Oregon Is Home to 54 Quaint Covered Bridges. Here's How to See Them All in One Road Trip

Cameron Yee, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Cameron Yee, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If you're looking for a theme for your next road trip, you have your pick of options. You can find maps that plan routes around cemeteries, restaurants, and national parks. This map from Jamie Hale gets even more hyper-specific, plotting over 50 covered bridges in the state of Oregon.

Writing for The Oregonian, Hale rounded up all the state's covered bridges that he could confirm are still standing. After sifting through sites like Travel Oregon, Covered Bridge Map, and Wikipedia, and cross-checking his research with local jurisdictions, he tallied up 54 in total. Considering that many bridges are in various states of disrepair—and not all of them are well-documented—it can be hard to name an exact figure, but Hale believes Oregon boasts the most of any state in the West.

Most of the bridges on his list were built in the early 20th century. It includes the Chambers Railroad Bridge, one of few surviving covered railroad bridges in the state; the Earnest Covered Bridge, which appears in the 1965 film Shenandoah; and the Joel Whittemore Bridge built by a high school shop class in 1989.

The designs of the bridges are as varied as their histories. They're all concentrated in the western side of the state, so hitting each site in one charming road trip is easy. You can check out the map of the covered bridges of Oregon below.

[h/t The Oregonian]

You Can Rent This Wizard of Oz-Themed Cottage in North Carolina

Airbnb
Airbnb

This year marks the 80th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, the classic 1939 adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s book. In addition to watching the film, you can opt for a more immersive way to celebrate the occasion. As Travel + Leisure reports, a cottage in West Jefferson, North Carolina offered on Airbnb is perfect for any traveling Oz fan—and it’s only $35 a night.

The studio cottage is considered a glamping destination and is slim on amenities—it has a breakfast nook, porch, sofa bed, and a Porta John—but the Oz-themed details more than make up for the lack of luxurious perks.

A pair of stockinged feet are visible under the home, hinting at a witch’s untimely demise; a character mural of Dorothy and her three escorts, the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion, appears on the side of the cabin; inside, various other decorations pay homage to Baum's books, including a pair of ruby slippers and a few stuffed Totos.

A cottage with a 'Wizard of Oz' theme in West Jefferson, North Carolina is pictured
Airbnb

If you go, you’ll have to act quickly. The cottage is open only in the spring, summer, and fall, as it has no heat.

The Airbnb listing has a perfect score across 16 reviews. You can book it here.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

Visit Any National Park for Free on September 28—or Volunteer to Help Maintain Them

Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park
Nick Hanauer/iStock via Getty Images

By the end of September—which always seems especially busy, even if you’re not a student anymore—you might be ready for a small break from the hustle and bustle. On Saturday, September 28, you can bask in the tranquility of any national park for free, as part of National Public Lands Day.

According to the National Park Service, the holiday has been held on the fourth Saturday of every September since 1994, and it’s also the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort. It’s up to you whether you’d like to partake in the service side or simply go for a stroll, but there is an added incentive to volunteer: You’ll get a one-day park pass that you can use for free park entry on a different day. Opportunities for volunteering include trail restoration, invasive plant removal, park cleanups, and more; you can see the details and filter by park, state, and/or type of event here.

If you’re not sure how you should celebrate National Public Lands Day, the National Park Service has created a handy flowchart to help you choose the best course of action for you—which might be as simple as sharing your favorite outdoor activity on social media with the hashtag #NPLD.

National public lands day celebration flowchart
National Park Service

There are more than 400 areas run by the National Park Service across the U.S., and many of them aren’t parks in the traditional sense of the word; the Statue of Liberty, Alcatraz Island, and countless other monuments and historical sites are also run by the NPS. Wondering if there might be one closer than you thought? Explore parks in your area on this interactive map.

For those of you who can’t take advantage of the free admission on September 28, the National Park Service will also waive all entrance fees for Veteran’s Day on November 11.

And, if you’re wishing a free-admission day existed for museums, you’re in luck—more than 1500 museums will be free to visit on Museum Day, which happens to be this Saturday.

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