Everytime I am in the Eugene, Oregon area I make a point to stop and enjoy King Estate winery and on this trip I not only enjoyed each and every wine I sampled, but I also had the pleasure of experiencing the restaurant with friends and family and wow!!!!!
I was there over the Christmas holidays and the decorations were incredible including a gingerbread creation of the winery (see photo).
I was also fortunate to share dinner with proprietors Ed and Jodee King along with other friends and family and we were treated to both wine and cuisine fit for a "King" (ok, I know it's a pun). The meal, the ambiance, the wines,,,,were all incredible.
The wine selections at King Estate are about as varied as you will find in Oregon.
King Estate is in its 22nd year of Oregon winemaking and produces Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and limited amounts of Chardonnay using organic & sustainable farming methods and includes 1,033 acres is certified organic and includes 470 acres of organic vineyards, as well as 30 acres of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. The Estate is crowned by the charming, European-style winery, where the winemaking process is also certified organic.
The Restaurant and Wine Bar at King Estate features wine tasting & winery tours as well as fine dining and the menu incorporates estate and locally grown organic ingredients that fully complement King Estate wines.
Be sure to check out the wine club as well as the events on their calendar if you plan to visit.
A 139-mile drive along two-lane paved highways through Willamette Valley farmlands and Coast Range mountains. From Eugene, the route takes travelers through the western Willamette Valley and over the crumpled ridges of the Coast Range to Mapleton, then follows the Siuslaw river into Florence. En route, it passes 100-year-old farms, covered bridges, small roadside communities, tiny ponds, creeks and rivers. The return on Highway 36 stays in the rugged Siuslaw River Canyon, offering a roadside of rocky cliffs, narrow ravines, and a river that changes from slow and meandering to rushing cascades as the road climbs a basalt ridge to serene Triangle Lake. It concludes with the Willamette Valley farmlands. During the week, traffic is usually light to moderate on both highways and moderate to heavy on weekends. The rural countryside, a narrow road, and some sharp turns dictate a slow pace. Special attractions: Beautiful forests, low mountains, reservoir park, river valley, scenic lake.
Much fun we had there, trying to play billiard while listen to Johnny Cash's "Hurt", some Bob Dyllon, Jimi Hendrix, and others. They have a big screen there. Had a few rounds of funny (and lousy) played Billiard, and glasses of soda. Enjoyed that place a lot. Nice, calm and laid back, not crowdy, not smokey, not sticky, just great staff & folks, like those elderly Cowboys that showed up.
The Mount Pisgah Arboretum and Botanical Garden has always been a very sacred place in my heart. No wonder why I feel so home at the Park when my tribes of Faeries have begun to throw their infamous Faerieworlds festival on said location. My first visit to Mt. Pisgah was back in 1993 when I first moved to Eugene, Oregon. My friend Danae, who lived on a house whose property nestled up to the Arboretum's gorgeous lands, was operating a Church of Worlds Nest there. As I had started up the Ancient Forests Protogrove of ADF we combined efforts, celebrations, and ceremonies at the Arboretum lands and hilltops, Spencer and Skinner Buttes. I went hiking weekly through this amazing botanical garden with various friends including Hyko, my girlfriend at the time Linda, and my good friends Jennifer and Rachel. I took my daughter on those trails for many a fascinating hike. There has never been any one botanical garden that was that magical and that special to me. The magical Druid rites atop the hills were very sacred, very special. The Mount Pisgah Arboretum consists of 209 acres of a non-profit "Friends of Mount Pisgah" arboretum and botanical garden that is located within the 2,300 acre Howard Buford Recreation Area located along the Coast Fork of the Willamette River and the slopes of Mount Pisgah just south of Eugene and Springfield Oregon. Admission to the park is free. The Arboretum was founded in 1973 and quickly constructed over 7 miles of hiking and nature trails, riparian meadows, evergreen forests, a rare preserved oak savanna, wildflower meadows, a water garden, wooded picnic area, restrooms, over 23 bridges, planting, removal of invasive species, and publication of their newsletters. They began holding Mushroom and Wildflower shows in 1981 and established a staff shortly after. Its mission is to preserve, protect, and propogate Pacific Northwest plant communities, education, and recreation. Mt Pisgah is home to well over 67 families / 231 genera / and 339 plant species of native mosses, shrubs, ferns, plants, and wildflowers. The park is also a nature sanctuary for numerous wildlife such as the endangered Western Pond Turtle, the sensitive Red-Legged Frog, tree frogs, bats, deer, coyote, foxes, small mammals, lizards, Gopher and garter snakes. Numerous birds of raptors, waterfowl, migratory and resident songbirds are abundant. This amazing place will always be dear to my heart. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.
