Earlier this week, traded Vermont rain for northwest weather. Cool sunny days laced with brief bursts of rain. And a few snow-showers. Travels through parts of western and central Oregon. The city of Portland, rich in parks and riverways. The broad and rolling Willamette valley, dotted with buttes and vineyards. Narrow river valleys, dense with evergreen trees reaching for the sky. Forest rhododendrons in bloom. Pristine rivers, a paradise for anglers. Jagged snow-capped mountains. Fields of volcanic stone. The grand Deschutes River Valley. Horizontal planes turning to vertical, then flat again, fringed by mountains. The west – rain-washed, green and lush. The central high desert plateau arid by comparison. The Cascade Mountains dividing two different landscapes and cultures. A beautiful drive of majestic proportions and vivid contrasts.
Eating well on the road can be a challenge. But traveling does not have to mean bad food and relying on fast food and sugar-laden free hotel breakfasts. Filling a travel larder can be an adventure of yummy local food possibilities. Budget friendly picnics along the road and in hotel rooms. Eating outside in nature when the weather allows. In Oregon, an emphasis on good food, with a northwest flair. Farmer’s markets and food carts, bakeries and coffee shops galore, small-scale production and farming. Hearty, hand-crafted bread and hazelnut granola, cardamom brioche. Willamette Valley pinot noir and Columbia Valley zinfandel. Spicy codfish tacos. Fresh orchard cherries, firm and sweet. Goat cheese, sharp and tangy. Wild mushrooms. Pacific salmon. Regional foods and flavors from other lands. In Portland, a delicious and unexpected taste of Norway, served fresh from a silver trailer named Gudrun. Home-made lefse from the Viking Soul Food cart in the GoodFoodHere lot. A taste of home, with new twists, the perfect combination.