My Tinnitus Article

Above is the photo of a very proud, very excited woman, holding the most challenging and rewarding article she’s ever written (so far).

I’m going to talk about that article soon. But first, I think you all need some background.

In February 2014, I lost the ability to experience silence.

To put it less dramatically, I developed tinnitus. It’s a medical condition that produces a sound in your ears only you can hear- a ringing, a hissing, a buzzing, a murmuring.

For some people, it’s temporary. It’s the ringing in your ears after a night at a loud concert. For others, it’s permanent. It can occur after you catch a cold, or develop an ear infection. There are dozens of reasons why someone develops permanent, or chronic, tinnitus. I’m one of those people.

According to the American Tinnitus Association, about 50 million people in the United States experience tinnitus. 2 million suffer through “extreme and debilitating” cases. That’s akin to a roaring train, or a blaring fire alarm, trapped in your head.

Tinnitus can lead to depression and anxiety, or make mental health conditions worse if you already have them. Severe cases can lead to suicide.

When I first developed tinnitus, it was a struggle to adapt to my new normal. My life was a chaotic mess of anxiety, a common feeling for many people immediately after they develop the condition. The loss of silence is something so nebulous and strange, it was hard to process. Lots of sleepless nights, and worry, and wondering if it could get better.

My tinnitus didn’t get better, but I did. Four years later, I still have the condition, but I’ve learned to manage it and live a very happy, healthy life. My tinnitus is close to background noise now, but it’s never quite left my mind.

I’ve never been able to forget how alone I felt when I first developed it. I know there are other people who were in the same place I was four years ago.

That’s why, in September, I reached out to the American Tinnitus Association, a national non-profit that publishes a quarterly magazine, Tinnitus Today.

Eight months later, I’m incredibly happy and proud to present my article in their Spring 2018 edition, “Pursuing Dreams, Life, and Joy…Despite Tinnitus”. It’s on page 26. In case you want to read it. Hint, hint.

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I wanted to tell my candid story, how tinnitus has affected my life, and how I’ve coped with it after four years. Writing this article brought back tough memories I had long buried, but it was absolutely worth it. I can’t thank the American Tinnitus Association enough for giving me a chance to tell my story.

And…that’s that. I’ve bared (part of) my soul, and I’m feeling happy and proud and nineteen different other things. It would mean the world to me if you read my article. Pass it on if you know someone with tinnitus.

As I’ve said before, if I make one person feel less alone, it was worth it.

Click here to see more of my published writing. If you’d like me to write for your publication or website, send me a note!

Ellen Eats: Vengan Pa’ Ka

The first few times I drove past Vengan Pa’ Ka, the name tricked me.

It’s a sleek food truck painted a glossy dark gray, posted up in downtown Eugene’s park blocks. The gold splash of a garlic bulb decorates the side, and over it, in thick white brushstroke, is the name.

VEGAN PA’ KA.

Wait. No.

Vengan Pa’ Ka.

My curiosity grew with every trip past the truck. Was the name some kind of subliminal messaging? What did it mean? Was I obsessing over this too much?

Yes, but that’s just me. And thankfully, the owner of Vengan Pa’ Ka, Juan Umaña, didn’t think it was weird when I asked to profile his food truck on my blog.

So when I finally got to ask him about the name, I realized while I might be weird and obsessed, I wasn’t technically wrong.

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Owner Juan Umaña and his food truck, Vengan Pa’ Ka

The name Vengan Pa’ Ka is a trick of the eye doing triple duty, an optical illusion that represents the food truck’s diverse menu.

Juan explained the meaning behind the name when I visited the truck earlier this winter.

Vengan is a Spanish verb, meaning “to come”.

Pa’ Ka is Caribbean street slang, derived from the phrase para acá, meaning “over here”.

Hence the name Vengan Pa’ Kacome over here, and try delicious vegan food inspired by Juan’s multicultural background. The name is a celebration of the life he’s chosen to live, where he came from, and the Spanish and Southeast Asian flavor of the menu.

