waterfalls she may have fell in love with from photos she'd seen. who can blame her though?

ohhh multnomah falls. you are absolutely stunning.

we got some warm beverages and some muffins at the little shop at the base of the falls & then spent a while at multnomah. if you've never been.. please go. just do it. this was my 2nd time there, & it still had me in awe.

next up was oneonta gorge. we explored around the area before changing into our rain boots & heading into the gorge.

we got to the area of the gorge where you either brave the waters to go further or enjoy the view from afar, so i went on ahead a lil. definitely got water in my rain boots, but it was so worth it. i climbed some slippery logs to gaze down a foggy mystical gorge.

on our way to our next stop, we passed a few other waterfalls. when we found horsetail falls perfectly framed by vibrant fall colors, of course we had to pull over.

next stop was elowah falls. juuuuust wow.

the hike to the waterfall was lined with skinny trees contrasting the fields of more bright fall colors. it was so so beautiful.

we drove to rowena crest next... the king of all switchbacks.  the view was magnificent!

this is another one of those spots that no amount of photos you see of it over the last few years will ruin the thrill of actually being there.

oregon just has it all. waterfalls. mountains. lakes. fog. the ocean. beautiful views. wood piles. what? oh... i have this strange obsession with piles of wood logs. look, it doesn't hafta make sense -- but when we found this area by a roadhouse restaurant, i was so excited! the tallest log piles i've ever seen. loved it.

the next morning we drove to trillium lake for an unobstructed reflective view of mount hood. on the way we got to enjoy even more pretty views of it. mount hood was such a babe of a mountain that it's now my new beau. ;)

white river falls was next & then tumalo falls, which very well might have been my favorite waterfall stop. it was so cool to be able to sit atop this mighty waterfall & then also get up right next to its base.

our last full day began with sunrise at oregon's second tallest waterfall, salt creek falls. the fog was rolling in so thick here, & charlotte & i had the whole place to ourselves. it was magical.

after salt creek, we drove to crater lake national park area to find my dream mountain road so i could get some skateboarding in on my brand new penny skateboard! this road was an absolute dreeeeeam. look at that perfect mountain view of mount thielsen. bwaaaah heart eyes galore!

toketee falls was next. what an awesome stop. we spent so long here because the hike on the way to the falls was full of wonder, fall colors, moss-covered rocks, & exhilarating overlooks of dark turquoise water.

sadly we didn't have time to hike down see the falls from below, but toketee reminded both charlotte & i of the movie avatar. it was so lush with tall pretty trees showin off their autumn hues. basically the perfect fall hike.

our last main stop of the trip was on the coast, at cape perpetua to see thor's well. it was so refreshing! word to the wise: wear rain boots when you go here. it was pretty great to not have to worry about where we stepped, as there weren't many dry rocks from the waves splashing everywhere making tons of huge puddles.

what a thrill to watch the power of the waves splash onto the rocks where we stood. sometimes the waves got surprisingly big & nearly splashed us... which was kinda fun to scream & run away.

so, friends, again i say: if you have the chance to go to oregon to visit... just do it. & if you live there, i hope you're taking advantage of that by exploring all the things!

so we didn't get to see a few things on our list -- but we got to see some other wonderful spots we hadn't planned for instead. one of the awesome things about a road trip is how many unplanned beauties you'll find along the way... & going to a stunning place like oregon gave us just that.