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Thursday, October 06, 2005  

Weed, Cheese, and Beer
After a night in the Weed Motel 6 we had a very important decision to make. DO we cruise the street of the California Mountain town looking for palatable coffee (only through travel did we discover the true levels of our caffeine addictions,) or push forward uncaffinated. We chose the later and marked Ashland, Oregon as our first stop of the day. The terrain was growing in beauty as we made our way across state-lines and we were soon in the small college town of Ashland and the parking lot of one of the nicer Starbucks that I’ve been in. After much needed fuel we set our sites on the first our our sites to see: Crater Lake. A few hours later, over hill and through glade, we arrived at the visitors center and drank in the splendor of the water-filled calderas, I was skeptical at first but it turns out that Crater lake is pretty damn cool. We took a bunch of pictures, bought some postcards, lost a pair of (6$ sunglasses) and were on our way. Next stop Portland!
It was dark by the time we rolled into Stump-town so we didn’t get much of a visual impression of the area, but it certainly seemed like ever road we drove on since crossing into Oregon was under construction. We found the Case Flores and got to visit with Christine and Colin (who is very big and surprisingly mobile!) before Greg got home from work. We stayed up entirely too late (sorry Greg) catching up and Julie and I planned to hit the Tillimook Cheese factory the next morning. Tillamook, OR is about 90 minutes west of the Portland area and the drive was lots of farmland and lots of forest (and of course lots of construction.) But we found the factory and got to see them making Cheese and had some free samples and then went back for more free samples. Then we hit the gift-cum-cheese shop where we bought like 2 pounds of cheese which we proceeded to lunch-on in picnic area outside; then we went back in for some soon-to-be-famous Tillamook ice cream. (What is vacation w/o some excess?) Then it was back into Portland where we got to explore the city a bit before picking Greg up from work and getting a late dinner then some more beer at one of Portland’s Many pubs (though I can’t remember which one.) The next day Greg was off so Julie and I had a guide, and our first order of business was the Rogue Brewery where we got to take a tour of their distillery operation. We talked with the master distiller who gave us the run-down on how they make their rum. Fascinating stuff (and the Irish Ale I had was quite tasty, why really wish I had bought a bottle…) More touring the city, some shopping, and more eating followed and then Julie and I headed north so we could get an early start on Mount St. Helens, stopping for the night in Longview, WA.

posted by JMV | 10/06/2005 03:57:00 PM
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