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Vengan Pa’ Ka’s winter and spring menu. If you stop by three months from now, chances are it won’t look the same. The menu changes with the seasons.

Juan’s vision for Vengan Pa’ Ka isn’t just about the finished dish. He cares deeply about where his ingredients come from, trying to source his produce from local businesses and farms as close to the truck as possible. The truck’s slogan reflects that idea: “Street food with a conscience”.

“I wanted to make sure I had a menu that resembled seasonality and the produce that grows here,” Juan said, “showcasing unique and individual ingredients and letting them do the talking.”

Perhaps the best example of that is the Winter Stir Fry, a traditional rice noodle stir fry filled with almost every winter vegetable you could possibly think of.

Celeriac. Kale Sprouts. Cabbage. Rainbow carrots. Mushrooms. Sautéed red potatoes. Ginger red onions, a favorite garnish at the food truck. All tossed on the griddle, sizzling with sesame oil and tamari.

My soul felt a little warmer when I grabbed one of the offered eco-friendly wooden forks, popped open the cardboard take-out box, and chowed down on a delicious, filling stir fry that is completely vegan. To me, it’s kind of the “have your cake, eat it too” mentality.

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And I know that’s a nasty stereotype following vegan food, no matter how many creative chefs defy it- the idea that vegan food is a leaf of spinach, or a single, tasteless block of tofu. It’s an ignorant, lazy stereotype that Vengan Pa’ Ka absolutely blasts out of the water.

The food truck serves lighter options, like mint-beet soup, but there are plenty of filling meals on the menu, like the winter stir fry. What doesn’t change is that all of the dishes are plant-based.

“The showcase always has to be the vegetables,” Juan said.

Juan usually doesn’t replicate animal products in his dishes, which is a vegan phenomenon growing in popularity- cashew cheese, seitan bacon, almond milk yogurt. But he makes an exception when he’s whipping up cultural food that relies on those dairy and meat-based components.

He has a few signature ingredients that make me appreciate how creative vegan cooking can be- like carrot bacon, made from thinly sliced rainbow carrots seasoned with tamari and liquid smoke, fried on the griddle.

But the one that impressed me the most was the cheese sauce.

Yes. Vegan nacho cheese sauce for vegan nachos.

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An unholy vegan delight

For the nachos, Juan slices up a corn tortilla and throws the pieces into the fryer to crisp up into thick, fresh chips. While the tortilla chips are bubbling away, a mix of mashed, spiced pinto beans, mushrooms and celeriac go on the griddle.

The nachos are listed on the menu as a side, but for me, they’re big enough for a meal- and just as satisfying. Freshly made chips pilled with the pinto bean mix, cilantro, ginger red onions, and blistered pieces of Anaheim pepper. All smothered with a generous helping of the vegan cheese sauce, of course.

It’s what he calls his “smoked Goodahh” sauce, although it’s potato-based and features absolutely no dairy. It’s uncanny how close it tastes to actual gouda cheese. Witchcraft!

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Clawing at the sandwich like it’s my lifeline

The last menu item I sampled is tough to photograph, I’ll admit. If you want a better view of it, check out the video at the top. For now, you’ll have to settle for my punch-drunk smile, doped up on badass vegan food.

Lovingly wrapped up in that wax paper bundle is the Vengan Pa’ Ka Portobello Melt, a sandwich that reaffirmed my love for giant mushrooms.

It’s a sandwich comprised of a sliced-up portobello cap, slow soaked in tamari marinade and sizzled up on the grill, resting on a mix of red veined sorrel and red mustard greens. The sandwich is topped with carrot bacon and ginger red onions, coated with the vegan cheese sauce, and served on toasted ciabatta.

In layman’s terms, Vengan Pa’ Ka is the bomb.com. Juan clearly puts thought and care into not just the dishes, but the ingredients themselves and the overall impact of the food truck. There is truly something about knowing you’re not just eating great food- you’re eating great food that’s locally sourced, that has passion behind it, that’s kind and sustainable.

But, that’s just my two cents. If you really want to find out what’s up with Vengan Pa’ Ka, you’ll have to try it yourself. What I’m saying is…

Vegan pa’ka to Vengan Pa’ Ka.


