Casting away in Coos Bay

It was a weekend of big waves and spouting whales. Of red rock crabs, surfperch, bass and gaper clams. Of new adventures in new places along the Oregon Coast with friendly new faces.

Now, it’s my latest piece for Travel Oregon.

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.

In between, we took in the amazing views from Cape Arago State Park, dined on incredible seafood at the High Tide Cafe and had a nightcap at 7 Devils Brewing Co.

But there was more to it than that.

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.

Getting far away in the Owyhee Canyonlands

If you’re looking to get far away – and over the past year, who hasn’t been? – you can’t get much farther away in Oregon than the Owyhee Canyonlands.

Located along the far eastern border of Oregon — about six hours from Portland — the Owyhee Canyonlands unfold over more than 2 million acres. Cut by just three paved roads, it’s considered one of the largest expanses of undeveloped land in the lower 48 states.

Out here, the Owyhee River has has sculpted the land into stunning canyons amidst colorful remnant volcanic features, rock formations and rolling sagebrush hills. Pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, badgers, horned lizards and rattlesnakes are just a few of the wild creatures who call the Owyhee Canyonlands home.

The Owyhee Canyonlands is also a hiker’s paradise, something I wrote about for Travel Oregon early last summer. Take a gander – and then take a hike.

Traveling to Pendleton for some fun – sometime

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.

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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.

I wrote all about what Pendleton has to offer for families in a recent story for Travel Oregon.

Finding more than one way to get out

In the throes of staying socially distant — and staying home — there’s little opportunity for escape.

Spring skiing? Not happening.

A hike in the Gorge or up on Mt. Hood? Nope.

A long weekend on the Oregon Coast? The small towns out there won’t have it, and rightfully so.

Instead, it’s been runs and long walks along the river, catching up with friends and family remotely, and finding some hope in the written word.

Found a combination of all of that yesterday thanks to a long walk with my family, the Willamette River and the poet William Stafford.

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A Scappoose Bay Getaway

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?

Well, there is.

It’s called Scappoose Bay — and I wrote all about it in a recent story for Travel Oregon. 

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Fishing with kids in Oregon

A few years ago, we spent a long weekend at one of our favorite Mt. Hood spots: Lost Lake.

Tucked beneath the northwest face of the mountain, the lake has some of the most incredible views of Hood, some great swimming, paddling and hiking and, we found out that year, fishing for kiddos.

That’s where Spencer caught his first rainbow trout.

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It was a memorable experience — and one that I wrote about in a recent piece for Travel Oregon on fishing with your family all over this great state.

Now we’re talking — and writing

For any number of reasons, it’s taken me far longer than I’d hoped to get this site up and running with new content. I still have a ways to go, but it’s at least got some of my most recent writing, editing and communications work on here.

Feel free to look around, read up and contact me for any writing, editing or other communication services you may need.

Looking forward to it.

And while we’re talking new content, how about a nice photo of a beautiful Lake Michigan beach, which served as part of my summer vacation this  year.

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