For What It’s Worth

There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear

Stephen Stills

Still no hiking, but another fun day! We got up pretty early and left Crater Lake. Our main goal for the day was to find a winery in the Wilemette Valley. I don’t drink much wine, but I do like a Pino Noir with dinner sometimes, and that’s the varietal this region is known for. There are probably hundreds of wineries in this part of Oregon so with no specific plan in mind we began heading North.

Our first stop was in the town of Corvallis. It was a cute little town and we spent a half hour or so walking around the main street and browsing shops. We happened to have parked next to a hole in the wall called The Little Lunch Box. As we were about to get in the car to leave Molly noticed a sign advertising $2 biscuits and gravy. As we were debating the merits of picking up an order or two a random dude walked by and told us to go for it. Normally we don’t take the advice of random dudes on the street, but it was almost noon and we’d only had Kix for breakfast.

There’s no compelling reason NOT to buy $2 biscuits and gravy. She even split the order into 4 parts for us. If you’re ever in Corvallis pay a visit to The Lunch Box.

After finishing our snack we continued North. I pulled up Google Maps and chose Firesteed Wine our our first winery destination. We set the girls up with some games at a table outside. Molly and I got to work sampling Firesteed’s range of wines. The official tasting card informed us we’d be sampling four wines, but the tastemasters seemed to just keep them coming. We compared several different years of Pino Grigios, then a Pino Noir Rose (and learned that rose’s are made by leaving the wine on the skins for less time), and finally several years of Pino Noirs. We chose several bottles including an awesome 2012 Pino Noir that we’ll have for our anniversary in a couple weeks. Apparently we were too busy tasting to take any pictures. In fact we tasted so much that we decided it would be prudent to have our PBJ&C’s at the picnic table outside Firesteed before continuing on.

From there we continued North to the town of McMinnville. It was another adorable town with a main street lined with shops and wine tasting rooms. After walking off the rest of the first tasting I put Molly in charge of selecting the second, and final, winery of the day. She directed us Remy’s. Remy’s turned out to be an old farmhouse set among the fields of grapes. We grabbed the first glass of our tasting, pulled some quilts out of the trunk on the porch and set up to play games in the grass. It was a beautiful place to spend some time hanging out. The only downside was that we somehow managed to find the one winery in the Willemette Valley that doesn’t make Pino Noir. It reminded me of the time we saw Alanis Morisette in concert and she refused to play anything from Jagged Little Pill. Come on guys, I know you want to show that you’re more than your one thing, but you need to play to your strengths (and customers) too!

The last drive of the day was the hour jaunt to the Monaco Portland, Kimpton stop #2 of the trip! Very out of character for us we arrived 15 minutes late for wine hour. We hurried up to the room to drop our luggage and found an awesome spread waiting for us: a bottle of pino noir from a local winery, IPA’s from a local brewery, a beautiful charcuterie, and cookies! We grabbed the meat and headed down to wine hour where we were presented with an indefatigueable set of beverage options: local wines, local beers, a vodka cocktail. I think they may have had a full bar stashed away. Monaco Portland certainly does hospitality right. Perhaps they could spare someone to train the folks at the Crater Lake Lodge for a couple days.

Since we hadn’t really had a meal in a couple days we were all pretty hungry. We decided to head to the Deschutes Brew Pub for dinner. It was everything I’ve been dreaming about in a meal. Our last stop on the way home was at Powell’s City of Books. When we got in we decided to split up and meet back at the entrance in 15 minutes. I could have used an hour. They had everything there, including a book called “Rustic Modern”. Molly and I have been debating for the past few months about the style of our home in Colorado. I’ve been making arguments for Mountain Rustic and she prefers Modern. As I browsed the pages of this book I knew that it held the answers we needed. She happened to walk by a couple minutes later and when she opened it she immediately agreed that this was exactly what we were looking for. The $50 price tag prevented us from buying it, but as soon as we get home we’ll be making a trip to the library to request a copy.

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