Aug 11, 2014

Brews, Bikes, State Parks, and Waterfalls. Oregon, we love you.

After staying in Florence, we headed inland to see what we could see. We were hoping to make it to the Oregon Country Fair, it would have been perfect timing, but we didn't know it in time to figure out a place to park - every campsite in a 30 mile radius was booked. Super bummed! But we've already resolved to return to Oregon again someday, soon as we can (and often as we can). Our friends Kate and Joe tipped us off to the fair and a bunch of other great spots that we didn't get to see because we had already passed it/didn't have the time. There is SO MUCH more that we want to explore out here in the upper left. Not to mention everything that we want to see again :)

Luckily, Oregon is my new favorite state and it is way too easy to find awesome everything everywhere.

So we spent a long weekend roadtripping it from Eugene, on up along I-5, through Corvallis and other little towns towards Milo McIver State Park just outside of Portland. Before being out here, I have never seen more craft breweries and wineries in my life! We enjoyed a mom-sponsored brew-tour, along with a stop at Silver Falls State Park. (THANKS MA!) Not many pictures from the breweries, (too busy enjoying beverages) and I can't even remember all the places we visited because there were just so many to choose from. Every restaurant had a great selection of local stuff on tap as well. Here are a few of our stops off the top of my head - Steelhead Brewery, McKenzie Brewing CompanyTap and Growler, McMenamins (in Corvallis), and Sky High Brewhouse to name just a few!

Comfy seating with a great view of all the weird and wonderful bike traffic in Eugene

Hanging out on the roof at Sky High Brewing

Another cool keg delivery bike

We spent a day visiting Silver Falls State Park. This place is a glowing example of what a State Park can be. We arrived to find some festival or another and a couple wedding and birthday parties in the picnic shelters, so it was quite busy that day. After hitting up the park gift shop -which was absolutely fabulous and full of local crafts and classy gifts- We got to sit and listen to a story-teller, and learned a lot about the history of the park. The forests were once stripped to the ground by the lumber industry, nothing was left but hills covered in white stumps, it looked like a graveyard.

The land was exploited as much as it could be, a previous owner even made money charging people to watch him push junk cars over the falls. Later, a daredevil named Al Fausset came through, he made a living going over waterfalls in his home-made canoes. Eventually, the land was allowed to renew itself, and was given back to the people through a combination of efforts from the National Park Service, and a variety of other preservation movements and private donations

What a gift!

"Conservation of our natural resources and conservation of our human resources, both are sound investments for the future." -President Roosevelt

It was a hot day, so it felt pretty great whenever the trail led behind the misty falls.

We got to see 7 of the 10 falls in this area of the park

Fern hallway

CCC was here :)

On Sunday, we rolled into our campsite at Milo McIver State Park, another outstanding place with lovely park hosts, sparkling facilities, and the most legit collection of disc golf courses I've ever seen. Our campsite was walled in with greenery and totally private. We spent the week biking around the park, eating s'mores by the fire, and had fun practicing our disc golf skills (which despite a very helpful lesson from a friendly local, are still lacking).

Outdoor plumbing at the picnic shelters!

Free re-usable bags for keeping the river clean, provided by the Clackamas River Basin Council.

Jeez Oregon, stop being so awesome and sensible in your bike friendly, local economies, and environmental preservation and restoration efforts. You're making everyone else look bad.

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