Ode to Oregon, Including a Trio of Sunsets

I should begin by confessing that I’ll be stretching the definition of “sunset” pretty close to the breaking point with the pictures herein, but if you’ll forgive me that, let’s continue, shall we?

I’m home after a glorious week spent in the Pacific Northwest with my wife and, though it’s good to be home, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I left a not-insignificant piece of my heart in Oregon.  Amanda and I fell in love with the city and surrounding regions (we spent three nights in Portland proper, three nights in the wine country of the Willamette Valley, and two on the coast in Pacific City) and, without any doubt, I can say with certainty that we’ll be returning for (at least) seconds.

Sunset off the Oregon coast at Pacific City

We’ll have to return not only to see friends we were able to see on this trip, but to meet new friends (alas, due to vagaries of missed calls on both ends, fellow Whatever guest blogger Mary Robinette Kowal and I were unable to get together), and while we were able to take in quite a few of the restaurants, brewpubs, and wineries that were recommended both here and elsewhere, there are many more that we simply didn’t have time for … and based on how much we loved the ones we did visit, we’re already champing at the bit to find out what we missed (and, yes, to return for seconds to some of the ones we were able to hit).

Much as I’d like to dedicate individual posts to each region we visited, and to the delights discovered therein, I’m afraid that time just isn’t going to permit my doing so, what with the return to work tomorrow, going out to shows two nights this week, and the ‘rents staying over for a night while en route to New York for my Grandma’s 99th birthday party (as well as my own departure for that weekend soiree) … but I’m determined to find time to get in at least one or two more posts before the clock runs out on what has been an enormously fulfilling guest blogging opportunity.

Twilight in McMinnville, Oregon

In the meantime, just a few highlights of our trip in the form of brief shout-outs:  superb meals at Por Que No?, Screen Door (with my pal Brett Warnock of Top Shelf Comix, Portland’s finest purveyor of comics), Voodoo Donuts, and Pok Pok, as well as superb beers at Henry’s, the Green Dragon (including a couple hours at the equally superb Rogue Nano Fest which included two beers each from over twenty small-batch craft brewers), A Roadside Attraction, and Deschutte’s (all Portland); memorable meals at La Rambla, Nick’s, Bistro Maison, and A Tuscan Estate, the B&B at which we stayed while in wine country (all McMinnville), and equally memorable wines at … well, too many to mention them all, but I’ll single out Soter, the Carlton Winemakers Studio, Eyrie, and Archery Summit (all Willamette Valley); and finally, more great food on the coast at Pacific Seafood in Bay City, Fat Freddy’s, the Pelican Pub & Brewery (great beer there too!), and our B&B in Pacific City, the Craftsman Bed and Breakfast.  A visit to Pacific City features many charms, and with Mike of the Craftsman B&B as your gracious host, you’ll be made to feel completely at home while you enjoy as many of them as your schedule permits.

In closing, if I may say of Portlanders/Oregonians … you folks are among the nicest people I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet, anywhere in the world.  Seriously, it was as if everyone we met in the state was a self-appointed ambassador for the region, and I think that Greece may be the only place I’ve ever been where I felt that so strongly.  And to the friend with whom my wife and I stayed while in Portland, from whose porch off Skyline Drive the following view of the Willamette Valley comes, please don’t wait too long to let Amanda and I return the favor!:

Sunset over the Willamette Valley from a porch off Skyline Drive, Portland, OR

Now playing:  After a week of living, eating, and drinking locally in Portland, I’m home and listening to the insidiously infectious pop punk of new-to-me local heroes Driving East of Fairfax, VA.  Cheers to my pal Greg, bassist for local indie rock heroes the Jet Age for putting Driving East on my radar.

Now drinking:  On the beverage score, my heart and palate remains in OR as I enjoy a sublime 2007 Eyrie pinot gris.

17 Comments on “Ode to Oregon, Including a Trio of Sunsets”

  1. I had the pleasure of watching several years worth of sunsets from a watchtower overlooking the mouth of the Columbia river at Cape Disappointment. The sunsets never disappointed.

  2. Just fyi, my current home (Asheville, NC) beat the pants off of Portland in the latest “Beer City USA” contest. Just in case you’re looking for other extremely scenic and wonderfully brew-stocked places to check out.

  3. Thanks from Portland. It’s nice to be appreciated. Says she after a Hogue Fume Blanc with corn chowder and homegrown salad with my fourth ripe tomato. It’s beautiful in the upper left coast, but definitely a green tomato year.

    Cape Disappointment is one of my favorite places on earth…

  4. I have to concur. Of all the cities in all the states that I’ve spent time in (which is quite a few over the last 40 years) Portland is by far my favourite. They just get so many things right. The fact that it’s only a short flight away from my damp Canadian home helps too.

  5. Glad you enjoyed Portland and the various areas of Oregon! It is a lovely place and extremely livable, if you’re willing to put up with a lot of grey days in the winter… :) I just finished dinner at Por Que No? this evening myself – such a fun place! (If you didn’t try the ceviche, I recommend it for the next time you go. :)

  6. Yesh! Portland is an excellent place to visit. Please visit often.

    But don’t move here ;) Or at least, don’t move here until you’ve spent a significant part of a fall/winter/spring here. I know too many people who visited in the Summer/early Fall and fell in love and moved… and then complain endlessly about the other 10 months. (*glaring at my husband*).

  7. That first photo, the one with the clouds, is gorgeous. The others are nice, as well, but I’ve always loved cloud pictures most of all.

  8. Soni: ahh, online polls. But generous folks as us Portlanders are, we may invite folks to sample both our 34 breweries and Asheville’s 9.

    Glad you got to the Green Dragon.

  9. My wife and I just visited the city for the first time in July. We loved it and can’t wait to go back. We’ll probably move there.
    It’s amazing what can happen when people choose to make a city into an actual community, rather than just a place to own a house.

  10. If you missed it… you MUST go to Fire on the Mountain and Bamboo Grove. LOCAL DELICIOUSNESS!

  11. Wow, I recognize that rock in the first picture. Only been to Oregon once, last August, when we went for a cousin’s wedding and stayed for a week. Great area, and loved Portland. But we stayed in a rented house just yards from the beach that rock is off the coast from. Weird.

  12. I finally got to go to Portland this summer. It’s the city version of the town I live in, I think :)

    I’d move there except for the weather, alas.

  13. Thank you for the kind words! We do indeed pride ourselves in killing visitors with kindness. Next time you visit might i suggest Checking out The Allison Inn & Spa in Newberg? If you can’t make it to stay for a night or two at the very least check out the Jory Restaurant inside, easily some of the best food in all of Oregon, and it prides it self on being local, (nearly)all of the produce (fruits, vegetables and herbs) used in the restaurant come from its own private organic garden, and as much of the meats and cheeses as possible are immediately local in origin as well. check it out!


    (and yes, I do work there, so I might be slightly biased)

  14. Thanks for the shout out. We love Pacific City, a still tiny beach town and we love running The Craftsman B&B and meeting awesome guests that fall in love with Oregon.