Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail, 175 years later — Gravel Bikes, Running Shoes & Great Brews & Views

  written by Kevin Max regon gives a lot and sometimes, when you’re retracing the Oregon Trail on bike and on foot in a four-day span, it gives more than you expect. Okay, we took an Airstream too, but chiefly for its historic connection along the Oregon Trail. Read on. It was the second week of June, and my friend Zach Violett and I left Central Oregon with our dogs and a thirst for new adventures and good beer, bound for Farewell Bend State Park—the eastern point of modern-day Oregon’s section of the Oregon Trail. Wagons that left Independence, Missouri, crossed here months later into what is now Oregon. We brought gravel bikes, running shoes and a curiosity of what we might find along the way. Zach is an ultra runner who was recovering from a hernia surgery. Thus predisposed, he would, by doctor’s order, have to reduce his mileage…

Designer Spotlight: Designer Jessica Helgerson on chic and timeless kitchen design

Designer Spotlight interview by Melissa Dalton, photos by Lincoln Barbour   Twenty-two years ago, Jessica Helgerson started her design career in Santa Barbara, working for a green-building nonprofit called The Sustainability Project. So what’s the greenest move you can make in a kitchen? First, she says, “Get the design right for that house so that the kitchen never has to get ripped out again.” We asked her to elaborate on her secrets for doing just that. 1. Take cues from the existing house. At Helgerson’s firm, designers pore over old photos for inspiration. For instance, in a recent remodel of a Portland home that was once a library, Helgerson referenced the house’s past in the kitchen with built-in shelves and a rolling library ladder. 2. Build stylish storage and, bonus, hide the fridge. To balance open shelves with the room’s storage needs, Helgerson’s firm has recently been installing walls of…

Daniel Sperry

Cellist Daniel Sperry interprets Ashland’s Lithia Park for music and emotion

written by Kevin Max TTHE VOICES OF YOUNG KIDS bounce along the turning leaves of Lithia Park. A man submerges a cylindrical wire frame into a bucket and pulls it out, wet and dripping. He makes a slow arc with the wet frame, and an oblong bubble fills and trails behind it, growing to a size equal to the child waiting to chase it into the sky. The bubble separates from the implement and floats out of reach of the small saboteur. The smooth tenor of a cello follows the bubble’s plight as it rises slowly, soon to burst on an oak branch above. The notes subtly gain pitch as the bubble rises like Icarus to its certain demise. The cellist sees all of this and is, at once, sympathizing with the plight of the Icarus bubble while taking in the kid commotion and reading the emotion on the faces…

Condo Downsizes and Makeovers

Beaverton condo makeover transforms a blank box into a custom-designed sanctuary written by Melissa Dalton   When Maurice and Dori King first walked through the door of the Beaverton condo they now call home, they saw a beautiful tree-lined view through the living room’s tall windows. But that was soon followed by a plethora of drab builder finishes, from taupe carpeting to beige bathroom tile. Turns out, that was exactly what the couple needed. The unit had not been modified much since the building’s construction in the early aughts, making it ripe for reinvention. “What excited me more than anything else was that it was a box,” Maurice said. Before considering condo life, Maurice, a sales director at Nike, and Dori, an educator at Oregon Episcopal School, raised two children and, most recently, lived in a modern Craftsman in Bethany Village. That 2,000-square-foot house served certain purposes well. “We are…

CRAVINGS: FINGER LICKIN’ FRIED CHICKEN

BIG’S CHICKEN Longtime Portland chef (and winner of Food Network’s “Chopped”) Ben Bettinger’s Alabama-style chicken shack is back up and running after a devastating fire took the original Glisan location offline in 2017. There is also now a Beaverton outpost, dishing up the same hearty fare as the original—plump, moist smoked birds served grilled or fried, alongside heaps of homemade coleslaw, crispy jojos, black-eyed pea salad, and mashed potatoes. Dirty up your order with chopped smoked chicken, Creole gravy, cotija cheese, green onions, and housemade Fresno pepper and tangy mayonnaise-based “white gold” sauces. 4570 SW WATSON AVE. BEAVERTON www.bigschicken.com HAT YAI BELMONT Whether your standing order at the original North Killings-worth location is the hallowed Hat Yai fried chicken combo or a bowl of the terrifically rich brisket curry, James Beard Award-nominated restaurateur Earl Ninsom’s new inner Southeast Portland shop has you covered. Slurp the shrimp and clam curry with…

The New Scotch Lodge, Portland

written by Jen Stevenson When the holiday euphoria fades and January digs in its dreary heels, it’s best to have a designated grey day den to retreat to, preferably one with Burnt Orange Sherry Cobbler cocktails, soft shell crab sandwiches and a single malt Scotch collection one dreams of getting snowed in with. Enter the Scotch Lodge, a peaty, piquant inner Southeast speakeasy by prized Portland bartender Tommy Klus, who mixed and muddled at Teardrop Lounge, Multnomah Whiskey Library and La Moule before opening the doors of his much-anticipated, instantly revered “cocktail bar for whisky lovers.” Nesting in the cozy, sunken space formerly occupied by beloved Biwa, the bar feels like a secret. Patrons enter via a nondescript door at the corner of SE Ash and 9th Avenue, twist to the right and down, and eventually emerge in a warm, whisky-filled womb of dark wood and gleaming marble, soft forest-green…

Oregon Convention Center gets a facelift

  written by Sheila G. Miller Since 1990, the Oregon Convention Center’s glass towers have been a part of Portland’s skyline. And now, the convention center has a new look, thanks to a $39.5 million renovation that reimagines what it means to go on your next dreaded work trip. Craig Stroud, the executive director of the Oregon Convention Center, said there were two big reasons to upgrade the facility. One, it needed a refresh—Portland in 1990 was a lot different than it is today, and he wanted the aesthetic of the center to reflect that. Two, the Hyatt Regency Portland at the Oregon Convention Center is slated to open in January. The Oregon Convention Center holds about 500 events each year, Stroud said, with fifty or more conventions and between 500,000 and 600,000 visitors. Stroud said the design of the convention center is poised to be a gamechanger—when you’re in…

Puppies in Prison

Woman’s best friend is freeing lives outside—and inside—prison written by Shirley Hancock | photography by Shauna Intelisano   AMY DUARTE’S FREEDOM is rooted in Oregon’s postcard landscapes. As a child, collecting bugs in the high desert. As a snowboard instructor, guiding young shredders down a volcano. As a wildland firefighter, lugging 40 pounds of gear up a mountain. But one violent, summer night in 2011, Duarte’s freedom shrank to a 6-by-12-foot cell. Arrested for domestic violence, she claimed it was in self-defense that she grabbed a lamp and swung. Her sentence—almost six years in Oregon’s “big house” for women, Coffee Creek Correctional Facility. “I was like a zombie. An empty shell, with no hope,” Duarte said. “Hearing that cell door shut—that was the most traumatizing moment of my life.” Two years later hope arrived, in a wiggly pup named Sonic. Duarte is among sixty-four Oregon women who, since 1995, have…