It's not too early...

It's not too early to make your plans for the holidays! 

9 days until Thanksgiving
28 days until Hannukah begins
41 days until Christmas
and 47 days until NEW YEAR'S EVE! 

We're not supposed to have favorites, but NYE is totally one of our favorite holidays at Wanderlust Tours. Our annual Bonfire on the Snow on the night of the 31st is a night we look forward to all year long. We love the stillness of the night air, the anticipation of all things new, the festive celebration (with champagne of course), and the time spent around the fire with loved ones. It is truly magical to find yourself up in the mountains on a cool night, gazing at the stars or watching fresh snow fall. It's a night like no other and we would love for you and your family to join us. 

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The Oregon Coast

Each spring and fall our staff leaves Bend for a couple days of adventure together. This fall, we packed our bags (and kayaks of course!) on November 1st and headed for the coast. As you can never be fully sure with the coast, we didn't know exactly what kind of weather to expect. We located a 6 mile stretch of Drift Creek where we wanted to paddle. We took 5 kayaks and a canoe and gear to keep us warm. It turned out to be the most beautiful afternoon! The weather was good to us and provided blue skies, light winds, and the rain waited until we were off the river. We were greeted at almost every turn with Chinook Salmon swimming upstream as we floated down. Huge Chinook Salmon. They were quite the sight (and smell). 

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Alsea River Salmon

On day two of the trip, we took a hike at the Harris Ranch Trail. *We highly recommend it!* We meandered three miles downhill and made our way to another stretch of the Alsea. The landscape in a lush coastal forest is so very different from our central Oregon mountain trails. We stopped often examining leaves, searching for salamanders, and admiring the many shades of green all around. 


While the rain had held off for most of the day, it finally started to downpour on our last mile. But what trip to the coast would be complete without a little rain?

Our next adventure took us to a stunning section of rocky beach covered in every kind of shell, sea anemone, and rock formation. We had so much fun finding crabs and sea stars, marveling at all of the intricate details on each part of the ocean family.  

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For our last day of the journey we planned to go crabbing! None of us had ever been before and knew almost nothing about it. We rented boats and traps from Dock of the Bay where they gave very brief instructions and sent us out on our way. We used mink (has anyone heard of using mink as bait?!) in our traps and dropped them in various places throughout the bay. They suggested leaving our traps in the water for about 25-30 minutes each. Each time you pulled up a net full of crabs, you had to check their sex and size. Per Oregon law, you are only allowed to keep male crabs that are over 6". After three hours of casting our nets and pulling up bucket-fulls of crabs, we headed back to shore. They are kind enough to cook and clean your crabs on site at Dock of the Bay! Some of our staff even enjoyed eating the hearts (which are star shaped) and learning how to clean the crabs themselves.


We made our way back to Bend to find that winter had finally arrived with snow on the ground and a winter coolness in the air. Thanks for letting us close down the office to enjoy some time exploring Oregon! And because we want you to have a great time when you plan your next trip to the coast, check out the Ames House Airbnb where we stayed!

Photos by our guides Chaney and Danny. 

Intermountain West

Have you ever heard of a cold desert? Do you know what kind of landscape lies east of Bend? Read on to learn about Dave's recent exploration.

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Fall in the region known as the “Intermountain West” is completely enriching. This area is defined by geographic boundaries surrounding the Great Basin Desert. It is a vast landscape characterized by volcanic mountain ranges separated by deep basins which hold desert overtures. This desert is, however, a cold desert which means if it precipitates it falls in the form of snow rather than rain. It is the United State’s only cold desert. So, the mountain ranges collect wonderful snow in the winter which come spring naturally melts and tumbles down canyons in the mountainside dug over millennia. These canyons deposit the water into the basins, which by definition and practicality, does not dispense into the ocean. It evaporates or seeps into the porous earth below. Those canyons, in the riparian zone- that is where the creek or river flows, are, in the fall, lined with breathtaking beauty in the form of willow, red osier dogwood, aspen, larch and other wonderful deciduous plants and trees. The Intermountain West becomes a palette of stunning colors. This beauty lies just east of Bend. We are fortunate for such wonder in Oregon!

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