KnorQ's Kitchen

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Category: Oregon Roadtrip

Road Trip > John Day River


We rented a raft at Service Creek and headed out to the John Day River for a day float on the 4th of July. I love this river! Very mellow float as you can see from the pictures — typically the water level means no more rafting after July 8th or so… we caught the last float of the season. There were some folks hanging out on the shore but I don’t think we saw another boat on the 7 mile trip. We did encounter a beaver — my first beaver sighting in Oregon. This year we put in at Mile post 86 and took out at Service Creek — the float was nice but this is not my favorite part of the river. I highly recommend the Twickenham to Clarno for an overnight float as we did in 2011 – we also enjoyed launching from Service Creek for a day float (from our 2010 trip) – both of these sections of the river are more secluded and scenic.




Turkey Week Travels > Day One > Ashland, OR

Road trip time. Destination = Turkey. CP and I loaded up the car and headed for California’s Central Valley. We left the Saturday before Thanksgiving and made our way down the I-5 in a flock of Ducks fans.

In the flock of fans heading south

We stopped in Ashland, OR to rest for the night. This town is cute. I’ve been wanting to visit here for the Shakespeare festival for years…unfortunately, the festival had just wrapped for the year. We had a nice dinner  at Standing Stone then chose to go to a nice pub (?) with a fire place to watch the Ducks v. USC on. Apparently the crowd was more Thea-A-ter oriented aka cultured or something because I was the only one watching the game and jumping up to yell go Go GOOOO!! And generally making an ass out of myself. When the Ducks lost a few people said ‘awww’. We stayed at the cute and affordable Columbia Inn which is right in the heart of the Festival area from what I understand. I plan to stay there next time I’m in town to see plays. Also, next time I plan to stop into the Caldera Taproom. I like their beers. So much to do here I wish we had more time. CP called it the Jackson Hole of Oregon minus the skiing plus the Bard.


Road Trip > Oregon Coast > Part One

Quick get away this weekend to the Oregon Coast. Cruised the forested highway 26 over to Tillamook – skipping the cheese factory in favor of a beach picnic in the sun in Manzanita. We headed south making stops at several random beach town shops selling everything from myrtlewood cutting boards to light bulbs filled with Oregon rain. I want one of those light bulbs. We found a camp spot practically on the beach and had just settled in to a can of Hamms and a round of Gin Rummy when our camping neighbors came over with two freshly caught, cleaned and cooked crabs. Wow! Yum! Thanks! Fully smelling of the sea and done with cards we capped the night with a pitch black beach stroll.

CP on the sea wall looking for whales

Complimentary crabs with Hamm's

Lovely Oregon coastal scape


Road Trip > Oregon > John Day River

To celebrate the coming of summer Char and I headed out to the John Day wilderness and river for a float trip. This was an amazing trip and the furthest east either of us have been in Oregon.  The climate is high desert with some scattered pines. The hills still had a touch of green from the late rains and the John Day river was flowing. The entire trip down the river we only saw 2 other parties – most of the time we were on our own on the lazy river.  Paradise. We camped at Bear Hollow Park then headed to Service Creek Stag Stop for pancakes and rafts. Service Creek Stage Stop is an Oregon treasure. Good people, good cakes, good rafts. I will return.

The wind generators are huge up close - there were fields of them south of The Dalles

We camped at Bear Hollow south of Fossil, Or. Camping Kabobs. Yum

The lovely John Day river

Raft and Sandy Beaches

Lewis and Clark

Boat Power

The water was chilly but not too bad considering it is fresh melt off of 'Hood

Road Trip> Umpqua Light House/Oregon Central Coast

On a lovely sunny day Char and I headed over to the Oregon Coast to spend a few days at a cabin at Umpqua Light House State park — on the journey south we visited Devil’s Punch Bowl, and had food at the Chowder Bowl in Nye Beach, we saw bones at a Heceta Head Lighthouse lookout – strangely human looking bones. I asked some other tourists about it but they did not seem concerned…whaaaa? Anyhoo — The state parks cabins are a treasure – cheap, heated and fun. Our porch overlooked Lake Marie which I would like to swim in when it is warm out. We bbq’d and defended chips and salsa from aggressive blue-jays and laid down some dominoes & drank beers next to the fire in the evenings. We hiked around Lake Marie and made an arduous trek over sand dunes to try to find the damn beach. This area is rich with chainsaw tree trunk craftsmen – You want a giant wooden bear? This is the area to visit. Some pics:

