Category Archives: Travel

For Those on the Go: Create Your Own Day Spa on Long Trips

-Emily Fraysse

When constantly on the go, it is hard to fit beauty time and sleep into your schedule. I’ve done a great deal of traveling and have found that taking the time to stop and pamper myself has been a plus. Whether you are catching a plane or going on a long car ride, this routine get you feeling refreshed when you reach your destination.

Important things to bring along:

– Snag tea or some type of green drink (Superfood from Odwalla is awesome) from the airport or a coffee shop to keep hydrated.

– Pick up a healthy salad with minimal dressing (or hold the dressing on the side) with different vegetables. Also, grab a piece of fruit, like an orange or pieces of cantaloupe, for later if you feel like the salad will not be filling enough. If you feel that you are getting a craving, drink a tall glass of water or tea. This can be difficult at an airport, but do the best that you can to find a different healthy alternative to snack food.

– Make sure you have all your tools to improve yourself before your flight! Remember: according to TSA regulations, each passenger is allowed one 3.4 ounce (or less) bottle of liquid or gel,  and one quart-sized, clear plastic zip-lock bag holding 3.4 ounces or less of containers.

– Print out a stretching guide if you will be in a cramped position before the trip begins!

The on-the-go beauty routine:

#1 The Tools: Before you head out on your trip, make sure that you have all the products and utensils ready. First thing’s first: establish what area you would like to work on, and then get the right products (or create your own product!) to maximize your spa experience.

Face: A gentle facial cleanser, two good moisturizers (one with sunscreen for the day and another to wear at night), an exfoliant, and under eye patches.

Hands: A thick hand crème and possibly gloves so that you let the crème soak into your skin. Dry hands are the worst.

Feet: Tea-tree oil is really good for feet!

Hair: Hair mask and heat protectant.

Body: Sleep (at least eight hours no matter what age), deep breathing, and water. These are all key to feeling refreshed, relaxed, and cleansed.

#2 Breathing comes first: Whether you are in a boat, a car, or a plane, the important thing to do is relax and breathe. It seems simple, but deep breathing calms and relaxes the body. Reading a book, drawing, or writing can also help you unwind.

#3 Think Positively: Remember, this is time that you are taking for yourself. Either write down or make a list in your head of all the things you are grateful for, write a letter to a friend or family member, or list three good things that happened to you that day.

#4 Remember to stretch: If, at any point during the trip you feel that your muscles are getting tight, feel free to stretch. Check out these poses for inspiration.

#5 Apply! Apply your face mask, under eye patches, or whatever else you would like to work on. Remember to make sure you have enough time to really let things soak in.

#6 Take a nap: Even a short 20-minute nap can make a huge difference. So pop off your shoes, shut the blinds, get comfy, and recline (if you can).

#7 Other things to remember: Bring gum to pop your ears if you are flying! And a nice head rest blow-up pillow will do you wonders for your neck.

Enjoy your trip!

The Best of Oregon Camping


-Rache’ll Brown

In the past two decades I’ve had my fair share of bug bites, sun burns, Big Foot sightings, and campfire stories. I’ve caught fish, made s’mores, polar-beared, and had my tent tipped. Some of my best childhood memories were spent in the great outdoors, and as an Oregonian born and raised, I have spent most of my time in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Students and locals alike should experience a night or two in Oregon’s natural beauty, and these are a few places that I think are worth a visit.

Moonshine Park

Growing up on the Central Oregon Coast, an appearance of the sun meant a trip to Moonshine, not the beach. A mere fifteen dollars grants campers an overnight stay at Lincoln County’s most popular park. Plus: the people-watching is prime on a nice day.

Paulina Lake

Central Oregon is so beautiful, and although the weather can get excruciatingly hot for this coastal girl, Bend and La Pine are some of my favorite spots in Oregon. For fourteen dollars, campers can be right next to the lake, which means fishing and rock skipping.

Coldwater Cove

I am terrified of lakes and deep bodies of water, mainly because I have no idea what lies beneath the surface. At Coldwater Cove, this isn’t an issue.  For eighteen dollars per night, campers can hang out in my favorite body of water, Clear Lake.

