Mount Hood

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The city of Portland, Oregon stands in the shadow of an imposing mountain. The name of that mountain is Mount Hood.

In the winter, Mount Hood is a lovely place for skiing and snowboarding. But in the summer, it’s a nice place to go for a hike.

Jenifer DeLemont, Hiking

There are trails all over the mountain.

And, if you go to the ski resort, you can take the chair lift up to the summit to enjoy the view from the top.

It’s a long and windy drive, but it’s well worth it for the views. I highly recommend it as a place to hike.

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Bagby Hot Springs

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These days it’s not so important to give directions when you talk about a place, because all of that is online now. I know that the US Forest Service gives better directions than me, so that is the best way to find Bagby Hot Springs.

Jenifer DeLemont, Bagby Hot Springs

So what does that leave me to do? Just provide insider information, I guess.

First, bring a blanket and a picnic because halfway up there is a waterfall and pond where you want to spend some time. It’s a really beautiful spot, and it would be a shame to just tromp over the bridge and keep going towards the springs without pause.

Second, bring a bathing suit for the springs. It’s not so much ponds that you can get it (which is what I pictured.) Instead it’s water from hot springs piped into wooden shacks with tubs inside. So, maybe bring wasp spray too if it’s a warm day.

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Most importantly: Write the directions down. There is no cell phone reception out in the forest, and my saved map on my phone from Google wouldn’t load. I was so thankful that I wrote the directions down so that we didn’t have to drive back into cell phone reception just to get them.

I had been in South Korea for a few years, and so I had forgotten that there were places that didn’t have cell reception. But Bagby Hot Springs is one, so take care.

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By the way, the swimming hole along the way was very cold (in May) but still wonderful. I think I liked it better than the Hot Spring water. It was very deep with smooth rocks at the bottom and some beautiful small waterfalls.

A Year in Oregon

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As you know (if you read my blog) I was in South Korea from January of 2010 to March of 2013. I had a great time teaching there.

After that, I moved to Oregon to visit family from 2014 to 2015. These are some pictures from my year in Oregon, before I moved to Guam.

cannon beach gallery

The art galleries at Cannon Beach are amazing. I love art, and although I don’t buy pieces very much, I enjoy just looking at it. It’s like getting an insight into the mind of another person for a moment.

art in cannn beach

For example, this person saw a canvas and thought it would be three dimensional, so they added sand and rocks to the painting.

I think it’s interesting that many people look at the same thing, and they can all see something different.

bought a piece

In this case, I actually did buy a piece. I really enjoy metal sculptures. I saw this, and I couldn’t help getting it.

Of course the best part of Cannon Beach is going over to Seaside and listening to the waves.


Sea grass always looks so amazing to me. I am not sure why.

I guess because my dad’s parents had a painting of the Oregon Coast on the wall in their living room, and I always liked to look at it and imagine myself there.


I love painting that you feel like you can walk into. And it’s amazing to go to the place where the painting was done, and walk into it in real life.

Plus, there’s something about a cold beach that is so refreshing.

oregon coast beach view
I liked to bring an old Navajo blanket and sit on it, watching the kids play in the water and splash around.

Plus, the Oregon coast has so many cool rock formations to enjoy.

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I love the west coast. I know that the east coast has more history (well, white history) than we do.

However, Oregon has a lot more too it than just the beaches at the coast!


I went to a pumpkin patch in the Fall, which was something I really missed when I was in South Korea.

Pumpkin patches and hay rides are such an American thing, as is Thanksgiving and turkey.

And of course, we have Christmas traditions too, because we spend it with family instead of as a “date night” like they do in Korea.

ginger bread houses

And then, of course, there is spring.

I went to a tulip festival at the Wooden Shoe Farm, which was a new experience for me.

tulip festival

It was really beautiful, and I had the “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” song stuck in my head the whole day.

tulip close up
Then there was berry picking out at the farms on Sauvie Island.

Koreans don’t consider raspberries to be food because there is a poisonous berry in Korea that looks very similar. I really missed them while I was away!

berry picking
Plus, it’s just nice to be out in farm country. I like the outdoors, and farms are somehow comforting to me.

