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Oregon Road Trip -- Golf, Beer, Pretty Pictures, But No Gambling

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Trip Reports' started by ken2v, Sep 14, 2016.

  1. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    My Trip Report

    I embarked on the annual guys golf junket last week. A 2,200-mile roadie that took me to Eugene, over the hill to Bend, and then back down. The guys met me in transit, flying in to Mahlon Sweet and out via Redmond. I piloted the Official Boyz Golf Getaway Vehicle, my well used and well loved Honda Ridgeline.

    I pulled in to Eugene a week ago yesterday, having overnighted in Redding on Sunday as I couldn't get away early enough to just knock out the drive. I dropped my crap at my hotel and headed over to the old school days bar -- Rennie's Landing, for the Eugene-knowers in the crowd -- for lunch and then headed out for a needed ride on the Ruth Bascom Trail that runs along both banks of the Willamette.

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    And of course there's also one of the greatest scenes in all of college footballdom:
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    And being such a flashback tour -- and it being the PNW -- dinner had to be at Track Town Pizza with some Ninkasi:

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    Tuesday brought a bit of a typical Oregon welcome and I waited out part of the deluge during my afternoon spin:

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    Ed arrived Tuesday eve so we bounded about various brewing establishments that night. Kev came in the next day about noon, having been a total airhead and missing his morning connecting flight out of SFO, causing us to only have time to play nine holes at Tokatee on the way up the McKenzie River to central Oregon.

    Ed had only been over the Cascades once, via Mt. Hood during the 2014 junket, so for a visual treat I took them over the Old McKenzie Pass route:

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    We played four rounds over the hill: Aspen Lakes, Meadows, most commendable Pronghorn (Nicklaus) and one of my truly tip-toppest course selections anywhere, Crosswater. Aspen was an unexpected treat, a true destination play, and Meadows is fine as a resorter, and certainly more interesting than Woodlands. (Last time we had Brasada and beat-the-shit-out-of-you Tetherow on the play list, along with Glaze Meadows at Black Butte and Crosswater. Here's a pic of Pronghorn and two from Crosswater:
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    Any of you golfers out there, do yourself a favor and play Crosswater. I'm serious, it is on my top 10 list all time, it's that freakin' outstanding. 600 acres of wetlands, rivers and an array of every shot needed, including this rather well set up flop when like an idiot I short-sided myself on #9 -- I blame the head wind, pushing my 5-iron left from 186 ... the golfer never is at fault, as players know. ;)

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    We booked a 3/3 condo at Widgi Creek as our home base. Great layout and a huge value at $250/night. We hit the usual array of brew joints -- Deschutes, 10 Barrels, Cascade Lakes, Crux -- and mixed in "better" eats at Zydeco, BrickHouse and Red Martini (Redmond), with Mexican, pizza and pub grub.

    One afternoon we drove up Paulina Peak (Newberry National Volcanic Monument) for an on-high gander at the proceedings. It was a first for both Ed and Kev, even though Kev spent a good amount of time around Bend over the years. Man, when this mother blew her lid that musta been SOME sight:

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    Kev blew out Saturday so before Crosswater on Sunday Ed and I cruised up to Mt. Bachelor and kicked around for a bit. I'd wanted to mountain bike there and after watching some of the action Ed decided we're most definitely hitting the bike park next year. (Rather than slug this out through 3,000 emails over the next nine months deciding WTF to go we just decided to head back to Bend in '17.) He had an oh-dark-30 flight back to Boston on Monday morn and I just buzzed straight home in about 12 hours.

    For those interested I'll come back and post a link to an article on Bend -- based on my trips there last year (solo) and in '14 with the Golf Boyz -- that just went in the current issue of GolfTips Magazine. There was a photo snafu in the online version that is being fixed.

    As a "recovering Oregonian" it is always a pleasure to get back to parts of the world where I spent so many fun and formative years. Most of the time it's Portland for us owing to family, but it's a treat getting back to Eugene -- Go Ducks! -- up the McKenzie and over to Bend and environs. I'm writing something about Eugene for the LA Times Sunday Travel section so I'll let y'all know when that's published, too.
     
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  2. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    P.S. Stoller Family Estate knocks out some righteous Pinot Noir.
     
  3. bluesdude

    bluesdude Low-Roller

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    Mmmmmm.... Ninkasi!! One of my new favorite beers that I cannot get here in the Midwest. :cry:We were in Portland in June visiting my son for a week. We took a couple of days and stayed in Bend and also hit some of their breweries. An absolute must on anybody's bucket list!!
     
