Escape to the Abbey

30 Jul

30 July 2020.

Summer in Oregon begins on the 5th of July is a trope oft-quoted in the Western part of the state. Following a “June-u-ary,” (not uncommon) even American Independence Day can be chilly. But soon the Willamette Valley (referred to locally as simply The Valley) gets its heat on.

Here on the Oregon Coast, our idea of summer is anything over 60 degrees Fahrenheit and when it on rare occasion reaches 72 we think we are going to die. It’s the number one reason Ric and I chose to live here; it does not get hot in the summer. We hesitate to journey into The Valley in July and August.

Last Friday we were looking for a day trip so we could vacate the house while our housekeeper came. The irony of needing to leave home for four hours so someone else can clean it is not lost on us; however, we choose locations where we can be physically distant from others. A hike is always a good plan and if we can follow a hike with a meal anywhere but at home, so much the better. It was cool in The Valley on July 24th so we dared to venture to the Trappist Abbey and explore the peaceful forest.

The Abbey advertises the Guadalupe Loop at 3.5 miles. Our Fitbits clocked in at almost 5 miles, accounting for a couple of spurs we took and the distance to-and-from parking. A good workout of 2 hours. While not a difficult hike, it isn’t “easy” in the Easy-Hiker sense. My knees wished I had taken my trekking sticks for the downhill portion and there were also some rugged sections on the backside of the hike where I was happy to be wearing hiking shoes.

This day was overcast and pleasant. We only encountered 15 people in two hours. Not sure I would venture here on a weekend or when it is hot or wet.

I’ll let our pictures do the talking but a few points of advice from our trek:

    • Take the loop in a clockwise fashion as we did.
    • In the rainy season, go back the way you came from the viewpoint. The section from the shrine and along the southern part of the trail would be very muddy when it has rained.
    • Trail junctions are marked counter-intuitively. Keep left except for the viewpoint, unless you want to take one of the “passes.”
    • The viewpoint is not well-marked. After making the left turn at an obvious point, make the first right you come to.
    • Take your hiking sticks if you have bad knees.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey’s peaceful courtyard.


Signage and map with history and rules. Put your cellphone on airplane mode.


The trail varies from wide “highways” to narrow, rocky, packed clay.


A family group was among the few people we saw. They pushed a stroller up 800 feet!


“The woods are lovely dark and deep…”


The view from the top is of Oregon vineyards.


Reflection in the pond.


Still smiling after an 800-foot climb.

Some of you sharp-eyed readers will notice a new link in the navigation bar, Masks to Benefit Food Pantry. I am making lovely, effective masks and selling them as a fund-raiser. I like to sew and after outfitting family and friends and still having a vast supply of nice fabrics,  I thought perhaps I could do some good by supporting our local food pantry while keeping myself occupied. LMK if you see anything you like and I’ll figure out shipping. 

12 Responses to “Escape to the Abbey”

  1. myamazing2ndchapter August 11, 2020 at 11:50 #

    great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laurel August 11, 2020 at 17:33 #

      Thanks! I see you are busy exploring western Oregon. Hope you find some inspiration here!

      Liked by 2 people

      • myamazing2ndchapter August 11, 2020 at 17:36 #

        Thank you! Yes I am lucky to live in Western Oregon and I am trying to explore as much as possible. Adventure and new experiences are everywhere- not just exotic places around the world. Although- I like those too!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. MGySgt Holly James USMCR (Ret.) July 31, 2020 at 07:44 #

    Hi Laurel, Really enjoy following you on your blog! I need to cancel the email address I use to receive your blog. Please update my email address so I don’t lose track of you and your adventures!


    • Laurel August 23, 2020 at 17:16 #

      Hi Holly. Sorry I did not see this sooner! I do not have access to update your address. Please go to the site and under “Follow blog by email” enter your address. You’ll get a message every time I post. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kathy Shearer July 30, 2020 at 20:48 #


    What a lovely location for a hike! The temperatures there sound very pleasant after our Texas temperatures in the mid-90’s. Thank goodness for air conditioning!


    • Laurel August 7, 2020 at 16:43 #

      I would not be able to even walk to my car in that heat! Ugh! Sure missing the Val Gardena this year, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Marcia Kakiuchi July 30, 2020 at 16:47 #

    Your picture posted here is just so lovely! And what a wonderful find for the hike!


    • Laurel August 7, 2020 at 16:42 #

      Thank you, Marcia! I needed a new avatar! Trying to get it to work with all of my sites.


  5. chloe erkenbrecher July 30, 2020 at 16:03 #

    No, no. Temperatures in the 60’s are winter temperatures. They certainly aren’t Roman temperatures. I hope that those Trappists served lunch.


    • Laurel August 7, 2020 at 16:41 #

      Ha, Chloe, you are a Californian! Anything over 70 feels like a heatwave to me now. “Those Trappists” were nowhere to be seen!


  6. Barbara Shogren July 30, 2020 at 11:03 #

    You’re always smiling cousin! Looks like a good hike.

    Liked by 1 person

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