Got another food truck you want me to feature? Have other ideas for my blog? Comment on this post, or head over to the contact page.

Interested in other delicious foods in Eugene? I’ve got you covered.

And follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more shenanigans.

5 Things to Read, Watch and Eat in February

January was a busy month- besides talking with Oregon Public Broadcasting, I watched a lot of movies, read a lot of books, and ate constantly. I thought I could put my winter hibernation activities to good use and recommend some reads, flicks and eats. Enjoy!

Read/ListenSabriel (read by Tim Curry)

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As an awkward tween with two missing teeth and an affinity for fanfiction, I wasn’t particularly discerning with what I read. If it was in front of me and had pages, I’d generally pick it up- although there was one book that never quite caught my attention. Sabriel, by Garth Nix.

That is, until I was perusing the internet one day and found a list of recommended audiobooks. To my surprise, the top pick was Sabriel…read by Tim Curry.

Sabriel never succeeded in wooing me, but Tim Curry sure did. I grew up with Muppets Treasure Island, okay?

I took the plunge, and I’m glad I did. Sabriel is now one of my favorite YA fantasy books, mainly thanks to Tim Curry’s amazing narration. Every character is lovingly captured in Curry’s voice, from the snarking sidekick cat character to the quiet, serious protagonist. Give it a listen!

Watch: The Shape of Water

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This movie is about a human woman and a fish creature falling in love.

I wanted to get that out of the way ASAP, because a heartfelt movie about interspecies romance ain’t for everyone. Much like your peanut butter preference- smooth vs crunchy- this concept produces strong opinions. I like extra crunchy peanut butter and weird, whimsical movies about fish-people love. Some folks don’t. C’est la vie!

I’m also a diehard fan of the director, Guillermo Del Toro. He could make a movie about a potato and I’d see it.

That being said, if you’re a person with a mind for magic, an affinity for whimsy, and a tolerance for fishy love, please go see this movie. It’s an absolutely beautiful film with a huge heart. It’s one of my favorites of all time, which I guess says something about me, but, whatever. Fantastic score, immensely charming characters, and Michael Shannon insults my hometown. Wowza!

WatchDear Stephanie Meyer

Ah, Twilight.

Similar to The Shape of Water in that it involves a forbidden, interspecies romance. Different in that it does not involve fish-people, and was lambasted by everyone you knew in the early 2000s.

But this YouTube video posits: perhaps everyone who snarked Twilight could’ve been a little nicer, more understanding of teenage girls’ interests.

Lindsay Ellis looks back on the dumpster fire that was book snobbery in the 2000s, and analyzes why exactly people hated the Twilight fandom so vehemently. Ellis’s video casts a much-needed critical eye on how we as a society view female interests, and what we choose to deem “worthy” or “silly”.

Read: I Made the Cinnamon Rolls From Mario Batali’s Sexual Misconduct Apology Letter

Frustration at systemic and deep-seated oppression of women, thy name is cinnamon rolls.

When celebrity chef Mario Batali was accused of sexual harassment by four different women, he (and his PR team) released an apology letter…

…that included a recipe for Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls.

Obviously, most people thought that addition was a little…thoughtless? Tasteless? But, no piece has so clearly shown the ridiculousness behind the letter and the fury one feels reading it, quite like Geraldine DeRuiter’s blog post.

DeRuiter takes it upon herself to actually make the cinnamon rolls, describing in loving detail how horrible the recipe is, almost as horrible as the vein of harassment that continues to run throughout culture and hound women.

Eat: Black Wolf Supper Club

21369153_278438665975084_4287013324493734580_nOut with the old, in with the new. Rising from the ashes of the much loved Belly Taqueria comes a joint in downtown Eugene that knocks my socks off- Black Wolf Super Club.

Black Wolf comes from the same folks who brought you Buck Buck, another local favorite that serves deeply delicious, unhealthy food that fills both your soul and your arteries. So, when I visited Black Wolf, I knew to prepare myself for some damn good dishes.

