Recreation

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Backpacking the Steens

The Steens are not what you think. To most drivers-by, The Steens appear to be an endless medley of sagebrush and volcanic basalt set into a desert scalp of blonde grasses. If you never set fool’s foot outside of your car, that description will play nicely.

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Oregon Travel: Columbia River Gorge

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.

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Into the Outback

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.

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Dundee: A Junction of Worldly Wines and Small Town Charm

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.

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Life on the Rogue

Rounding a bend in the Rogue River’s Wild and Scenic section near Winkle Bar, rafter and guide Eddy Miller pointed to a clearing on a hillside along the river’s northern banks. “There,’ he pointed, “is Happy Hill.’

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An Apple Refined

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.

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The Portland Guide

Theater, art, and music aren’t just nice little frills that make Portland a more interesting place but an integral part of the city’s life. So much so that Portland has become a haven for writers, painters, filmmakers, musicians and performance artists.

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Eco-Modern Home in Portland

Designer Michelle Ruber and her Dutch craftsman husband, Klaas, showcase their knack for clever earth-friendly remodels in the three bedroom “Ecohuis” near Alberta Street. 

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Strolling the Oregon Coast

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.