Willamette Valley Cheese Company: Salem

I love driving Oregon's back roads. You never know what you are going to find among the tractors, corn fields, and filbert orchards. Yesterday, it was Willamette Valley Cheese Co. We were somewhere west of Salem on our way to the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville. The directions we had started out with turn out to be unreliable, so we were letting Google Maps guide us. I was enjoying our drive through the country with a golden fall sun lighting our way, when we turned a … [Read more...]

Easy Rider

Earlier this summer, we pulled our bikes out of a back corner of our garage, dusted them off, and hauled them down to Rainy Peak Bike Shop for maintenance. With the sun shining beautifully last weekend, we packed a couple PB&J sandwiches and hit the Row River Trail. My goal for this trip was a slow and easy ride to get my body used to being on a bike again. As I enjoyed my PB&J, sitting on my favorite bench and watching bald eagles fish along the lake, I was reminded of two things: … [Read more...]

Just. Let. Go.

Typically, I like to keep both of my feet firmly on the ground. Yet, earlier this spring when a friend asked if I wanted to join her ziplining I didn't hesitate to say yes. There is something about flying through the trees that seems so appealing, how could I say No? Our adventure started on a cold June morning at Crater Lake Zipline outside of Klamath Falls. When we made our reservations, I had envisioned flying through the air on a hot sunny day, but in reality I was wrapped up in my … [Read more...]

Eel Lake: Winchester Bay

I know that many people go to the coast specifically to walk the beach -- and I love the beach too -- but I also like walking through the coastal forests with its salal and rhododendrons filling in the understory. While at the coast a couple weeks ago, we stopped by Eel Lake to explore. Eel Lake is a good-sized, fresh water lake, surrounded by forest.  Located a few miles south of Winchester Bay on Highway 101, the lake is accessed through William M. Tugman State Park. We found a wide, … [Read more...]

Sumpter Valley Dredge State Heritage Area: Sumpter, Oregon

In the middle of the 19th century, all around our newly established state, people began discovering gold. The southern Oregon gold rush in Josephine County began in the 1850s, Bohemia Johnson discovered gold in the Bohemia mines in 1863, and the town of Canyon City in eastern Oregon swelled to a population of 10,000 (larger than Portland at the time) once gold was discovered there. Further east, in the town of Sumpter, gold was discovered in 1862. Mining for gold in Sumpter happened very … [Read more...]