Black Wolf serves up Southern cuisine, with a particular concentration on Creole and Cajun dishes. I’ve only spent a hot-minute in New Orleans, but their food (and drinks) made a lasting impression on me. So, at Black Wolf, I had to go for their andouille and fried chicken wing gumbo, and a massive frozen hurricane.

The gumbo was incredible. A rich stew filled with andouille sausage, sprinkled with bright green onions, crowned with a fried chicken wing. The hurricane was bang-for-your-buck-strong, but not enough to ruin the flavor- it was delightfully tart and refreshing.

I’m going to restrain myself from going back sooner, only because I care about my physical and financial health.


Got any restaurants, books or movies to recommend? Leave a comment!

And if you’ve got a story for me, or idea for my next blog post, head to the contact page. Thanks for reading!

Ringing in 2018 with Radio

Happy 2018!

I’m on vacation right now, spending time with my family and watching as much college football as humanly possibly, and humanly advisable. But I wanted to take a moment to update everyone on some things, and talk about what’s in store for the new year.

Firstly…THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to everyone who’s read, shared and contacted me about my blog post on harassment in local news. I truly didn’t expect the post to reach so many people, both in and out of the industry. I’ve met so many brave, ambitious folks who shared their stories of harassment and discussed their view of the issue. The response has been incredible, and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to share my writing and speak my mind.

Vox republished my piece in their First Person section, with some slight edits. This is my first piece published on a major website.

On January 2nd, 12pm PT, Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Think Out Loud will interview me about my blog post/Vox article. You can listen both online and on the radio.

And looking towards the future…you’ll see more blog posts in 2018! What kind? More of my longform writing, more articles, more food recommendations and book recommendations- lots of different topics. A veritable blog buffet, if you will.

Thank you again for reading and sharing. And Happy New Year!

5 Spooky Podcasts To Get You Ready for Halloween

Happy October, ghosts and ghouls! When I’m not writing about my life as a journalist, or tracking down a creepy caller, I love listening to podcasts.

And, I love all things Halloween and horror. Whether it’s paranormal pondering or true crime terror, I’m there. For my contribution to this spectacular month, I’m bringing you my five favorite petrifying podcasts.

Spooked

icon_549547848-07dc738ba003fbb91d35f0b9dfddd8508a55a8a1-s300-c85Gather ’round the campfire. Hug that blanket tighter around your neck. It’s time for some scary stories…and with Spooked, you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home!

Dingy bars, lost in time. Mysterious creatures on the US border. A forlorn ghost holed up in a house. Spooked features people from around the world, recounting their ghostly encounters and paranormal experiences. The storytelling is fantastic, the audio quality is crisp, and narrator Glynn Washington is perhaps my favorite narrator I’ve ever encountered in a podcast.

What really seals the deal for me? I’m pretty tough to scare- but this podcast had me checking under the bed before I went to sleep…

My Favorite Murder

600x600bbImagine you and your two best friends, sitting in your apartment, talking about social issues, true crime, and the drama of your lives. That’s My Favorite Murder in a nutshell!

It’s described as a “true crime comedy podcast” and hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, two witty women obsessed with crime and mystery. Each week, the ladies discuss their…favorite murders, and the stories behind them. Choice quotes include, “Stay sexy. Don’t get murdered”, and “Toxic masculinity ruins the party again!”.

Special props to Karen and Georgia’s openness about their mental health, and encouraging the destigmatization of mental illness.

Dirty John

DJ-300-300x300Dirty John is a lot of things- a terrifying look inside domestic abuse, a cautionary tale of who you can trust, a deep-dive into local journalism. But at the heart of it, it’s a story that makes the listener well-aware that monsters can take human form.

LA Times Christopher Goffard introduces you to the dramatic story of Debra Newell and John Meehan. Newell thought she met the man of her dreams- it turns out, John was more of a nightmare.

Dirty John features six articles you can read after or before you listen to each episode. They’re not required reading, but they enhance the story even further.

Last Podcast On The Left

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What do a six foot seven politician, an obsessive radio-man and a lunatic actor all have in common? A love for all things criminal, paranormal and generally odd.

