Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Anthony Lakes - Camping, Fishing, Hiking

Opportunities for outdoor activity are pretty easy to come by in Oregon. In fact you kind of have to go out of your way to avoid them. But if you are looking for some summer fun then Anthony Lakes should be on your list.

The trip can be a bit on the long side, so plan to stay for a few days. Take I-84 to North Powder and exit. Then just follow the signs. If you have no idea where North Powder is, it is more or less near La Grande.

There are a couple of lakes up there and plenty of camping. There is a small charge to camp, but nothing a poor man can't afford. In addition if you really hate roughing it there are cabins available as well. There are several trails for hiking, all leading to some really fun views. The fishing is generally good though you should double check the stocking schedules just in case. Canoes, kayaks and swimming are all a ton of fun but motorized boats are not permitted.

It is pretty high up, so don't plan on going anytime other than summer and even then you should plan on cold nights and cool mornings with plenty of sun in the afternoons. Bring your sunscreen and your winter coat.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Vale 4th of July Rodeo

There are lots of little rodeos around the state throughout the Summer months.

In Vale they hold their annual rodeo on the 4th of July as part of the annual celebration for independence. This makes it a bit more special in my mind and all the more fun.

If you've never been to a small town rodeo then you are really missing out on a bit of American heritage that I recommend you reconcile immediately, if not sooner. Authentic cowboys (you know the kind that actually raise cows and make a living from it) are to be found in these small towns mingling with the rodeo cowboys. Locals as well as traveling vendors offer a variaty of curios that can only be found in these small town events, and the food can never be beat.

If you travel to a summer rodeo in Vale, or any part of Eastern Oregon then I have to recommend a couple of things. First, bring plenty of sunscreen. Summer in the high desert is hot! Expect it to be hot and dry and you can't enjoy much of anything with a sunburn. Also bring plenty of water especially for kids and pets. Dehydration and sun stroke or heat sickness are real possibilities. Finally, don't stray too far off the beaten path without doing some research. There are a lot of trails and it easy easy to get lost, not to mention that lat summer tends to be snake season and the rattlers in the sage brush covered hills aren't terribly friendly.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Visit Mt. Hood

There are a large number of wonderful places to see in Oregon, but if you are into mountains at all then might I suggest stopping off at Mt. Hood.

June through September are the ideal months, though there is of course skiing through the winter.

Activities include hiking, camping, fishing, and berry picking. There are many, many miles of trails to hike, ranging from beginner to very advanced. Opportunities to see wildlife in their natural habitate abound.

Of course this isn't the only mountain in Oregon, but it may well be the most famous. I do recommend you check it out if ever you get a chance.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bonnevill Fish Hatchery

This is a quaint stop off of I-84 east of Portland. There are signs to follow and it is a great educational opportunity especially for any kids you might have along.

Here you will have the chance to mix fins with some of the oldest living fish on the planet. Sturgeon live to be decades old and grow to enormous sizes. Here you will have the chance to see the fish as well as feed them and interact with their care takers.

In addition to the sturgeon there are trout and salmon to view as well. This is a great place to stop for a picnic, take a walk and enjoy the outdoors in a very fun, very safe way. This is an accessible stop for those in wheel chairs and for those with kids in strollers. Plus it is dirt cheap and easy to find.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sturgeon Fishing, A Uniquely Oregon Experience

Catching sturgeon on the Columbia and Willamette rivers is one experience that really can't be had outside of Oregon. Of course there are sturgeon in other parts of the world, but the efforst that the Oregon department of fish and wildlife have gone through to preserve the species and keep fishing both fun and sustainable are remarkable.

Even when I don't manage to get any keepers, reeling in "shakers" or Sturgeon that can't be taken is a pleasure. These fish are magnificent to see when you reel them in and make a fine addition to any dining table.

If you are looking for an experience that you will remember for a lifetime and one that is unique to the Pacific northwest, then can I suggest sturgeon fishing.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Depot Bay Oregon

Depot Bay, Oregon is one of those charming coastal towns that offers a variety of interesting activities for those who love the ocean. From whale watching to charter fishing, there are always a number of different things to do in Depot Bay.

This is my personal favorite when I am looking to do some deep sea fishing. In general I use one of the charter services in the town, though I have also gone out on private vessels from time to time. Sometimes it can be difficult to make arrangement for a private vessel, and the charter services there are quite good. They offer not only fishing services but whale watching as well.

Having been up close and personal to a few whales, I can say that it is quite a spectacular experience. I really recommend it to anyone. This is not an experience that you can get from the discovery channel.

There are also several shops in Depot Bay. These are small business, owned and operated by locals and catering to the tourist crowd. Among these shops are a number of boutique antique dealers which are very fun to peruse if you are interested at all in antiques. I find the stroll down nostalgia lane quite refreshing.

If food is your thing, there are plenty of restaraunts in the area. And if you don't mind a 20 minute drive Lincoln City and Newport are just North and South along the highway.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bend Oregon - A Tourist Haven

Those of you out there looking for a vacation spot that is out of the way but not out in the sticks, look at Bend Oregon.

Bend is nowhere near what anyone would describe as a big city, in fact to many city dwellers it is just a small town in eastern Oregon. However if you go further east, you will meet many eastern Oregonians who would describe Bend as both a city and as not eastern Oregon. That is to say that Bend is, in many ways on the border between east and west and yet it isn't really central Oregon either.

It shares the climate and history of eastern Oregon, but has managed to grow and thrive, and in particular develop a tourist industry that is wanting in parts further east. Bend is beautiful throughout the year, though especially during the summer. Bend offers camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, and all the outdoor activities that Oregon is famous for.

In addition there are hotels, restaraunts and shopping for those who prefer air conditioning and a comfortable seat. The dining is good and the range of hotels covers the gamut from barely more than camping up to luxury resorts. That is to say that Bend is truly a haven for tourists of all types and kinds.

To me Bend is a place where I went as a young boy to compete in wrestling tournaments and holds a few fond memories that the tourists will never know.