Outdoors

tyler roemer, smith rock, central oregon

Mayor of Smith Rock

An interview with Central Oregon rock climber Ian Caldwell, who is known as the “Mayor of Smith Rock.”

ben krause, hiking

Eight Hikes Into Wild Oregon

The snow has retreated to mountaintops, wildflowers are blooming and the days are long. In short, it’s summer—time to grab the hiking gear for a day-trek or backpacking adventure into Oregon’s remote beaches, rainforests, glacier-covered peaks, wild and scenic rivers, painted canyons and vast stretches of high desert.
Revel in the state’s biodiversity—marine mammals and birds, soaring raptors and grazing herds of elk, sheep and antelope. Breathe the air from the summit of Strawberry Mountain, hitch up your pants to cross a tributary of the Pacific or peer into the starry skies from your sleeping bag. Take the kids and teach them to walk softly through the rugged and delicate terrain of this state.
1859 culled eight hikes of varied length and difficulty, many in wilderness areas managed by the U.S. Forest Service or U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Be sure to check current conditions and restrictions, availability of water and campsites before entering the wilderness or starting a multiday hike.

talia galvin, eastern oregon

Blazing Saddles

We anxiously watched a veil of rain move toward and then over us as we cranked our loaded touring bicycles along a two-lane road in Eastern Oregon. My cycling partner, Donnie Kolb, and I still had ten miles to go before we reached Big Bend campsite along the John Day River. We knew that if we wanted to make it before dark, we needed to keep pedaling, even if it meant getting completely drenched.

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The Fairway

In most parts of the civilized world, it’s probably unusual to use your four-wheel drive option on the way to the golf course. Of course, this isn’t anywhere in the world. This is Oregon, where there is no off-season on the golf course. No matter what the weather, somewhere, someone in Oregon is playing golf. To emphasize that point, I packed my clubs and headed out on an odyssey to play through what could have been challenging March conditions, but ended up perfectly playable.

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Dakine 2.0

A 24-year-old robert burns grabs his backpack and snowboard and throws it in the back of his truck. Ten inches of fresh powder. Hood River is at its best in March and again in summer, when he rips up the Gorge on his windsurfer. He tears a new strip of duct tape and mended the pants he’s had on life support for the past six years. A two-shot Americano at Ground Coffee will get him to the first chair at Mt. Hood for a few runs. Forty days on the mountain and, likely, a little late for work, again. Well. In a couple more years, he’ll get a real job, new board pants and maybe even a Dakine Builder’s Pack with a chainsaw pocket for trail work on Whoopdee. No hurry though, as Burns is merely a fictional character representing a key demographic of Dakine, a Hood River-based outdoor gear…

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La Terra Vita

Lucie Gouin examines seeds from a friend’s tomato plant that she says tasted particularly good. On a plate at her kitchen table and labeled “9/23/13,” the heirloom seeds are among hundreds meticulously plucked, dried and saved for possible cultivation for the farm’s community-supported agriculture members. These luscious, thin-skinned heirlooms at the farmers’ market come at a price–and not just to the consumer.   photo by Andrea Lonas They also sell at farmers’ markets, including the Saturday market near Portland State University. Poulos harvests vegetables Friday night. Gouin washes them into the wee hours, then he loads them and departs around 4:30 a.m. They joke that, by September, Poulos resembles a zombie. Heirloom tomato production begins the previous season, by picking and saving seeds from the best plants. “Harvesting and saving heirloom tomato seed is like collecting dying wishes,” quips Gouin. “It is practically an obligation and comes with the promise…

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The (Wine) Trail of Truth

The ancient Latin phrase in vino veritas, “in wine there is truth,” is particularly relevant for the wine experience in Oregon. Do the North Willamette Wine Trail, take in stellar views of Mt. Hood while sipping internationally recognized, award-winning wines, and discover why this is truly one of the best experiences Oregon offers. photo by Paul Loofburrow   It all awaits on the way to the coast or as a destination in itself. The North Willamette Wine Trail Weekend (April 13-14)  is but one high point in a place that epitomizes the good life in Oregon, and it reaches the height of popularity in spring and summer. It’s all laid out on the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route, a 60-mile drive along winding country roads through the lush Tualatin Valley from Sherwood to Swiss-settled Helvetia. photo by Allison George   This Oregon Scenic Byway showcases Washington County’s embarrassment of…

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6 Fierce Mountain Bike Rides

Between the white knuckle rides down Oakridge’s old growth lined trails, trekking around the forested flanks of Mt. Hood, or zipping along Bend’s groomed singletrack, Oregon is a mountain biker’s playground. The state boasts hundreds of miles of dirt trails. Some of these a bit more arduous than others.