Yukwah Campground

Twenty dollars per night for a camping plot, but the timeless memories come free. This camping ground located outside of Sweet Home, OR is one of my favorite. It’s right across from the South Santiam River and is encased by beautiful Douglas Firs. This spot is the epitome of the Pacific Northwest.

Link Creek Campground

For sixteen dollars a night campers can experience one of my favorite places in Oregon: Suttle Lake. The first time I drove through the Santiam Pass and saw this lake I was blown away, and getting up close and personal with it was breathtaking. It truly is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.

The Cove Palisades State Park

Growing up, lake stories didn’t count unless they took place on Billy Chinook. At twenty dollars per night campers get to experience the lake and the beautiful red cliffs surrounding it. The best part is the diverse range of outdoor activities: hiking, swimming, fishing, and sunbathing are some options that can please all.

Submarines: I like the movie better


-Casey Klekas

The few pictures I have of that dreadful boat have Facebook captions like, “ten seconds before five of the most uncomfortable minutes of my life. Don’t go in old soviet submarines if you value space, hygiene, safety or life in general.”

Some context, perhaps. I spent a solid month in Germany this summer. My last few days were spent in Hamburg—Germany’s second-largest city and the second-largest port town in Europe. On the night train from Bamberg to Hamburg, I made sure I had a few attractions circled for the next day, minor preparations for walking off a hangover I’d brew in one of the most famous red light districts in the world, the Reeperbahn. One of the sights that caught my attention was the Soviet submarine U-434.

A member of the Soviet Navy since it was launched in 1976, this Tango-class sub spends its retirement as a museum docked on the River Elbe. I was traveling with one of my closest friends, Mike. Mike and I share a love of submarine movies, so he didn’t need any convincing to walk the few miles from our hostel down to the docks.

As soon as I walked down the spiral staircase, I realized I could not turn around and go back out the one-way entrance. The only exit was on the other end of the ship. The ship is five feet short of a football field in length, although I only had to walk about half of that.

If I haven’t given it away, it was a claustrophile’s paradise. You could hardly manage a shuffle behind a family of Turkish immigrants and with Scandinavian tourists breathing down your neck. Crouching was a must.

Also, it made me doubt the party propaganda around the magnificence of Soviet workmanship. My only thought: “Tetanus!”

Jim Morrison coming out of my headphones wasn’t helping either, “Five to one, baby/ One in five/ No one here gets out alive.”


I left Mike behind, and he surfaced out the other end ten or so minutes later to find me sucking heavily on a cigarette.

What was most shocking was the lack of space. I can hear you saying, “Well, no ship—it is, after all, a submarine.” Yes, I had acknowledged the fact that Hollywood might have made submarines look a bit roomier than the real deal, but nothing quite prepares you for being trapped like a greasy sardine. I hadn’t even left the port—the ship was DOCKED. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be out at sea, way out away from the dock, Ahoy!

And yet, I would not turn down the opportunity to revisit any fictionalization of these metal tubes filled with sweat and Spam. Why? Well, that’s for next time. As far as my own limited experience, it has taught me to only reenter a submarine if it is through a pair of Hollywood lenses.

1.21 Gigawatts : NASA Snowmo-bot Takes to the Ice


-Sarah Keartes

The Goddard Remotely Operated Vehicle for Exploration and Research (GROVER)  is a six foot tall, 800 pound, solar powered, autonomous NASA robot—and it’s bound for no-man’s land.

Comprised of two towering solar panels, an onboard computer, and rechargeable batteries, GROVER will not rely on wheels for locomotion like its famously cute Martian counterpart, CURIOSITY. Instead, the bot rests on two tracks of re-purposed rough-terrain snowmobile tracks—an important design element as it’s headed to Greenland.

That’s right! Earlier this month, our own Casey Klekas told readers about sending some of Earth’s finest on a one-way trip into space. Well, NASA is returning the favor by sending their newest scientific rover on a mission to the blue planet.

