Tips To Make Sure The Rest of Your Summer Is One To Remember

(Photo: Angela Scott)

Summer is about to start winding down, but there are still plenty of hot days coming up to get the most out of your break. Whether you are taking classes, working, or both, it’s essential to get outside and enjoy the Northwest at its finest. These are the hot days and warm nights that you’ll miss when the cold winter rains have set in, and you find yourself reminiscing about grilling up a burger after a swim in the lake. Here is a list of summer essentials to help you get the most out of the final days of the season.

Outdoor Fire Pit

If you have a backyard or a community garden, it’s a great idea to have a place that your family and friends can all be brought together. With a screen occupying a lot of our time, we can use a fire pit to bring us back to our roots as a tribe gathered around a flame.
There are many options to bring this enjoyment to your house. You can pick up a fire pit at many stores, or you can find a lot of diy projects on pinterest or youtube. If you go with the diy option, using an old washing machine drum can provide a cheap and fun project. The drum offers good ventilation and high walls to help control of the fire, keeping you and your community safe.

A Favorite Swimming Hole

It was almost in the hundreds most of last week. That means you need to find water, and fast. Sometimes driving out 45 minutes to the nearest lake isn’t going to cut it. Our area is blessed with many other options, such as the Mary’s River, The Willamette River, The Santiam River, and a bunch of other tributaries that feed into these.
Location will probably help you in deciding your favorite spot, because an important part is that you go often. Many popular spots will fill up in the evening and on weekends, so hitting it in the morning for a quick wake up is sometimes the best option. If you have a dog that swims, they’ll thank you for the exercise.
If you live in Corvallis, Avery Park offers a few swimming holes that are within walking distance of downtown. An afternoon spent down by the river can be followed up with a burger either grilled by yourself in the park, or you can meander across the river and visit many of the brew pubs downtown. Sky High Brewery has a rooftop with fire pits and an amazing view of Corvallis. If you catch it at sunset it can be a great place to relax and soak up the last rays of sun.
For a longer day out on the water, floating down the Willamette River through Corvallis can be a great way to spend it. If you get in on the south end of Willamette Park in Corvallis, you can get out at the Old Spaghetti Factory. It only takes an hour or so, which means you can even get a relaxing evening out of it if you decide to float after work.
There are plenty of spots close to Corvallis or Albany, so don’t feel like you need to drive out to Foster Lake or Green Peter Reservoir to get a water fix.

(Photo: Sarah Melcher) To get the most of your glamping trip, pack an outdoor rug and battery-powered twinkle lights to make your campsite feel cozy.

Grilled Food

It’s fast, easy, and amazing. There are so many options when it comes to creating a meal on the grill. If you are a vegetarian, vegan, or anything in between it’s impossible not to love the ease and flavor that grilling food can bring to the table.
When it comes to making food for a large group of people, grilling is always the easiest thing to do. It’s no wonder we find ourselves around a grill in the summertime with our family and friends. Grilling can also give us the option of location. If you want to get out of town for a day, or you are hanging out at your local park on a Sunday, all you need to do is pack a cooler and some briquets and you’re ready to go.

A Coast Trip

One nice thing about living in the Willamette Valley is our proximity to the Oregon Coast. Even when fires rage inland, making breathing difficult, and pollination from our billion grass seed farms makes living a challenge, the coast doesn’t lose its ability to drown out worries and air pollution with a salty breeze.
Options for a coast trip are as limited as your imagination. You can make a short-day trip out of it, surfing in the morning on South Beach, shopping in the quaint little shops in Newport, then ending back at the beach with some fresh crab from the South Beach Fish Market and a fire.
It’s also an option to make a multi-day trip out of it. There are good sections of the Pacific Coast Trail that stretch along the coast, as well as other trails that have an option for camping.
A recommended coast trip includes a three-hour drive to Seaside, hiking up the Tillamook Head Trail National Recreation Trail, and seeing the sunset drop below the Pacific from a perch on a hundred-foot cliff. The trail is well travelled but has a couple sections of steep switchbacks. At the top of the trail, about 5 miles in, there are a few shelters that offer four sleeping areas each. It’s best to get there earlier in the day to scoop up a spot, but even if you get there later in the evening, if you pack a tent, you will have plenty of room to pitch it.

%d bloggers like this: