Sumpter Valley Dredge, Oregon: One of the Biggest Gold Dredges

    11/09/12 •

    The dredges that once mined gold out West typically aren’t open to the public. So my husband and I jumped at a chance to board one of the biggest ever made — the venerable 1,240-ton Sumpter Valley Dredge (above) outside scenic Sumpter, Oregon. Built for $350,000 in 1935, the dredge produced $4.5 million in gold…

    See the Spruce Goose at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in Oregon

    8/21/12 •

    My husband is a former military pilot, so we always stop at airplane museums when we travel. On a recent trip to Oregon, we discovered the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville. One of its star attractions is the legendary Spruce Goose, the huge wooden military cargo plane designed and built in 1947 by the Hughes…

    Tillamook County Fair, Oregon: The Wildest Auto Race On the Planet

    9/11/13 •

    Forget the Indy 500. The wildest auto race on the planet takes place every summer in Tillamook, Oregon, where daring drivers race “stripped” Model T’s while hugging live pigs! Pig-N-Ford races have been held for over 40 years and often attract standing-room-only crowds to the Tillamook County Fair grandstand. You know something unusual is about…

    Prospect, Oregon: An RV Park Near 3 Waterfalls

    6/04/15 •

    The area around Prospect, Oregon is beautiful — it’s on the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway, which is often called the “Highway of Waterfalls.” When my husband and I camped at Prospect RV Park, we found pretty Pearsony Falls — plus two taller falls, within about a mile of our campground, and more nearby. The park is…

    Klootchy Creek Giant: Tallest Sitka Spruce, Oregon (2)

    10/04/17 •

    Nestled in an old-growth forest in the far northwestern corner of Oregon stands the world’s tallest Sitka spruce tree — a 216-foot-tall specimen. The giant’s trunk is 56 feet in circumference, and its crown spreads 93 feet. Believed to be about 750 years old, the tree is located in 10-acre Klootchy Creek County Park. My…

    Fort Clatsop, Oregon: Part of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Park

    9/30/13 •

    To mark the bicentennial of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s famed journey west, my husband and I visited Fort Clatsop outside Astoria, Oregon to see where the Corps of Discovery spent the winter of 1805-06. Fort Clatsop is part of the new Lewis and Clark National Historic Park, spread out over a dozen sites in…

    Gunderson's Cannery Cafe, Oregon: Dining With a Panoramic View of the Columbia River (1)

    9/12/17 •

    — it was excellent. The rolls were freshly baked, and it’s hard to argue with customers who claim no one on the Oregon coast makes better clam chowder. Astoria is on Oregon’s northwestern tip, where U.S. Highways 30 and 26/101 meet, nearly 100 miles northwest of Portland. Gunderson’s (1 Sixth St.) serves lunch and dinner…

    Latourell Falls, Oregon: A Spectacular Falls With Few Rivals

    7/19/17 •

    Many waterfalls grace the spectacular Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area in northern Oregon, but few rival little-known Latourell Falls in Guy W. Talbot State Park. I hiked a steep but short trail to see the stunning 250-foot-high falls, formed as Latourell Creek (named for a prominent early settler) plunges over a sheer lava cliff….

    Toketee Falls, Oregon: The State's Most Gorgeous Waterfall

    7/07/17 •

    Toketee Falls in southwestern Oregon ranks among the state’s most gorgeous waterfalls. Given the sheer number of falls here, that’s high praise, indeed! A 1/2-mile hike that includes some 200 steps leads to an observation area, where you can see the North Umpqua River cascade 120 feet into a pretty pool in a lovely basalt…

    Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, Oregon: A Lighthouse, Tide Pools and Whale Watching

    3/15/16 •

    If you want to experience the Oregon coast but are pressed for time, head for the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. This picturesque wave- and wind-scoured 100-acre spit of land, or head, offers a variety of attractions, including a lighthouse, tide pools and whale watching. Plus a great sandy beach is only a short drive…

    Wallowa Lake: The Crown Jewel of Northeastern Oregon

    3/08/16 •

    Wallowa Lake is known as the crown jewel of northeastern Oregon, so naturally, camping at Wallowa Lake State Park is a royal treat. This park is nestled on the southern shore of Wallowa Lake, among the Wallowa Mountains. The area is often called the “Switzerland of Oregon” because it looks a lot like the Swiss…