Greenland, the largest island on Earth, is located at the intersection of the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans (just east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago). Despite its misnomer, over 85 percent of the island is covered in a thick sheet of ice, 3.21 km (two miles) thick at the center. This giant glacier represents about 10 percent of the Earth’s freshwater reserve, and like all polar ice, it’s heating up.

“Greenland’s surface layer vaulted into the news in summer 2012 when higher than normal temperatures caused surface melting across about 97 percent of the ice sheet,” the NASA team stated in a press release. A full melt of the glaciated island could result in a seven meter rise in the world’s oceans.

Until now, glaciological study on the island has been accomplished with radar towing snowmobiles or airplanes, but Glaciologist Laura Koenig, a science adviser on the project has high hopes for GROVER’s ability to outshine man-powered research.

“The hope is that GROVER can collect much more data than humans could on the ground. When we’re on snowmobiles, we could do 50 kilometers a day—that would be a difficult day. You get cold, and need to stop,” she said.

Once deployed at “Summit Camp,” a National Science Foundation (NSF) research station located on the highest point of Greenland, GROVER will cruise the ice at an average speed of 1.2 miles per hour, collecting data.

The onboard radar “sends radio wave pulses into the ice sheet, and the waves bounce off buried features, informing researchers about the characteristics of the snow and ice layers,” NASA explains.

Though GROVER travels far slower than a snowmobile, because the sun never sets in the Arctic horizon during summer, the solar-powered rover will work around the clock—something its human counterparts could never do in such a harsh climate.

NASA rovers have become quite accustomed to working long shifts in intolerable conditions. In this way, GROVER will operate much like any other spacecraft does.

“GROVER is just like a spacecraft but it has to operate on the ground…it has to survive unattended for months in a hostile environment, with just a few commands to interrogate it and find out its status and give it some directions for how to accommodate situations it finds itself in,” Michael Comberiate, a retired NASA engineer, said.

But don’t worry; poor GROVER won’t be completely alone. A ro-buddy play-date is set for early June when it will be joined on the glacier by Dartmouth University’s Cool Robot. This rover, also solar powered, will tow a variety of instrument packages to enhance the glaciological study.

Follow Sarah on Twitter!

Image by Gabriel Trisca, Boise State University.

I’m leaving on a spaceship, and I’ll never be back again

 Big Red Mars

-Casey Klekas

Putting a human footprint on Mars is possible within the next twenty years, scientists and Martian advocates say. But, if you don’t want to wait for the technology and funding to come through so you can get to and from the Red Planet, you can now bid for a one-way ticket. That’s right! Scientists say that a sending humans to Mars without the intention of bringing them back to Earth would cut the cost of a mission, just as a one-way ticket to Denver costs less than round trip. This would make the project more economically viable, which is one of the most deciding factors in what has become an ice-cold space race.

Discovery News reports that the ideal and lucky few would likely be past their reproductive prime and spend their retirement establishing a base camp and creating a sustainable environment for future planetary pioneers.

So what would be positive about spending your last years on Mars? On the plus side, you’d weigh 38 percent of what you do on Earth (I’d be past my summertime goal at sixty-nine pounds). Your Martian days would be thirty-seven minutes longer than Earth’s if you wanted to get in some extra reading. You’d also have 669 Martian days, the equivalent of 687 Earth days, in one Martian year. The average temperature measured on Mars is -67 degrees Fahrenheit. But, temperatures have ranged from -200 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, well above Eugene’s shorts and tank-top level.

You could spend your slightly longer days on Mars mining for water, fossils, and precious metals. You may get sick of the monotonous hue of the Martian backdrop, with colors ranging from orange to darker orange. It’s surface is basically made of rust, or iron oxide, which gives it its red shading. At night you could gaze at Phobos and Deibos, Mars’s two irregular shaped moons.

Let’s say NASA went with the plan to send a few cosmonauts on a one-way trip. If that were the case, it would not just raise questions about cost and engineering, but ethics as well. I guess it depends on how you look at it: Shooting a couple of people in a rocket headed for a barren planet without any chance of bringing them home may sound like a cosmological form of exile. Or, maybe it doesn’t sound that different from the stories of pilgrims leaving the old world of Europe to establish a new life in America.

