Oregon’s high life
The next time you book a vacation, branch out, said Robert Earle Howells in National Geographic Adventure. Ten years ago Michael Garnier, beguiled by the style of living portrayed in Disney’s classic Swiss Family Robinson, decided to construct 10 designer treehouses outside Cave Junction, Ore. “Anyone who ever slapped up some plywood to build a fort in a backyard tree will bow in awe” of the rustic, eco-minded inns at Out ’n’ About Treehouse Treesorts. Perched as high as 45 feet off the ground, the “arboreal abodes” sit hidden among “36 acres of oak and Douglas fir woods” adjacent to southern Oregon’s Siskiyou National Forest. “Overgrown kids” can sway on Tarzan swings and zoom across zip lines, climb up or rappel down trees, take a ropes course, and head off to explore the park on horseback. Or they can just “relax in the lodge library filled with books about, yes, treehouses.” Acrophobics ought to steer clear.
The cliffs of Malibu
The city is known for its celebrities in residence, but “rock climbing has a surprising presence in the mountains over Malibu,” said Stephen Regenold in The New York Times. “Craggy and steep, with a rushing stream and swooping views,” the Santa Monica Mountains in Malibu Creek State Park “offer an unexpected wilderness” within earshot of the Pacific Ocean. The range, much of which was once owned by 20th Century Fox and used for such productions as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Planet of the Apes, runs 40 miles from the Hollywood Hills to Ventura County. Now some sport-climbing routes there draw their names from those films. The mountains boast hundreds of such paths, the steepest of which juts 350 feet up. Christmas Pump is “gritty and strange with scoops and pockets, a slab of Swiss cheese eight stories high.” Point Dume’s polished face makes seaside climbing seem oddly relaxing, with the surge of the ocean like a “white noise, blocking distractions” 100 feet below.