What’s the Word?In Washington County, Oregon

Stories from Old Scotch Church

Posted on: August 22nd, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

One of the many happy wedding memories made at Old Scotch Church. Photo: Edmund Simmons

One of the many happy wedding memories made at Old Scotch Church. Photo: Edmund Simmons

 

Wedding bells are ringing and the birds of singing. That’s a rather accurate description of the Tualatin Valley in the summer and fall. Last month, we discussed the history of weddings at the historic Old Scotch Church. To our delight, lovebirds responded to the blog post with memories of their own weddings at the Old Scotch Church that we are thrilled to share with you.

Some dream about their weddings well before meeting a spouse. Such was the case with Cassandra Smit at age 14, who held a summer job picking strawberries at a farm across the street from the Old Scotch Church. One summer day, Cassanda caught a glimpse of newly-wed couple being whisked away in a snazzy limo. The romantic scene sealed the deal—Cassandra knew that one day she, too, would get married at the enchanting church.  

Flash forward, Cassandra and her husband have been married for 21 years! The minister was in the midst of a family emergency, but made time to officiate Cassandra and her husband’s ceremony at the Old Scotch Church because –telling the couple—he had never met a couple so much in love. We are enamored with stories like Cassandra’s, who continue adding beautiful memories to this slice of the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route. The Oregon pioneers who founded the church would surely be touched.

Speaking of Oregon pioneers, the Old Scotch Church’s grounds include the Tualatin Plains Cemetery. Here, the famous pioneer Joseph Meek rests along with many of his comrades. Debbie Rogers shared memories of visiting the graves of her great great great grandparents, John and Jessie Johnston, in the northeast corner of the cemetery. While multi-generation Oregonians love visiting their forefathers, the cemetery is truly a must-see for all history buffs.

 

John and Jessie Johnston's graves in the Tualatin Plains Cemetery. Photo: Debbie Rogers

John and Jessie Johnston’s graves in the Tualatin Plains Cemetery. Photo: Debbie Rogers

 

Old Scotch Church
30685 NW Scotch Church Road
Hillsboro, OR 97124
Phone: (503) 648-9573
Email: office@oldscotchchurch.org
Website:
http://www.oldscotchchurch.org

Are you going to a wedding in Oregon’s Washington County? Share the fun times with us using the #tualatinvalley hashtag! And be sure to make use of our wedding guest itinerary, as well.

End of Summer Events

Posted on: August 20th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

We’re in the home stretch of summer, with just over a month until the Autumnal Equinox. We plan to soak up every last drop of summer sunshine and shenanigans. See below for the best of the best of the Tualatin Valley’s end-of-summer events.

Bask in the fading glow of summer, made easy with a Labor Day wine tasting at Plum Hill Vineyards.

Bask in the fading glow of summer, made easy with a Labor Day wine tasting at Plum Hill Vineyards.

Oregon Renaissance Festival
August 23-September 21, weekends | 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. | Washington County Fair Complex | $7.95-$15.95
Encounter a magical 16th century European village of knights, fairies and more. Bonus: learn medieval lingo!

WinCo Foods Portland Open
August 20-24 | varying times | Pumpkin Ridge Golf Course | $15
Don’t miss your chance to see the next Bubba Watson or Keegan Bradley battle for one of 25 PGA Tour Cards.

Wapato Showdown
August 23 | all day | Brown Park | free
Car enthusiasts show off their tricked-out cars and motorcycles with fun contests to boot.  

Labor Day Tasting at Quailhurst Vineyard Estate
August 30 | 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. | Quailhurst Vineyard Estate | $10-$20
Watch Quailhurst Vineyard Estate’s beautiful horses while sipping the winery’s fine Pinot.

Labor Day Wine & Art Show
August 30-September 1 | noon to 6 p.m. | Plum Hill Vineyard | No cover charge
Celebrate the long weekend with wine from Plum Hill Vineyards and great local artists.

Summer Festival at Garden Vineyards
September 11-14 | 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Garden Vineyards | $20
Live music, wine, and delicious food…Garden Vineyards does the end of summer right.

Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day
September 13 | all day | McMenamins Grand Lodge | free
The McMenamins Grand Lodge can’t wait for St. Patrick’s Day. Enter, an Irish-themed party now

Sidewalk Chalk Art Festival
September 20 | 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. | Valley Art Gallery | free
Release the artist within! Create a colorful sidewalk masterpiece in historic downtown Forest Grove.