When I was very young, my parents and I lived in Northern California on a small farm. We moved to Arizona before I started Middle School and Arizona is “home.”

cabbage patch

But, I do love farms. It reminds me of a childhood spent dragging bails of hay to the horses before school and learning to mow the pasture and the yard.

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The hiking is wonderful as well. I went everywhere I could, from Babgy Hot Springs to Silver Falls, and everything in between.

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Actually, there were waterfalls all over Oregon that are quite stunning.

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Sometimes I wasn’t even looking for one, and just came upon one.

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Other times I went out of my way to see them, like my trips to Multnomah Falls, which is a beautiful spot.

me at multnomah falls
I think the hikes in the Columbia River Gorge, like the hike to Punchbowl Falls, were my favorites in all of Oregon.

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On some of the trails, I was surprised to find rocks stacked up in the same way that you find them outside Buddhist temples.

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I am always surprised by the beauty of nature, and I find that it is healing to the soul.

But of course, I am a city girl in my heart. I love to visit nature, but I also love to be able to go buy eggs at 2am. It sounds weird, but that’s how I am.

And as far as cities, Portland is a great one.

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I loved the International Rose Test Garden, the Shakespeare Garden, and the Japanese Gardens.


I did get rained on a lot. It’s absolutely true that it rains all the time in Portland. However, that really doesn’t keep it from being beautiful.

japanese gardens

Besides, when it’s usually rainy, we enjoy the sunshine that much more. It’s special.

shakspear garden

Of course, Portland isn’t all gardens. It’s also a big city full of clubs, bars, restaurants, businesses, and everything else.


I think the most famous place in Portland might be Voodoo Donuts. Locals will tell you that Blue Star Donuts is better, and maybe it is.

bacon maple bar

But for me, I like a Bacon Maple Bar from Voodoo donuts on the rare occasion that I want sugar.

Definitely try out The Tardis Room, and  eat all the food. Food is the best part of travel, after all!

And if you’re ever in Oregon, send me an email and I will suggest places to see.

A Book!


Some of you may remember Choose Your Own Adventure Stories from when you were younger. They were quite popular when I was little, and I loved them because they helped me to feel more engaged in the story.

Well, now Dave Strand (of the band the Strand) has written an Audio Book App for iPhones and iPads which will allow you to relive the awesome media of Choose Your Own Adventure. Instead of having to read the story (who has time for that any more?) the books are all audio, so that you can enjoy them in your car or while you work on other things. After all, it’s so rare these days to be able to sit down and just read a book, but how much time to you spend biking or riding to work?

So the App Dave wrote is called Multi-Path Audio Books, and you should definitely download it! I thought it was such a great idea that I volunteered to write a story for it. I must admit, with a background in journalism, fiction did not come easily to me. And of course, it’s not so easy to write a story with one beginning and 30 different endings.

To write the story, I actually had to use my entire laundry room as a story board, because while most people can use a simple diagram to keep track of the story lines, I needed to print every single section and tape it to my walls, so that I could read each thread of the story over again before writing the next part.

It was certainly an adventure!

I really enjoyed writing the story once I decided to set it in Portland and use my family members and friends as characters. I do hope they will forgive me, but I think it’s an expression of how much I miss the place and the people since my husband was deployed to Guam. There really is no place like Portland, and no one as cool as my family (again, sorry guys!)

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So, the story is called The Vampire’s Sister. It is a goofy detective novel full of vampires who do not sparkle in the sunlight. I hope that you guys will consider downloading it when it comes out mid-March 2015. I’m really very excited about it, and I think that even though it is cheesy, you’ll have fun playing it.

I’d like to thank every D&D group I ever played with, because without you guys I know I would never have had the guts to try my hand at fiction or Choose Your Own Adventure.

I have never considered myself to be a creative person. As a journalist I wrote about wonderful artists, musicians, dancers, etc. As an events coordinator with Third Eye Promotions I booked amazing bands and DJs. But I always considered myself the one to write about the creative types, rather than to be one myself. But I guess people change…

Please take a look into Multi-Path Audio Books and check out The Vampire’s Sister if you can. I really, really hope you guys will like it.

Thank you!