We haven’t posted in a while due to limited Internet access and loads of writing inertia. Time to catch up.
Since our last posting we:
-- Took a trip to McMinnville, Oregon. McMinnville is in the middle of Oregon’s wine country; we must have seen signs for 50 wineries. It’s a quaint, pretty town and supposedly a UFO was sited there in 1950. It’s also home of a McMenamins pub that Jim wanted to visit. Despite the similar sounding names, McMenamins has nothing to do with McMinnville, like I used to think until I became more familiar with Oregon. McMenamins is a company that owns (last time I counted on their web site) 66 pubs/restaurants and 24 breweries in Oregon and Washington. They buy historic buildings, restore them and turn them into pubs and hotels. We’ve been to McMenamins that were previously a Masonic/Eastern Star property, a poor farm, and a bar with Shanghai tunnels.
--Side note on the McMinnville trip: On our way there we drove through Newberg, OR, where 9-year-old Herbert Hoover moved to live with an aunt and uncle after his parents died. Hoover's uncle was George Fox, the founder of a Quaker College in Newberg that bears Fox's name.
--Had a belated birthday shopping trip with grandson Owen and said goodbye to the Oregon contingent of our family in Tigard.
--Spent a couple of days in Eugene, where we did brew pubbing, grocery shopping and football watching.
--Camped at Joseph Stewart State Park south of Crater Lake. Very pretty, well groomed park on the banks of Lost Creek Reservoir. Since it’s the end of the season and we were mid week campers, probably only a quarter of the sites were full. Gotta love mid week camping.
--Visited Crater Lake National Park. Crater Lake was formed 7,700 years ago when a volcano named Mt. Mazama erupted and then collapsed, forming a caldera that later filled with water. No rivers feed the lake; it's entirely filled with rain and snow run off. Hiking within the caldera is prohibited in order to prevent erosion and to keep the water pristine.
--Camped at a Thousand Trails Campground south of Bend. We had a heck of a time finding it because -- as we we now know -- there are two locations in Bend with the exact same address but different ZIP Codes. When I plugged the address into our GPS (sans ZIP Code) naturally I got the wrong one. Once we knew we were lost, I called the campground and was told "Don't use Bend as the city, use Sun River" -- even though their literature and their web site say Bend. Had I looked more closely at their maps, however, I would have realized there was an issue and we would have arrived 50 miles sooner. The setting is lovely with huge ponderosa pines, sage, and shrubs that are turning russet and yellow, but the grounds are not very clean so we don't recommend it. But it worked for two days.
--This afternoon we arrived in Crane, Oregon. If you've never heard of it, neither had we. Tomorrow we explore. And probably watch football.
|Jim and grandson Owen at the Lego Store in Tigard's Washington Square Mall, where Owen explained each and every Lego display. Then he went to the back wall and filled up two big cups with individual Legos as his gift. After that he went to a counter and made a gun. His Mom had told us not to get anything with a lot of small pieces and no weapons. We blew it.|
|The view from the rooftop bar at the McMenamins in McMinnville (try saying that five times fast) where we had beers and veggie burgers. That's a UFO in the lower center of the pic. Or it could be a light fixture. This particular McMenamins is called Hotel Oregon.|
|Jim at the Bier Stein in Eugene, Oregon, which was named one of the top five "Great American Beer Bars" in the country per a craft beer.com poll. Jim was impressed because he could order a second beer from their web site. It was delivered to our table in probably three minutes.|