Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Corvallis, the Oregon coast and the Columbia Gorge

I was glad we got the chance to head out to Corvallis for the weekend to visit relatives, and in retrospect, more time spent in the area would have been a good idea. It's right in the middle of breweries, wineries and farms, and it's just a short 1.5 hour trip to the coast. Furthermore, we left just before their "Beer Week" began.

If you happen to be in the area, there are a couple things not to be missed. Firstly, their farmers' market is beautiful, and full of Oregon specialties like hazelnuts and wine, in addition to all the produce Oregon's rich soil and temperate climate allow for. I picked up some sweet-tart green grapes, in addition to some lovely fresh figs and hazelnuts.

Block 15 Brew Pub - I was in love with this place as soon as we walked in. A giant chalkboard held their regular brews and seasonal varieties, and also tantalized us with up coming brews that we are missing right now. We had to try as many as possible, and thus two tasting boards were ordered. By far the best glass on the tray contained their "Nebula, Naked Oat Stout." It was super smooth and creamy, with all the coffee and chocolate notes that make stouts lovely. I wish I would have picked up a bottle of this to bring home.

On a beer note, the best selection we found at any grocery store was at Corvallis' Market of Choice. A four sided cooler held an unimaginable amount of micro-brews from the area, and we picked up half a dozen different bottles to tote home. Besides the Nebula Stout, we fell hard for many of the brews from Pelican Brewery, particularly their Belgian style ale - Ankle-Buster - and their award winning IPA (India Pelican Ale). Both came home with us.

The Oregon Coast

Our hosts for the weekend - John and Janie - also took us out to the nearby coast for an evening. Though it was pretty cold, I'm incredibly glad we made it out to the water, and that we got to catch this sunset from their friends' beach house balcony...

We also stopped at a crab shack on the way home for fresh crab sandwiches and fish and chips.

The Columbia Gorge

One of our favourite activities in Oregon was biking the Columbia Gorge. We went with Pedal Bike Tours, and our Tuesday morning tour ended up being a private one - just us and the guide. Whilst we biked the gentle slopes of the road, our guide drove the vehicle, meeting us at each waterfall to give us a quick run-down of history, etc. From there we hiked down (or up) to check things out while he stayed with the bikes.


Isabelle said...

Everything is gorgeous! Man, all your posts are REALLY making we want to plan a trip to Oregon...

Michelle said...

Oh Marianne, wow, what a gorgeous place and you've got some great pictures too. The food just looks like its to die for... YUM!! Lucky you :-)

Marianne said...

Isabelle - I'm sure you guys would LOVE it!!

Michelle - Thanks! It was so amazing! Definitely lucky to have been to that sweet corner of the NW ;-)