We finally put a wrap on all the zigging and zagging in California this time around, and on June 21 we drove north to Lebanon, Oregon. You might remember we stopped here on the way down to the southwest when we left Washington in December. So basically, we’re back where we stayed our first night on the road. Our plans were to stay for 1-night then move on to eastern Oregon to stay for a week. While we’ve been to that part of the state many times, we were looking forward to taking the back roads from Lebanon through Sisters. Unfortunately, a range fire broke out the day before our arrival and smoke issues plus evacuation of various communities was under way. Fortunately for us, our next Airbnb host was very helpful keeping us up to date and finally working through Airbnb canceling our stay. We stayed in Lebanon at our favorite Best Western another night and made alternative plans for our time in Oregon.
We ended up about an hour north of Lebanon in Dayton near McMinnville in the heart of the Willamette Valley AVA/appellation within the sub appellation of the Yamhill Valley AVA where Pinot Noir vineyards thrive. Poor us, we had to stay in wine country! Before heading north, we drove 30 minutes east of Lebanon to the McDowell Creek Falls.
Driving through the Willamette Valley we were surprised to see so much varied agriculture. The land area is known for being massively productive with a Mediterranean climate. It’s best known for greenhouse and nursery stock, along with hazelnut (state nut) production, wine region, many varieties of berries and vegetables, grass seed, Christmas trees, hops, and on and on.
We stayed 6 nights at a new Airbnb apartment outside of Dayton and enjoyed a little downtime and catch-up time after our unplanned unplugging in Smith River, California. This is an area we had often talked about spending time in but had not to that point.
The Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum was just a few miles away from our Airbnb, so we thought we should do a little continuing education since doing the Houston Space Center tour in March. The Evergreen is now home to the Hughes H-4 Hercules Spruce Goose previously located in Long Beach, California. There are two exhibit centers: the aviation center with the Spruce Goose and the space flight center and its Titan II missile specially displayed 2 stories below the floor for simulation purposes, along with a re-created missile control room. Visitors can operate various flight simulations including a space shuttle as well as docking a Gemini capsule and a moon landing of the lunar excursion module. And of course since we were in wine country, we just had to drive the beautiful hillsides and sample a bit of vino.
We enjoyed our stay and will be back to stay longer next time when we are traveling through Oregon. We left June 29 and drove east along the Columbia River on the Oregon side then onto Yakima, Washington for an overdue family visit.
Thanks for joining our journey.