Yesterday, I said goodbye to the rustic environs of Mt. Hood and Welches, OR and drove towards the more suburban part of Clackamas County. Just to give you an idea: Clackamas County is HUGE. It spans so much land that a good solid hour of driving won’t even get you from side to side. While each part of the county that we’ve experienced feels different, they all share certain characteristics (gorgeous trees everywhere!) to the point that they feel like siblings or cousins.
Our first stop of the day was at the Tollgate Inn, one of those massive complexes with a restaurant, saloon, bakery, and gift shop that the Cracker Barrel clearly studied to make the Disneyland version of it. We opted for the bakery portion and I got a pumpkin spice chai latte because IT IS DEFINITELY FALL OUT HERE. I also got a key lime bar that sent me into a psychological diabetic shock, i.e. that stuff was sweet. Fun stop on Highway 26 if you’re passing through Sandy, OR for sure and they’re already decked out for Halloween.
After we left Sandy, we headed out to Beavercreek, OR to check out my new favorite farm called Boondockers. There we were led on a tour by Rachel Kornstein, one of the farmers whose petite stature would never make you guess she was a farmer. Yet, Rachel displays most passion and enthusiasm for her farm than just about any other farmer I’ve ever met.
At Boondockers, the focus is squarely on rare heritage breeds that have either approached extinction in the past or are in danger of disappearing altogether right now. That means Dutch Belt cows with milk so rich it’s nearly half-and-half and pigs of the Gloucestershire Old Spots variety that just don’t exist on mainstream farms. Boondockers serves the specialty food market in a major way, providing raw milk to dairy purists and pork from their fields goes directly to chefs in Portland who value the purity of their meat.
Our final stop on the tour today was the Lakeshore Inn, a small hotel on the shores of Lake Oswego. An upscale community just outside of Portland, Lake Oswego feels like the perfect place to hole up for a few days and write a novel. Nice shops, good restaurants, and even a tiny one-screen movie theater/bar combination for your entertainment needs. Not only that, the sunsets over Lake Oswego are breathtaking.
Tomorrow we say goodbye to Oregon and I’m already starting to miss it. This is the type of place that always holds on to a little piece of you when you leave.