Last Podcast on the Left is both incredibly informative and hilarious. Each episode, the boys of LPOTL tackle a different topic in the world of the bizarre. From the Canadian serial killer Robert Pickton, to Scientology, to Norwegian Black Metal- each episode is chock-full of information meticulously collected by the three hosts; Ben, Marcus, and Henry.

This podcast is extremely NSFW. Save your listening for in the home, on your earbuds, or in the car. And don’t go through any drive thrus if you choose the last option.

The NoSleep Podcast

logoNosleep is a website where horror writers share their short stories of the macabre and maladjusted. Many of the stories are ripe for narration- and thus, the existence of the NoSleep Podcast.

David Cummings and his merry band of talented narrators aurally illustrate stories that scare, disturb, and, once in awhile, delight. Tales of disappeared cross-continental flights, evil spirits summoned from beyond, a man desperately in need of a plumber.

This is a priced podcast- $20 for a season and hours of content. There are lots of free episodes, but I would recommend taking the plunge and buying a full season.

And hey, if you listen back far enough- you might hear a story written by yours truly


Plenty of creepy content to get you through Halloween, and beyond- because I think a little scare does a body good anytime of the year. Happy haunting, and enjoy listening!

Did I miss any of your favorite podcasts? Let me know. Comment below or contact me on my Facebook Page. You can follow me on Twitter, too.

Things I Ate On Breaking News Part 1: A Bag of Mixed Nuts Meant for Pigs

Last summer, I stood in front of the biggest fire I’ve ever seen in my life and talked about it on live television. And then I ate a handful of mixed nuts meant for farm animals.

It was a hot July evening in Oregon, but a late summer wind stirred the thick heat. I was at KVAL News, the television station I work for. It’s a little building perched up on a steep hill in the south of Eugene. The evening news shows were underway, and I was planning to slip away from the newsroom soon to enjoy the summer night- which in Oregon means sitting on a patio for 3 hours and drinking beer.

Summer is not only beer season in Oregon- it’s also fire season. The hot, dry snap of a Pacific Northwest summer mixed with blustery wind is the perfect cocktail for a stray, fiery spark from machinery; or for a forgotten cigarette butt left in the woods, to erupt into something catastrophic.

So it wasn’t a shock when we heard some chatter on our police and fire radio scanner that there was a fire out in Junction City, about 20 miles away.

Our newsroom has the luxury of an amazing view- one of the positives to being up on one of the highest hills in South Eugene. As I walked into the newsroom, I noticed people craning their necks, looking out windows. A few opened the front door, peering up at the sky. Someone aimed our station tower camera in the direction of Junction City.

A massive plume of smoke pooled into the sky, miles away, curling and billowing in the late day sun. It looked like a huge, fluffy cloud rising up from the earth.

Bounds Hay Company, a huge hay exporting company in Junction City, was on fire– and I was tapped to go.

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I zipped up an oversized caution vest that made me look like I was wearing an orange plastic bag, and then tore out of the parking lot. It was a 30 minute drive, but I followed the smoke to my destination- a yawning field of fire, lighting up the charcoal remains of a building in smoldering flames. Up close, it was vomiting thick, black smoke into the sky.

I turned onto the road that ran parallel to the farm and found myself facing a fire truck barricade yards down the road. I spotted a few other cars parked on a field nearby and veered onto a bumpy dirt farm road.

People gawked at the fire from the field I parked in. I stood next to them, gawking through my camera lens and almost knee-deep in dry, itchy grass. I was still relatively far away- aka, the correct, safe distance someone should be away from a massive factory on fire.

Obviously, I needed to get closer.

I noticed a firefighter sitting in his dusty car out on the road. He rolled down his window as I stepped up to the truck.

“How close can I get?” I asked. My camera was in one hand, tripod in the other- purse slung over one shoulder. I looked like a pack mule.

He looked at the fire, considering it. “We’re worried there could be some explosions, so…I’d recommend staying here.”

“Am I allowed to get closer?”

