Entries in ‘Oregon’ Journal

Book Review: Wild

Thursday December 4, 2014 at 7:07 AM | 0 Comments

We’ve all heard the phrase, “don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.” The same could be said of author Cheryl Strayed, only the phrase would read, “don’t judge a woman until you’ve walked 1,100 miles along the Pacific Crest Trail in her boots.”
Cheryl Strayed has been called many things – gutsy, brave, stupid, drug addict and writer are among some of the titles. In the true story Wild, the Portland-based author takes to the Pacific Crest Trail like an Oregon duck out of water. She squawks, waddles and rolls her way through California, Oregon and eventually makes it to Washington State and the Bridge of the Gods in her search to heal her broken soul and make herself whole again after the death of her mother and the end of her marriage.

Reese Witherspoon, Cheryl Strayed, Wild

Reese Witherspoon hikes in Cheryl Strayed’s boots in ‘Wild.’ (Anne Marie Fox/Fox Searchlight Pictures)

While I have never walked the Pacific Crest Trail myself or lugged a monster of a backpack – I prefer the comfort of a soft mattress and high thread count – I did enjoy reading Wild and learning more about the trail and its history. The Mexico to Canada trail wasn’t designated until 1968 and was completed in 1993. I imagine the PCT will increase in popularity when the movie Wild hits theaters.

The book and movie will appeal to travelers and explorers for its stark and scenic beauty. As Strayed points out, “the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada is entirely different. A landscape so desolate it seemed out of this earth. I was a pebble. I was a leaf. I was the jagged branch of a tree.”

Strayed bypassed the High Sierra – missing Sequoia and Kings Canyon and Yosemite national parks, Tuolumne Meadows and the John Muir and Desolation wildernesses, but hiked many miles in the Sierra Nevada – what Muir called the Range of Light – before entering the Cascade Range. Personally, I have ridden some of these locations on horseback.

Like Strayed’s mother, horses are my religion. I do anything I can to ride them. Horse lovers be warned that there is a difficult section in the book about the death of a beloved horse.

Mt Hood, Oregon

Mt. Hood as seen from the Columbia Gorge. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

Another favorite location that Strayed and I share is Oregon’s Three Sisters-South, Middle and North, as well as Mount Hood. Central Oregon and Washington’s Columbia Gorge are great places for horseback riding vacations.



Reese Witherspoon, Wild, movie

Reese Witherspoon by Pacific Crest Trail in Wild, the movie. (Anne Marie Fox/Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Wild walk on Pacific Crest Trail
Whether you read the book or watch the movie, you’ll appreciate Strayed’s ability to tell a story – both wild and raw. Indeed, Wild is a fast-paced, thrilling and rocky walk along the Pacific Crest Trail.
“We all have the power to heal ourselves,” said Bruna Papandra, producer ‘Wild.’
Insider tip

Like Cheryl Strayed upon completing her walk on the Pacific Crest Trail, you too can touch the Bridge of the Gods, or drive across the toll bridge that crosses the Columbia River at the Oregon-Washington border. If you make it there, stay at Skamania Lodge – much preferred over a tent pitched on the ground by the trail.

Have you read the book or seen the movie? What did you think? For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter @nancydbrown and follow @CherylStrayed on Twitter.
Wild, book review, Cheryl Strayed
Where to Buy:

Article written by Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I purchased the book Wild From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail for review purposes and because I enjoy reading books that I can hold in my hands.

Sunriver: All Season Resort in Central Oregon

Friday August 22, 2014 at 7:07 AM | 3 Comments

For those of you old enough to remember the 1978 movie Same Time, Next Year starring Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn, you’ll recall that the romantic comedy is about two lovers – married to others – who meet each year at a charming bed and breakfast located on the Northern California coast.  My husband and I share the same story in a different state – sort of. Both of us fell in love with Sunriver Resort and central Oregon in our youth. We fell in love with each other in Sunriver during our college days. Over time, we got married, had kids and eventually became empty nesters – one thing remained the same – our Sunriver vacation – same time, next year.

"Sunriver Marina" canoes

Float Deschutes River from Sunriver Marina

Sunriver all season resort

We have traveled to Sunriver, Oregon in winter, spring, summer and fall. However, our annual family vacation always returns us to central Oregon in late summer. This is the best time to experience high desert living, in my opinion. While Sunriver and nearby Mt. Bachelor offer plenty of winter activities, my skiing days are over due to my hip replacement.

I love Sunriver for summer sports like horseback riding, golf, biking, tennis and floating the Deschutes River in a kayak or canoe. After a full day of outdoor activities I can often be found in Sage Springs Spa. – we’re on vacation, afterall! The official name of the facility is actually Sage Springs Club Spa because there is a full fitness center above the spa, as well as an indoor pool.

"Sage Springs Spa"

Relax at Sage Springs Spa

Lodge Village rooms & suites
We’ve slept in places all around Sunriver – from private homes in Caldera Springs to lodge suites and rustic cluster cabins. Our most recent trip found us at the pet-friendly Lodge Village suites. Our two adult children stayed with the dog in the two-story suite while we enjoyed a romantic king room next door. We liked this travel arrangement because the rooms opened directly to a grassy lawn area from the wood deck. Families with young children might opt for these accommodations with two beds upstairs and a queen sleeper sofa downstairs. The kids liked that they could eat breakfast in the room as it offered a kitchen with fridge, microwave and dishwasher – wifi, too!

