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Oregon: Part Deux – The Goonies, Sasquatch, and Wine

Me, pondering a bath at Double Falls. Photo by Marti Babcock

CANON BEACH/HUG POINT

Before Director/Sadist Michael Bay can destroy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, then collude with Spielberg/Lucas to annihilate my 80′s childhood completely, I visit the backdrop for one of my favorite movies, ‘The Goonies’.

First up,  Ecola State Park, a bit north of Canon Beach off the 101, down a winding path through vivid fern-carpeted, temperate rainforest.

The vantage point is slightly obscured, as the weather is as melancholy and gloomy as Katie Holmes and Kelly Preston during Pride Week.

The relentless salty mist, and whipping winds soak your clothes, then turns off, leaving a picture perfect grey/green – fjord/ocean landscape with star monolith ‘Haystack Rock’ rising in the distance. It’s beautiful, lucid, a bit of coastal Maine, shades of Scotland, but uniquely Oregon.

South on the 101 to Canon Beach for a closer look at Haystack Rock jutting up about 230 feet,  abuzz with Terns frantically fighting for food exposed by the receding tide.

HEY YOU GUYS! – Sloth

Movie Trivia: The Goonies was filmed in Astoria, Oregon, but Haystack Rock served as a backdrop to the beginning of movie, when the Fratelli Brothers are running from local police.

Canon Beach is cute, touristy, and has a strong Pacific ‘Jaws’ feel – filled with galleries, knickknacks, candy shops, and the like. The town is empty for now, as the crowds won’t come for another couple of weeks. If you ever make it over to Canon Beach, grab a Widmer’s Heifeweisen and some clam chowder at Wayfarer’s overlooking the beach – fantastic.

Hug Point Arch

A hidden spot discovered by my brother-in-law (Clark) just a few minutes south on the 101, is simply stunning,  even in the misty showers. With ‘Goonies’ in mind, we explore some caves carved and dug out by the ebb and flo of the tide. The area is remote, possibly because of the weather, or the necessity to adhere to a tide-chart to visit.

The hardened sand of the beach originally served as THE only highway on the coast of Oregon, and in some places,  within the rocks, you can still see definitive wagon grooves from numerous crossings.

The tide rushes in – not wanting to get stuck in a cave with the mythical Sea Bear –  we run for dry ground, and the comforts of a motorized vehicle on paved roads.

*****

WILLAMETTE (Will – LAMB – ette) VALLEY

The Allison Inn, Newberg, Oregon

A few weeks back I wrote about not really ever giving a crap about what hotel I stay in when traveling; going to have to amend that comment for this post.

a horribly composed pic of the Allison

The Allison Inn in Newberg – heart of Oregon’s Wine country – is the nicest place I’ve ever seen, or laid my weary head. I CAN sleep soundly anywhere, even if ‘forced’ to nuzzle in the swanky, pampered, green certified, Lexus-partnered, highfalutin lap of luxury. The staff here are freaking astounding, and so efficient, it’s borderline ‘Village of the Damned’ – pleasant, but equally occult.

May we help you?

Look out Travel and Leisure, I’m walking out from the Super 8 campground, gunning for a cushy column with your shoddy rag (if you are from T & L, please denote dripping sarcasm. I would give my left one to write for you).

The Rivers in Oregon Run Red with Wine

Booze grows on vines? Who knew?

I’m not a true wine guy – feeling more comfortable drinking whiskey (or scotch), or beer from a tall can – compared to swishing wine in a glass, smelling it, coming up with adjectives other than ‘earthy’ in describing the taste. But, perhaps a testament to adaptively (re: alcoholism), I really, REALLY like Oregonian wine, and in the words of the sage-like Dr. Steve Bruhl “No way am I spitting this stuff out it tastes like fruit”.

No way, Jose

The people of Willamette are gregarious, a bit quirky (like Portland), but quick to suggest places for dinner, or other neighboring vineyards to visit, advertised as a major contrast to the apparent back-stabbing of uber-competitive wine Mecca – Napa Valley.

Touring some of the wineries, gleaning the history of the area, the soil, learning about loam, jory, and the sacrifice these Oregonians make to bring quality wine, inspires new adjectives in tasting it, and tasting it, check thesaurus, and tasting it, and tasting it.

Fun Fact: Call Pinot Noir ‘Peanut Nor’, and watch the Tasters/Sommeliers cringe. Hilarious!

SILVER FALLS STATE PARK – 10 Falls Trail.

I save my liver from absolute pickling, driving with Marti/sister christy/bro-in-law Clark in our mini-van rental an hour south to Silver Falls State Park for a detox hike, and trek into Bigfoot territory.

The weather is unseasonably warm, snowy peaks pour off the Cascade mountains creating roaring and spectacular waterfalls – a common theme of the trip.

You can actually walk behind South Falls on the Trail of 10 Falls, and soak in the scenery/incredible sound produced by the rushing water. We’re talking freight train loud contrasted with a very still landscape.

The trail is vigorous, treacherous, and quite slick – can’t see up ahead for Bigfoot, but start getting the feeling we’re about to get ambushed by a snickering wily bear, playing a quick game of hide and seek before ripping off our faces.

Fortunately, there’s no bigfoot, no bear, just unadulterated Oregonian Nature. Turns out, Salmonberries are edible. Damn.

Final Thoughts

There are times I fantasize being an ex-pat, living in Spain or France like a poor poor man’s Hemingway. Then I go on consecutive trips in the US where my interests and sense of adventure in such a diverse country are reinvigorated, satiated (for now).

Oregon is simply gorgeous. If you like wine, nature, mountains, ocean, adventure…go there. It’s multifarious, beautiful, and at times, like Portland, a little kooky. But hey, aren’t we all a little kooky sometimes? – Mike

Post Dedicated to Roam About Mike, Sr. Cheers, Dad. 

