Bracketed by views of Mt. Bachelor and the Abert Rim, the Outback Scenic Byway is a sinuous ribbon of asphalt that carries travelers on an adventure of sights, sounds and smells. Traveling the Outback Scenic Byway, or Highway 31, isn’t so much a drive as it is a geological experience. This stretch of Oregon is best experienced at low speeds.
The plan for Jesse Lange was already in the soil of tiny Dundee when he moved there as a 9-year-old. It wasn’t preordained determinism. Oregon’s wine industry back then couldn’t yet be called much of an industry. The soil was new to the noses in the wine world, and most clear thinkers were clearly skeptical of its potential. Oregon wine was what Californian wine-growers considered to be the hooch of a few hippies who had lost the points on their compass, errant souls swept up in a northerly trade wind.
Oregon’s Highway 101 where the Lewis and Clark expedition ended—at the confluence of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean, where Fort Clatsop sidles up to Warrenton. Southbound travelers discover rivers, resorts, refuges, and more state parks and waysides per mile than any other stretch of Oregon road (thirteen state parks in Clatsop County alone). Hamlets spring from grassy dunes, artist colonies colonize and roadside eateries beckon travelers to Oregon’s seafood bounty. From Warrenton to the Cape Meares Lighthouse, this northern segment of Highway 101 puts travelers at the junction of sea and sand.
Without question, Oregon has earned a worldwide reputation for its craft brewing industry and craft beers. What started with a few Portland area brewers has spread to include more than one hundred microbreweries in a state many now lovingly call “Beervana.” Integral to Beervana are its many public houses, where ales and lagers find good company with comfort food.