Columbia Farms on Sauvie Island bring the berries to the people

written by Sophia McDonald photography by David L. Reamer Come May, the rows of calf-high plants at Sauvie Island’s Columbia Farms have reached their full size and seem to stretch endlessly toward the horizon. Hidden beneath waterfalls of sawtooth-edged leaves are one of spring’s biggest treats—strawberries, some big, some small, all bright red and promising sublime sweetness. Maybe it’s just that strawberries are the first fruit to come on the market after a long winter full of earthy storage crops and bitter greens. Maybe it’s that unparalleled flavor, coupled with their charming heart shape and striking color. There’s something special about this berry—especially for Oregonians, who live in one of the best berry-growing regions in the world and, as a result, have access to premium fruit during the short growing season. So many people don’t know where their food comes from, and u-pick is a great way to bridge that…

A guide’s list of Oregon’s best climbing destinations

written by Peter Madsen Ancient seismic upheaval and and the erosive work of bygone lakes and rivers have carved many of Oregon’s striking landscapes. As a result, pockets of great climbing opportunities abound, according to Cliff Agocs, a rock guide certified by the American Mountain Guides Association. Also the co-owner of Timberline Mountain Guides, Agocs, a Bend resident, has traveled Oregon extensively in search of new climbing opportunities. And he’s yet to climb everything. Here, Agocs provides readers with some of Oregon’s best climbing destinations, including route varieties, rock type and other considerations. Most of Oregon’s climbing destinations are home to local climbing communities that set and maintain interesting routes. Respecting the local climbing ethics is one of the keys to enjoying an area without “blowing it up,” Agocs said. A great place to begin research is www.mountainproject.com, an REI-funded online climbing guide. As a general rule, Oregon’s wealth of…

Sel's Brewery

Canyon City’s Sel’s Brewery opens the bar just once a year

by Joni Kabana Oregon is full of spirited breweries, but have you ever heard of a bar operating just one weekend a year? Head to Canyon City the weekend of June 7 and 8, when the old stone Sel’s Brewery will swing open its barroom doors and let you down a pint inside this astonishing old historical landmark. Thanks to a band of brothers—the Whiskey Gulch Gang established in 1922—Sel’s Brewery has long been the gathering place for the annual ’62 Days celebration, commemorating the year gold was discovered in the area. Get ready to kick up your heels to live music, run in the Gold Rush Run, cheer for the bed race, and witness the annual staged hanging right in the middle of town. Pull up a chair next to a local, and you might even hear a story or two about this fascinating little gem of a town.

Paddleboarding in Brookings

Oregon’s Best Places to Retire

written by Lee Lewis Husk Retiring with visions of sitting on a beach sipping Mai Tais? Well, maybe not in Oregon, where you’re more likely to be pulling on a wetsuit to wade into the surf or rubber boots to walk the dog. Oregon isn’t Florida or Arizona, but it does have considerable appeal to those no longer tethered to a paycheck. Whether you’re a 45-year-old techie escaping Silicon Valley, an urbanite fleeing traffic or a rural boomer seeking great health care facilities, you’ll need a place to retire and call home.  We’ve found six towns that may tickle your retirement dreams. In selecting this list, we considered the availability and cost of housing, weather, proximity to airports, health care, cultural and recreational amenities, and the history and vibe of the place. Brookings Sun Worshippers, Camels & Cacti Not Found Here With 50 inches of rain falling between November and…

Face Rock Sate Scenic Viewpoint

Sand labyrinths at Face Rock State Scenic Viewpont

photography by Joe Kline When the tide is out, Denny Dyke’s work begins. He designs, draws and decorates labyrinths in the sand along the Oregon Coast, mostly in Bandon at Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint. What started as a walking meditation turned into a public art installation—this year, Dyke and his team of volunteers will create more than forty labyrinths in the sand, inviting the public to walk through the circles and waiting for his creations to wash away as the tide rolls in.

