It was chilly and rainy at the final Oregon WBCCI Airstream rally of the season at Champoeg State Park (shocking), but the hosts made it warm and fall-tastic in the clubhouse, and the hilltop views from the vineyards in Dayton and Dundee during the Saturday tasting excursion were lit by advantageously-timed sunbreaks. (“Sunbreak". That’s a west-of the-Cascades weather word you don’t hear growing up in California.)
At the “epicenter of Oregon Pinot Noir” thirty miles southwest of Portland, foodies can spend a delightful afternoon (or week) sampling wine, cheese, olive oil and filberts at the dozens of wineries and other manufacturers of artisanal treats. Purveyors in the various tasting rooms broadened my culinary knowledge: cheese can be described as “fudgy” or “bloomy”; all varieties of olive are green until ripening; and what I don’t know about wine can still fill the Heidelberg Tun.
The rich autumn palette of red, yellow, orange, and lime green in the Willamette Valley was a shock after a summer spent in the spare high desert and rocky Utah; on Sunday, the colorful foliage in the pass on the drive back to Bend was sugarcoated with a dusting of October snow.
**Blog Hiatus Report** What’s up with that yawning gap between June 18 and today? I’ve been criss-crossing the west, enjoying Airstream rallies, Burning Man, and a long camping honeymoon. What I haven’t been is posting to ‘Streaming. Apologies and thank you, reader Leo, for encouraging me to get back behind the laptop. Stay tuned for more incriminating photos and dozens of new campground and gear reviews after I return from the Great Barrier Reef. ―rg