  4. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Ed and I went to the Ninkasi Mothership in the Whiteaker District. :nworthy:
     
  5. bluesdude

    bluesdude Low-Roller

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    Uhg!! Eugene was not on our radar this trip. I have never been to the brewery. I haven't been to Eugene since I lived on the coast back in the 90's for that matter. Track Town Pizza has been around for a while hasn't it? I think I have eaten there, again very long ago.
     
  6. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    I think TTP has been around 40 years. I know it was there when I hit Eugene for frosh year in '79. For me it was as much a nostalgia thing as a food thing. Oh, and I could just stagger back to the hotel. So many changes on campus since I left town in '87 or '88, but Eugene really hasn't changed that much. Sure, there's good food there now, way more brew joints, but it's still just, well, Eugene. Alton Baker, Pre's Trail, Hendricks Park, Prince Puckler, the river ...
     
  7. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    Love the scenic pics! makes me want to take a hike right now
     
  8. bluesdude

    bluesdude Low-Roller

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    So it is the place I am thinking of. It is near campus, right? Didn't it have some kind of model of the Chicago Skyline inside? Or am I thinking of a different joint?
     
  9. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Right across from what was Franz Bakery and now Matthew Knight Arena. Green/yellow, bit of a hole, gobs of track/athlete photos inside.
     
  10. Niteshade

    Niteshade Low-Roller

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    Although I am not a golfer - I enjoyed your report and loved
    your pictures! That scenery is stunning. Really pretty places.
    Thanks for sharing.
     
  11. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Excellent trip! Well, except for all that golf. :wink2:

    Did you do the whole way over Old McKenzie, or did you cut over and take Santiam. Both are beautiful, but I love the old road. I didn't see the Dee Wright Observatory, so I don't know for sure which route. :) We always like that road and try to do it as often as we can. Dan rode the McKenzie River Trail on the mountain bike and the lava tried to kill him a couple of times. He can't wait to go back and ride it again. :haha:
     
  12. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Me at Dee Wright, but you'd probably not know that from the shot, so, yes, the old road through:

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    I've heard great things about the Mc trail. Bit beyond my ken at this time/given my skill level. I have friends that ride over the old road from Sisters after the snow goes and before it is opened to cars. Ouch.

    Ed's lived all over the world, seen all sorts of sights, but the lava lands of the Cascades really tickled his fancy.
     
  13. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    I recognize it. I've got a few photos of me in that exact spot. :)

    The mt bike trail is pretty intense. Sounds like you do road rides mostly. There were lots of tree roots and lava beds to traverse. It kicked Dan's butt, but only a little blood though. :haha: The scenery is pretty great. Lots of waterfalls, lakes and log bridges to precariously carry your bike across. I drove it and stopped at places the trail would cross with hiking trails I was willing to do to top off his water and provide snacks. Fun day out, ending at the Hot Springs by McKenzie. (Bellknap?)

    Thanks for sharing. Sounds like it was a great trip. Makes me want to try to get back to Oregon before the snow closes down the passes.
     
  14. bardolator

    bardolator Lifelong Low Roller

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    Hey, where's the gambling?

    Gotta get back to Ore-gunn. Be a lot closer soon, we hope. Still waiting for that perfect home buyer.
     
  15. saintpauljeff

    saintpauljeff VIP Whale

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    anything interesting in Corvallis? heading there next year for a football road trip to see the Gophers play the Beavers
     
  16. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Yep, not my skill set or stamina. I'm mostly a road guy. I've done some lift-served gravity/downhill at Mammoth and Northstar, green circle stuff, ate a boulder and some trees on a blue square once. I ride around the state park next door on my hardtail. Dan can do that hero stuff!

    Belknap.

    On the course, of course. ;) Maybe you'll make it to the Sound before we hopefully get to Bend.

    Indeed there is. 40 miles south. It's called Eugene. lol
     
  17. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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  18. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

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    No gambling, but looks like a winning trip to me, ken2v!
    Thanks for sharing! :thumbsup: Great pics, too!

    RICHARD
     
  19. Camp Rusty

    Camp Rusty Low-Roller

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    Right on....Eugene and surrounding areas are a beautiful place.

    Hahaha...my ex used to work at Track Town Pizza in the eighties...that place is a tradition.

    Saw a ton of Dead shows in Eugene at Autzen, and also a lot of my Cougars getting crushed by the Ducks in that stadium !
     
  20. westie

    westie VIP Whale

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    Ken - great read. Your TR and the linked article on Bend have proven very timely because I am beginning the process of putting together a 2-week trip to Oregon in 2017. The very rough draft includes nights (2-3) Hood River/Cascades Lock, (3-4) Bend, (4) Florence/Yachats, (1) Newport/Toledo (eclipse on 8/21), and somewhere in the vicinity of (2) Oceanside before flying out of PDX.