Favorite Places

Memories of my summer in Oregon have been coming up in conversation a lot lately. I think that is partly due to some new decor in my work office that included 2 inspirational posters (1 with mountains and 1 with an ocean) and my Oregon map converted to framed artwork. Plus, I love talking about traveling and each time I talk about the Pacific Northwest, I feel more and more confident that I will one day return to that area of the country. 🙂 For today, I thought I’d relive some of my favorite travel memories from the past year and a half. I’d love to hear your stories too, so feel free to share in the comments!

Badlands National Park & the Black Hills

I first traveled in this area in May 2010. Badlands NP was my first ever visit to a National Park…and it did not disappoint. While in the Black Hills area, I visited Badlands NP, Mount Rushmore, and Crazy Horse Memorial. Below are pictures of me at Mt Rushmore and sunset after the rain driving through the Black Hills.

Yellowstone National Park

I was also here in May 2010…about 2 days after I was at Badlands NP. I love roadtrips because you get to see so much, if you choose to. The day I was at Yellowstone NP the weather was chilly, windy, and snowy. It was all still beautiful. One of the cool things I saw was buffalo frolicking in the snow. The picture below is of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, located on the eastern side of the park. The river shown is the Yellowstone River.

Olympic Peninsula (Washington State)

I’m so happy that we (my friend Jenny and I – hi Jenny!) decided to include the Olympic Peninsula as part of our road trip (May 2010). Originally, our plans for the last 2 days of our trip was to do something in Oregon and/or Washington. We realized during the trip, that we’d be able make it all the way up to the peninsula. Our main destination goal was Forks, WA, because we’re both fans of Twilight and seeing parts of Olympic National Park, Olympic National Forest, and the Pacific Ocean were huge bonuses. The rest of Washington was also gorgeous. The pictures below were taken at First Beach on the La Push Reservation and in the coastal portion of Olympic National Park.


I was lucky enough to live in Oregon for summer 2010 while completing an internship at Eastern Oregon University (hi all at EOU…miss you!). While I got to see and do quite a bit in Oregon, there was not enough time to do it all. Two of my favorite mini trips during the summer included a solo trip for a long weekend in Portland and a day hiking trip with co-workers to Wallowa Lake State Park. Those two spots are in the pictures below. I really could go on and on about my time in Oregon, but most of what I have say has already been put on the blog here. Check out the EOU Internship and Travel categories.

Terra Blanca Winery & Estate Vineyard

Another excellent side trip during my summer in Oregon was actually up in Washington. Southeast Washington has more wineries and vineyards than I could count. I picked one to visit that offered a tour and tasting for a reasonable price ($15!). Terra Blanca was beautiful. Plus, it was fun to learn about the process of making wine. The picture is from the terrace at the winery.

Madison, WI

I interned at UW-Madison for the 2010-2011 academic year. I had a great time being part of a university that is iconic and steeped in tradition. The picture below is from the Terrace at Memorial Union. The tables were stacked ready for winter storage and I just loved the colors. The other picture is of the WI state capitol building from the top of Bascom Hill.

Baltimore, MD

In March 2011, I had the opportunity to travel to Baltimore for a national conference. I was lucky enough to travel with a friend/co-worker (hi Steph!) who loved to travel as much as I do. Besides conferencing, we made a point of taking in all that we could in the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore. The picture below is of me with the Baltimore skyline in the background.

Laura Ingalls Wilder tour

In May 2011, I revisited the Dakotas through a roadtrip with my sister (hi Julie!). Before we hit the Dakotas, we visited 3 different Laura Ingalls Wilder homesites (Pepin, Walnut Grove, & DeSmet). I loved this part of our road trip so much because my sister and I grew up reading the Little House books. It was cool to see where those stories actually took place. The picture below is from DeSmet, SD.

Return to the Badlands!

I loved my return trip to Badlands National Park this past May! I also loved that it wasn’t 90 degrees this time around.

Duluth, MN & the North Shore of Lake Superior

With my relocation to northern Minnesota, I became a tourist in my own city. However, this was necessary to start learning about my new home. I’m excited to keep exploring the city and the North Shore in the coming months and years. The pictures below are of the suspension lift bridge in Canal Park right in Duluth and also of Gooseberry Falls State Park about 30-45 minutes up the shore from Duluth.

Just a note: I have had the good fortune to travel more places in the past 1.5 years than I’ve mentioned in this post. Luckily, I have enjoyed each of the places I’ve visited and would recommend any of the locations I have listed on my Travels page.

Second note: links for all of the locations I talked about are located on the Travels page.


2 thoughts on “Favorite Places

  1. Roxanne M says:

    AWESOME picture of the chairs in Madison! My sister used to live there and I always enjoyed visiting Madison. You have a good photography eye.

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