Live Oregon

Columbia Farms on Sauvie Island bring the berries to the people

written by Sophia McDonald photography by David L. Reamer Come May, the rows of calf-high plants at Sauvie Island’s Columbia Farms have reached their full size and seem to stretch endlessly toward the horizon. Hidden beneath waterfalls of sawtooth-edged leaves are one of spring’s biggest treats—strawberries, some big, some small, all bright red and promising sublime sweetness. Maybe it’s just that strawberries are the first fruit to come on the market after a long winter full of earthy storage crops and bitter greens. Maybe it’s that unparalleled flavor, coupled with their charming heart shape and striking color. There’s something special about this berry—especially for Oregonians, who live in one of the best berry-growing regions in the world and, as a result, have access to premium fruit during the short growing season. So many people don’t know where their food comes from, and u-pick is a great way to bridge that…

A guide’s list of Oregon’s best climbing destinations

written by Peter Madsen Ancient seismic upheaval and and the erosive work of bygone lakes and rivers have carved many of Oregon’s striking landscapes. As a result, pockets of great climbing opportunities abound, according to Cliff Agocs, a rock guide certified by the American Mountain Guides Association. Also the co-owner of Timberline Mountain Guides, Agocs, a Bend resident, has traveled Oregon extensively in search of new climbing opportunities. And he’s yet to climb everything. Here, Agocs provides readers with some of Oregon’s best climbing destinations, including route varieties, rock type and other considerations. Most of Oregon’s climbing destinations are home to local climbing communities that set and maintain interesting routes. Respecting the local climbing ethics is one of the keys to enjoying an area without “blowing it up,” Agocs said. A great place to begin research is www.mountainproject.com, an REI-funded online climbing guide. As a general rule, Oregon’s wealth of…

Sel's Brewery

Canyon City’s Sel’s Brewery opens the bar just once a year

by Joni Kabana Oregon is full of spirited breweries, but have you ever heard of a bar operating just one weekend a year? Head to Canyon City the weekend of June 7 and 8, when the old stone Sel’s Brewery will swing open its barroom doors and let you down a pint inside this astonishing old historical landmark. Thanks to a band of brothers—the Whiskey Gulch Gang established in 1922—Sel’s Brewery has long been the gathering place for the annual ’62 Days celebration, commemorating the year gold was discovered in the area. Get ready to kick up your heels to live music, run in the Gold Rush Run, cheer for the bed race, and witness the annual staged hanging right in the middle of town. Pull up a chair next to a local, and you might even hear a story or two about this fascinating little gem of a town.

Paddleboarding in Brookings

Oregon’s Best Places to Retire

written by Lee Lewis Husk Retiring with visions of sitting on a beach sipping Mai Tais? Well, maybe not in Oregon, where you’re more likely to be pulling on a wetsuit to wade into the surf or rubber boots to walk the dog. Oregon isn’t Florida or Arizona, but it does have considerable appeal to those no longer tethered to a paycheck. Whether you’re a 45-year-old techie escaping Silicon Valley, an urbanite fleeing traffic or a rural boomer seeking great health care facilities, you’ll need a place to retire and call home.  We’ve found six towns that may tickle your retirement dreams. In selecting this list, we considered the availability and cost of housing, weather, proximity to airports, health care, cultural and recreational amenities, and the history and vibe of the place. Brookings Sun Worshippers, Camels & Cacti Not Found Here With 50 inches of rain falling between November and…

Face Rock Sate Scenic Viewpoint

Sand labyrinths at Face Rock State Scenic Viewpont

photography by Joe Kline When the tide is out, Denny Dyke’s work begins. He designs, draws and decorates labyrinths in the sand along the Oregon Coast, mostly in Bandon at Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint. What started as a walking meditation turned into a public art installation—this year, Dyke and his team of volunteers will create more than forty labyrinths in the sand, inviting the public to walk through the circles and waiting for his creations to wash away as the tide rolls in.

Freeland Spirits

Women and Whiskey at Freeland Spirits

Freeland Spirits sets out to do distilling differently written by Sheila Miller Freeland Spirits started with a Texas grandma, a whiskey night and a dream. That dream is now a reality, thanks to the hard work of founder Jill Kuehler, distiller Molly Troupe and farmer Cory Carman, who have combined to create a woman-owned and operated distillery that cheers “equal opportunity drinking.” Kuehler has a nonprofit background focused in food and agriculture. Up until a couple years ago, she was running Zenger Farm in Southeast Portland, a spot that educates thousands of kids each year about how food is grown. But she’d always had a soft spot for spirits, and was interested in their “terroir”—how grain from different places could influence flavor. When she became friends with Cory Carman, one of the sisters who owns Carman Ranch in Eastern Oregon, it all started to click into place. “Anytime she comes…

Spokane

Northwest Destination: Spokane Rising

Spokane is the right jumping-off point for outdoor adventure and sophisticated city life written by Cara Strickland If you’re looking for an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, you’ll find it in Spokane. Five ski resorts, seventy-six lakes and five national parks are within driving distance, a river runs through the city, and the Centennial Trail offers 37 miles for hiking and biking with a mountain backdrop. If you’re feeling a little less extreme, you can stroll through one of Spokane’s many parks, including the crown jewel, Manito Park, which boasts 90 acres of gardens, a conservatory and a duck pond, plus two playgrounds for your little ones. Bring a picnic and enjoy the rose garden or get some zen in the Japanese garden. Just a couple blocks away, you’ll find Rockwood Bakery, a staple of Spokane’s historic South Hill neighborhood, known for its freshly made, decadent baked goods and quiche. Just down…

Professional Freeride Biker Carson Storch bombs down mountains for a living

Carson Storch talks biking and brain trauma written by Mackenzie Wilson Two broken collarbones, one snapped wrist, a couple cracked ribs, bruised organs and one major concussion later, Carson Storch considers himself “lucky.” The professional freeride mountain biker has been going big, crashing hard and doing it all over again for nearly half his life. “Freeriding is pretty similar to any other high-impact sport, like football for instance, but the difference with us is we’re going fast and we’re hitting dirt,” Storch said. Freeriding by nature is unpredictable. Riders choose a route or a “line” down a steep mountain and hope to make it to the bottom unscathed. At 25, Storch is still in his prime, but he’s taking preventive measures to stay at his best both physically and mentally. “I think brain health is kind of a focus of our sport now—it’s pretty serious at competitions nowadays,” he said….

A Wine Country Modern Farmhouse

A Wine Country Modern Farmhouse

A design duo crafts a distinct farmhouse for wine lovers in the Willamette Valley written by Melissa Dalton DEEP IN THE DUNDEE HILLS, up a curving gravel drive past a grove of moss-covered oaks, sits a farmhouse with a tomato red door. The home’s silvered board-and-batten siding and standing seam metal roof evoke farmsteads of old, but that’s about where the resemblance ends. This one has a decidedly more contemporary shape. “We wanted to take the idea of the modern farmhouse and flip it on its head,” Matthew Daby said. The residential designer teamed up with interior designer Angela Mechaley, both of m.o.daby design, to tweak tradition in unexpected ways. Picture a classic American farmhouse, and the image that comes to mind most likely includes a pitched roof, front porch, and double-hung windows. Pretty? Yes. Practical? Not for this particular plot, which has a dramatic grade and straddles a driveway…