29. June 2012 20:26
Crater Lake National Park is an important component of any quality tour exploring the splendid Beaver State. Since most groups are likely to reach the park via OR 62, the historic and quite picturesque Union Creek Resort, just about a mile south of the junction with OR 230, makes for a great rest or meal stop.
Close by is the splendid Rogue River Gorge, right off the highway and free of admission charge. So if you happen to make a day trip to the Crater Lake, you can make stops at Union Creek in both directions.
The Union Creek Resort was one of the original places where early motorists heading for Crater Lake could spend their vacation adjacent to the Rogue River and dense, old growth Oregon forests. The property, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, consists of a main lodge (be sure to see the impressive stone fireplace), general store, a variety of rustic cabins, recreational facilities and the small but charming Beckie’s Café. Beckie’s, which offers excellent meals and is renowned for home-baked pies offered in many flavors, is very popular among the locals and knowledgeable visitors. Even though the café is just large enough to handle a full motorcoach if there are no other patrons in the house, they are happy to accommodate tour groups as long as they receive advance notification, so make sure to let them know when you will be coming.
The Rogue River Gorge is an outstanding scenic wayside administered by the U.S. Forest Service, just a short distance up the road from the resort. A flat, short and easily accessible trail leads to several viewpoints overlooking the rushing Rogue River as it cascades over an impressive waterfall and through the gorge itself.
Whitewater in the Rogue River Gorge
Rogue River rushing into the gorge
15. May 2009 18:28
WASHINGTON-OREGON BORDER – The light comes streaming through the gaps in the curtains early this morning, and out the window of my sleeper car I can see clear blue skies and the beautiful Columbia River flowing alongside the tracks.
In the wee hours of last night, the train arrived in Spokane, where it was broken up into two sections. The front half of the train is making its way through Washington to Seattle, its final destination. The back half, which I’m riding on, takes a turn to the South, and has spent much of the night and the morning following the Columbia River, which marks the border between Washington and Oregon. In a few hours, we’ll arrive in Portland.
Looking across the river to the Oregon side, I see the small, craggy buttes slowly give way to large rolling hills, covered in vegetation. Soon, Mount Hood emerges in the distance. Tall, powerful and snow-covered, this peak dominates the landscape. The train moves slowly by, and we all get a good look.
Soon, my leisurely journey through the West will be ending: Upon arrival in Portland, I’ll grab a taxi at the depot and head straight to the airport, making my way back East by plane. Late tonight, I’ll arrive in Lexington, covering in about 5 hours of air travel what has taken nearly two days by train.
It will be good to be home tonight, but I think I will miss the train. I’ll miss the great food, the attentive staff, and the slower pace of travel. But more than anything else, I think I’ll miss the scenery. This is an intimate way to travel, a long study of the nuances of our countryside. Taking it in is like studying the lines and curves of a loved one’s face, at once familiar and surprising.
We’ve always known that the Northwest was here, and heard that it was beautiful. But now I know for myself, because I have seen it face to face.