Sunriver Resort is a four diamond AAA award winner, carries the Green Key Eco-rating and is a member of Destination Hotels & Resorts. Our village suite rented for $316 and $221 for the king guestroom. Check the website for lodging specials and package deals.

"Sunriver Resort"

Pet-friendly & family-friendly lodging

"Sunriver Resort" room

Recently remodeled king room

"Sunriver Lodge" suite

Two-story suite from above

Insider Tip
Opened in 2012, Sunriver Homeowners Aquatic & Recreation Center (SHARC) offers 22 acres of indoor and outdoor pools, water slides, a lazy river, hot tubs, picnic and tot areas, in addition to a tubing hill. The center has a daily fee, but guests of the Lodge Village have complimentary access to the nearby outdoor swimming pool and hot tubs.
"Sunriver Lodge Village" pool

Lodge Village outdoor pool

For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter @Nancydbrown and follow @SunriverResort on Twitter.

Check-In Time: 4:00pm

Check-Out Time: 11:00am

If You Go:

Sunriver Resort (800) 801-8765
17600 Center Drive
Sunriver, OR 97707

Article written by and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of Sunriver Resort. All opinions are my own.

Relax at Sunriver Resort Sage Springs Spa, Central Oregon

Friday August 24, 2012 at 8:08 AM | 3 Comments

"Mount Bachelor"

Relax at Sage Springs Spa after a day enjoying the high desert of Central Oregon and Mt. Bachelor

If  you are traveling in Central Oregon’s high desert region, it’s safe to assume that you enjoy the sporting life. From mountain biking down hill next to waterfalls, to horseback riding, kayaking or white water rafting the Deschutes River, there is an activity to please every outdoor enthusiast. What’s better than a day spent exercising with friends or family? Nothing beats a spa treatment to end a perfect day – or jump-start a morning.

Relax and renew at Sage Springs Spa

With its warm ambiance and welcoming staff, Sage Springs Club and Spa captures the spirit of the high desert in Central Oregon. From the moment you step into the wood timbered building, to the reception area and the locker room, you are wrapped in the spa cocoon way of life. In fact, I felt my shoulders drop a notch and my body relax as I slipped into the plush spa robe and slippers supplied by Sage Springs.
"Sage Springs Spa"

Come in and be pampered at Sunriver Resort's Sage Springs Spa

Sage Springs Spa tour – the road to relaxation

I followed the receptionist, like an eager dog waiting for his treat, as she pointed out the private whirlpool, steam room and showers. After my time in the relaxation room, with its herb tea, soft furniture, low lights and relaxing music, I was ushered into the treatment room by Tifany LeGuyonne. Unlike the  doctor’s office, where I have to step on the scale, check my blood pressure and discuss my maladies, LeGuyonne explained the iSun detoxifying body ritual I was about to experience
Gemstone energy massage
On a prior visit to Sunriver Resort, the year before, I had tried the spa’s gemstone energy massage. It’s plants, minerals and colors are meant to re-balance the body, while the gemstone oils offer deep relaxation when partnered with Swedish massage. I’m getting more relaxed just thinking about my massage.
"Sage Srings Spa relaxation room"

Relax before the iSun detoxifying body ritual at Sage Springs Spa

iSun detoxifying body ritual at Sage Springs Spa

My body treatment began with a dry brush exfoliation, followed by an aromatherapy oil application. A quick spritz on the body is followed by a light layer of Moraccan clay rubbed into my skin to form a body mask. Cocooned in warm blankets, I drift off to la-la land while LeGuyonne gives me a relaxing scalp massage. All too soon, the mask is removed using warm towels that have been steamed.   LeGuyonne finishes my 80 minute treatment with a quick massage and gently drapes the Spa robe over my shoulders with the familiar suggestion to keep myself hydrated – an important reminder in this high desert atmosphere – and tells me to take my time getting dressed.
I could have taken a nap in the treatment room. Instead, I obligingly put on my robe and headed for the steam room, before a quick shower and dip in the hydrotherapy spa.
Insider Tips:
Arrive at least 30 minutes early to take advantage of all Sage Springs Spa has to offer.  Leave your cell phone behind; no one wants to be reminded of the outside world in a spa environment.   The cost of my 80 minute iSun detoxifying body ritual was $185.
"Sage Springs Spa"

Sage Springs Club and Spa offers gemstone massage that will rock your world

If You Go:

Sage Springs Club and Spa

(541) 593-7891

Sunriver, OR 97707

Related Posts:

Relaxed and Grounded at Sage Springs Spa

Things to Do in Sunriver, Oregon

Sage Springs Spa review and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown, who visited August 2012. Mt. Bachelor photo courtesy of Sunriver Resort’s Facebook page.

As is typical in the travel industry, the author received a complimentary spa treatment during her visit.