He gave me a look that suggested I wasn’t that bright. “I wouldn’t advise it.”

I did get closer, because his suggested assessment of me was potentially correct. A reporter from another station and I walked further into the field- the flames getting brighter; the shimmering air getting hotter- until we found a fire chief who assured us we weren’t going to be caught in an explosion anytime soon. Whew.

Miraculously, and thankfully, no one was hurt in the fire- but there was more than a million dollars in damage done to the property, with about one-thousand tons of hay burned up to a crisp.

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Thankfully, the fire chief understood our reporterly desire to get closer to the fire. He was going to let us follow him…even closer to the fire.

A photographer I work with, Emily, met us before we left with the fire chief. We jumped into our news car and followed the chief down the long strip of road hugging the farm. I remember passing right by the massive wall of flames, feeling the car window get hot under my hand.

We turned a corner and suddenly we were off the road- wheels bumping on the hard dirt and tall grass. As we followed the chief’s big pickup truck, my eyes were wide.

We followed him into a field bordering the fire, jerking the wheel to avoid divots in the dirt that could mean bad news for our news car. The fire reared up on the horizon like a sunset, and the chief pulled his car to a stop about 200 feet away from the wall of flames.

We reached our destination.

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I stepped out of the car, grass crunching under my feet. The sky was dark and a cool breeze picked up on the air, but the ambient heat of the fire kept us warm.

I thought I would be terrified standing next to a massive fire that could potentially light up the field I was standing on, but I was weirdly calm. The chief assured us it was safe, and I trusted him.

After hours of action and uncertainty, we were at a lull- this was our camp for now, the place we would go live from for the 11pm news. In the sudden stillness, the fire a dull roar behind me, I suddenly realized something…I was starving.

I hadn’t eaten anything in 12 hours, and for someone who is constantly eating, that is an impressive fasting period.

I asked Emily if she had any snacks. She frowned and thought for a moment, slowly shaking her head- and then, her face brightened.

“I think I have something!” She set down her camera gear and went to the car, rooting around in the backseat as my blood sugar continued to drop. I would’ve literally eaten the grass at that moment if I didn’t think it would’ve made me sick.

She ran back over, a big Ziploc bag of mixed nuts in her hand. At that moment, she looked like an angel sent from heaven.

I grabbed a handful and munched on them happily. Sweet, sweet sustenance. As we set up for our liveshot, chatting about nothing, I asked Emily if she kept the mixed nuts for emergencies.

“Oh,” she said, “I was actually on a story and I met a farmer. He gave them to me. He said he ordered the nuts for his pigs, but ended up not wanting to give the nuts to them. So I got them.”

I regarded the mixed nuts in my hand for a moment, unsure of how I should feel about eating mixed nuts originally meant for pigs. I wanted to be disgusted, but…they were so good, and I was so hungry.

“He said they’re fine for humans,” she added, probably noticing the sudden alarm plastered on my face.

While I appreciated the reassurance, at that point? I honestly didn’t care. Emily and I had tromped around in fields all day under the flickering eye of an ever-looming fire. I was dead tired, sunburned, and smelled like smoke. At that moment, those weird pig mixed nuts were a 5-course meal.

I grabbed another handful from the bag.

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This is the first part of my new post series, “Things I Ate on Breaking News”. I’ll look back at some of the most impactful stories I’ve covered, and how I remember them through food.

You can like me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter!

A Visit to Blue Pool

The Tamolitch Falls Blue Pool is remarkable.

A glance at the photo above, and you’ll understand why. It is literally a hidden gem on the McKenzie River Trail, a shimmering pool of brilliant, topaz water. You first come upon it from above- a sudden oasis in the forest around you, a shock of color against the rich green and brown of Oregon.

Another remarkable trait? The nickname. Blue Pool. So very to the point. I love it.

Blue Pool is part of the McKenzie River, but the pool is filled from underground. The river water flows up through ancient lava rock at the bottom of the pool, filling the basin.

