This post is sponsored by Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
Remember that computer game you used to play in elementary school? You know, on the giant 1980’s DOS based computer systems? It was a huge privege to be done with your work early enough to get to play and see if you could make the trip without losing your whole family to savage natives or disentary. Fun right? (Dude, our kids have no idea that there was an era pre-cable and internet.) Anywhoo, I’m guessing that game isn’t going to be as entertaining now as it was back then so my family took a little road trip to Pendleton, OR which is a stop along the real Oregon Trail. There was so much to do, see and eat (because who doesn’t travel for the food!) I don’t know where to start .
This year commemorates the 175th of the Oregon Trail…the real Oregon Trail, not the computer game. To gain exposure of this commemoration and build awareness, Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory is having social media influencers road trip sections of the entire Oregon Trail, from Independence, Missouri to Oregon City, Oregon (the official end of the Oregon Trail). Guess what? I’m one of those influencers and let me tell you, this was one of the coolest weekend getaways I’ve taken in a long time. We saw history; we ate some amazing food, we met a real hatter with an awesome story to tell and an amazing lady that makes purses, totes, and other accessories from nothing but animal hides, even the stitching! From the moment we checked into the Oxford Suites, to the moment we checked out, there definitely was no time to get bored and nobody in my family was quite ready to leave.
Who is the Modern Pioneer?
You? Me? You probably know some. Or maybe you are one yourself. Modern Pioneers are everywhere along the Oregon Trail. They are business owners, makers and leaders carrying on the entrepreneurial spirit of those original pioneers who set off on the Oregon Trail 175 years ago with the dream of a better life. These are the stories of the people who make up the cities along the trail, the Modern Pioneers of the Oregon Trail and my family and I got to take the time to visit with a couple of these unique and talented individuals.
L.L. Bevington is owned by Linda Bevington and she is a girl after my own heard with her handcrafted leather goods and accessories. I could easily go broke in there without proper adult supervision because I love a good leather piece, specifically bags, which coincidentally is one of her specialties. (Believe me when I say there will be a custom leather tote ordered in the near future!) She explained to us the different hides and which ones were better for what purpose and I have a whole new appreciation to the work, creativity, and craftsmanship that goes into each piece.
Next, we visited with a not so mad hatter, Perk Perkins. This is definitely one of the coolest things I’ve done. I’m a country girl and I know the best hats aren’t cheap, but I never really knew why. I didn’t know the process and I didn’t appreciate the work that went into each one. Perk showed us and explained how a hat goes from a piece of felt to the hat on your head and the process is one that Perk takes great pride in. I know know what all of those X’s inside the hat really mean (hint: it has to do with quality and the percentage of Beaver felt used in that hat – the higher the number the higher the quantity of Beaver felt, and coincidentally, the more expensive the hat.). I now know there’s a machine stitch and a rodeo stitch and they’re very different depending on the needs of the wearer of the hat. I’ve been looking for a new show hat and you can bet that when I’m ready to purchase, I’ll be getting a hold of the Pendleton Hat company for a gorgeous, hand crafted, custom fitted hat.
Get In My Belly!!
Food. Let’s talk about that. I’m a foodie in that I love food, I’m a mediocre cook, baking terrifies me, but eating, there’s no stopping me. You could probably tell from my girlish figure but just in case, I’m a girl that plans vacations around food. Pendleton did not disappoint. I was able to procure an amazing chocolate malt, a burger to die for and prime rib dinner that required me to be rolled out of the restaurant. All of that in a about a two block radius. Every place we went was super family friendly and I think we all walked away miserably full, which is what you want out of a good meal right?
OMG Burgers & Brew is a must try if you’re ever in Pendleton, or even just passing through. I mean a burger’s a burger right? Nope. Not here! There are some pretty “normal” options, and a whole lot of things that you don’t see on any other menu anywhere. The PBJJ Slider…don’t knock it until you try it!
For dinner one evening we visited Hamley’s Steakhouse. It was amazing. The atmosphere, the food, the service. All top notch. If everything was so great why am I showing you this picture of Creme Brulee’? Because it was phenomenal even after I was already way over stuffed with the prime rib meal I ordered for my main course. This place is a favorite of locals and visitors alike and for good reason.
But What Else Can Families Do?
Oh believe me, there’s soooo much more! We went on a tour of the Pendleton Underground and got a history lesson on the early days of the town. Cowboys, criminals, prohibition and ladies of the night – it all happened and is part of Pendleton history and seeing things as they were back in time, really puts into perspective how a town became to be what it is today. Plus, our tour guide, Cindy was awesome! So ask for her if you go, you’ll be glad you did.
One of the things you’ll notice as you make your way around town, is the various statues and street art. Look carefully because most of these tell a little piece of Pendleton history. You can learn a lot just by looking around!
Pendelton is somewhere I definitely plan on visiting on taking my family again. I mean I will need to pick up my new tote and hat – maybe during the Round Up next time because that sounds like a party!!
If you’re interested in learning more or visiting other places along the Oregon Trail, be sure to consider these other places, visited by fellow influencers as well:
- Darling Nightingale: https://darlingnightingale.squarespace.com/darlingnightingale/2018/6/19/exploring-baker-city-oregon
- Ox Mama: http://www.theoxmama.com/2018/06/oregon-trail-travel/
- My Breezy Room: https://www.mybreezyroom.com/oregon-trail-topeka/
- Run Style Run: http://run-style-run.blogspot.com/2018/06/175th-commemoration-of-oregon-trailpart.html
- This Messy Season: https://thismessyseason.com/comprehensive-guide-oregon-trail-visit-modern-pioneer/
- Mommy on the Mound: https://mommyonthemound.com/2018/06/13/from-the-oregon-trail-to-the-modern-pioneer/
- Love Haight Blog: https://www.lovehaightblog.com/2018/06/175-years-of-oregon-trail-visit-to.html
- Making of a Mom: https://makingofamom.com/oregon-trails-175th-anniversary/
- Angie’s Angle: https://angiesangle.com/2018/06/end-of-the-oregon-trail/
- Mom life in pnw: https://www.momlifeinpnw.com/travel/175th-anniversary-of-the-oregon-trail-mt-hood-area
- The House of Hood Blog: https://thehouseofhoodblog.com/columbia-river-gorge-with-kids/
- B-List Blog: http://www.theblistblog.com/exploring-the-oregon-trail-as-a-local/
- Living Overland: http://www.livingoverland.com/2018/06/exploring-caspers-pioneer-history.html
- Her Heartland Soul: https://www.herheartlandsoul.com/exploring-the-oregon-trail-in-nebraska-kearney-and-north-platte/