OREGON: Cycling, Wine & National Parks! (and beer too)

Oregon has been on my list of states to visit as long as I can remember, but nothing prepared me for the WOW factor I experienced at every level! “Oregrown” says it all, as just about everything is grown and sourced locally – from incredible wines (think Pinot Noir and Pinto Gris but don’t stop there), to local beers with brewery tours and tastings galore, to spectacular coffee and coffee shops on every corner (no, NOT Starbucks!). Foodies will be delighted by all the state has to offer! I loved the beautiful fresh produce, the pasture raised lamb and wagyu beef, and the local river and ocean fish – all served up at various creative eateries on little plates of happiness! I pulled together a group of dear friends for a week of cycling in the stunning Cascade mountains. We made our way from Bend to Crater Lake to Sisters all the while taking in the stunning mountains, lakes, and deserts in between. The trip started with some pre-cycling fun in the Willamette Valley and ended with a night at the très chic The Nines hotel in Portland. I can’t say enough about the experience, but I hope some of the photos from my handy iPhone will paint the picture!

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First beverages in the Willamette Valley
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Welcome to The Allison
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The Allison is a terrific Oregon wine country hotel
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The Jory restaurant at the Allison is a must do! (English Pea, crab meat, and crème fraîche soup)

Wine tasting in Willamette Valley is always a treat! We had an exceptional day meeting in the homes of small batch producers.

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The Barn at Carlton Hill
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David picked a stunning and fortuitous location to grow his grapes
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David Polite with Gil and Ryan
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Lynne and Steve looking great!
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The boys with our guide, John and owner and wine maker at Carlton Hills, David Polite.

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David serving his favorite Pinots and even opening some Reserves for us.
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Mo Ayoub in the Red Hills of Dundee share some of his gorgeous wines
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Ayoub was definitely one of this group’s favorite stops on the wine trail!
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Privé is a small family winery run by husband and wife team, Tina and Mark (and their kids!)
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Tina shared some delicious Pinots and other warmer climate varietals plus some great stories of how they got started and sourced their grapes!
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The ladies at Privé.

Onward to Bend to meet the rest of our group and start the cycling adventure with Backroads!

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Backroads is famous for their gorgeous daily picnics always set up in picturesque spots!
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Always healthful, delicious and local
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Jenna and Ryan suiting up for the first ride
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“Snackroads” always fuels everyone up for the ride…
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First day was a 25 mile ride with an optional climb of 3000 feet
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So happy to have made it to Crater Lake at 7000 feet!
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“Partners-in-climb” Leigh and Laura
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Well-deserved drinks! Ladies table at Crater Lake Lodge
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Cycling makes you really, really thirsty!
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After Dinner Drinks at the Lodge
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Good morning, Crater Lake!
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I love the roaring fire at the Crater Lake Lodge
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Mid June yet snow still everywhere, even closing some of the passes up to Crater Lake
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Deschutes, one of our favorite local beers!
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One of our super capable trip leaders, Ariel – A.K.A. Super Woman!
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Route Rap with our Trip Leaders
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Leigh
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At the end of Day 2 cycling – Gil, Lynne, Steve, Laura, Leigh, Chris Bo, Rachel and Chris Ba
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One last shot of Crater Lake – Sorry but so darn breathtaking!
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The Backroads van is always ready with a beer for our group after a long ride or hike!
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The girls goofing around in the snow!
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Last one, I promise – hiking the rim of Crater Lake.
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Oregon has so many gorgeous lakes, this one is Diamond Lake.

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Arriving into Bend after an epic 45 mile bike ride, first stop a brewery tour at the Deschutes Brewery.

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Gearing up for the day at our Snackroads table
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Fantastic coffee shops everywhere, this one was a winner! All local and organic!

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Checking into the Five Pine Lodge in Sisters, OR
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Heading to our cute individual cabins
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The Cabins at Five Pine Lodge
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All cleaned up and heading out to dinner in Sisters on our cruisers
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Ryan and Chris
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Even the Oatmeal is Oregrown – love it!
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Katie, our fabulous trip leader ready to ride with us
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Our other trip leader extra-ordinaire, Ariel
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Another wonderfully health picnic lunch
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Jenna and Gil Chilling after a ride
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Jenna and Ryan all cleaned up
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The ladies ready for final night dinner (yes the guys are here too!)
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Rachel and I hitting the town on our cruisers
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The ladies ROCKED IT!  Here is to fantastic Trip Leaders!
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Last day of riding through the gorgeous lava fields of the McKenzie Pass
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Chris, Rachel and Chris
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Gil loving the 20 mile down hill through McKenzie Pass

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Final Picnic with the crew – salmon in every way!
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Cold Local Beers – Gil, Ryan, Laura, Chris and Steve
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Well done, Katie, Ariel and Patrick!

Finally on to Portland for last night before the flight home……

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Checking in to our room at the stylish “The Nines” Hotel in Portland
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Sweet welcome amenity at The Nines
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Kushner’s and Madrid’s enjoying roof top cocktails at The Nines
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Drinks and dinner at the delicious “Tasty and Alder”
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Great trip, friends, wine, rides and view! Well played, Oregon, well played!