Annual Corn Roast
September 20 | 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. | Pacific University | no cover charge
Feast on fresh roasted corn as a tribute to the last of summer’s harvest.

OMSI Star Party: Autumnal Equinox Celebration
September 20 | 7 p.m. | Stub Stewart State Park | free
Welcome the new season with a star party. Experts will help you catch a glimpse of Venus, Saturn and Mars.

Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

Nature Passport: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve

Posted on: August 18th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

Where has your summer led you? Or perhaps more pointedly, have you been using the Nature Passport to get yourself to outdoorsy hotspots in the Tualatin Valley? The Nature Passport is a handy—and free!—tool to use year-round. Bird and botany aficionados are using the Nature Passport to discover everything our parks and reserves have to offer, from its roots to what flies in its skies. Today, we’re flipping the page to the Jackson Bottom Wetland Preserve page in the Nature Passport.

Open dawn to dusk, the Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserver offers shows off its birds against vibrant sunrises and sunsets.

Open dawn to dusk, the Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserver offers shows off its birds against vibrant sunrises and sunsets.

The Jackson Bottom Wetland Preserve is more than 600 acres of natural bliss for birders, wildlife watchers, hikers and kids. The wetlands are fed by the Tualatin River floodplain. The preserve is marked by four miles of easy hiking trails via the Jackson Bottom Wetlands Loop.

So, what exactly are you going to experience while looping around the preserve? Majestic eagles, ribbit-happy frogs and the clove-like scent of the golden currants all create a symphony for the senses. Of course, what you see will change with the seasons. For a seasonally organized list of birds seen at the Jackson Bottom Wetland Preserve, check out the Bird Checklist.

Curious kids and ever-learning adults should visit the preserve’s Education Center. See the first authentic bald eagles’ nest recovered from the wild on display and get the nitty-gritty details on the plants flourishing outside. It’s easy to see why the Wapato Native American tribe once was hunters-and-gathers from this fertile land.

Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve
Location: 2600 SW Hillsboro Highway, OR 97123
Phone: (503) 681-6206
Hours: Dawn to dusk; Education Center is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Past Nature Passport Blog Posts:
Banks-Vernonia State Trail
Cook Park
Cooper Mountain Nature Park
Fernhill Wetlands

Order your Nature Passport and share your pictures with us on Twitter and Instagram. Tag your photos with #WaCoNature.

Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

Get Thee to the Oregon Renaissance Festival

Posted on: August 14th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

Even pirates can’t resist the Oregon Renaissance Festival!

Have you ever been to a Renaissance Festival? Nay, you say? Well then prithee, let’s get thee to Oregon’s Renaissance Festival!

Oregon’s Washington County excitedly welcomes the second annual Oregon Renaissance Festival, coming to Hillsboro August 16 to September 21, 2014 at the Washington County Fair Complex.

A visit to Oregon’s Washington County often transports visitors to a different world, but this festival will take young lads and fair maidens all the way back to a bustling 16th Century village. So, join the town-folk in some all-ages merriment. You can explore the pop-up Renaissance village as a traveler from the future or partake in the whimsy as a fellow Renaissance man or woman. As this isn’t your typical Middle Age village, there is an array of personas to choose from: royal parties, mischievous pirates, and fanciful fairies.  

Chances are you have a picture in your head of what a Renaissance Festival is like and—chances are—you’re right. You can imagine the woodworkers and fine jewelers and metal craftsman where you can shop for of-another-world goods. And you can satisfy your hunger for simpler times with a hearty turkey legs or bangers & mash. And of course there is the jousting match, the magicians, the teasing “wenches,” and a gaggle of performers ready to proclaim “God save the Queen.”

There will be tons to see at Oregon’s Renaissance Festival, but perhaps more importantly, there will be tons to do and say. So you fit into this blast from the past, we have some more lingo for you to use:

What be thy tide? – What’s your name?
Prithee, attend me! – Wait for me!
How stands the hour? – What time is it?
How now? – How are you?
Grammercy – Thank you
Hail and well met! – Nice to meet you

Festival Information:
Hours: August 16 to September 21 open on Saturdays, Sundays, and Labor Day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Admission: Adults (ages 13 and up): $15.95; Children (ages 5-12): $7.95; Children under 4: free

So, go ahead and experience the festival whichever way is best for you. Just don’t miss out or you might call out the Middle Age curse, “Gods Thumb!”

Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

September Brings the Oregon International Air Show

Posted on: August 12th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
It's a flying fleet feat at the Oregon International Air Show, coming this September.

It’s a flying fleet feat at the Oregon International Air Show, coming this September.

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds aerobatic team proudly proclaims Sic Itur Ad Astra as its motto. The phrase is Latin for “reaching toward the stars,” which is exactly what they are going to do at the Oregon International Air Show (September 19-21 at the Hillsboro Airport; ticket prices vary).

Yes—for the first time in over 20 years—the Snowbirds will fly their nine shiny, red and white CT-114 Tutors into a breathtaking formations, dips, loops and carefully calculated maneuvers over the skies of Hillsboro. Just watching the show will give you an adrenaline rush!

With three days of dazzling aerobatic demonstrations from a variety of fleets, photographers flock to the Oregon International Air Show. To accommodate shutterbugs, the airshow is offering an exclusive photographers-only Photo Pit that allows show line access to those who want to snap the perfect shot. If photography is your thing, then make time for outdoor adventures post Air Show, as well.  Your nature photo could win you some seriously amazing photography equipment from the Focus on Autumn Nature Photo Contest.

You won’t just see planes in the sky at the Oregon International Air Show, but one of the largest fireworks displays in Oregon, as well. We’re talking thousands of fireworks with a net explosive mass of one-and-a-half tons! The glittery spectacle takes a full week to set up, but it proves to be well worth it as us magpies stare in wide-eyed and jaws-dropped wonderment.

The Air Show includes lots of traditions like the fireworks, and this year there are starting a new one with the first annual Run on the Runway 5K (September 21; $45). The course weaves around the airport, through the taxiways and over the stretches where typically only planes go. So even if you’ll never fly a plane, you can still race on the same runway as one.

As if there weren’t enough reasons to plan a trip to the Air Show, there is even more to sweeten the deal. Six hotels are offering a book a night, get free tickets promotion. Book a stay with one of the following hotels and get up to two free general admission tickets (valued at $20 each) to the Air Show*:

We hope to see you at the Oregon International Air Show, “reaching toward the stars” all together.

Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

Focus on Autumn Nature Photo Contest

Posted on: August 8th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Previous photo contest entries. Credits clockwise from top left: Christopher Pokorny, Joel Zak, Christopher Pokorny, John Gaudette.

Previous photo contest entries. Credits clockwise from top left: Christopher Pokorny, Joel Zak, Christopher Pokorny, John Gaudette.

Visit. See. Click. Share. Win.

Yup, that’s what you’ll need to do to take part in the “Focus on Autumn Nature Photo Contest.”

Visit
As the contest runs from Labor Day through Thanksgiving weekend, you’ll have ample time to take a photographer’s getaway to the Tualatin Valley. Stay in style at one of our plush hotels. Take advantage of the McMenamins Grand Lodge Adventure Package for its picture-worthy aerial tour at Tree-To-Tree Adventure Park.

See
Of course, you can’t take great photos without great views and subjects. Not a problem here. There are countless “Focus on Autumn” options. If you love wine, capture the fog rolling over the vineyard while wine tasting. If you’re a sucker for fall foliage, take a ride on the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route to see burnt orange and rusty red leafage. And the migratory birds at our wetlands and nature parks are colorful models.

Click
With so much beautiful wildlife around, all that’s left to do is to play paparazzo and click away! The contest is open to all ages and to professional and amateur photographers alike. Take pictures that are meaningful and beautiful to your own eye.

Share
Between September 1, 2014 and November 30, 2014, any photos uploaded into the contest’s Flickr group will be considered an entry. Additionally, share photos on social media with the #tualatinvalley hashtag. We’ll be sharing these tagged pictures throughout the season.

Win
Your photo could win you some fabulous loot!

1st Place:
Canon EOS 70D DSLR Camera, UV filter, camera bag, and Canon Pixma Pro-100 printer from The Shutterbug, plus onOne Perfect Photo Suite 8 Premium Edition software (total value $2,500)
2nd Place:
Binoculars from Leupold Optics and onOne Perfect Photo Suite 8 Premium Edition software (total value $475)
3rd Place:
$100 Visa Gift Card and onOne Perfect Photo Suite 8 Premium Edition software (total value $200)
Honorable Mention: 
onOne Perfect Photo Suite 8 Premium Edition software (total value $100)

We can’t wait to see how you capture the beauty of the Tualatin Valley.

