View the Gorge from Angel’s Rest

Angels Rest Gorge View This is from one of the many viewpoints along the trail when you hike up to Angel’s Rest in Oregon. It’s just one of the many beautiful Columbia River Gorge day hikes.

It’s a fairly easy hike and the views up top are great! On a clear day, you can see up and down the Columbia River for miles.

On this particular trip, it rained about half the way up. So the other wise impressive views were obscured by clouds and fog.

Be sure to visit nearby Multnomah Falls, the tallest waterfall in Oregon. If you are in decent shape and get an early start you can easily do both of these scenic hikes.

Getting There

Simply follow I-84 East from Portland, Oregon until you see the sign for the Bridal Veil exit and follow the Historic Columbia River Highway until you see the signs.

Waterfall Angels Rest

About a third of the way up, just before you cross a small bridge, this little waterfall will be on your left.

Visiting Hoover Dam and Hiking the Mojave

Hoover Damn Nevada Arizona - Travellistic My first trip out of the Las Vegas, Nevada area included Hoover Dam and the Mojave National Preserve. I also swung by some sites of importance for Fallout: New Vegas fans, such as Nipton, a sign for Cottonwood Cove, Primm and Buffalo Bill’s hotel with its famous roller coaster (known as Bison Steve’s in Fallout: New Vegas).

Hoover Dam, like Lake Mead, is very close to Las Vegas. So, not surprisingly, there were a lot of people there. The dam itself is a pretty amazing feat of engineering but it actually wasn’t as big as I expected. All I could think about while I walked along the road on top was – how cool would it be to Australian rappel down this! It also made me think of the James Bond flick GoldenEye when Bond bungee jumps off of the Verzasca Dam in Switzerland (which normal people can now do).

Hoover Dam Sign at Border - Travellistic

Another cool thing about this trip is that I was able to hike out near Cima Dome, so California is now added to the growing list of states I’ve hiked in (I’m aiming for all 50). I saw deer, some little squirrels and a huge colony of ants. No Ant Man though, gotta wait for the movie. The Mojave National Preserve is home to the largest forest of Joshua Trees.

Joshua Trees Mojave National Preserve

One thing that I really liked about being out in the Mojave was how quiet it was. Other than my breathing and a light breeze, it was dead silent. Very relaxing.

Mojave National Preserve

Walking Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park

Bad Water Basin salt water sunset The main picture here is the setting sun at Badwater Basin, the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere at 282 feet below sea level.

I kept thinking what a strangely beautiful place it was out there. Everyone wants to know how hot it was. Make no mistake, it felt like an oven and the boisterous wind only served to dry us to the bone. For the area though, it actually wasn’t too hot. When I checked, it was right around 102 degrees, the same as what we had been getting in Las Vegas.

Other than a wide, smooth path created by people walking, the basin wasn’t the flat, tile-shaped blocks of salt and earth that I expected. In many places, the ground was all rough and broken up. However, it is quite possible I was simply in the wrong area for those pristine shots of the honeycomb-shaped flats.

Hills Surrounding Badwater Basin

After walking out on the flats, my friends and I decided we should head to the sand dunes. According to the National Park Service brochure, the dunes could reach as high as 120 feet. When we arrived the sun had already set. We walked the dunes barefoot, enjoying the warm sand and the expansive view of the stars. But we never found any big dunes and lacking flashlights we didn’t venture too far out.

The sky was stunning though. I may have seen more stars than when I lived in Kalispell, Montana but in Death Valley there was nothing to obstruct the view.

If you ever get the opportunity, check out Death Valley National Park. It was a blast.

Tim at Badwater Basin in Death Valley

Badwater Basin Death Valley

Climbing 1.6 km of Stairs to N Seoul Tower (N 서울타워)

N Seoul Tower Namsan - Travellistic N Seoul Tower (aka – Namsan Tower) is the most recognizable landmark in Seoul. At night it’s even more spectacular.

This was my first trip to Seoul and my first time on the subway. My only prior experience with subways was in Washington, DC and I’d say the subway here is just as easy to navigate. Just grab a free route map at the ticket booth and you’re good to go. I used my T-Money card to pay the fare (roughly 2,000 Won) from Sadang Station to Myeon-dong Station where I got off.

From the metro station, I just walked in the direction of Namsan where I could see Seoul Tower peeking through the buildings. Once I got to the base of the mountain, it was a mere 1.6 km (1-mile) of stairs to the summit, a water vending machine (1,000 Won), and Seoul Tower (N 서울타워).

Despite being a tourist destination, it’s not terribly overpriced. You have to buy a ticket to take the elevator up to the Observation Deck which is 9,000 Won per person. There are package deals for couples.

Feeling hungry? No problem. There are several places to eat, buy snacks, or get dessert at Cold Stone Creamery.

Visiting N Seoul Tower

The view of Seoul from the Observation Deck is impressive. I bet it’s even more beautiful at night. On the windows are the names of cities in that direction and the distance they are from Seoul. After strolling around, you can send a postcard from the world’s highest post office. Post cards run about 2,200 Won and international stamps run 400 Won.

If you visit Namsan with your sweetheart, you can attach a lock to one of the love trees or the fence at the base of the tower. It’s similar to the bridge in Paris, France but I don’t think you toss your key into the forest.

Need More Details?

Check out the Visit Korea site.

Thanks for reading!

Love Locks at Seoul Namsan Tower - Travellistic

Visiting Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon, South Korea

Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon South Korea South Korea is full of interesting and historic sites. From Buddhist temples to royal palaces, burial grounds, and even the modern Seoul Tower. One of the more historic sites is Hwaseong Fortress, about 30-minutes south of Seoul in Suwon.

Hwaseong is one of South Korea’s 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the main tourist draw in Suwon.

It’s an impressive structure that was built hundreds of years ago. The wall is 5.7 km long, yet it only took about 2-years to build!

The wall has a lot of interesting features including signaling tower, crossbow platforms, massive gates, and a giant bell atop a small mountain.

Take a look at some of what you’ll see when you arrive.

Exploring Hwaseong Fortress

There is also a history museum that you can check out plus you can walk around the palace building to see where the King hung out.

Price: 1,000 Won ticket (put the sticker on your shirt), the Palace and Museum are extra)
Transportation: Take Bus #13 From Suwon Station/AK Plaza (about 1,000 Won)