Friday, October 16, 2015

Day 6 (final): Oregon Road Trip

We left Youngberg Hill Winery after a rough night - the guy in the room next door snored and the wall didn't seem to block any noise. We had the typical B and B breakfast experience with other guests and luckily the breakfast wasn't that great so we were primed and ready for a great lunch at Gathering Together Farm near Corvallis. Traveling through the wine country we had expected to see lots of vineyards, but no . . . it was hazelnut trees and grass growing operations. The huge 'lawns' were beautiful, dotted by groves of trees.  We stopped at Benton Lane Winery and picked up a few bottles of their Pinot Gris, one of our favorites. Then on to Eugene for some shopping at the mall and then a check in at Inn at the 5th. We are getting a little road weary and since we have been eating and drinking our way through Oregon, decided to stay in and just enjoy our nice room. Tomorrow, home and back to 'real life.' Great trip. We got lots of ideas for our next trip - in a few years.

Gathering Together Farm

Some of the bounty at Gathering Together Farm

Big Pumpkin at Pavilions which is part of Inn at the 5th

Another pumpkin outside of Marche, the restaurant with Inn at the 5th

Last stop: King Estate Winery, they have put in a beautiful patio restaurant.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Day 5 - Oregon Road Trip

The Astoria Tower, newly restored and opened this past weekend, was the first thing on our agenda. Actually, the second thing. First was breakfast at The Columbian Cafe, a truly interesting experience. A true hippy cafe attached to a nightclub with counter seating and clientele ordering vodka drinks to go with their eggs and bacon. The owner spends half his time in New Orleans and the other half in Astoria and "New Orleans' is evident throughout. We climbed to the top of the tower and boy was it a climb - our thighs are sore this AM. We took the backroads over to the Willamette Valley to the B and B at Youngberg Hills Winery. Beautiful views from our room but enhanced by the seasonal Box Elder Bugs on the windows - we were told they happen for a couple of weeks in October and then go away. Sure hope so for the next guests in this room. Had dinner in McMinnville at Thistle - pretty nice.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Day 4, Oregon Coast Road Trip

Day 4, Oregon Coast Road Trip: Cannon Beach (think Carmel, CA) through Seaside (think Ocean Beach, CA) and on to Astoria, a working port, mostly shipping logs to China these days. It's really sad to drive along so many roadways with their 'beauty strips' of trees to hide the stumps and spindly planted "forests." People have to make a living but it's too bad hemp wasn't chosen as the building material of choice a long time ago. Oh well, enough of the rant. This visit to Astoria we skipped the great museums we've visited in the past and went to the Lewis and Clark exhibit at the state park. Then on to our hotel, the Cannery Pier, built right over the water. The pic of the water and bridge is from our balcony over the Columbia River. We went over the high, don't look down, bridge to Washington for dinner at 
The Depot.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Day 3, Oregon Coast Road Trip

We took a beautiful walk on the beach outside our room at The Inn at Spanish Head. Then got on the back roads along the coast going north toward Cannon Beach. The sun was out today, after a true rainstorm yesterday. We stopped at Cape Lookout and hiked to the point, a nice 5 miler with views to the surf below. There were some pretty impressive drop offs so we were careful on the slippery, muddy trail. Then on toward Cannon Beach with dips into pretty little bay towns along back roads with little traffic. Then the Stephanie Inn - what a treat! The beach here is gorgeous, long, flat and at sunset people come out to enjoy the views of Haystack Rock. Had a fabulous dinner and breakfast. Now, on to Astoria . . . .

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Day2 -Oregon Coast Road Trip

Today was the longest drive-day of our trip. We went from Port Orford to Lincoln City, stopping for lunch at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. It was a little slice of Scotland with the weather simulating the highlands perfectly. They don't allow golf carts, making the Scotland comparison even more authentic. If we were golfers this would be paradise. Then on to Florence and Newport. Both of these towns have a lively old section that caters to tourists, but Newport is an active, working port with docks and fish processing right in old town. The drive north from Newport along a  rugged, narrow cliffside road was made a bit more exciting as the skies opened up to a major rainstorm. One last stop before arriving at The Inn at Spanish Head was Depoe Bay. The Bay, affectionately called Devils Punchbowl was churning and boiling and basically living up to it's name. We spied a place we will one day return to that looked amazing - Whale Cove Inn, Depoe Bay.

Rainforest Arts in Langlois - Lots of really good artists represented here.

Brandon Dunes Golf Resort - with Rolex time clocks all over the place

Florence Bridge

The working port of Newport

The Barking Seals were a hoot

Devil's Punchbowl, Depoe Bay

View from our room at Inn at Spanish Head - It's beginning to clear!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Oregon Coast/Wine Country Road trip

Oregon Coast Road Trip, Day 1

Took the backroads from Ashland through Rush over to 99 then on to the coast with a stop for a walk in Jedadiah Smith Redwood State Park. We went from perfect autumn weather in Ashland to stormy, rainy coastal weather. The payoff was staying at The Loft, the upstairs (and upscale) studio above the only truly gormet restaurant along the southern Oregon coast, Redfish. After a good breakfast in Rush at the Honeysuckle Cafe we were ready for our delicious dinner at the corner window seat looking at the angry Pacific at Redfish. A treat indeed!

Port Orford Harbor

View from our room at The Redfish Loft

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Fish Lake to Lake of the Woods

What a glorious day of hiking. Nine easy miles around a couple of pristine mountain lakes with beautiful Mt. McLaughlin in the background. It's distressing that we haven't had much snow this year - but hard not to like these sunny, clear days.

Lake of the Woods with Mt. McLaughlin in the background

Crossing lava fields 

Almost done, after 9 miles on the trail

Thursday, February 19, 2015

On a clear day . . .

We joined our hiking group on a trip to N. CA's Castle Crags, just south of Mt. Shasta City. Even though it is mid February, it might as well have been June. We shed our light jackets early and enjoyed the sun and clear blue skies. The hike took us over at least 5 running streams and up 2400 feet. We have been awe struck by the views of Castle Crags on our many trips back from S. CA along I-5 and wanted to hike in the area. This was our chance and it couldn't have been a nicer day.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Our landscape project is almost completely finished. It took longer than anticipated (don't all construction jobs take longer?) but we are very pleased with the result. When the good weather starts, it will be nice to have an inviting outdoor area to enjoy the firepit and views.

View from front door

North Patio