Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Oregon Sweet Oregon

I have a soft spot for the State of Oregon. First Emily and Travis live there, then it seems that grapes grow very well there as well as many different crops. The farms look picture perfect in the Willamette Valley. You can travel two hours from Portland and end up in a totally different setting, mountains, the cost, the countryside. It is diverse and friendly and feels safe even in the big city. So there. Now about my little escapade. First stop was about 15 miles south of Portland, Shampoeg State Park, a shady campground where the Wiggins were waiting for us for an adventure in the vineyards. The place to grow Pinots.

So the first one to stop was a very  "Archery Summit". Nice Pinot noir. We purchase a nice bottle for our campfire dinner later. Then it was a visit to  a less exclusive but very interesting more hip place with a gorgeous view that reminded me of Toscany.

 "De Ponte Cellars". Nice selection, no frills. Then the third and last one due to the late afternoon, Cellars close between 4 and 6 depending. That last one had a wine that just blew me away. I had never tried anything like it.
"an accessorized tastor"
 Argyle Vineyards have a Chardonnay that looks, smell and taste like butter. That was a first and love at first smell. I need to find the perfect meal to degustate this little gem that I am going to enjoy on and off in my life from now on. The other wines were nice. We also tried their many sparkling wines, one being the color of raspberries. All very fun but sticking to the Brut traditional is a good idea in my opinion. Anyway back at camp we enjoyed a pasta puttanesca with fresh cod fish around a nice fire. What a lovely day it was and a lovely night.

Next day was started early with a stop at "Heirloom Roses". Should I say more? Roses as far as my eyes could see. I raced through the aisle like a mad woman trying to find a couple new plant for the yard.
After great difficulty as I wanted so many of them I selected a "Climbing The Impressionist" and "The Prince".
 Emily settled for "Golden Celebration". Can't wait to see those beauties grow.

Portland was our destination for that day and after locating a place to park in the Pearl district we had lunch at Clyde Common.
Travis had a fried oyster sandwich that looked just great. We all were rewarded with our choices. The decoration was very trendy with an aged wood floor that talked to me as well as the repurposed canvas covering some walls.

 Of course Powells bookstore was on our agenda and just around the corner.
 I could just vacation there and be totally happy. A week would be just fine. But of course we had two hours and I spent most of that time in the poetry section, fiction and the art. I dared not go into the rare room that will have to wait for another time.
 A little hike around and it was a visit to Cargo another place where I could get lost and be happy. floor to ceilings interesting decoration. Very stimulating very tempting. I bought a pair of hand carved hands, no surprise there since I have a mini collection of those and two vintage aravic newspaper pages. I was very very good. 

More meandering around the city of Roses and around our hotel. I would not recommand this hotel if you want to sleep. The band plays until 2 in the morning but if you join in the fun you can really have a good time.
Good music and good cocktails not to mention the local microbrewries offerings..

Next day we were off to another part of the State, The Columbia Gorge via one very scenic route with amazing vistas and waterfalls.
 The sun was with us the whole time, amazing.
Hood River is one of the little gem towns along the River were you can enjoy watching windsurfers and Kite Surfers play while you sip your beer at Full Sail Brewery. I had their Porter of course. Yum. Dinner that night was something that I had anticipated for a long time. Moose's Tooth pizza in Oregon. Same recipe different names but I had the Hitchiker (Backpaker) and the White and was so stuffed I could not move and had only one bite of the mud pie!!!! This little bar is in the middle of nowhere in front of a saw mill and you really need to know where it is. Love it!
We were camping again this time right by a beautiful strong river (Hood River) at Tucker campground. I slept like a baby with the sound of the magical water in my ears. We left early that morning in order to arrive and have coffee and then goodies in town then off to Bend via another gorgeous scenic road.
We stopped at the Rasmussen's Farm and loaded on fresh produces. We were in Bend by lunch time and had a lovely pear blue cheese salad. Life can be so good. Curt went golfing, I went for a walk with Emily, Travis went to work. Emily too later and I played with some new Indigo Ink, paper and uillls I had purchased in Portland. Next day was spent in food, walks with a visit to Between the pages teh little bookstore I love and support and found the last book of Jonathan Safran Foer. An amazing construction and a tour de force to "write"
The Tree of Codes is something I am going to savor slowly. It is a bit tricky to read and assimilate. Love it.
The rest of the afternoon I caught up on internet things while Curt was golfing and the others were working.

The evening was full of activities with appetizer and a glass of wine on a sunny terrace by the Deschutes River where Emily works then a First Friday with a quick view at the end of a Bicycle Race. Later a visit to the Little Woody Festival. Well it was a full week that is why the post is so long. Now some pictures and voila I will close this long narrative, for now that is.

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