Rising out of the urban jungle, US 26 crosses the northernmost Oregon Cascades pass at Government Camp on the slopes of Mt. Hood and descends into the high desert. This scenic byway carries travelers from hectic metropolis, through evergreen forest and across the arid homeland of a sovereign nation all in the span of about an hour and a half.
In 1915, the two largest sawmills in the country (Shevlin-Hixon and Brooks-Scanlon) sat facing each other across the Deschutes River in Bend. It’s doubtful that anyone could have, through all that smoke, predicted that one day the small timber town would morph into a winter recreation destination. Perhaps a few of the Swedish and Norwegian loggers and mill workers, who brought the ski sports to Bend and Central Oregon, might have had a momentary flight of fancy that involved a future with an alpine ski area, miles of cross-country ski trails and possibly more breweries than churches.
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.
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.