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Posts Tagged ‘Oregon’

Hey Flyover friends!

Yeah, Jenna and I are still out there exploring and loving the US of A. In fact, you can and should check in with Jenna’s epic cross-country adventure at Round-Trip America. I was able to join her for a few days in South Dakota and we had a grand time, simply grand. She’s doing tons of cool things, writing and posting gorgeous photos. Go see for yourself.

I also recently took a trip to Oregon, where I spent some time on the Oregon coast looking for storms. Big, exciting storms. Click here for a story about that trip. And Sophia in an Oregon Storm is a short video companion to the story, in which I am delightfully buffeted by the wind and rain. I love that kind of thing.

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There’s a lot of go-see-do to travel. But, every now and again, weather puts the kibosh on out and about plans. (Phew.) Here, some rooms we’re happy to get stranded in.

Today’s Three-fer Friday guest writer is Hilary Nangle. When it comes to the go-see-do (and get stranded) of Maine, she’s our must-read writer of choice. Author of Moon Coastal MaineMoon Acadia National Park, and Moon Maine, Hilary also writes for publications including Yankee and The Boston Globe, and blogs about Maine (and more). Beyond the writing, she’s also just a truly enjoyable person to know. Consider yourself lucky if you ever end up sitting next to her at a meal.

As for those rooms worth getting weathered into…

Photo by Hilary Nangle

Photo by Hilary Nangle

Please, please, strand me at the Camden Harbour Inn. I could survive for days, perhaps weeks, in the living room/lounge of this contemporary, color-infused, year-round gem in Camden, Maine. Once a stodgy, overly floral Victorian summer hotel, its Dutch owners have reinvented it as a boutique inn with a European vibe, comfy yet stylin’ furnishings and service that sings. Fireplace? Check. Telescope trained on those stormy seas? Yup. Plentiful sweets and hot drinks? Of course. Free Wi-fi and a guest computer? You betcha. A library of intriguing reads, along with glossy mags and daily papers? Yes, yes, and yes. But wait, it gets even better: Add a lounge menu with choices ranging from lobster spring roll to a Vietnamese sandwich.–Hilary

Photo by Dan Hershman via Flickr (via Creative Commons)

Photo by Dan Hershman via Flickr (via Creative Commons)

I stayed at the Overleaf Lodge in Yachats, Oregon just once for just one night but dream frequently of returning … specifically for bad weather. Its location makes it ideal for the popular Pacific Coast pastime of storm watching. All the Overleaf’s rooms have ocean views for wave (or whale) watching. Many rooms have balconies, some have window seats, some have fireplaces and breakfast is always included. And even if you’re not fortunate enough to catch a storm, the 804 trail passes right in front of the hotel, so you can settle for hiking and beachcombing. Not a bad consolation prize.–Sophia

After the Iditarod passed through. Photo by Jenna Schnuer

After the Iditarod passed through. Photo by Jenna Schnuer

Unless you’re running a dog team or want to bump along a couple hundred miles on a snowmobile, the only way to get to–and from–Alaska’s Winterlake Lodge is by ski plane. I love a tiny plane but didn’t mind–nope, not one bit–when my flight back out of Winterlake got full-on weathered out. It gave me an extra day to hang out in chef and co-owner Kirsten Dixon‘s kitchen. Though the lodge’s comfy den beckoned, I put in overtime delighting in the warmth of Dixon’s kitchen, and chatting with her about the how-tos of turning out seriously gourmet grub in the Alaskan wilderness.–Jenna

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Some people pick one and stick with it through a trip (or a lifetime). Some beeline for the trendiest/newest/hippest this or that. Other folks play fast and loose, stumbling into every semi-interesting place they happen upon. Whatever. There’s no one right way to choose a bar.

As of this Friday Three-fer, a new Flyover America tradition takes off. Each week a guest writer will add his or her voice to the chorus with Jenna and Sophia. First up: John Patrick Pullen, a Portland-based writer and, at some of the city’s finest pubs, Quizmaster.

McMenamins muralThe move from Boston to Portland, Oregon was no small decision for me. Like most Bostonians, I routinely referred to the city as “The Hub of the Universe.” But in Portland, my (then) fiancee introduced me to the city’s microbrew scene at McMenamins Kennedy School. Back when smoking was legal, their detention lounge was where all the ashtrays lived. While McMenamins is admittedly Portland’s most mainstream microbrewer (their mini-mall based locales have caused local beer snobs to revolt), they pair their tasty suds like their Ruby Ale and Terminator Stout (I order up a half-n-half mix called a ‘Rubinator’) with Grateful Dead-eque murals and other assorted whimsey.–John

Photo by purotic via Flickr (Creative Commons).

Photo by purotic via Flickr (Creative Commons).

Tom and I walked a couple of blocks from the Hotel Albuquerque to Old Town, where everything was dark except the unpromisingly named High Noon Restaurant and Saloon. We took a shot, securing a table in the small lounge and ordering margaritas and spinach dip. The room, in a 1785 adobe building, was warmly lighted, furnished with sturdy wooden tables and Santos tucked in nooks. A group of attractive, artsy, middle-aged New Mexicans—all flowing clothes and funky glasses and earrings—occupied a cluster of nearby tables. Between sets, the classical guitarist performing in the restaurant joined them and played guitar. New Mexico chic and great margaritas.— Sophia

Hotel Captain CookOver time I’ve realized I love something no real traveler is supposed to love: hotel bars. It’s the chance criss-crossing of all those lives. But the bar has to have character and a distinct lack of sleazebags. (I’m not talking about airport hotel bars here.) Though I spent just a few hours there, the elegant Fletcher’s at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage made an impression. A long polished wood bar. A bartender who wasn’t just talking to pass time; he was a great storyteller–and listener. And, because the hotel celebrates the legendary explorer through art and other goodies, you even get to take in some history and culture on the way to the restroom.— Jenna

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