Volcanic rock and wildlife are the towering themes in Eastern Oregon's Leslie Gulch.

Destination Isolation

Eastern Oregon’s Leslie Gulch is an unexpected journey in time and beauty written by Joni Kabana One of the most remote areas of Oregon has miles of sculpted rock formations that were formed millions of years ago. Getting there takes a bit of stamina and a tough vehicle, but once you arrive, there is no doubt you will feel like it was worth the planning and effort. Towering volcanic rock, in various sizes and shapes, line the road in Leslie Gulch, located east of the Owyhee Reservoir in Oregon’s Malheur County. The soil is unique in this location and is conducive to growing rare plant species. If you love watching wildlife, mule deer, California Bighorn sheep, Rocky Mountain elk and assorted coyotes and bobcats frequently roam the isolated landscape. Rock hounds will feel like they are in heaven, but collection of rocks and vegetation is strictly prohibited, as well as…

Natural fibers and warm colors follow the aesthetic of the Columbia Gorge below this Mosier home.

Natural Beauty

A house in Mosier captures everything special about the Columbia River Gorge written by Melissa Daltonphotography by Christopher Dibble Richard Brown is no stranger to working on esteemed sites. Consider the architect’s deft addition to a 1949 Pietro Belluschi house in Oak Grove—Belluschi being perhaps Oregon’s most famous modern architect and known worldwide. But when the owners of 10 acres near Mosier in the Columbia River Gorge reached out, it wasn’t an existing house that struck awe in Brown. It was the land. “My first thought was, ‘This is a rare opportunity for us to work with a really beautiful site,’” said Brown. “I felt a great responsibility to be respectful, in order to take advantage of as many aspects of it as we can.” The Columbia River Gorge is indeed dramatic: a canyon 80 miles long and 4,000 feet deep in spots, cut by the Columbia River and marking…

Domaine Serene is one of the area wineries with a Tuscan experience and gorgeous rows of pinot noir grapes.

McMinnville

Once the middle of nowhere, this locale is now the heart of Oregon wine country written by James Sinks Fifty years ago, the editors of Sunset Books published an eighty-page Travel Guide to Oregon, chockablock with maps, photos, and lists of the Beaver State’s can’t-miss destinations, from the coast to Timberline to Hells Canyon. In it, there’s no mention of anything in McMinnville. Not even a suggestion to tap the brakes. What a difference a half century, and a few hundred wineries, can make. Today, McMinnville is the epicenter of Oregon’s wine world, and the home to 34,466 people now is a leading fixture on recommended tourist itineraries, including international bucket list destinations for aficionados. Head into the rolling countryside in any direction and you’ll find vineyards next to vineyards, and vintners ready with stories, appetizers and cuvées. The city hosts the ritzy International Pinot Noir Celebration every summer. And…

Couple taking selfie under lights

Winter Wanderlust in Oregon

Eight getaways, from rustic cabins to luxurious rooms above the tossing Pacific Ocean and along the tumultuous Columbia written by Jean Chen Smith Cold weather is no reason to stay home and wait out the days until spring! Falling temperatures offer a wide range of outdoor activities and dramatic scenery in our state. What better way to spend some of the holidays than exploring eight of our favorite resorts as you take in the wonders of winter. 1. Headlands Coastal Lodge & Spa PACIFIC CITY Nestled in idyllic Pacific City, right alongside Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area, Headlands opened in 2018, situated on a cliff offering spectacular Pacific Ocean views from all rooms. For larger families or family reunions, book a luxury Oceanfront Cottage that has a fully equipped gourmet kitchen that can also be stocked with groceries upon request. The cottages also have an oceanfront patio or balcony along…

