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...]

Stand By Me: 30th Anniversary

In June of 1985 a young film director trying to prove himself brought four unknown child actors and an entire film crew to Eugene. For seven weeks they stayed at the Hilton, first to give acting classes to the young actors, and then to film on location, an adaptation of Stephen King’s novella, “The Body.” A coming-of-age story set in 1959. Today, people know the movie as Stand By Me. It was a movie that transformed the careers of director Rob Reiner and the four lead actors – Wil Wheaton, … [Read more...]

Snag Boat Bend: Finley National Wildlife Refuge

We were welcomed to Snag Boat Bend with the sound of bird song. From the time we opened our car doors, until we closed them again to leave, bird song was our constant companion. Part of the Finley National Wildlife Refuge, Snag Boat Bend is operated with the same conservation goals, to protect the winter habitat of the dusky Canada goose. When we visited a couple of weeks ago (in late March), the geese had apparently already left. What we encountered were song birds, or more precisely, the … [Read more...]

Harris Bridge Vineyard

Tucked into a tiny valley, between the historic Harris Covered Bridge and a railroad track, just outside the town of Philomath is Harris Bridge Vineyard which specializes in dessert wines, sweet vermouth, and aperitifs. We've tasted at a lot of wineries throughout Oregon, especially in the Willamette and Umpqua Valleys. So when I first read about Harris Bridge Vineyard in the Eugene Register Guard, I knew that the owners were doing something unique. And, I knew we would soon be making a … [Read more...]

Cabell Marsh: Finley National Wildlife Refuge

The first time I experienced Finley National Wildlife Refuge, I was instantly enamored. Hearing the beat of thousands of geese wings as they swirled overhead is an experience I won't soon forget. After our first visit, I planned to take many additional trips up Highway 99 to experience the Refuge in different seasons and conditions. Early this past spring we were able to explore Woodpecker Loop,  a 1.1 mile loop trail through an oak savannah, and last weekend, we headed up again, with the plan … [Read more...]