Let’s grant that the two to four people sent to Mars are going willingly. Does that mean it would dissolve our ethical responsibilities? Certainly not, because we would be the ones sending them to their eventual, lonely deaths (can you make it to heaven from Mars?). Without our consent, the consent of NASA, and the good ol’ tax-paying American citizen, the mission would not exist.

The effects of a thirty-five million to 250 million mile journey on the human psyche are also under consideration by the Mars-bound hopefuls. Russian researchers have been conducting isolation experiments on six poor devils that have been locked in a room for over 500 days. Their internal clocks never adapted to the office lighting, causing the men to suffer insomnia. Add this to the knowledge that you’re in friggin’ space and can never turn around and that your destination is also where you’ll be buried. Again, the troopers on the voyage will have full knowledge of what they’ve bargained for, but if they change their mind on the interplanetary flight or when tilling the Martian sand, expect the world’s first cosmo-mutiny.

Sending two to four people to stay on another planet for the rest of their lives would be an unprecedented event. I mean that quite literally. It would have no equal in human history. Of course, this will open the pod-bay doors (HAL) to further man-and-womanned-missions to Mars. It could possibly mark the first chapter in the story of human colonization on the fourth rock from the sun. Or we could find ourselves being made to listen to the cries for help by the sick and deranged trailblazers from the Martian surface. (Hypothetical newsflash: at least three dead on Mars, no source to confirm fourth). My hope is that we wait to do this the old-fashioned way, with government money, a NASA logo, and a return flight home. “Cheap and quick” is liable to land you on Venus or something.

Image by Kevin M. Gill.

Elephants and Rhinos and Bears in Oregon? Oh my!

-Emily Fraysse

Bobbing his head forwards and back, he lunged right for our car.

“Roll up your window! Roll up your window!” screamed my mother in the driver’s seat.

Of course, in the first thirty seconds of driving into the Wildlife Safari Park, we get attacked. Before this moment, we never thought we would experience a full-grown ostrich bombarding our car, especially not in Oregon, but we did. Thankfully, before the beast could do any damage to the paint job of the Toyota Rav4, the workers at the Wildlife Safari shooed him away to the side of the road.

The park, located in Winston, Oregon, consists of two main areas: the drive-thru and the Village. The Village houses an array of animals such as wolves, flamingos, Egyptian geese, kookaburras, alligators, lemurs, bobcats, and bearded dragons. Another part of the Village is like a petting zoo, with pygmy goats, lamas, miniature donkeys, and horses. But the most amazing part of this park lies in the rest of the 600+ acre lot. Guests get the chance to experience animals up-close by driving through the five sectors (Africa Section, Wetland Area, The Americas, Asia Section, and Tiger and Cheetah Area) of the park.

It was traveler Frank Hart’s vision to create a non-profit facility in the Pacific Northwest with its main goal being to save rare and endangered species. Thirty-eight years later, through education, conservation, and research, not only has it become a fantastic wildlife safari, but the zoo is one of the top breeders of cheetahs in the United States. Since the zoo opening in 1972, there have been 171 cheetahs born in the park.

Going along with its goal of protecting the diversity of species, it created the Conservation of Rare and Endangered Species (C.O.R.E.S.) program in January 2005. Connecting with researchers all over the world, the Safari’s website explains that the program is creating, “scientifically-controlled managed breeding programs, public awareness of wildlife conservation issues, and in some cases, reintroduction of wildlife bred in captivity back into secure habitats.” Currently, it is working on cheetah reproduction projects as well as an African Elephant conservation and reproduction center.

Check the website for inside events including bear feed, breakfast with the bears, camel rides, cheetah encounter, elephant barn encounter, elephant car wash, and lion feeding!

