Wildflower season is upon us and luckily wildflowers about in the Pacific Northwest. Last weekend Sheri and I were looking to take advantage of the lovely Easter Sunday weather for a hike and we wanted to see some wildflowers.
This time lapse video of Portland by Uncage the Soul Productions is pretty amazing.
Lunch at Fort George Brewery in AstoriaBeer
On a sunny October Sunday, I drove out to Astoria with my parents and Sheri. The real reason for the trip was for my parents to see Tillamook Rock Lighthouse – the only one they hadn’t seen yet on this trip. However after we hiked to see the lighthouse we were all starving! So it was off to Astoria and Sheri recommended Fort George Brewery for lunch. We snagged a sweet parking space…I love that so many towns have free parking on Sunday!
Now it got a little confusing when we walked in. We could eat at the Public House or the fancier restaurant upstairs or the Tap Room just down a few doors. I wanted seafood so the waitress recommended the Public House. We got a taster tray to share among three of us, as my mom doesn’t drink beer.
I liked quite a few of the beers but when I ordered my pint I went for the seasonal Drunkin’ Pumpkin. My dad got the Cavatica Stout. I believe we paid $17 for the 12 beer taster tray. Everything was good but rather pricey as we spent $95 before tip on lunch for four.
The brewery does weekend tours at 1pm and 4pm. We didn’t finish lunch in time to catch the 4pm.
Kelly Point Park – A New Year AdventureUrban Parks
How do you start off a new year? With a little adventuring of course! One of my instafriends is always posting amazing photos from Kelly Point Park in North Portland, and Sheri and I have been wanting to go for ages.
Kelly Point Park is located where the Willamette River splits off from the Columbia. I learned by reading the information board in the park that Lewis & Clark missed the Willamette – twice!
As we parked we saw quite a few cars but it felt quite desolate. Walking onto the beach we spotted a man with his 3 dogs – two of which were frolicking in the icy water. We later spotted a group of people huddled around a beach fire pit after taking a plunge in the river too. Brr! They must have arrived just after us.
Old pilings and docks loomed like ghosts in the fog. Children were building sand castles and nearly everyone had a dog with them.
In addition to the beach, there is a treed area with paved walking paths, picnic tables, and fire pits. I’d love to go back in sunny weather where it must appear to be a totally different place. I definitely recommend Kelly Point Park on a foggy day though, where the silence and eerie fog is oddly peaceful.
Atop Pilot Butte in BendScenic Points, State Parks
Just a short drive from downtown Bend, Oregon is a spot that is not to be missed – Pilot Butte. It’s a short spiraling drive up to the top of this scenic viewpoint. If you are feeling energetic you can hike to the top. This seemed a popular activity and we saw plenty of people walking, hiking and even running on Pilot Butte.
From the top of this cinder cone you have panoramic views of the surrounding mountains – even Mount Hood! In case you were wondering exactly which peaks were the Sisters and where exactly is Mt Bachelor, there is a handy plaque mapping out all the mountains. I had a deep discussion with a 7 year old girl about which mountains were the Sisters.
Pilot Butte is open year round but you are going to want to wait for a nice clear day for the best viewing conditions. It would also be a great place to take in a sunrise or sunset. Aside from the mountains we had a great view of all the fall colors.
FACT SHEET: Pilot Butte State Scenic Park
Address: 1310 NE Highway 20, Bend, OR
Open: Year round
View Larger Map
Taking the Bend Ale TrailBeer
Did you know there are 11 breweries in Bend, Oregon? Just hop on the Bend Ale Trail to see them all. While you’re doing it you might as well pick up (or download) your passport. Visiting all eleven for stamps will get you a free silipint (that’s a silicon pint glass, I had to look it up) from the Bend Visitors Center. Just be sure to check the hours as the Visitors Center is closed on Sundays during their Winter hours.
On our trip to Bend last weekend Sheri and I decided we’d collect a few stamps. Our first stop was 10 Barrel Brewery on the west side of Portland. We shared a 10 glass taster tray and I ordered the Mac & Cheese while Sheri got the Steak & Gorgonzola Nachos. Next time we will just order the nachos and split it..it was huge! Sheri only at half and I was helping. My favorite beer was the Red Faucher Red Ale.
We were also lucky enough to be there for 10 Barrel’s Pumpkin Smash festival. For $10 you got a mini snifter and 5 beers. My favorite was the Pumpkin Crush – a sour weiss beer with pumpkin.
We had planned to hit up Boneyard Beer after dinner but since it’s just a tasting room it was already closed. Instead we stopped there around lunch time. Most of their beers were IPAs so I just got 2 tasters. The first was free and additional tasters are $1.
I enjoyed both beers I tasted – Diablo Rojo and Black 13. Sheri took a half growler of Fuego Rojo home.
Since we decided to take 20/22 back to Portland we figured we’d stop at the extra credit brewery – Three Creeks in Sisters. The taster tray cost $9 for 6 beers.
Interestingly they had 2 rye beers in the taster tray. I loved the Stonefly Rye but not the Raptor Rye IPA. We got a taste of a bourbon barrel aged porter that was amazing, but I don’t remember what it was called.
So that’s 3 down and 9 to go!