Think Oregon

Estacada’s Artists Paint the Town

Art Climbs the Walls Estacada’s artists paint the town red…and yellow and purple and… written and photographed by Catie Joyce-Bulay You may not notice Estacada’s artists at first glance, in this a sleepy little pass-through town to get to recreation destinations in bordering Mount Hood National Forest. If you stop to stock up in the grocery store, you can’t help but notice a Native American tribe fishing Celilo Falls under the “Fresh Produce” sign. Then look across the street and huge mushrooms rise from the forest floor among apartment doors and a giant forager. On the wall next door, Chinese-Americans harvest ginseng, an important pre-World War I crop for the region. These are the murals of the Artback Artists Cooperative. Twenty-one in all, they are ubiquitous downtown and in surrounding parks, calling visitors to take notice of the rural town of 3,000’s surprisingly vibrant arts scene. I recently spent a…

Inside the Lives of Portland’s bridge tenders

All along the watchtowers: Inside the lives of Portland’s bridge tenders written by Scott Latta / photography by Shauna Intelisano Even by the dreary standards of Portland winters, 2017 was especially bleak. At one point, five storms slammed Portland in five weeks. The Weather Channel, stating what everyone in the city was thinking, dubbed it “America’s most winter-fatigued city.”When a foot of snow fell in one twenty-four-hour period in January, the nation gawked as hapless Portlanders abandoned their cars along impossibly glassy hills. But the real trouble started two months later, when the sun came out. Federal guidelines maintain that when the Willamette River rises above 12 feet, all Portland bridges must be staffed twenty-four hours a day. Under normal circumstances, it’s not a problem for the county’s eight full-time bridge operators. But as the snow melted in the Cascades—141 percent of its normal depth—it collected in reservoirs within the…

Mckenzie River Chainsaw and Arts Festival

The world’s top chainsaw carvers will be at the Chainsaw and Arts Festival photography by Bradley Lanphear Each year, some of the world’s top chainsaw carvers (yep, that’s a real thing) gather in Blue River to crown the best of the best. The carvers use their chainsaws to transform logs and stumps into finely carved sculptures— eagles, bears, even Sasquatch. The event, organized and held at the McKenzie Community Track & Field, is an annual festival—mark your calendar for July 19-21, 2019, to see the action in person. The Portland Spoon Company  

Every Other Weekend by Zulema Renee Summerfield

Every Other Weekend: Telling Stories Every Other Weekend takes us back in time interview by Sheila G. Miller photo by Tucker Sharon Portland author Zulema Renee Summerfield is getting high praise for her first novel, Every Other Weekend. But a few years ago, she wasn’t sure she was cut out to write one in the traditional sense. So she didn’t. “I was really struggling with how I was going to write a novel,” she said. “At the time I didn’t tell stories in big, overarching plots. I was writing a lot of flash fiction.” After reading Love and Shame and Love, a novel composed of vignettes written by her mentor and colleague Peter Orner, she knew she could write her book the way she wanted. “Novels come in all kinds of shapes,” Summerfield said. “It really freed me to write a book in vignettes, and that’s how the structure was…

Portland Baroque Orchestra

Monica Huggett, the artistic engine behind the Portland Baroque Orchestra, is one of the world’s leading Baroque violinists. written by Ben Salmon Monica Huggett is one of the world’s leading Baroque violinists, an expert in the historically informed performance style, and the artistic engine behind the Portland Baroque Orchestra for the past twenty-four years. And just like anyone else, she had to get her start somewhere. For Huggett, that was the Pizza Express near her family’s home in London, England, where she played violin for £3 per night plus free pizza from ages 17 to 24. “By the time I stopped,” Huggett said with a hearty laugh, “I’d sort of had enough pizza for life.” Huggett, 65, has come a long way since then, and the PBO has come with her. The orchestra’s upcoming season—its 35th— will run from October through April and feature performances of works by Vivaldi, Telemann,…

The Campout Cookbook

The Campout Cookbook offers tips and tricks to up the fun on your next foray into the wilderness interview by Marnie Hanel and Jen Stevenson While kicking around ideas for their second cookbook, The Campout Cookbook, Marnie Hanel and Jen Stevenson, the IACP-award-winning authors of The Picnic, kept coming back to their favorite childhood food memories, many of which happened to involve a campfire. The result is The Campout Cookbook, a collection of more than 100 recipes designed to keep campers sated from the moment they pile into the station wagon to the final breakfast before the rubber hits the road. Here, the co-authors discuss the ins and eats of their writing process. MH: You camped quite a bit growing up. Did you ever imagine you’d write a cookbook about it? JS: Never in a million years. But looking back, it actually makes a lot of sense. We took very,…

Oregon Innovators Then and Now

A look back, and ahead, at Oregon Innovators written by James Sinks In the yellowed pages of history, the promise of Oregon Innovators bade explorers to plunge headlong into the rugged—and often damp— frontier. It was no place for fear of the unknown. at same unforgiving ethos goes for the Oregon trailblazers of the business sort. “ The cowards never started and the weak died along the way,” said Nike co-founder Phil Knight, in his bestselling memoir, Shoe Dog.  The Oregon economy of today has been shaped by big thinkers, like Knight and others, whose ideas and dogged tenacity created opportunities and jobs by the thousands, spawned spinoffs, saved lives and—to help all of us celebrate more effectively—made vineyards more productive. Of course, some Oregon inventions are just plain fun, and tasty. The beanbag Hacky Sack that helped occupy the time of countless college students before dating apps? Created in 1972 in…

Austin Wallace Is Making Animal Welfare A Priority

A Special Agent Is Making Animal Welfare A Priority interview by Sheila G. Miller A special agent commissioned with the Oregon State Police and employed by the Oregon Humane Society, Austin Wallace is in his thirteenth year serving in this role. He’s worked in law enforcement and animal welfare around the country for nearly twenty years. As a child in Scotland, he grew up with budgies (Scottish slang for parakeets) and felt a kinship with animals. He got into law enforcement, first covering the animal control officer on vacation and eventually taking over the position full time. “It wasn’t my main career goal, but it found me,” he said. The Oregon Humane Society, which this year celebrates its 150th anniversary, receives more than 5,000 calls and emails to its investigations line each year, and Wallace and the rest of the team work on more than 1,000 of those. “Call in,”…

The Portland Spoon Company

Russell Clark of the Portland Spoon Company uses tree waste for spoons written by Katrina Emery The Portland Spoon Company was born out of an excess of wood and a little hobby. Russell Clark, a carver, works by day as an arborist in the Portland Metro area. From tending to the dead and downed trees, he saw so much wood go through the chipper that when he picked up spoon carving he found himself with a glut of material. He taught himself from books, videos and fellow carvers, online or in person. “The first few were terrible,” he laughed, but he now sells the beautiful spoons, ladles and spatulas online and in a handful of shops around Portland, like the Hoyt Arboretum gift shop. With all the tips and tricks in his arsenal, and so much passion for the craft, he’s partnered with Wildcraft Studio School to teach spoon carving…