Fun in Florida: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter & Disney World

-Brianna Huber

When I learned that my family would be going to Disney World over winter break 2012, I was thrilled.  It’s rare that I get to travel anywhere outside of Oregon and Washington.  Before a trip I took with my mom to Disneyland in winter 2011, I hadn’t been on a plane since my eighth grade trip to Washington, DC.  The only time I’ve been out of the country is when my family went to Victoria, Canada.  Florida is the farthest I’ve ever traveled from home, and even though the trip had some complications here and there (like my whole family getting sick with food poisoning and our flight home being diverted to Portland) it was a great experience. This blog will include some of my photos from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Disney World.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was like walking into a book.  I was greeted by a train conductor and a replica of the Hogwarts Express before venturing onward through the streets of Hogsmeade.  The ride through Hogwarts castle, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, was so much more than I expected.  I figured I was in for a mellow tour through the castle, but that was just while waiting in line.  The actual ride was a fast-paced, immersive thing where I flew across the Quidditch pitch, got spat at by Aragog, and was nearly smashed by the Whomping Willow.  I think a Dementor tried to steal my soul, too.  It was pretty intense.

Florida weather is even more temperamental than Oregon weather.  Torrential rain will come on in a matter of seconds, last for about twenty minutes, and then disappear for the rest of the day.  I took this photo during the second half of a downpour with a brief pause in the middle that my family and I used to run from under a covered doorway and into Honeydukes.  The rain started again the second I passed through the door.

This roller coaster was in one of the ‘lands’ adjacent to the world of Harry Potter and was based on the Incredible Hulk. It’s probably the coolest roller coaster I’ve ridden in my life. “Expedition Everest” in Disney’s Animal Kingdom was a close second. There were two Harry Potter-themed coasters, but they were both closed the day we were at Universal Studios due to nearby construction.

There was a skywriter above Epcot.  I have never seen a skywriter in real life before then, and it brought out my usual sense of childlike wonder.  I didn’t get to read the whole message because some clouds moved in front of it before it was finished.

No Disney World photo essay would be complete without Epcot Center, or as I like to call it, the giant golf ball.  There’s a ride inside of the ball that takes you through the history of human knowledge with animatronics.  I just missed getting a photo of “Michelangelo” painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and still haven’t gotten over it.

At the end of the night at Epcot, there was a spectacular fireworks show.  Apparently it could be seen every night around 9pm from one of the top floors of our hotel.

That’s the first half of Disney vacation in a nutshell.  I look forward to sharing my adventures at the space center with you soon.

Exploring Seattle: The Must-Sees of The Emerald City

-Rache’ll Brown

Winter Break is my favorite—actually, any break is my favorite, especially when I get to do something fun. This time, I did do something fun: I took a road trip to Seattle, Washington with my two best friends! Although I had been to the city before (for the day during Spring Break 2009…I cried on the Space Needle and then came home), I had never truly experienced Seattle, and let me tell you—it’s AWESOME! So, if you are native to the Pacific Northwest, or have a hankering to explore somewhere new, here are some awesome places in Seattle that are totally worth the trip.

In terms of food, Biscuit Bitch is a must. The location is prime, right next to the heart of Pike’s Place Market, and as for the food? Phenomenal. I ordered the “Buttered Bitch” and it was honestly the best biscuit I’d ever had.

Speaking of Pike’s Place Market, it’s obviously a requirement. Everyone told me I had to go, and I thought, “What’s so special?” But when I saw it, I was blown away. I’m a details person, and everything from the vendors to the smells and the colors made it hard for me to focus. Also, make sure to head into the alley below and check out the gum wall—gross, but awesome.

While near the waterfront, hit up the Seattle Great Wheel. We checked it out during the day, but took the ride during the night. I’ll admit—the city lights were stunning, but I feel like I would have enjoyed the view more during a bright, sunny day.

Hands down the coolest thing I did was visit the EMP Museum. I got to delve into Seattle’s grunge music scene (including an exhibit dedicated to Nirvana), watch Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” on the big screen, practice my best blood-curdling scream, and record my own music. With three levels jam-packed full of pop-culture, my group was entertained for hours, and we all had a blast.

Last but not least, if you are a fan of the movie “10 Things I Hate About You,” visit the Freemont Troll (top). Located on 36th and Troll Ave. under the north end of the George Washington Memorial Bridge, the troll is definitely a must-see attraction.

Home Exchange: Traveling on a Budget


-Emily Fraysse

The daydreams of lounging in a villa on a sandy white beach in Barbados or skiing to your hidden log cabin in the Swiss Alps could become a reality. And that reality is only a percentage of the price through home exchange. Ultimately, it is “you stay in my house while I stay in yours.”

