Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Here's another great AskOR question that I had the pleasure of answering today:
"My wife & I are coming to Hillsboro to spent a week getting to know Oregon. Staying in Hillsboro each nite but want to see nature, landscape, natural wonders and experience the culture. Hope to come back to NH with hundreds of pictures and memories. Can you recommend sites to see without breaking the bank? We will have a rental car all week!"
I am the AskOR Willamette Valley Ambassador and I am happy to suggest some places here in the valley that you will totally love! I also love photography so I can suggest all my favorite spots to take that perfect picture.
First of all, from the Hillsboro area, I would take a day trip through the Willamette Valley via hwy 99W. The scenic views are amazing and the hundreds of wineries that dot the countryside are perfect for pictures! Our wineries are very friendly so it's not unusual to stop for a taste and photos and enjoy walking through the vineyards. You will be here when the grapes are still pretty small but on the cusp of vineyard greatness so, enjoy all the green and the vines on your drive!
I love to hike so I am recommending a few places where there is no cost or little to no cost to explore. Silver Creek Falls for one is a place perfect for a short easy hike or a strenuous one, whichever you prefer. Waterfalls abound so enjoy every minute. Here's the link: http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_211.php Also, another place for the best hiking and the most green forest that I know of in Oregon, is the McDonald Dunn Forest: http://www.cof.orst.edu/cf/forests/mcdonald/ There is an "old growth" area there is so green and mossy and beautiful that you will swear you are on a movie set. It doesn't even seem real but it is as you will see. Small creeks and graveled trails will guide you over the sweetest bridges and around the foliage and flowers and you will want to spend hours there with your camera.
While you are in that area, you won't be far away from Albany! Boasting the most in number and the most in varied styles of historic homes and buildings of any other Oregon city, Albany has a great self guided walking map that can be picked up at the Albany Visitor's Assn. office. www.albanyvisitors.com It is not unusual to find photographers hanging out in our historic districts or up on the hwy 20 bridge taking pictures of our beautiful Willamette River all throughout summer.
If you make it to Albany, stop at the Albany Carousel Museum and Carving Studio: http://www.albanybrassring.com/ There is no fee for entrance and you'll get to see a carousel being hand carved and painted by volunteers from all over the region. It's quite an amazing place and the animals are as alluring as the volunteers that love having their pictures taken with the pieces they are working on.
I hope I gave you some ideas and hope you get a chance to experience it all. Please let me know if I can help you with more ideas. Have a great trip and thanks for your question!
Travel Oregon AskOR Willamette Valley Ambassador
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Enjoy the "partial" article below. Written shortly after Bill spent a night at our inn and I think he really liked it! He's been back and will be here again next month! If you are riding the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway, we are happy to give you a reduced rate for your guest room! Other bicycle amenities include:
Complete basement lock up for your bike and gear
Air compressor for airing up your tires
Access to tools if needed
A huge delicious breakfast
Wine and dessert the evening of your arrival
Dinner recommendations to the best places in town to dine and the best part... it's all walkable easily from the inn!
So, park your bike, take a hot shower, enjoy a glass of Oregon wine, have dinner downtown and sleep like a baby at The Pfeiffer Cottage Inn!
Reserve at: www.thepfeiffercottageinn.com
A slow ride through the Willamette Valley
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
By Bill MacKenzie
The Hillsboro Argus
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Looking for a way to kill a few hours and always looking for a new adventure here in Oregon, I suggested we head to Van Duzer Vineyards a few weeks ago. There are only a handful of wineries that I know of with views found at Van Duzer . Rolling hills of farm land, trees and blue skies as far as I could see and so, I picked out my wine and took the glass and headed outside for some time to soak up the sun!
With every new experience, I cannot imagine ever taking this place for granted. I hope I never do! So, in my endeavor to never get complacent, to never say to myself, "oh yeah... that's just another winery!" or to ever be done figuring out how many shades of green there really are, I take moments in my day and when I can, days in my week and seek to find some of the most amazing places here in Oregon. Driving down a road that I've never been down before, checking out a winery I've heard about and never been to, trying out a new restaurant that brags about it's "all local faire" or a place just so spectacular that you think about it in your sleep and it all keeps me wanting for more! And living here in Oregon... well let's just say, my playground never gets boring!
