We just spent about a week in Oregon visiting Doug’s brother Tim and his daughter. Our trip was mainly in the Portland area but we also were able to venture out to the coast and to the border of Oregon and Washington. I love how Oregon treasures it’s land. The forests, waterfalls and jagged coastlines were beautiful and respected. While they were accessible, it is remarkable how much people here realize what a gift they have and fiercely protect it. I wish this was the case in more parts of the world.
A few favorites from the trip:
- Tillamook State Forest and Coastline – this was one of the most beautiful drives I have ever taken. It rivaled California’s Highway 1 and the Hana Highway in Maui for me. Epic trees, gorges, rivers, waterfalls and cliffs leading down to the ocean. My favorite coastlines have a wild quality to them and this stretch of coastline had cliffs rising from the ocean floor (Haystack Rock). And beyond the beauty, it was an incredible family day. Mags walked a little too far out and ended up getting soaked, but she loved it. I hope she can always keep her sense of adventure and love for the ocean.
- Downtown Portland – I wish I had more time to explore this weird and wonderful place. It reminded me of Detroit because of it’s gritty and authentic spirit (once you get past the line of hipsters). They have an incredible sense of style, food and culture appreciation and dedication to local craft. A few highlights were Powell Books, Cascade Brewing and Salt and Straw.
- Willamette Valley Wine Tasting – Tim (Doug’s brother) owns a wine sales business and created an incredible day for us of wine tasting. I would say an Oregon Pinot Noir stands up to France any day of the week. The vineyards are breathtaking with views of the mountains and quaint towns with main streets and food cultures that would rival any leading city in the U.S.
- Mcmenamins of Edgeville – This historic poor house turned restaurant/winery/brewery/hotel/entertainment complex was truly a one-of-a-kind experience. On almost every surface, 19 local artists painted the story of the building dating back to the early 1900s. The complex was created as a poor house and has transformed many times over the years, serving as a tuberculosis hospital, nursing home and children’s mental hospital. The murals were some of the most interesting, vibrant, detailed and diverse that I have ever seen. It is a true Oregonian experience.
- Multnomah Falls – Another awe-inspiring landscape. This 620ft. waterfall is only minutes outside of Portland but feels like another world. We went along the Columbia River Highway (another top 10 drive of all time) and saw many waterfalls, forests, and the entire Columbia River valley. (It was a bit crowded with tourists, but still worth the crowds to see something so beautiful).
It was an incredible family trip (really some of the best food, laughter and ofcourse, vino!). We had the chance to get to know our incredible and kind niece and Maggie had the chance to even jam on the harmonica a little with her uncle Tim. We can’t wait to get back to Portland and enjoy the wilds of Oregon.