For all the nitty-gritty details and submission requirements, visit the contest page.

What is the Tualatin Valley?

Posted on: August 6th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Oregon's Washington County is the Tualatin Valley (and we're proud of it!).

Oregon’s Washington County is the Tualatin Valley (and we’re proud of it!).

What is the Tualatin Valley?

Geographically speaking, the Tualatin River runs through the Tualatin Valley with the Tualatin Mountains creating a north and east border for the region. In fact, the Tualatin Mountains are part of the  Northern Oregon Coast Range, which create that tickle of cool Coastal Range air that visitors love while enjoying the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway  and Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route. The Tualatin Valley is lucky enough to be a part of the Northern Willamette Valley and the northern part of the Chehalem Mountains, which makes for rich soil and diverse winemaking opportunities (which our winemakers fully embrace and celebrate). The Tualatin Valley encompasses the towns and cities of Aloha, Banks, Beaverton, Cornelius, Hillsboro, Sherwood, Tigard and Tualatin. Plainly put, the Tualatin Valley is Oregon’s Washington County.

Historically speaking, the Tualatin Valley is grounded by the Native Americans and Oregon Pioneers who first called this fertile land home. The regions namesake comes from the hunting-and-gathering Atfalati tribe of the Kalapuya Native Americans who lived in villages peppered throughout the valley.  The community is also known as Tualatin Native Americans. In the mid-19th Century, Oregon Pioneers came to the land and began calling it the “Twality Plains,” which had a similar mouth feel to the name of the Atfalati tribe. Over the years, Twality Plains has evolved into the name of the Tualatin Valley. Today, whether you hear the Twality Plains, Northern Willamette Valley or Oregon’s Washington County, know that all of these monikers are synonyms for the Tualatin Valley.

Poetically speaking, the Tualatin Valley is breathtaking greenery intersected by large stretches of vibrant farmland. It is the cool Coastal Range air creating soft, whispering breezes between the tombstones of Oregon Pioneers. It is the taste of juicy summer berries and the best Oregon Pinot wine. The Tualatin Valley is zip-lines through beautiful treetops and vineyard vines reaching their roots deep down into volcanic soil.

So, what is the Tualatin Valley? Quite simply, the Tualatin Valley is us. And we can’t wait to share the magic of all that is here with you.

Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

Recipe: Nutty Berry Torte

Posted on: August 1st, 2014 by Jackie Luskey 2 Comments
Make our delicious recipe for an Oregon berry torte.

Make our delicious recipe for an Oregon berry torte.

Do you suffer from berry anxiety disorder? Symptoms include extreme concern about one’s ability to consume as many fresh Oregon berries as possible during the summer months. The disorder manifests itself in weekend u-pick outings, excessive visits to farmers markets and long drives, spotting berry crop signs along the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route. You know what they say: food is medicine. So cure your summer berry anxiety disorder with our scrumptious (and gluten free!) recipe for nutty berry torte!

 

Nutty Berry Torte

Adapted from Carol Kicinksi’s Simply…Gluten Free Desserts

Pecan Crust
Ingredients:
2 cups Jossy Farms pre-picked walnuts (pecans and hazelnuts work, too!)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 pinch kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Spray a nine-inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray
In a food processor, pulse nuts, sugar and salt together until ground
Add melted butter to the food processor and pulse until combined into the mixture
Press the mixture evenly into the pie plate, taking care to make sure it is evenly spread
Bake crust for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
(The crust may be a little soft, but it will continue cooking outside of the oven and firm up)

Let crust cool completely before adding the filling.

Torte Filling
Ingredients:
8 ounces of softened cream cheese
¼ cup superfine sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Freshly squeezed lemon juice from ½ of a lemon
2 pints of assorted berries
(we like Gordon’s Acres raspberries, Smith Berry Barn blueberries and Ungers Farms Albion strawberries)

¼ cup jam (we like Unger Farms raspberry jam)
2 tablespoons of Chambord raspberry flavored liqueur

Directions:
In a medium sized mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla with a mixer until well blended.
Spread cream cheese mixture onto bottom of the pecan crust
Top with berries
Refrigerate for four to 12 hours
In a separate small bowl, whisk together jam and Chambord until well combined
Drizzle the jammy liqueur over the berries and serve

Tell us your favorite dish to make with Oregon ingredients and maybe we’ll give it a whirl in our own test-kitchen!

Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway: Wheel Turn 6

Posted on: July 30th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

Are you ready for the crisp air from the Coastal Range, apple orchards and even a dinosaur? We’re back with our sixth installment in the “Wheel Turn Series” of the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway. As a review, you can cycle backwards and read the previous Wheel Turn blog posts:

There's a myriad  eye-candy along the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway.

There’s a myriad eye-candy along the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway.

Continuing up NW Porter Road, the bike path will transition into NW Visitation Road. As the road forces a left onto NW Osterman Road, cyclists have the opportunity to take a side road, NW Evers Road, as an easy and paved shortcut, jumping a few miles of the bikeway. That said, we encourage savvy cyclists to journey on the bikeway; your efforts will be rewarded turning right onto NW Kansas City Road with the sight of a Triceratops. Yes, you read that right. A Triceratops named Breezy is a delightful roadside attraction that also marks your entry into the foothills of the coastal range. Enjoy the crisp—even breezy—air that it brings.

Pedaling on, Kansas City Road is also home to Bull Run Cider’s founding location. Oregon’s newest hard cider producer has lovingly planted acres of young heirloom apple trees. Repeat riders of the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway love taking a moment of pause to see how much the young trees have grown since their last visit. In addition to the orchard, the cidery also has a romantic old barn for a picture-perfect photo-op.

If you prefer your agricultural landscapes to air more toward the savory than sweet, then you’ll be happy to see the fields and fields of corn and wheat on NW Greenville Road. You can measure the wind by the sway of the wheat and corn stalks. The rural scene continues on as cyclists turn left onto NW Roy road and then left onto NW Mountainside Road. The Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway is nearing its final, glittering stretch, but we’ll save that for next month.

Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

Ask a Local: Cooper Mountain Vineyards’ Barbara Gross

Posted on: July 28th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey 1 Comment
Barbara Gross of Cooper Mountain Vineyards gives visitors her inside scoop on the Tualatin Valley.

Barbara Gross of Cooper Mountain Vineyards gives visitors her inside scoop on the Tualatin Valley.

When it comes to vacation planning, nothing is more valuable than the local scoop. So, we turned to Barbara Gross of Cooper Mountain Vineyards. As a born-and-raised local of Oregon’s Washington County, she has the ultimate tips.
 
What makes Cooper Mountain Vineyards so special?
The soils. The place. We own and manage four vineyards throughout Oregon’s Washington County. And our philosophy is simple: craft authentic wines while respecting the soils and the land they originate from.
 
What do you love most about interacting with visitors?
The most satisfying interaction I have with visitors is being able to point to the specific acre of Pinot Noir, tell them the story of how Mother Nature provided us with that vintage and have them taste the Tualatin Valley.
 
What will visitors find happening in the vineyards now?
The North Willamette Valley is buzzing during the summer. She wears her colors well. Full canopy on the vines. Toward the end of the summer, the grapes begin to change color. Clear blue skies provide visuals of the mountains, reminding us of the volcanic nature of the soils where the vines reside.
 
Other than a visit to Cooper Mountain Vineyards, what’s one can’t-miss attraction for visitors to the area?
All the other wineries!
 
Describe a perfect day in Washington County.
Picnicking on one of our vineyards, with local Pinot Noir in your glass after you’ve spent the morning at a local berry u-pick farm.
 
What’s a favorite “hidden gem” of the area?
NAK WON! The Tualatin Valley boasts some of the best Korean and Vietnamese restaurants in the country. And Syun Izakaya has been a longtime and outstanding gem.
 
Where do you go when you want some seriously good grub?
See above! In addition, decarli restaurant and The South Store Café.
 
What should every visitor take home as a souvenir?
I would hope they would take away the impactful memory of the beauty of the place. And come back and visit.
 
Describe Oregon’s Washington County in 5 words or less.
Where the city meets the country.

Other tips from locals:
Curiosities Vintage Mall’s Travis Diskin
Maggie Buns’ Maggie Pike
Clean Water Service’s Sheri Wantland
SakéOne’s Steve Vuylsteke
Bag&Baggage’s Scott Palmer
Vine Gogh’s Jenny Schildan