Chris Martini's first wood-burning hot tub on Mount Hood

DIY: Wood-Fired Hot Tubs

Photography by Northwest Timber Tubs A few years ago, Chris Martini’s friends asked for help with a project. They had bought property at the base of Mount Hood and wanted to build a hot tub there. The only catch? The tub needed to be completely off-grid and fueled by a wood-fired stove. Having extensive experience as a carpenter, and most recently managing production for a teardrop trailer company for five years, Martini thought the project sounded like a fun design challenge. “They sent me pictures of some fairly crude designs from the internet that they had found. Real simple stuff of an old tub with a copper coil set-up on the outside,” said Martini. “But the issue with that set-up is that it takes forever to heat up.” Martini got to designing and building, not only the tub, but the platform beneath it, the stove insert, and a retractable roof…

The holidays in Bovarian-themed Leavenworth are like walking into a snowglobe with good beer.

Leavenworth

Compete your holiday shopping—and find beer and deer—in the PNW’s premier Christmastown written by James Sinks Pretty much anywhere, you can open your wallet and browse for holiday gifts. Yet few places—at least, on this continent—can approach the kitschy yuletide charm of Leavenworth, the Pacific Northwest Christmastown filled with Bavarian-styled buildings, beers, bratwurst, and boutiques in Washington’s north Cascades. Festive holiday shopping is only the beginning. Surrounded by snowy and showy 8,000-foot peaks, Leavenworth offers a wonderland of winter outdoor pursuits you won’t find at any strip malls or retail websites. Fly down powdery slopes at Mission Ridge Ski Area; try nordic trails, tubing runs and ski jumping at Leavenworth Winter Sports Club; navigate sledding hills pretty much everywhere; and—once things really cool down—strap on crampons for ice climbing. If that’s not enough to convince you to start making travel plans, there also are horse-drawn sleigh rides with cocoa and…

Wayfinder Beer

Portland’s Brewing, Not Burning

written by Beau Eastes Let’s kill the “Portland is burning” narrative right here. Yes, Stumptown is changing, as any dynamic and modern city should. But Portland still oozes creativity and innovation, it still embraces anyone willing to think outside the box, and it still finds ways to surprise and inspire. Especially in the city’s perpetually evolving beer scene. We here at Beerlandia recently took up the cause of exploring everything new, awesome and funky coming out of Portland’s craft beer scene in the hopes of shattering the notion that the city is essentially RoboCop’s dystopian Detroit with bike lanes.  Here’s what we found: Helles yes to Wayfinder: Is anyone in the state making better beer than Wayfinder Beer on SE 2nd? Their helles, the Wayfinder Hell, won silver at the 2019 Great American Beer Festival and their CZAF Czech-style pilsner is the poster child for the perfect Zoom-with-buddies beer. Best…

Mary Andrus teaching students

Art and Soul

Art therapy can satisfy our deepest needs, transform lives and heal communities written by Cathy Carroll Mary Andrus has seen how working with people through art therapy can transform their lives and build community, and she believes it can ultimately create a more just society. She has spent years working with people in a range of settings, from community mental health programs and nursing homes to an inpatient psychiatric hospital and therapeutic day schools. Art therapy and artistic expression in general, however, can benefit anyone, she said. Art therapy’s aim is to help people function better in their lives and elevate a sense of well-being. “It would be for anybody open to using the creative process to find and get to know themselves,” she said. “Art therapy isn’t about drawing pretty pictures … it’s about tapping into who you are inside—and maybe drawing really ugly pictures—and giving yourself permission to…

Historic Luscher Farm

Food Forays: Following Oregon Food Trails

Follow these food trails to satisfy a hunger for world-class food, landscapes and meet the folks who make it happen written by Cathy Carroll No matter what, food not only sustains us, the better it is, the better we are, and the more fun we have. Now is the time to connect with some of the best food in the world, grown in Oregon, and the people who farm it, ranch it, brew it, crush it and cook it. With spring in full swing and summer on its way, following food trails through some of the state’s most compelling landscapes is our preferred way to feed body and soul. Each region has a trail designed to take you off the beaten path and get a locals’ view of where to go to eat well and satisfy not just your appetite, but a hunger to discover new food, new places and…