Tiny House Sheltered Nook

Sheltered Nook’s Tiny Houses

written by Jen Stevenson If Tiny House, Big Living is your HGTV catnip, or your favorite recurring daydream is to KonMari all of your worldly possessions and downsize to a 385-square-foot dwelling, this Bay City tiny home hamlet is just the place to hole up for a beautiful late spring weekend. Husband-and-wife team Hank and Dee Harguth’s first foray into the hospitality industry was in 2005, when they began hosting bicyclists making their two-wheeled way along picturesque Highway 101. A simple bed-and-breakfast followed in 2013, and today, the Harguths’ vision has evolved into an eco-friendly village that attracts road trippers both near and far, charmed by the novelty of tiny home life, the resident ducks and chickens that casually waddle the 3-acre property, the misty morning walks through 200-acre Kilchis Point nature reserve a mere block away, and the proximity to popular coastal destinations like Cape Meares and Nehalem Bay…

Northwest Destination: Touring the Tri-Cities

Learn your atomic history and so much more in Eastern Washington’s biggest surprise written by Kevin Max This trip marked the first time I had spent meaningful time in Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Pasco and Richland). I came for the history and the story of the Hanford Site B Reactor and found an engaging culture all around Hanford. If you’re as fascinated with the history of WWII as I am, the Manhattan Project National Historic Park at Hanford nuclear site is on your agenda. Schedule your tour in advance, as the free four-hour experience begins with a short film at the visitor center on the edge of the park before boarding a bus to the site 40 stark miles northwest. The experience still feels a little cloak and dagger more than seventy years after its mission began. One of three pieces of the once-secret Manhattan Project—the other sites are Oak Ridge, Tennessee…

Trip Planner: The Northern Oregon Coast

The northern coast of Oregon is more than just Haystack Rock written by Sheila Miller Picking your favorite part of the Oregon coastline is like picking your favorite flavor of ice cream. It’s all pretty great, and some of it depends on what you grew up with. This spring, I decided it was time to mix it up a bit. As a native Portlander, I spent my youth near the northern border of the state. But there are wonders as you leave your comfort zone. I set out to find them on the Northern Oregon Coast. From Gearhart to Garibaldi, we spent some time exploring the northern Oregon coastline. It’s a lovely drive filled with hidden gems. Along the northern coast, Highway 101 winds through lush, green state parks and then cuts inland to Nehalem Bay, passing boat marinas and small antiques shops and running parallel to a railroad track…

Freeland Whiskey

Spring Whiskey Events Around Oregon

MARCH 25 Distillery Startup Workshop Mon, Mar 25 – Fri, Mar 29 Corvallis Corvallis, OR MARCH 28 The Eastburn’s Whiskey Cocktail Dinner | 4 Courses Thu, 6:00 – 8:30 PM EastBurn Public House, 1800 E Burnside St Portland, OR MARCH 30 Poor Man’s Whiskey (Band) Sat, 8 – 10 PM The Belfry, 302 E Main Ave Sisters, OR APRIL 7 Whiskey distilling and blending workshop with master distiller Molly Troupe Sunday Freeland Spirits, 2671 NW Vaughn St Portland, OR APRIL 13 Wine, Whiskey and Women: The EXPO!  Sat, 4:00 – 8:30 PM Willamette Heritage Center, 1313 Mill St SE Salem, OR APRIL 28 Hands-On Whiskey Making Class Sun, 10 AM – 3 PM New Deal Distillery and Tasting Room, 900 SE Salmon St Portland, OR AUGUST 25 Hands-On Whiskey Making Class Sun, 8 AM – 5 PM New Deal Distillery and Tasting Room, 900 SE Salmon St Portland, OR

Freeland Spirits

Women and Whiskey at Freeland Spirits

Freeland Spirits sets out to do distilling differently written by Sheila Miller Freeland Spirits started with a Texas grandma, a whiskey night and a dream. That dream is now a reality, thanks to the hard work of founder Jill Kuehler, distiller Molly Troupe and farmer Cory Carman, who have combined to create a woman-owned and operated distillery that cheers “equal opportunity drinking.” Kuehler has a nonprofit background focused in food and agriculture. Up until a couple years ago, she was running Zenger Farm in Southeast Portland, a spot that educates thousands of kids each year about how food is grown. But she’d always had a soft spot for spirits, and was interested in their “terroir”—how grain from different places could influence flavor. When she became friends with Cory Carman, one of the sisters who owns Carman Ranch in Eastern Oregon, it all started to click into place. “Anytime she comes…