Tiptoeing Through Tulips and Oregon’s Coast

Author’s Note: I’m a couple days behind in posting due to limited Internet access. Enjoy Day 2 of the journey.

Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, Woodburn, Ore., April 2010
Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, Woodburn, Ore., April 2010

Not even sure where to begin with today’s adventure (or I should say yesterday’s) in the Pacific Northwest. Suppose a rundown of events is the best way to tell the tale of Day Two’s journey. And excuse me if I begin to ramble or don’t make sense. It’s about midnight in these here parts and my eyes (and brain) are feeling a little blurry.

Left Portland in the morning following an incredible day of exploring the city (someday I’ll share) and headed south to the 25th Annual Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Woodburn, Ore. As you know (or should) original plans were to be in Amsterdam and Belgium this week but thanks to the Icelandic volcano, they changed. ZeldaMae (my traveling partner in crime for this trip) has never been to the Pacific Northwest so here we are.

We arrived shortly after 9 a.m., when the last day of the festival opened and so glad we did. We practically had the gorgeous tulip fields to ourselves and I was truly amazed with the stunning array of colors including reds, purples, pinks, yellows, and oranges. There were some colors I’m sure Crayola doesn’t have names.

Although visitors cannot tiptoe through the tulips – which is something I had hoped – there are broad paths between fields permitting visitors to get a little closer and in the center of the tulip action. And embracing that Dutch feeling, Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm has a wooden windmill and two over-sized wooden shoes to pose for photos. Food and crafts vendors rounded out the festival – including a wooden shoe maker.

Up next was a visit to Lincoln City, Ore., located on the Pacific Ocean. Yes, if you’re familiar with the area it’s out of the way of Cannon Beach, the next stop, but I picked up an Oregon travel guide while in Portland and read an article about treasures in the form of artistic glass floats the tourism office places on the beach each day during certain periods of the year. Fifty-six floats are placed each week and I *thought* we’d have a chance at locating one. Yeah, right. No luck with the glass floats but found some cool beach stones for my collection and consider those treasures enough.

Highway 101 was our friend most of the day with occasional stops at overlooks to see the awesome coast and meandering through incredible forests. Really made me wonder why I live in Florida. The drive so reminded me of my days in Yellowstone. Cannon Beach with Haystack Rock was next, just like the photos I’ve seen, except hundreds of people mulling about.

Without any reservations for tonight (this morning) we continued on into Washington heading to Forks (anyone know why Forks? Here’s a hint: Edward and Jacob) not realizing the limited lodging opportunities. Soon after crossing into the Evergreen State, we were welcomed by Washington State’s finest who happens to carry a badge and pack heat. Yup, a smoky in the woods but he wasn’t the smoky who warns about forest fires, he was a copy and he wasn’t sitting on the side of the road in the woods but coming straight toward us and nailed “us” for speeding (well, I was a passenger so I say “us”, this is a joint road trip you know).

Onward we pressed with hopes of finding a nice bed and restaurant in Aberdeen but ended up grabbing dinner at McDonald’s and continuing into the night until my GPS finally indicated decent lodging was ahead: Lake Quinault Lodge. After more than 13 hours on the road, this is where I’ll be resting my tired head for an extended nap before waking up early for a little hiking in the rain forest and seeing some of the champion conifer trees.

More photos are posted on Flickr (although minimal) and once I have a decent connection will upload video. As usual, follow my travel tweets on Twitter @jenniferhuber.

Edited: Video from the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival is posted on my YouTube channel.



Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

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