Showing posts from April, 2013

Z is for...Zis is Zee End

Well, fellow A-Zers, we've done it.  We've reached the end of the month long A-Z Blogging Challenge.  It's been fun; I had more fun utilizing a theme this year as opposed to last year when I had a free-for-all method.  I think I'll do this again next year!  Today's Oregon destination is, again, my creative fix.

Zis is Zee End:  Fort Clatsop
Located near the mouth of the Columbia River on the Oregon Coast, Fort Clatsop was the encampment from the Lewis and Clark Expedition from the Winter of 1805-06. Taking just three weeks to build, the fort is now protected under the Lewis and Clark National and State Historical parks and is also known as the Fort Clatsop National Memorial.  Heavily damaged and decaying due to the weather in the area, in 1955 a reconstruction of the original fort, using sketches from William Clark's journal, was built to celebrate the sesquicentennial; this fort lasted for another 55 years before it was destroyed by fire in 2005 just weeks befo…

Y is for...You've Arrived

We're coming to the end of the A-Z Blogging Challenge and, I'll admit, my last few posts are going to have to enter the "creative" sphere.  So bear with me.  Today is all about the letter Y, so here's my solution...

You've Arrived:  The Oregon Trail
When the Willamette Valley was being promoted as "the promised land" in the mid-West and East of the US, hordes of people started moving west.  Most travel was done in covered wagons pulled by oxen and loaded with supplies and family heirlooms.  Sadly, most of those heirlooms would be tossed along the trail when the wagons encountered poor weather, swollen rivers, or the Rocky Mountains.  The end destination for these families was Oregon City in the Oregon Territory.
The journey was a harrowing 2,000 miles of rugged terrain.  Originally only able to be traversed on foot or by horseback, thanks to the mountain men and fur traders from the early 1800s, the route was slowly widened and improved to allow for w…

X is for...X Marks the Spot

Whoopsidaisy...Guess my Saturday (and Sunday) got away from me and I forgot to post my X topic!  So here's to a little catch up :)  X is for...

X Marks the Spot:  Shanghai Tunnels
See what I did there?  Sneaky sneaky.  Anywho, moving on.  In the Oldtown/Chinatown area of Portland, there is a magical underground network of tunnels that are less...magical and more maniacal.  Comprised of a network of underground tunnels connecting the basements of several hotels and bars along the waterfront of the Willamette River, the Shanghai Tunnels were originally built to move goods from the ships docked along the waterfront into the basements of their respective destinations in order to avoid streetcar and pedestrian traffic.
During the height of the shipping days in the Willamette Ports, unsuspecting drunks in the bars above the tunnels would suddenly disappear into the floorboards (through a strategically placed trapdoor), finding themselves on a ship bound for China when they would awaken fr…

W is for...Willamette Valley

There are only a few more days left in this year's edition of the A-Z Blogging Challenge; this makes me happy and sad at the same time.  Happy that I can take a break from posting everyday (except Sundays, of course) and sad that this wonderful event will be over for an entire year.  Alas.  Today's letter is the glorious's an Oregon W...

Willamette Valley
The most populated region in the state, the Willamette Valley is surrounded on three sides by mountain ranges and is located in the northwestern part of Oregon.  It is the most fertile region of the entire state and produces many of the local crops.  In accordance with the abundant ability to produce crops and other necessities, it's fitting that the largest population of the state in located within the valley; also, most of the largest/principle cities are located here.   Largely inhabited by the Kalapuya Native American tribe in the 19th century, the area was "discovered" in 1807 when the Lewis and…

V is for...The Vortex and Voodoo Doughnuts

The week is nearly finished, fellow A-Zers, and I'm looking forward to the weekend!  Today brings us to the letter V in our month-long alphabet challenge and I love what this letter represents in Oregon.  I'm actually going to go with two things today (cheater).  Without further ado...