30 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mike, this was awesome with your signature smarta*s style which is perfect btw. I went to Oregon years ago but didn’t see of this. Thanks for bringing your fans this — loved it and I’ll raise a glass and a Cheers! to your Dad. Have a great weekend. :).

    June 29, 2012
    • Me? Smartass? pshaw!
      Thanks, Brigitte, as always, you are awesome, and too kind.

      June 29, 2012
  2. CBu #

    This made me smile the whole time! Great way to recreate the ending of our trip. Ending it with Bigfoot toasting Dad… amazing. Where the heck did you find such a beauty? Haha. Good stuff man.

    June 29, 2012
    • Thanks, dude. I found that in a thrift shop/wine tasting. Excellent combo

      June 29, 2012
  3. Brad Beaumont #

    Excellent in every way, as per usual!

    June 29, 2012
  4. I have loved reading your Oregon posts. It’s nice to see the outsider’s perspective. I have never stayed at the Allison :( I gotta get on that. People from Portland go there just for the night because it’s so cool. Also Bill’s in Cannon Beach has great clam chowder and a sign that says, “whoa pardner, don’t forget a six pack for yer mom!”

    I need to do more outdoor exploring of my native state, thanks for the inspiration.

    “the weather is as melancholy and gloomy as Katie Holmes and Kelly Preston during Pride Week.” Ahhhhh HAHAHAHAHAHA

    This would be outstanding FP material which means it definitely won’t be.

    June 29, 2012
    • Glad you’ve liked them – loved Oregon – amazing state. Allison is a must, get on it!

      Haha! Thanks very much, I think my post sent Katie over the edge in regards to their marriage.

      June 30, 2012
      • You saw the writing on the wall. Drove by Silver Falls exit yesterday, that is on the list for this summer.
        Thanks and Happy 4th.

        July 2, 2012
        • Yes!!! Thanks, a bratwurst and beer 4th to you as well.

          July 2, 2012
  5. Another gorgeous post! Love the pictures, and also the bit about Tom Cruise and John Travolta — ha! Just enough info to make a trip like this enticing. Really want to take my daughter on a road trip through Oregon/Washington. Thanks for sharing!

    June 29, 2012
    • You have to go, highly recommended. Wanted to hit up Crater Lake, but it was a bit too far South with a time crunch.

      June 30, 2012
  6. kost-a-saurus #

    I got some good portland oregon stories I need to run by ya sometime. Nice pics.

    June 29, 2012
  7. jan #

    Loved this and look forward to more. Nice touch toasting your dad, and I really loved that poster. Too funny!

    June 29, 2012
    • Well, that’s it for Oregon, we’ll see what adventure is next. Thanks, love that pic too!

      June 30, 2012
  8. MB Sr. #

    I think the next best thing to reliving the adventure is to start drinking the fruit of the vine that is now arriving in the home port (sorry Mr FedEx). There is nothing better in life than to be able to create forever memories with your family..

    June 29, 2012
    • Yes! I agree, then forgetting said memories by drinking all the wine…:)

      June 30, 2012
  9. free penny press #

    One helluva trip you took there Mister.. Love the pictures but on first read I thought it was called “Ebola park” and i thought, Uh, oh isn’t that a virus…
    I used to live in Cali and all along HWY 101 is so much beauty.. Lucky you!

    June 29, 2012
    • Hahah! I thought the same thing, except I thought it was Ecoli Park – they should change it. Definitely want to do the 101 in Cali – any suggestions on where I should start? San Fran?

      June 30, 2012
      • free penny press #

        I say San Fran and make sure you get to Santa Cruz, Big Sur and my old hometown, Monterey..Hell, go to eat @ Clint Eastwood’s restaurant in Carmel. cool & delish food..It’s a trip you will never forget.. and take lots of pictures :-)

        June 30, 2012
        • Well, that sounds amazing. Sold.
          Maybe I should have my followers tell me where to travel to next…hmm…I smell TV show!!

          July 2, 2012
          • free penny press #

            Ha.. I actually know a guy that travels around from country to country which his next destination is dicated by where his readers vote.. he writes stories about it, sells them on amazon for a few bucks each and makes a killing..(http://exilelifestyle.com/)

            July 2, 2012
            • Well, this is awesome.. I’m working on some creative non-fiction right now, mostly travel, so this is highly inspirational – thanks for the link!

              July 3, 2012
  10. Such an AWESOME post! Nothing like visiting scenes from Holleywood movies to make them seem REAL! You need to get yourself to Kawaii (an island of Hawaii) where Steven Spielberg / Michael Bay filmed Jurassic Park! Taking a Helicopter tour is the only way to see it! But be careful and do research on the helicopter companies to ensure you go with the safest – least casualty reports – as helicopter accidents happen frequently on this island! Be Safe!

    July 6, 2012
    • Thanks so much! I’ve been to the big island of Hawai’i, not Kawaii, but definitely want to go back. Helicopter ride sounds amazing!

      July 6, 2012
  11. Your picture of our Inn is not horribly composed, and we promise our staff’s eyes will *not* do any glowing.

    July 20, 2012
    • Thanks, Michael. Being so relaxed affected my photography abilities.
      Haha! I can honestly say I never saw glowing eyes from your amazing staff.

      July 20, 2012
  12. As a newbie to the blogging world, but a native to Oregon, I must say I am very glad to have found your blog. It was so delightful to read about you discovering some of my favorite places in my home state. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Keep it up.

    March 11, 2014
    • Thanks very much, Whitney. Glad you stopped by – also a great boost/pleasure hearing comments on pieces from natives.

      -Mike

      March 12, 2014

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