Oregon, My Favorite State

Every year, my husband and I take multiple trips to Oregon. Portland is his hometown, and we have family, friends, kids and grandkids who live near there. In fact, we will probably move there in the not too distant future. So when my dear friend Jack suggested I write about Oregon, I thought it was a great idea, there’s so much to share! We were there just last weekend, and went to the Waterfront Blues Festival with our good friends. I wrote about the festival last week.

Our daughter moved to Oregon ten years ago to attend George Fox University. During that time, we visited many wineries in the Yamhill County area. Some of our favorites are Ponzi, Torii Mor, Sokol Blosser and Argyle. We are wine club members at Ponzi and visit the tasting room frequently. It is located in a beautiful setting with a view of the valley. Torii Mor is also in a lovely location, the wine maker is from France, and the wines are of the Burgundy style. Sokol Blosser makes a wide variety of wines. On our flight to Japan a few years ago, one of Delta’s featured wines was Sokol Blosser’s Evolution, a delicious, light, fruity white blend. Argyle specializes in sparkling wines. We served their Knudsen Vineyard Brut at our daughter’s wedding.

The small town of Dundee has some great restaurants. One of our favorites is the Dundee Bistro. They have been in business for over twenty years and specialize in local, seasonal dishes.

The Oregon Coast is one of the most beautiful coastlines I have ever seen. One stretch in particular in the southern part of the state near Brookings, is the Samual Boardman Scenic Corridor. Samual Boardman was Oregon’s first superintendent of parks. You will find breathtaking views and interesting rock formations along this 12 mile stretch of highway.

Along the coast in the northern part of the state you will find the remains of the Peter Iredale at Fort Stevens State Park. The ship ran aground in October 1906.

Crater Lake National Park is another gorgeous place to visit. At one mile deep, it is the deepest lake in North America. There are many hikes to take that offer nice views of the lake and distant mountains.

The view of Mt. Shasta from a fire watch tower.

Another one of our favorite places to visit is Sunriver, in Central Oregon. This resort community offers many activities including hiking, canoeing, fishing, biking, skiing and much more. It is close to Mt. Bachelor which is a popular destination for winter sports.

The Paulina Lake Loop Trail, not far from Sunriver, is a 6.7 mile hike that is mostly flat and offers nice views.

We stopped for a picnic at the far end of the lake and were joined by this little critter.

If you’re into rock climbing, check out Smith Rock State Park.

Wallowa Lake, located in Northeast Oregon is yet another activity packed area to visit.

There is so much to see and do in Oregon, I have just barely scratched the surface with this post. What are your favorite places to visit there? As always, I welcome comments and questions.

Portland’s Waterfront Blues Festival

In 1979 my brother and I saw Eric Clapton in concert at the Seattle Center Coliseum, Muddy Waters was the warm up act. This was my introduction to blues, and what a great place to start. Fast forward 40 years to the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival, where, within minutes of arriving I heard an artist give tribute to Muddy; although he passed away 26 years ago, his legend lives on.

Back to the Portland Blues Festival, it is held at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland. The festival started in 1987, and is sponsored by the Cascade Blues Association. It is usually held on the first weekend in July.

There are three stages set up so the music never stops. When one group finishes, the next one starts right up. Upon entering, we heard the Bottleneck Blues Band on the Front Porch Stage, the winners of the 2015 Muddy Awards Winner Best New Band. Some of the other groups we heard were the Rose City Kings with Travis Moonchild Haddix, Lisa Mann with Lura Price, Harpdog Brown and the Uptown Blues Band. He looked quite dashing in his suit and spats. There are many other groups scheduled over the rest of the weekend, and the music will continue through midnight Sunday, July 7, 2019.

There are many vendors set up as well, we found kilts, ceramics, jewelry, posters, and even a place to get a massage. There are multiple food booths, wine by Union Wine Company, beer and desserts. There is something for everyone. It’s an inviting place to grab some food, a drink, and sit back and enjoy the soulful, smooth sound of the blues.

My brother’s birthday is in a few days, and I’m sure he would have loved celebrating it at the blues fest. I can picture him sprawled out on a blanket, sipping a beer, watching the people, and throughly enjoying the amazing musicians on the multiple stages. Tragically, he took his own life 18 years ago. I think about him everyday and miss him terribly. His physical body was not at the festival, but I have no doubt that he was there in sprit.