There are two types of home exchanges: hospitality exchange and home exchange. Hospitality exchange means that the family who lives in the house allows others to stay at their home simultaneously at designated times. The benefit of this, besides the social aspect, is the in-house tour guide. Home exchange happens when each party switches houses completely at a time that is convenient for both to swap.

While many people can be leery about swapping houses for multiple reasons, the number of reasons why you should take the plunge exceeds those. It can be a scary concept to stay at someone’s house that you’ve never met before or allow others to stay at your house, so the exchange relies on mutual trust. With thousands of successful house exchanges per year, the exchange is rewarding in more than one way.

The swapping works best for people who have an alluring home to offer and those who are okay with having strangers living in the house and touching valuable items. Once you’ve found a potential host, get in contact, exchange information, and be clear about your expectations before the swap occurs. After all the nitty-gritty details are finalized, I’m sure you’ll feel less like you’re living in a stranger’s home and more like living in a friend’s.

So, now where would you like to go?

Home Exchange programs to look at:

Home Exchange

Love Home Swap
Trade to Travel
Home Link
Intervac Home Exchange

Some of my personal favorite spots:

Watamu, Kenya

Noosa Heads, Queensland

Whistler, British Columbia

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

Buleleng Tejakula, Bali
Pecatu, Bali

Kilalloe, County Clare

Amelia, Umbria


Ko Samui, Surat Thani

United Kingdom:
Lewes, East Sussex
Beadlow, Bedfordshire

United States:
South Beach, Florida
Battery Park City, New York

Image from

Neskowin, Oregon: A Coastal Gem

-Diana Roure

Week six has finally come to an end.  Midterms are over and finals are still a ways away.  It’s the perfect time to escape your dull routine and give yourself a much-deserved break!  So why not head out to Neskowin, the most picturesque coastal community Oregon has to offer?

Neskowin, located in unincorporated Tillamook County, is home to only 170 residents.  It’s nearly a three-hour drive from Eugene, so I would recommend staying for at least a few days.  In my opinion, Neskowin is absolutely Oregon’s best-kept secret.

Neskowin is famous for its stunning beach containing remains of an ancient forest, and is also where Slab Creek meets the Pacific Ocean. In the middle of the beach, there are giant prehistoric trees atop a massive basalt sea-stack called Proposal Rock. Honestly, pictures don’t do it justice–you really have to see it for yourself.

In terms of where to stay, there are many options.  There are numerous rental homes and condos–big or small, expensive or cheap–all of them have unforgettable views.  There are a few charming bed and breakfasts in the area as well.

You may want to plan your trip in advance since space is limited as the city of Neskowin is actually only 1.4 miles wide.  Prices are reasonable–less than you’ll pay in Sunriver or Portland–but more than other coastal cities like Florence. Booking in advance will help save you money, and the beach is large enough that even on popular weekends you’ll never feel cramped.

There is only one restaurant and one general store in Neskowin, although Lincoln City, another coastal community with several restaurants, is just thirteen miles south.  I would recommend picking up the necessary supplies on the drive to Neskowin (I did in Corvallis). Most rental homes and condos come with a fully-stocked kitchen, so utensils are not an issue.

Regarding activities, plan on being outdoors for the duration of your trip.  If you just want to relax, bring a blanket or chair and some reading material and enjoy the pristine views and calming sound of the waves crashing. The Cascade Head bike and hiking trail is opportunely close to most beach properties as well.

Those brave enough can take a plunge into the Pacific or settle for the less freezing and not-so-rough creek. More adventurous visitors can kayak or canoe in the Nestucca Bay estuary, which is just five minutes away.  Come evening, it is impossible to miss the gorgeous sunsets. As the moon comes out of hiding, feel free to stargaze by the warmth of a bonfire.

I went to Neskowin last Memorial Day weekend for my twenty-first birthday.  I stayed in a condo on the beach and had the time of my life.  I strongly encourage you to make the trip for an experience that will forever be etched in your mind.

Follow Diana at @dianaroure