It’s been a while since I’ve stepped into my snowshoes and hit the trails in winter. Skiing’s been the activity of choice it seems for the past few years.
But I was recently researching a story for Travel Oregon on some not-so-well-known snowshoe routes around Oregon, and it got me to thinking: It’s probably time to get back out there. Not to Mirror Lake or Trillium Lake on Hood or other places I’ve been to before, but maybe somewhere new, somewhere not as popular; one of these places I just wrote about.
Back in April, we headed down to Coos Bay for an assignment I got from Travel Oregon. The goal was to spend a weekend exploring what the Coos Bay-North Bend Visitor & Convention Bureau has dubbed “Oregon’s Adventure Coast,” particularly all the various fishing options that abound.
So, with the help of CBNBVCB’s executive director Janice Langlinais and Rob Gensorek, owner of Basin Tackle Charleston, we did all that and then some. We crabbed off the docks, fished off the beach, paddled the waters of Empire Lake and dug clams from the tidal flats of the South Slough in Charleston.
At the end of the weekend, we’d gained a newfound appreciation of a stretch of Oregon Coast that we’d never spent much time in before. From now on, rather than passing through on our way to somewhere else, we’ll stop in Coos Bay, North Bend and Charleston and stay for a while.
The stay-at-home order has made traveling around Oregon a little tougher than normal.
But that doesn’t mean that we can’t still be thinking of all the great places we’ll want to visit once we get this all under control.
One such place to consider? The Wild West town of Pendleton, Oregon.
A scene from the Grand Entry Parade at the 2004 Pendleton Round-Up. Photo by Bobjgalindo/Wikipedia.
Home to the famous Pendleton Round-Up rodeo, the distinctive wool blankets and shirts of Pendleton Woolen Mills and a burgeoning craft beer and artisan whiskey scene, Pendleton is also a great place for something else: Families.
That’s right, Pendleton can make for a great family-friendly destination in Eastern Oregon, with its history and culture, parks aplenty, hiking trails, swimming pools, sports galore and even spooky underground tunnels.
It’s easy to get out of Portland and into the Great Outdoors in the summer. Sunshine, blue skies and long, light evenings set the stage for warm weekend getaways or after-work jaunts.
The winter, however, with its rain and gray and darkness, can be a little less inspiring.
But what if there was a place close by where you could escape the city quickly and feel like you’re way outside, far from home? A place where you could almost lose yourself paddling through slim streams and curving channels, watching majestic birds soar overhead or strolling along the mighty Columbia River just a half-hour from home?