The Vortex
In in the hills outside of the small town of Gold Hill, just north of Medford, there is a wonderfully mysterious site for the adventurous where brooms stand on their own, things that are smaller appear larger and vice versa, and where balls roll uphill.  The Oregon Vortex and House of Mystery is, essentially, a roadside attraction that is full of optical illusions which cause visitors to question the laws of physics.  The proprietors proclaim that the strange occurrences are due to paranormal properties, but I'll leave that up to the individual to decide.  The building on the property, a gold assaying office originally built in the early 1900s, slid off of its foundation in 1904 co…

U is for...Unique Amusement Parks

We're winding down to the end of the alphabet in the A-Z Blogging Challenge and venturing in to trickier and trickier letters.  Today's Oregon site is...

Unique Amusements
Enchanted Forest
I remember this being my all-time favorite place to go as a kid...aside from the beach, of course.  The brainchild of Roger Tofte, Enchanted Forest is located along I-5 just south of Salem in Turner.  This was THE place to have your summer birthday parties at if you were from the surrounding area; alas, mine was almost always in a skating rink because March is unpredictable in Oregon.  Consisting of various rides, mazes, slides, villages, etc, Enchanted Forest is a fairytale inspired amusement park.  There's a Crooked House, a Rabbit's Tunnel, an Alice in Wonderland Maze, and so much more.  I remember being terrified of the Witch's Slide because you entered through her mouth and she's not the most pleasant to look at, but it was awesome just the same.  The Haunted House also te…

T is for...Tillamook Cheese Factory

It's a beautifully sunny day here in Oregon...the perfect day to not be at work.  Alas.  I'm a little later than usual in my posting for today, but I have a good excuse :)  I spent most of my day stuffing envelopes at work (not a good excuse) and then giving away free books to promote literacy for World Book Night (a GREAT excuse).  I love this organization!  Check it out.

Moving on to today's T inspired Oregon landmark...

Tillamook Cheese Factory
Oh, cheese.  Glorious cheese!  The Tillamook Cheese Factory is, fittingly, located in Tillamook, Oregon along the Oregon Coast and Highway 101.  Founded a little over 100 years ago, the Tillamook Cheese Factory is the 44th largest dairy in the US and is sold from coast to coast, though more so in the West.  Making everything from their signature cheese products to butter, ice cream, yogurt, and sour cream, the brand won the gold medal at the World Cheese Championship Cheese Competition for Best Cheese in 2010 for their Tillamook …

S is for...Shakespeare Festival

Today we move closer to the end of our A-Z Blogging Challenge and encounter the letter S.  There are a lot of things in Oregon that could qualify for this letter, but I'm going with something that spreads a little culture to everyone... Shakespeare Festival
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is renowned and awesome.  The festival takes place in Ashland, Oregon in the southern part of the state.   Originally conceived in 1893 as part of the Chautauqua adult education movement, the theater could accommodate up to 1500 spectators in an outdoor arena.  Soon, a domed stage was built on the site.  When the stage fell into disrepair, the Chautauqua movement faded away in Ashland.  However, in 1935 a drama professor, Angus Bowmer, at the Southern Oregon Normal School (today's Southern Oregon University) wished to use the location to present Shakespearean plays.  He was given limited funds ($400) to put on two plays as part of the city's Independence Day celebrations and required to ad…

R is for...Rafting

So I'm a little late on my posting for R in the A-Z Blogging Challenge because I decided to get out of town for the day and didn't schedule a posting prior to leaving.  Ah well.  Here's today's Oregon topic:

I know there are some great places outside of Oregon to raft, but we actually have quite a few rafting opportunities throughout the state.  I'm partial to white-water rafting on the Deschutes River out of Maupin, but that's just me.  There's also some great white-water rafting on the Rogue River.  If you're looking for something a little tamer in the rafting sphere, check out the Willamette River or the North or South Santiam.  Always be careful of undertoes (big in the Santiam Rivers) and submerged trees.  Essentially, there are multiple locations throughout Oregon where rafting is an option. 
There are tons of companies throughout the state who organize and lead any type of water excursion you want to partake in.  You won't be disappoin…