Here's to hoping you'll come see why I love it here. Have a glass on me and sit and count the shades of green. You'll be there a while so you may as well order a whole bottle!
Cheers from Oregon and the Willamette Valley!
Sunday, June 17, 2012
A summertime dream! An afternoon at Vintage Roost perusing the garden and cottage for something I just can't live without! It's in my calendar AND I wanted to share it with you!
The Vintage Roost
is getting a jumpstart on summer this year and having their
Real Old Fashioned Summertime Lawn Sale
One long weekend only!!
June 28th, 29th & 30th, Thursday – Saturday, 10:00-5:00 daily
Our Summer show is just as wonderful as all of the others, except for the very special fact that this one is full of SALES!
And in addition to the marked down sale items, our crafters bring unfinished projects, not so perfect furniture pieces, craft supplies,
collectible collections they don’t want to collect anymore & just plain Funky stuff!
So, we hope you can make it out to The Roost to visit, shop & have some fun!
We are located in the picturesque countryside of North Albany, 935 NW Scenic Dr., ½ mile off of Hwy 20
Remember, we now accept all major credit cards
and if you need to get a hold of us, just send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Here's another AskOR question I received recently that I truly loved! I adore hiking and have been on many trails here in Oregon. The Wahkeena Trail near Multnomah Falls and Silver Creek Falls are high up on my list of FAVORITE PLACES TO HIKE IN OREGON! Enjoy!
I will be traveling to Oregon on a Solo trip at the beginning of July. I would like to hike Eagle Creek and Silver Falls State Park. Are these doable solo or can you recommend a guide service?
My AskOR Answer:
I am the AskOR Willamette Valley Ambassador and I am happy to give you my input regarding your question about hiking solo!
First of all, I will let you know that I love Silver Creek Falls. It is one of my most favorite places to hike here in Oregon and the Willamette Valley. And... I can say you can surely hike the area solo! The time of year you are going is perfect because there will be other folks on the trail along with you and our summers are mild so you will totally enjoy it. Here is a link for some info regarding the trails: http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_211.php
As usual, esp when hiking alone, be sure to bring enough drinking water and snacks and let someone know where and when you will be hiking. It's easy to get lost in the beauty of the trails and I have been a little lost a few times myself. Thank goodness for a good map and snacks to get me through!
Please let me know if I can recommend lodging and dining options for you while you are in Oregon as well. I happen to be an inn inspector for The Oregon Bed & Breakfast Guild and I think I know where all the most relaxing and comfy inns are here in Oregon. Or, please ck out: www.obbg.org
And, I know I am to stick to the Willamette Valley and I know Cari our Hood River Ambassador may tell you about this, but I hiked the Wahkeena Trail a few years ago and wow!!! Amazing and very long and hard but worth it! Here's a little info for you: http://www.portlandhikersfieldguide.org/wiki/Wahkeena_Falls_Hike
I hiked it counter clockwise and I highly suggest that route due to getting the uphill done first and believe me when I say... there's a lot of uphill!!!
Thank you for your question and please let me know if I can help you further and I'd love to hear how your trip went when you are finished!
Travel Oregon AskOR Willamette Valley Ambassador
... yes, it's me in the photo above! I hiked the Wahkeena Trail on my 49th birthday! I'll be 51 next month so I'm wondering how to top that hike???
Sunday, June 10, 2012
I decided to walk the Portland Half Marathon several months ago and that meant getting my butt up and moving! So I did!
For a while now, my "getting in shape" guru has been my daughter, Sher. She runs, she lifts weights and she can take down just about anyone that needs it! I can't say what she does for her work but I can say, that it requires her to be in pretty darn good shape. So, watching her train, tone and firm and enjoying every minute of it, inspired me to sign up for the Portland Half Marathon that takes place this October. Mama doesn't run though so I will walk the half marathon and by the time it's here, I'll be 51 and hopefully be in better physical and mental shape than I've ever been in before!
Today was the day I chose to extend my walking mileage so I set out to try a 6 mile walk and I also chose to grab my head phones and iPod to see if it helped with the boredom I often feel when walking long distances. It helped tremendously by the way. It was invigorating to listen to "Hold On" and "Go Your Own Way" along with all the other Wilson Phillips Greatest Hits while I trekked out in the Willamette Valley countryside but I can't say it was awesome for everyone else I encountered on the road. It was gorgeous out there as evidenced by the multitude of bicyclists and runners also enjoying the sunshine!!! We've been waiting for a day like this for weeks and as you may know, the Willamette Valley is known for its wine and its rain so many of us took complete advantage of it today. It's a good thing I'll never see those poor folks again as they had to listen to me sing my very own rendition of..."hold on for one more day.... hold on...."
