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...
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 coming to rest at its current odd angle. Since that time, strange things have happened to those visiting the site.
Prior to the building of the assaying office by the Old Grey Eagle Mining Company, the odd nature of the land was noticed by the Native Americans. Their horses would refuse to cross into the vortex and they began referring to it as the "Forbidden Ground". In the 1920s, John Litster, a geologist, mining engineer, and physicist, conducted many experiments on the land and opened it to the public in 1930 so that they, too, could experience the odd properties that prevail. He continued to conduct experiments until 1959 when he died.
Open from March to October, visitors can challenge their beliefs and experience the effects of a concentrated vortex. Upon walking in to the relatively small area, you naturally change the way you stand and unconsciously lean toward magnetic north; nowhere within the vortex do you stand erect. The other odd things that experience in this place have to been seen to be believed. It's worth the trip.
I visited the Vortex in 2003 and it was awesome!
Another V Oregon institution is Voodoo Doughnuts. The flagship store opened in 2003 in Portland on SW 3rd Ave and quickly garnered attention due to its unusual doughnuts, oddball decor, and pink to-go boxes decorated with their logo and voodoo priests. The brainchild of Tres Shannon and Kenneth "Cat Daddy" Pogson, Voodoo has become a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, especially those leaving the surrounding bars at two in the morning. Their most famous doughnut, the Bacon-Maple Bar, is only one of their over 1000 offerings. You really can't go wrong with any doughnut selection from Voodoo...aside from the, now defunct, NyQuil Glazed Doughnut or Vanilla Pepto Crushed Tums Doughnut (yikes). Some of their many toppings include a variety of cereals (Cap'n Crunch, Fruit Loops, Coco Puffs, etc), candies (M&Ms, Skittles, Chocolate Chips, Butterfinger, etc), random things (bacon, Tang, marshmallows, Oreos, peanut butter, etc), and more traditional fare (glazed, chocolate sauce, sprinkles, cream, etc). Really, the possibilities are endless!
Since their opening, Voodoo has expanded to include another Portland location on NE Davis Street and in Eugene on the corner of Broadway and Willamette. In addition to delicious doughnuts, you can also legally get married at Voodoo. Your reception is guaranteed doughnuts and coffee :) They also offer special occasion ordering options. Always fun.
You can also purchase Voodoo themed attire and other odds and ends at any location or through their online site. In addition, they've partnered with Rogue Ales, a local brewery, to create two Voodoo inspired ales: the Bacon Maple Ale and the Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Banana Ale. Interesting? Yes.
Happy Thursday, fellow A-Zers!