Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cycle Oregon Weekend (Sunday)

Here is our itinerary for the Africa trip.

Sunday was a very different ride. As we traveled south and east from McMinnville we were joined by a good thunderstorm and several strong showers. Fortunately, the lightning kept moving away from where I was and the weather was warm enough that the rain didn’t create a chill. Expecting summer Willamette Valley heat I had not brought any kind of rain gear although I doubt that a jacket would have been a good idea given the warmth. Not everyone was so lucky with the lightning. Maelynn told me that one flash hit close enough that her group felt the tingles.
Wine Tent on the Right
Today the rides were 12, 37, or 52 miles with only one minor hill of less than a mile. We passed several wineries and were pleased to have our lunch stop at Hauer of the Dauer Winery south of Dayton. They set up a tent where we could taste their wines and make purchases. I enjoyed the tastings, but since I would already be loaded down for the ride to the hotel, I passed on buying anything. They did have a couple of interesting whites that I will take Linda back to try on another day. 
Lunch at Hauer of the Dauen Winery
Schwann’s was again waiting at the finish with ice cream although it wasn’t quite as welcome as it had been in the heat yesterday. I gathered my stuff together and loaded my bicycle before returning to the common area where I planned to enjoy a beer and a bit of music before leaving. My friends Maelynn and Bob Anderson offered me a ride to the hotel, but I declined thinking that the couple of miles I had to ride were not worth the effort of loading into their truck. Then, just as I was ready to leave it started to rain again. I hid the bike under an overhang and found myself eating a slice of pizza from a Scappoose couple that only does events. They once had a pizzeria, but find doing events easier and more interesting.  They allowed me to share their tent as I enjoyed their pizza and a beer waiting out the rain. Twenty minutes later I was on my way.
The sunny rest stop we had hoped for
Happily, my room was ready when I arrived so I was able to get into the shower and head up to the rooftop bar where I would enjoy a beer or two while waiting for Linda. Like most of the McMenamin’s properties, this one is an eclectic mix of history and fun illustrated by paintings and photographs in the hallways and anywhere else they can fit. The rooms are all named after local figures, most of whom had some connection with the hotel over the years. Of course, several commemorate the UFO sighting celebrated with a big party once a year. We got to peruse most of it as we filled out our passports and settled in for the evening. I hadn’t realized that the upper floors had not been finished until McMenamin’s took the place over a decade ago. We had dinner at La Rambla, one of our favorite tapas restaurants anywhere. Give it a try if you have not done so before. They offer carry out which one day we will do and lunch at one of the wineries – probably Torii Morr because we like their wines and they have a beautiful deck overlooking the valley. 

Monday, we visited the Air Museum just outside of McMinnville. We had driven by many times on our way to the beach but never stopped. Getting to walk inside Howard Hughes’s Spruce Goose is worth the price of admission by itself, but it is surrounded by dozens more planes each with its own story. We didn’t have time to visit the second building and opted to avoid spending more time in the heat of the afternoon and skipped the several planes outside. 

I look forward to a similar weekend next year and perhaps a couple more nights in Hotel Oregon or perhaps we will go to their refurbished Masonic Lodge in Forest Grove.

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