I took a free tour of the campus. See their website for times. This was really great. Our tour guide spent almost the entire 90 minute tour walking backwards! as she showed us around the impeccable campus. Especially great to take on a gorgeous day.
The tour leads people throughout the majority of the campus and through various buildings. We even got to see an actual dorm room (about the size of an Amtrak compartment). You will also see the track field from which the Nike empire sprung.
It was especially fun to visit the "Fishbowl" (aka the Student Union building) where the famous food-fight from the movie 'Animal House' was filmed.
***Make sure to pick up the best free map of Eugene at the Tour Desk (published by MapClicks.com)***
A bit of a walk from the Downtown is the Lane County Historical Society & Museum. There are permanent as well as rotating exhibitions.
I just happened to catch "Tie Dye and Tofu: How Mainstream Eugene became a Counterculture Haven". One of the few places where you can see the old Oregon wagons and then jump into a Volkswagon "Summer of Love" van all in the same place!
***The best thing is the well-stocked gift shop which has the only good post cards I saw during my entire trip***
"I AM THAT GIRL" is a new independent feature film that is playing for one day only on Sunday, April 19th, 2009 at Bijou Arts Cinema (492 E. 13th Ave) in Eugene. It's the story of Maxine, a cash-poor party girl who takes an unexpected road trip to the Sierras and falls in love and discovers the beauty of nature. You can watch the trailer online at http://www.iamthatgirlmovie.com and you can buy pre-sale tickets at the Disorient film festival website: http://www.disorientfilm.org
Don't miss this one-time event and meet the producer, writer, and lead actress, Grace Rowe at the screening!
The Pacific Northwest offers the greatest motorcycle adventures in the world: you ride on lightly traveled sweeping roads in excellent conditions, through a great diversity of landscapes, in sunny and dry weather conditions that allow us to fully enjoy those treasures for about 4 to 5 months out of the year. From June to October, Oregon gives us the very best of all riding worlds – and we enjoy every minute of it. And in addition to all that, the Pacific Northwest is known for great food, renowned wineries, excellent local breweries and friendly people.
Imagine living in a tipi with your “iron pony” parked right outside. You are setting out on new trails and new adventure rides every day, seeing some of the most beautiful and pristine natural settings of Oregon, reserved for the adventurer on “the roads less traveled.” You will hike to majestic waterfalls, experience the silence of old growth forests and visit a lake with water so pure that it can not even support fish life.
Motorcycle Adventure Camps
In 2009 we plan to offer three 7-day dual sport adventure camps, and two 4-day camps. Both camps include a 7-day BMW bike rental package, allowing the more adventurous amongst you to explore some of Oregon’s beautiful landscapes on your own, with Package B, in exchange for a shorter stay at our Tipi Village Retreat. Individual arrangements can be made for longer bike rentals or longer stays at the Tipi Village Retreat. We simply want you to have the very best experience possible.
Check out these ducks...each one painted by a local artist and purchased at charity auction by local businesses. Each one has a unique and "punny" name. You can have a fun day tracking them all down.
This just in!!: Not all the ducks are still on display, we've learned. Some have been retired to the homes of the purchasers. However, some are still sitting in front of the establishments that bought them. Have fun snooping them out!! One was repainted for the Olympic Track and Field Trials and greeted visitors at the Eugene Airport.
Eugene -- such a beautiful city, such a terrible name....
Located in the Willamette Valley, Eugene is Oregon's third largest city with about 150,000 people. Eugene is famous for its running tradition, its left-leaning political stances, and its access to the great outdoors.
Eugene is home to the University of Oregon, which has a long history of great runners, notably Steve Prefontaine and his famous coach Bill Bowerman (who started the Nike show company here), along with marathon legend Alberto Salazar and Olympic gold medalist Mary Decker Slaney. Eugene also hosts the annual Prefontaine Classic track meet and in 2008 will once again be the location of the Olympic trials.