IMG_5012The most popular way to get to the pool is a 2 mile hike from a trailhead that does not say it takes you to Blue Pool. The first time I visited the trail, someone tried to be helpful and stapled a piece of paper to a log. It said “BLUE POOL 2 MILES”. It kind of looked like a sign a criminal would use to try and trick someone into getting kidnapped. Still, it lead me the right way.

As you continue on the path, the ancient land shifts from soft dirt underfoot and towering trees, to craggy rock that threatens to trip you if you’re not careful. The air smells clean here, tinged with pine.

IMG_5014While the path changes, your companion of the roaring McKenzie River remains constant, following you all the way to the pool. At times, it’s churning rapids. Others moments, it’s a quiet, clear brook under a crude wood bridge, worn smooth by thousands of shoes.

Your first glimpse of Blue Pool will be from overhead. The path leads to a rocky overlook, abundant with large, flat stones- perfect makeshift seats. Look below and you’ll see the vast swatch of crystalline blue, sometimes peppered with people lounging on the right bank or scurrying along the rocks.

It is possible to reach the banks of the pool. The trek there involves light rock climbing, navigating heavy brush, and shimmying down a steep embankment to the pool.

Once at the bank, you’re treated to an up-close view of the shimmering water. On a hot day, after a two mile hike and crab-walk down a steep hill, it looks tantalizing. You have to jump in.

Potentially reconsider.

Blue Pool is cold. In early summer, it is truly, painfully cold. My friend and I entertained the idea of jumping in. We waded into the water- it felt like walking through a tub of melting ice. My feet started to hurt almost immediately. We decided to pass.

Blue Pool

It lives up to its name.

Some people do swim in the pool, later in the summer, but be careful if you do. According to Eugene, Cascades and Coast, the pool is a steady 37 degrees.

I settled for dipping my hair into the water, which sounds weird, but in retrospect was a fantastic idea. The extra cold water made my hair very soft. It felt like Mother Nature herself blessed me with fabulous hair.

An Important Note If You Use Google Maps to get to Blue Pool. Google Maps has Blue Pool listed as a destination, but that won’t get you to the most popular trailhead. Instead, when you’re on Highway 126, keep an eye out for a lefthand turn onto an unmarked road with an EWEB power station. On Google Maps, it’s marked as NF-730.

Oregon is somewhat funny in that way. One of the most spectacular natural wonders in the state, and the most popular way to get there remains unmarked and somewhat hidden. But I suppose there’s something exciting about a stunning secret hidden deep within one of Oregon’s forests.

You can find it- it just takes a little work.

 

Exciting News for your Blogger!

Hello readers! Sorry I’ve been gone for a bit- I’ve been working hard on another big project of mine…entering the world of professional journalism!

I’m ecstatic to announce that I’ll be working as a Multimedia Journalist for KVAL News in Eugene, Oregon! I can’t wait to start my career at the end of June! If you’d like to keep updated on my adventures, please follow me on my social media accounts. I’ll be posting photos and updates more regularly on the social media outlets below.

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Many thanks to everyone who helped me on my journey. I can’t wait to put all of my skills to good use and explore another part of the United States. Adventure is the stuff of life. Stay curious, readers!

Ellen Meny Graduated!

Hello readers!11154623_10153232258467969_8868063580344890517_o (1)

This is your intrepid blogger checking in to announce that I graduated from Clemson University on May 8th! I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Communication Studies and a minor in Political Science.

Although it bordered on 2 and a half hours, the graduation ceremony was very nice and well-organized. Around 3000 students graduated that day. Hundreds of other students and I celebrated our big day with decorated caps. I’m in the boat of “go big or go home” for grad caps, as you can see by the photo at the bottom of this post!

The photos on this post, excluding my grad cap, were taken by the very talented Christine Galligan. I’m giving her free press because I was so happy with my photos.

Last month was a whirlwind of getting ready for graduation and “the real world”, so I didn’t have as much time to give to this blog as I would’ve liked. However, I’m looking forward to more posts in the upcoming weeks and months! See you soon!

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I started this blog because…

WHY NOT? Life is short. Eat dessert first. Start a WordPress blog. Take up acupuncture.

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