A stormy week in Oregon

5 May


We seem to have followed a pattern this week. The rain poured for hours – the sun arrived – we moved on – we found the rain again – it rained for hours…… we progressed through Oregon in this fashion. However it did not stop us from having some fun along the way.


Dodging the downpours we managed to get a walk on the 3 miles of sand at Carl G. Washburn State Park.





Had lunch beside the Umpqua Lighthouse and crossed the Umpqua River via its decorative historic bridge.





We stopped overnight in Newport beside the Rogue River where we paid a return visit to the Rogue Brewery. Robert enjoyed a sampling of their ales while we sat overlooking the marina watching the storm clouds progress towards us – deliver their rain (again) and scoot away.













Hoping for better weather we turned inland crossing the coast mountains toward McMinnville. This is the north end of the Willamette Valley, another wine growing area. It has been interesting for us to find all these new regions for wine we had no knowledge of and using Harvest Hosts has added another dimension to our travels and learning experience in the past few weeks. Robert found Plum Hill Vineyards in the directory and after giving them a call to confirm we could stay for the night we made our way through the pretty countryside around Gaston.


An hour or so of wine tasting and chat with RJ, his wife and the young lady who pours wine for them proved very entertaining. RJ explained to us about the character of his wine and his philosophies for blending and producing them. We tasted crisp white Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and my favourite the Syrah. In relative terms they are fairly new to the P1270314winemaking business, they are still developing the old farm they bought to add extra acres of vines. The tasting room and surrounding patio make a great place to sit with a glass on a warm evening we could see ourselves out there watching the sunset…. but… on our visit we muffled up indoors with sweaters on and our heater while we listened to the rain on the roof – again!

Next day I had arranged a visit to see a flock of rare breed sheep at a local farm. It had rained all night and was still raining next morning. As we were not expected at the farm until noon and the forecasters assured us it would stop raining by 11am I held out to continue with the visit. We drove the short distance to Bide a wee Farm via some fairly narrow twisty roads, the rain was easing, a strong gusty wind blowing it away. In places water was running in torrents along the road side, we wondered if the farm would be muddy…. it was a little!


Karen and her husband greeted us at the roadside and assured us that as the lane was very little used we were fine to park haRVey right there. Also meeting us at the farm was another Ravelry friend Natalie who lives in Newberg  (close to the farm) we have corresponded for a while on a spinning forum so were excited to be able to share this experience together.


This being spring there are plenty of lambs at the farm who specialise in Jacobs and Navajo-Churro sheep. Karen is an absolute wealth of information on her sheep, full of infectious enthusiasm and eager to answer all our questions. Both Natalie and I came away with our heads spinning with newly acquired facts and a better understanding of these pretty animals.


Fortunately we were booked into a State Park just the other side of Newburg so on Friday Natalie was able to come over and visit us there. We spent a chatty morning drinking coffee while going over our previous days farm visit, discussing various aspects of our spinning knowledge and skills – while the rain poured outside – again!

Forecast for the week end – sunshine and much warmer – we will see!


6 Responses to “A stormy week in Oregon”

  1. Sue May 5, 2012 at 8:12 am #

    I sure do hope you get some sunshine! It sure isn’t makinfg me want to run to Oregon!

  2. Katy May 5, 2012 at 11:02 pm #

    Wonderful adventures, despite all the rain. I sure hope you get to dry out for a while! I especially love the pics of all the sweet lambs! 🙂

  3. Mike May 6, 2012 at 9:54 am #

    We love your adventirous spirit! When do you leabe for England?
    Mike Chamberlin

  4. Mike May 6, 2012 at 9:54 am #

    Sorry about my spelling!!!!!

    • elainethehill May 6, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

      Hi Mike! Just been playing your CD’s – again!!!!

      We fly 9th July.

  5. Linda May 11, 2012 at 7:25 am #

    Well you two have certainly found a wet spot. I hope that it dries out for when we visit later in the year! We are now “canyoned out!” and are poised to start our journey over The Rockies later today. Bryce Canyon was definitely our favourite too. Very jealous of your whale spotting – it was worth suffering some rainfall to see that.

    Take care

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