The Gateway Cinemas in the Gateway area of nearby Springfield is the largest theatre complex in the area. I'm mentioning them because of the kind thing they did for our dog club. In the Spring of 2006 Disney released a new version of the movie "The Shaggy Dog." The dogs they used in making the movie were Bearded Collies, our breed, of which we own and love five.
Our concern and the concern of many club members was that these dogs in the movie might cause people to fall in love with and buy them without understanding the special characteristics and grooming requirements. Which might lead people to abandon the dogs and create a spate of unwanted Beardies.
The managment of the theatre and Disney Productions were kind enough to allow us to set up an information booth in the lobby to educate the public about the dogs and to collect donations for Bearded Collie Rescue. Our dogs took turns being petted and hugged and we were very gratified at the reception we received.
Every year toward the end of June all the black sheep gather at the Lane County Fairgrounds. And not only black sheep, but white sheep, goats, alpacas and even rabbits; anything that produces wool. Spinners, weavers, knitters, etc all gather to hone their woolen skills.
Dozens of animals are on display, conformation competition, herding displays, lessons in knitting, spinning, washing, dyeing and whatever else you can do with wool.
This year Mrs. B. decided she would attend and even take an all day class in yarn dyeing. She also threatened to come home with an Angora goat, but changed her mind since they seemed, at least to her, dirty. But she loved looking.
Wool affectionados from all over the US and perhaps the world make a point of attending this three day affair. It also takes place at the same time as the Oregon Bach Festival in Eugene so you can do two things in one weekend.
Like to run? Well, show up in Eugene on July 4th every year and you can enter a butte of a race. The Butte to Butte is a 10K run from the foot of Spencer's Butte on the South end of town to Skinner's Butte in the center of town. But there is more to it than that. The first leg of the run goes "up" Donald Street". First timers who haven't surveyed the course usually end up winded by the time the reach the top at mile one. Yours truly can testify to that. (Yes, I've run the BTB three times in my younger, slimmer years.) Then it's a crazy two mile downhill which seems so easy at first but can be painful on the legs and feet by mile three. Mile 5 brings you to the railroad crossing, where if you're lucky you get to take a break while a slow moving freight train trudges through town. Then on to Skinner's Butte Park to the finish line.
Started in 1973, originally, as "Storm the Butte" over 400 runners literally tore their way up and down Spencer's butte, a 900 foot climb. But the environmental impact on the park's trails was so great that the event was changed to a road run and eventually morphed into today's Butte to Butte 10K and Mayor's Walk.
The Hult Center For the Performing Arts is our main venue for music and stage productions. The "Hult" has an interesting history: It was built almost 25 years ago amid the unsual controversy that surrounds any public project in Eugene. At first, money was raised each summer from proceeds from a summer musical production staged at a local high school auditorium. Finally, with the help of the Hult family, a local lumber scion, enough money was raised that the city was able to finance it's construction.
Since then the Hult has survived despite perrenial budget woes. The layout of the Hult is also a bit interesting. Standing outside and looking up at the building the view suggests a forest of stately fir trees growing up a mountainside. However, driving by, no one can see this view as the street is one-way going away!! So to see the design one must work a bit and walk toward the building.
The lobby is immense and supported by huge wooden beams that have many cracks in them. However, engineers have assured the city that these are just natural "checks" in the wood and the lobby is structurally sound.
The Hult boasts two auditorii, one seats about 700 and the Soreng Theatre seats 2500. The inside of the Soreng has been described by one viewer as "like being inside an Easter Basket" as the walls and ceilings are made of large weavings of laminates.
Wow!! It's hard to believe that this festival has been going on each Fourth of July for 22 years, but it has. It takes place in Alton Baker Park in downtown Eugene for 4 days over the 4th of July.
Each year a dozen or more local wineries have booths set up for tasting and drinking pleasure. But the main feature is the dozens and dozens of artists who hawk their wares from their booths. Most are local artists and they feature garden art, paintings, pottery, weavings, jewelry, photos; if you can imagine it it will probably be there.
Besides the wine and art there are 20 or so food booths, many of them extensions of local restaurants in town; others the traveling trailer types that show up at every event. Choices range from Peruvian, to Thai, to BBQ. What's is nice that there is plenty of table seating available, many with umbrellas to ward off the sun or rain as the case may be.
Center Stage also features live music every day, usually with a couple of Northwest or national headliners and several local groups.
All proceeds go to support the local Maude Kerns Art Center in Eugene, which is a teaching gallery for local artists and aspiring artists.