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Planing a December trip to Oregon

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Planing a December trip to Oregon

Postby dbogey » Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:03 am

Looking to take my significant other on a trip (non hiking) possibly to Oregon. We both love Food, Wine, Scenery, Photography, and Wine ( I know i mentioned it twice ).

We are from the North East (Pittsburgh) so we are used to colder weather. If anyone is from the area what would be a good 5 day itinerary.

Just another day in paradise

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Re: Planing a December trip to Oregon

Postby Timberline » Tue Oct 14, 2014 5:03 pm

Howdy, Dan,
I'll take a crack at answering your intinerary question, tho there may be others here who can improve on my suggestions; but here goes. . .
I'm going to assume this will be your 1st visit to our state, and I'll assume you'll be flying into Portland, and will depart from there at the end of your visit. Hence, a loop trip would be your best bet. Among your interests, I'll try to focus on the food, wine & scenery; wherever you go the photography will take care of itself. Next, be aware December travel can be tricky, depending on weather; we're on the Pacific winter storm track here, and the onslaughts can sometimes be unrelenting. Last, with only 5 days and your preferences, you might want to think about your desired direction. For starters, you can easily choose to spend your time going west from Portland to the coast, via the Columbia River or Hwy 26 to Seaside/Cannon Beach areas, and watch the storms come in off the Pacific. Settle down in a cozy beach condo, light the fire, and enjoy great seafood and Oregon wines by the firelight. Go south along the coast (Hwy 101) at least as far as Newport (if you do, be sure to visit the Sea Hag restaurant in Depoe Bay), then return via Highway 22/18 through the Pinot Noir country around McMinnville/Dundee. Stop in McMinnville to see the Spruce Goose, and take some wine home, too. You'll get a good, unhurried taste of Oregon this way, but sadly you'll miss what I'm biased to say is the best part of Oregon that is accessible within your time frame: the Deschutes basin and the central Cascades. Nothing beats a sunny December day among the pines with the Cascade volcanoes standing snowclad against the western skyline. Plus, this alternative could include a drive up the spectacular Columbia Gorge, past Multnomah Falls, Bonneville Dam, Bridge of the Gods, and lots of seasonal waterfalls along I-84 east from Portland. Alternatively, you might follow Hwy 26 from Portland to Timberline Lodge on the slopes of Mt. Hood, before continuing east. Head for Bend or Sisters as your main destination. You'll still have excellent lodging, food and wine available (Pine Tavern in Bend is a tradition) but don't fail to try the bountiful micro-brew options, or even the Deschutes distillery for local flavor. Scenery options here are overwhelming: Source of the Metolius, Smith Rock, the High Desert Museum, or a day hike to Tumalo Falls or in the Oregon Outback Wilderness, to name just a few. Head back to Portland via Santiam Pass, Salem (State Capitol) and a short drive up the verdant Willamette Valley back to the airport. Just take weather into your considerations when timing this loop; Santiam Pass is not that high and is almost never closed, but can be a bit challenging in the midst of a winter storm.
If you're interested in more details about either of these two suggestions, PM me for details. :nod:
Happy planning!
- - Timberline (born in Pittsburgh, how 'bout that!)
Let 'er Buck! Back in Oregon again!
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Re: Planing a December trip to Oregon

Postby oldranger » Sun Oct 19, 2014 11:30 pm


Can't disagree with any of Bruce's description. But when those of us in Central Oregon say "stick it where the sun don't shine" we mean go over to the valley (where the wineries are). It does rain a lot west of the Cascades. It usually is not that cold over there (typically in the 50s during december while central Oregon will be in the low 40s but sunshine is the norm).


Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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