Destination: Bend, Oregon

I took the family up to Bend, Oregon for our annual all-American family vacation funfest. We seem to have an affinity or the Beaver State, having been to Ashland 2 years ago. What can we say? The call of the beautiful trees, lack of sales tax, and not having to get out of your car to pump gas is too powerful.

Bend is a splendid city, with a river running through it much like our own fair town, but making much more public use of it than we are ever likely to see. Though it is cliche to say it, the town does have a friendly, laid-back attitude that makes for a great vacation spot. Especially if you are into drinking awesome beer.

Continue reading “Destination: Bend, Oregon”

A mix of beautiful and seedy

It’s always fun to read what folks have to say about Sacramento who do not live here.

From a review at

My first impression riding in was mixed and the city seemed fairly empty, there were not nearly as many folks walking around as I thought there would be in a city of that size at that time of day.

I’ve noticed this myself. Sure, traffic is a mess, but once people get to their homes they don’t seem to hit the streets, huh? Well, if you don’t have a home you do…

Leaving the restaurant, the sun was beginning to set, and I was surprised to see that most of the shops had already closed. Retracing my steps to the hotel was kind of spooky, There were very few people on the streets and many of those that I saw seemed to be vagrants. I was hit up for change at least half dozen times before reaching the hotel.

The author continues with a few great reviews of restaurants (especially Aioli) and services, so give it a read and tell us what you think.

Is Sacramento a tourist destination? Can it be?

Vacationing on the cheap

A little Ford’s Real Hamburgers shout out on Friday (actually, she credits, which is a great site, btw…Hello, Marie’s Do-Nut Shop!) on Fox 40 Morning News when Paul Robins interviewed Amy from “On the go with Amy,” a mother of two who blogs about vacationing on $150 – $200 a day. She offers up some great ideas on making it work including finding activities that are free or inexpensive (walking across the Sundial Bridge in Redding, visiting the Oregon Vortex where balls roll uphill, and strolling through the zoo in Portland). This trip takes them from San Francisco to Seattle.

I discovered a little travel trick of my own recently. When renting a car, try agencies located outside of the airport. If you’re traveling light enough, the cab or shuttle fare is well worth the hassle. I was able to cut $150 off the same reservation at an agency 5 miles from the airport (the same agency, mind you). Fewer taxes, too.

Watch the clip after the jump… Continue reading “Vacationing on the cheap”

“All On a Adventure to Sacramento”

I stumbled upon this article from today about traveling to Sacramento. It has to be written from a translating tool as I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the statements…

Sacramento is really a medium-sized city of about 500,000 men and women. Several people travel on the city to visit the State Capitol…There are also several museums within the location which might be superb choices for persons interested in California background…The latter is located during the Old Sacramento place, which can boast of having a touristy edge. The following, you possibly can ride a historic locomotive along the river…Simply because summers below may be hot, you might pick out to cool off inside American or Sacramento River following your educational day…

I think I may start using some of these phrases. Especially if I mix in the “Jive” style from Airplane!:

Jus’ hang loose, blood, simply because summers below may be hot, you might pick out to cool off…shiiiiit

Adventure Cyclist Shares Globe Travel Tales Tonight

Weir's new book: Travels with Willie
Weir's new book: Travels with Willie

Ever picture yourself traveling across the globe?—by bicycle? Sacramento native Willie Weir has done it, and done it cheaply. Across the United States, Canada, and even through far-flung places like South Africa and Laos, Willie has put his pedal to the road. He shares his travel tales tonight at REI in Sacramento at 7:00pm.

Weir is a cycling columnist for Adventure Cyclist magazine and a public radio cycling commentator. He’s experienced it all, and done so on a tight budget. He’ll go so far as to call himself “cheap.” In fact, one five-month journey cost him only $400. Find out how he does it tonight for a cheap $5, which benefits the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates.

If you can’t make the event, his adventures can also be found in his new book Travels with Willie: Adventure Cyclist.

Apple Hill Unpeeled 2008

Another fall has arrived and another crop of appley goodness has been laid out for the intrepid daytripper to consume.  Apple Hill is in full harvest mode, and the weather couldn’t be nicer.  The crowds are bound to be overflowing this weekend and the apple themed desserts, pies, breads, jams, trinkets, colostomies, and hardware will overflow from the folksy establishments in the folksy land of folksy Apple Hill.

It occurs to me, as it does every year at this time, that some of you may never have been to Apple Hill.  Hmmm.  I see.  Ok… Well then… What the f*$% are you waiting for!?!  Someone to spoon feed you ‘Hill info like a mother shoveling thin apple puree in the drooling mouth of an overfed infant?  If that’s what it will take, then I’m game.

Here we go:  Who’s a big boy?  Who? Who?  Who wants some applesauce in his little pouty apple barn?  Hmmmm?  Nevermind, I can’t keep that up. Continue reading “Apple Hill Unpeeled 2008”

CoolDMZ’s trip to Ashland (PHOTOS)

Took the family up Oregon way last week for a real old-fashioned Summer Vacation. I had never been up I-5 past Woodland, oddly enough, and although you don’t see much up that way–and the air was still smoky–it was a great drive. The flat area of Siskiyou County, the part containing Yreka, is just about the most beautiful country you’ll ever see. It would be bonkers at sunset.

Our destination was Ashland, which is a great little town. More charm in that town per square inch than most other entire other cute small towns. Slideshow after the jump…
Continue reading “CoolDMZ’s trip to Ashland (PHOTOS)”

Are you a dreamcatcher?

A short road trip out to the Jackson Rancheria Casino & Hotel will, once again, giving us the opportunity to try out for a nationally syndicated game show.

Three weeks ago, a few of us tried out for Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and I received my postcard yesterday saying that I’m officially in the contestant pool.

Next Friday, the Jeopardy! Brain Bus will be pulling into town (at least this one won’t require a 4am wake up time!)

Who wants to go?

RunnerGirl’s Quick Tips for Outdoor Adventures, Summer ’08 Edition

With the heat wave ushering in the summer ’08 season, Sam McManis has a timely article on staying hydrated.*

Being an avid ultramarathoner on the trails, I have a lot of experience with two issues that can easily ruin a perfectly awesome day: blisters and poison oak. Here are some of my tips for making your outdoor adventures more comfortable, whether you’re a trail veteran or considering making your debut out on one of our region’s many recreational treasures.

Continue reading “RunnerGirl’s Quick Tips for Outdoor Adventures, Summer ’08 Edition”

PHOTOS: Ken Fox’s Great Statues of Auburn

I stumbled upon a wonderful roadside attraction in Auburn yesterday: Ken Fox’s Great Statues. Ken is the creator of the gold miner statue in downtown Auburn, but he also has several other massive concrete figures to his name. Specifically several (mostly) naked collossi just off 49 near In-n-Out.

The statues are unadvertised, which only adds to your initial shock when they loom into view. A few stand in a parking lot of an otherwise ordinary street. The parking lot belongs to the office of the dentist who built the statues, Ken Fox.

Continue reading “PHOTOS: Ken Fox’s Great Statues of Auburn”