Sher posted on FB not too long ago that she was working out to Nicki Minaj. I think Nicki was on American Idol this past season and I think I remember fast forwarding through her performance. But, if the beat is what makes you move, go for it!
I'll keep walking and training for the half marathon while listening to Wilson Phillips but I may add a little Nicki in there just to see if it makes me wanna run. I doubt it but what the heck... we'll just have to see what happens.
Thanks Sher for being my personal inspiration and I love that you chose to be healthy and that you chose to be strong and take care of yourself. Maybe one day we can do a half marathon together!
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Enjoy my latest "AskOR" question!
"My latest AskOR question: I would like to know where the good motorcycle roads from Silverton west to the coast as far south as California are and I'm thinking of relocating to Oregon - any tips or suggestions?"
I am the AskOR Willamette Valley Ambassador and I am happy to answer your questions for you. First of all I have to say that I don't ride motorcycles but I know the roads I drive are pretty amazing and full of very cool things to see here in Oregon. So, here's a route I would suggest for your ride just from my point of view.
From Silverton, I would take hwy 22 toward the coast via Salem... a lot of scenery and if you get hungry, a stop at Cafe 22 West is a great place for a bite to eat: http://www.cafe22west.com/ It's a little hard to spot on the road so be looking for it.
Once you get to the coast, you will see that our Oregon coastline is stunning and you can certainly take your time along this route heading south to California. There are places to stop and explore as well as some photo ops not found anywhere else in the country. I am actually planning a trip this summer with my husband to explore our Southern Oregon Coast as I haven't been south of Coos Bay because I am still fairly new to Oregon myself. But, I have heard that Bandon and Brookings are great little towns and on into Crescent City you will find more ways to fill your days with lots to see on your ride.
As far as relocating to Oregon, the only suggestion I can really give you is to spend some time here. I love the Willamette Valley but I also have a loft in Portland. I adore Southern Oregon as much as I love the Joseph area east of here. I could spend my days exploring all of it. It will truly depend on what kind of weather you like, how wet you are willing get and whether or not you could tolerate our cool Oregon coast. Oh yeah... I don't think I mentioned that I love Canon Beach, OR too and someday hope to live there part time as well. So, as you can see, decisions on where to live here in Oregon aren't easy but it's sure fun trying to figure it out!
I hope I helped a bit and please let me know if I can help you further.
Travel Oregon AskOR Willamette Valley Ambassador
Saturday, June 2, 2012
What are you coming to Oregon for this summer....
Have you rafted down the Willamette River?
Have you seen our gorgeous Oregon Coastline?
Have you boated our rivers and lakes?
Have you roamed our beaches on overcast days and taken the most beautiful photographs ever?
Have you seen how fat our Oregon starfish are?
What about our Farmer's Markets? Every town has one! See what grows here!
Have you hiked our trails and enjoyed our lush foliage?
Have you frolicked through our vineyards?
Have you felt just how warm our sands are on your bare feet?
Have you driven that side road that holds so many unexpected surprises?
Have you tasted our delicious cuisine from our local award winning chef's?
Have you watched our grapes turn from green to lusciously ready for picking and tasting?
Have you hiked Wizard Island or toured our most magnificent Crater Lake?
Have you riden a sweet mare through our Willamette Valley wine country and filled your saddlebags with our Pinot Noirs?
Have you tasted our food carts and enjoyed our "hipster" attitude in Portland?
Have you tasted our cocktails made with locally distilled spirits?
Have you walked over all of our bridges in Portland?...
...or tried a donut at Voodoo Donuts?
I'll bet you haven't riden tandem on our Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway!
...or sampled our flights of micro brewed beers all over this great state!
Or... have you even seen this stunning show of "night glow" at one of Oregon's most awarded festivals?
If you want to have the best summer ever, come see us here in Oregon! We know how to have fun!
JUST ASKOR HOW TO HAVE THE BEST "SUMMER IN OREGON"