Devil's Punch Bowl on the Oregon Coast

Wood Gnome

Rare sighting in the Oregon coastal wilds: handsome beast. Makes fire, cuts steak

A walk in the dunes

Roadtrip > Oregon Coast Aquarium

On a recent road trip Char and I stopped off at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Cool aquarium tunnels. Some snaps:

Oregon Coast Aquarium

Touching pool

People at the aquarium talked about all the stuff on display that they would like to eat. Like these guys

I have a fish like this

Jellyfish - soothing to watch

More Jelly

Hello squishy

Road Trip>McMinnville Oregon

This weekend was a blast — rollerskating on Friday night at Oaks Park then packed up for a quick trip to McMinnville on Saturday.  Char and I headed out to the countryside to explore the area around McMinnville. This area is packed full of wineries and attracts the wine and cheese bunch from Portland and the surrounding area. Char and I are more beer and nut types so we took advantage of the sunny January day to sit on the roof of our hotel – Hotel Oregon – and sip their suds. Hotel Oregon is part of the Mcmenamins empire and is a noisy but fun place to stay. We had drinks and appetizers at a fancy restaurant in the area but sadly, were not inspired to order a main course. The place was way overpriced and the food was average —  disappointing after reading a glowing review from the Oregonian – maybe it was an off night. We decided instead to fill up on beer at a dive bar down the street and spent some time stalking Ranch Records which was closed but had a good window display. The next night we had a kick-ass, delicious, best-steak-I’ve-had in-many-years dinner at Laurelhurst Market. Yay!! Some snaps below:

Room at Hotel Oregon

Inside ET's tent on the roof of Hotel Oregon

Sunset on the roof of Hotel Oregon

Blurry Tree -- Look at what a pretty shade of blue the sky was

Outside of Ranch Records

One copy of born in the USA, please

After we failed at fancy dinner this is where we ended up

Inside the Blue Moon, move over Merlot

Oregon Road Trips: Fall Creek Wilderness Area

Had a lovely time at Timber Butte Cabin in the Fall Creek Wilderness area of Willamette National Forest. We had the chance to explore some of the covered bridges of Lane County, the local reservoir and the town of Oakridge. Here are some snaps:

Charles in Fall Creek Resv

The Fall Creek Reservoir

Oakridge 1

The sun came out for a moment in Oakridge, OR


Some Sun in Oakridge

Charles in the Public House

A porter from Brewer's Union Local 180

Fall Creek Scence

Fall Creek

Unity Bridge

Unity Bridge - We visited 4 covered bridges in all

Fall Creek Fire Area

Fall Creek Fire Recovery Area

Fall Creek Fire Area 2

Fire recovery area

Oregon Roadtrips: Farmland!!

Charchar and I hit up Kruger Farms on Sauvie Island then the following Sunday took the loop through Hood River, to the 35 fruitloop to farms and jam shops and on to Timberline Lodge. I love this roadtrip. One of my favorites. We stopped to feed the Alpacas.

At Kruger we picked flowers and tomatos and ate roasted corn

At Kruger we picked flowers and tomatos and ate roasted corn

Farmer Charchar heads towards roasted corn cobs

Farmer Charchar heads towards roasted corn cobs

This is where i got my pumpkins the past coupla years

This is where i got my pumpkins the past coupla years

you should see this guy milk cows

you should see this guy milk cows



The peak of Mt. Hood

The peak of Mt. Hood

Oregon Road Trip: Newberry Crater

South of Bend, OR is the lovely Newberry Crater. Lava flow created obsidian fields, tubes and a large crater to explore. Lovely area. Some snaps below:

Veiw from Paulina Peak, Newberry Crater

Veiw from Paulina Peak, Newberry Crater

Paulina Falls, Newberry Crater

Paulina Falls, Newberry Crater

On the way home we stopped Peter Skene Ogden Park -- Pretty Ravine

On the way home we stopped Peter Skene Ogden Park -- Pretty Ravine

On the way home we saw a great sunset

On the way home we saw a great sunset

sunset shot

sunset shot