Best of The US: Peach Picking in Aurora, Oregon

I had never picked my own peaches before until I spent a year living in Oregon. Picking peaches always seemed like a fantasy date activity: walking through the orchard on a hot summer day holding hands and choosing the perfect fruit.

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In reality, peach picking was more fun and dream-like that I had ever fantasized about. The air smelled thick and sweet and the branches hung heavily with peaches, waiting for us to pick them and take a juicy bite of their delicious fruit. Continue reading

Best of the US: Rattlesnake Lake, North Bend, Washington

Rattlesnake Ridge and Rattlesnake Lake are part of the Cedar River Municipal Watershed just east of Seattle, Washington. Growing up with this beautiful natural spot in my backyard was quite a treat. The Ridge provides an excellent hike with incredible panoramic views including a picturesque mountaintop boulder to sit and rest mid-hike.

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Rattlesnake Ridge

Rattlesnake Ridge gets its name from the shape of the mountain. If you look at Rattlesnake Ridge from the side, it looks like a long curvature of a snake squiggling across the horizon. If you want, the Ridge provides a hike all along the ridge, a longer hike that definitely will take  the full day. The more popular hike is about 1 1/2 and isn’t too steep or hard. It is very popular, especially on weekends, so go early! Continue reading