Eons of spewing volcanoes and cataclysmic floods created the Columbia River Gorge, where Oregon’s grandest river rolls through towering cliffs of basalt. Even Congress agreed this place was special. Twenty-five years ago, it named the Columbia River Gorge the country’s first National Scenic Area, protecting the Columbia’s most dramatic stretch, the eighty-five miles between the Sandy and Deschutes rivers.
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.
Kevin Zielinski’s eyes light up as he names the apple varieties he tends at his Willamette Valley orchard, just outside of Salem. Champagne Rienette. Douce Moën. Muscadet de Lense. St. Martine. The sinuous vowels and soft consonants even sound delicious. Eventually, they become fluid when Zielinski transforms these French heirloom apples into a traditional sparkling hard cider that leaves many searching for words.
Oregon State University quarterback Ryan Katz and University of Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas make predictions for the 2011 football season in our Autumn 2011 Athlete Profile. While Katz believes his team has something to prove, Thomas hopes to be in the national championship. Either way, both hope to come out winners.
We sent photographer Aubrie LeGault out to Heppner and highways 207 and 74 to capture what we thought might make an interesting photo subject—grain elevators. She stunned us with this beautiful tribute to farmers in the Blue Mountain Valley. Her photos represent a heightened attention to detail and a love affair with the subject. Here we created an online gallery for Aubrie’s excellent photos.