This past Memorial Day weekend, some of the Oregon crew (Stacey and I) and our friends Nathalie and Kurt decided to take one of our very own Oregon Bike Tours. It was a tough decision to have to choose between Willamette Valley bike tour or a Columbia River bike tour, but in the end the lush vineyards and gentle hills of the Willamette Valley won out. This time!
We started off in Vernonia where the newly-completed Banks-Vernonia State Trail ushered us gently southward for a traffic-free 20 miles. Upon reaching the quaint hamlet of Banks, we stopped for a snack before making our way to Forest Grove and then McMinnville, our first night’s destination.
McMinnville is packed with excellent lodging and we stayed at one of the best: A’Tuscan Estate. The proprietors, Liz and Jacques, are excellent hosts and the breakfast they made us the next morning left us wishing we could stay another night just to be able to have another one the next morning!
Day two saw us joined by more friends – Dawn and Mark, who live nearby – as we gently cycled the flat roads to the Wheatland Ferry and, eventually Silverton. Silverton is home to the Oregon Gardens, a finely sculpted display of some of the best botanical specimens Oregon has to offer. We dined on fresh Salmon and happened to run into some old friends from Tuscon completely by chance.
Our final day saw us head back to Portland via Mollala and Canby. We, as do all our guests, had the option of riding all the way back into Portland. The girls felt that their morning outing had satisfied their cycling desires for the day, and met our guide in Mollala who was waiting there with our luggage. Up for a bit more adventure, I decided to carry on solo all the way home. Our own Willamette Valley bike tour is complete and we’re looking forward to doing one of our own Columbia Gorge bike tours soon!