Sunday, May 30, 2010

Oregon Vacation - Introduction

So who knew how cool vactioning in Oregon could be? Literally and figuratively. When I mentioned to friends that I was going to Oregon I heard from a few that had been there "You will love it!" Everyone else said "What's in Oregon?" Well, we did love it and for many different reasons. We explored the northwest corner of the state and took 2 weeks to accomplish this. We broke up the trip into four segments:
  • Columbia River Gorge (Hood River) and Mt. Hood
  • Oregon coastline from Florence to Newport/Lincoln City
  • Willamette Valley and McMinnville
  • Portland

The scenry and terrain held unexpected diversity and jaw-dropping beauty. In a days drive one could travel from rocky shore to big city to lush and rugged mountain trails to high prairie and sagebrush. Fascinating!

And of course, don't forget the food. We had great eats all along the way. Most places strived to offer locally obtained foodstuffs as well as wine. And Oregon has no sales tax and NO MEALS TAX!! Everywhere we dined also projected a very casual atmosphere. Forget the sportcoats and dresses. We also discovered that meal prices (even in Portland, for the most part) were less than meals here in Richmond. Thus, with slightly lower prices and no sales tax, we were eating for about 1/3 less than we would here.

And speaking of wine - while the Willamette Valley has gotten all of the press here, we found out that the Columbia River Gorge on both the Oregon and Washington state sides are producing some great vino. We were impressed with the Sangiovese and Syrah as well as other hearvier-style varieties.

What a great trip! I'll be recapping some highlights over the next few days. In the meantime, I will leave you with a photo of Mt Adams (in Washington state). We stopped at a wine tasting house and this was the view from the back of the property.

If you are a glutton for punishment, check out my flickr site for an inordinate amount of photos.


cfootsoup said...

My wife's from Salem. We're up there several times a year. We could have given you some suggestions..

and the taco trucks up there are much better than Nate's. They have birria.

pjpink said...

Maybe next time. We did take in Korean and Peruvian beef at a couple of street vendors in Portland and both were very good. I was amazed at the sheer number of options and it was difficult to decide.