Willamette Valley Wine Country

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Being a state employee, I get all the major holidays off as paid vacation. MLK day is a nice one because it creates a lovely three day weekend right after the Christmas holiday, breaking up the transition into the new year. We decided to use the long weekend to go check out a cool RV park I had read about in the Oregonian.

The Willamette Wine Country RV Park is conveniently located right in the middle of the Willamette Valley wine country and only a short drive away from tons of amazing wineries.

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Although the location is nice, what made me want to visit this particular park was the collection of vintage restored travel trailers. The park has amassed a impressive collection of these vintage trailers, all restored, and ready to rent. Essentially, the park took one row of its available parking space, filled it with trailers, and started renting them out like hotel rooms. Each trailer even comes with two vintage style bicycles!

I love just about anything vintage and even though I wasn’t able to go inside any of the trailers, the whole set up was just too cute.

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The green trailer was one of my favorites, mostly because I love the color. I am pretty sure that the yellow Shasta is actually vintage, but not positive. Shasta recently put out a modern reproduction of these trailers. They kept all of the vintage styling, even in the interior decor, but of course, everything is new and shiny and if you look close enough you can probably find something made of plastic. In these old trailers everything was made of metal, one of the reasons they are still around after all these years.

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This red and cream trailer was another favorite because it reminds me of an old passenger train car.

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Brandon particularly liked the metal awning on this model. It may not roll-up like our modern awning, but it will never mildew!

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Of course, we did not rent a trailer for the weekend because we already have our own awesome rig, the Alpha 1! Furthermore, this weekend was also going to be the last weekend we get to spend in the RV before taking off for Texas in March and we wanted to spend it in our own rig.

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Those of you with a keen eye (or fondness for Jeeps) may have noticed that our Jeep got a few after-Christmas upgrades. The most substantial upgrade is the Gobi roof rack. We ordered this thing months ago, but it was backordered because the company doesn’t make them until you order them. But for all the waiting, we ended up with a really quality roof rack that also looks badass. Soon after buying the Jeep we knew we would need a roof rack. Jeeps are tiny on the inside and even after removing the backseat, our cargo space is limited. Well, not anymore! It even came with a little ladder on the side so that I can climb up and reach whatever we have stored up there.

We also swapped out our stock fenders for Bushwacker fender flares. Brandon has been wanting to change out the fenders for a while now. A few months ago he picked up a used set of fenders on Craigslist only to find out that the bolt holes didn’t line up right on our Jeep. But then he found an ad posted by a guy looking for those exact fenders and wanting to trade for the exact fenders we wanted. It was a perfect trade. Everyone got what they wanted and no money needed to be exchanged.

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Believe it or not, I actually helped install them. Yep, that’s me using a wrench to remove car parts. Given that the next year of our lives will be dependent on a big blue bus from 1994, this probably won’t be the last time.

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It wasn’t snowing when we started this project . . .

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The reason that this was going to be our last weekend excursion in the RV is that we just have so darn much to do! Planning a wedding is a lot of work. Selling a house is a lot of work. Moving across the country is a lot of work. Planning a year long adventure is a lot of work. And we decided to do all of those things at the same time. Don’t get me wrong, all of these things are also incredible and I still can’t believe this is my life, but with two months left until moving day it’s time we get down to business.

But not until next week.

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After checking into the park we unhooked the Jeep and drove to nearby Carlton, a very cute little wine country town. We had lunch at a local brew pub called the Barrel 47, ironically choosing to drink beer in wine country. The burgers were gigantic and delicious and the group at the table next to us provided all the entertainment we needed. There were two couples who had clearly started wine tasting much earlier in the day. By the time they stopped for lunch they were completely hammered. The two men were the worst off. One was talking (mostly to himself) at a volume usually reserved for a crowded nightclub, while his friend looked like he was just struggling to keep his lunch down. I’m certain they all felt terrible the next day and have no idea how hysterical they were.

After lunch we walked down the street and stopped in at the boutique clothing store I spotted. I couldn’t resist. While I was trying on a dress Brandon decided to be sneaky and bought me a new scarf. Yeah, he’s a keeper.

Later on we met our friends Devon and Jaime for dinner in Dundee, another nearby town. All of the little towns in this area of the Willamette Valley are remarkably close together and all chock full of wineries and tasting rooms. The RV park we stayed at was right next to the town of Dayton. The park was right across the river from town and accessible by a short walk across an old footbridge. This seemed like a big plus for the park until we walked into Dayton and realized there was literally nothing there. These towns are all small, but Dayton is quite literally a one street, no stop light town. It was also Sunday so the only interesting thing, an antique store, was closed. The town may have been able to redeem itself if the Texas style BBQ restaurant had been open. After all, there was a Shiner Beer sign in the window so it must have been legit.

We didn’t visit many wineries on this trip, mostly because we’ve done that so many times before. Also, the weather was down right terrible. Over the past few years of living in Portland we have found a few activities that always seem to please visiting friends and family. We take them to Multnomah Falls because the Columbia River Gorge and all its waterfalls just blow people away the first time they see it. We take them to Powell’s City of Books in downtown Portland because it is so iconic and there is just nothing else like it. And we take them wine tasting because the countryside is gorgeous and wine tasting makes everyone feel classy. We always have a good time and always buy more wine than we intended to.

We did, however, stop by Sokol Blosser, a winery we became familiar with when Brandon was working in laser engraving. The company he worked for would engrave wine glasses and bottles for them. They make good wine, but we actually like their building even more than the wine.

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The wood interior walls and unique angles are just beautiful. The whole time we were sitting there we were talking about how cool it would be to turn the place into a house. It doesn’t hurt to dream, right?

Also, this is the scarf Brandon bought me. He knows me so well.

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When we left the RV park on Monday we drove straight to Camping World to drop the RV off for the final addition before we hit the road. We’re getting solar panels!

The RV is currently still in the shop but we’re really excited about what this will do for our boondocking capabilities. More to come soon!

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3 thoughts on “Willamette Valley Wine Country

  1. Cool. I’m forwarding to Sergio Webb, who has a beautiful old Airstream in his back Yard. (German spellcheck capitalizing anything it thinks is a noun, redlining the rest).

    Like

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