Five Fun Facts About Pendleton, Oregon

pendleton oregon

pendleton oregon

Pendleton, Oregon sits in the eastern part of the state and is south of the Columbia River and the border with Washington. It’s famous for the Pendleton Round Up, a major annual rodeo which brings approximately 50,000 people into the city each September. Pendleton is also home to the nearby Wild Horse Casino which is another popular draw to the area. The Old Town section of Pendleton is listed as a Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places and is an interesting part of town to visit.

Pendleton can be a fun weekend destination or a great place to stop on the way east or west through the region. Here is a look at five fun facts about Pendleton, Oregon should you be heading that way.

The Pendleton Round Up

The Pendleton Round Up began in 1910 and is a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and in 2008 it was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. The ten events held there include bareback riding, barrel racing, saddle bronc riding, steer roping, calf roping, Brahma bull riding, team roping, indian relay races, steer wrestling, and wild cow milking.

What’s In A Name?

The city of Pendleton was named for Senator George H. Pendleton of Ohio. He was the 1864 vice presidential candidate, who along with presidential candidate George B. McClellan, lost the election to Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson.

Underground Pendleton!

Part of downtown Pendleton features underground tunnels and basements that were once part of the community’s “red light district”. Today, there is a popular tourist attraction that takes travelers on tours of these underground spaces.

Training World War II Heroes

Jimmy Dolittle’s Raiders, the World War II squadron that bombed Japan from a great distance away, did some of their training at Pendleton’s airport.

Famous Sports Names

Before having a 16 year Major League Baseball career that included appearances in three All-Star Games, slugger Dave Kingman was born in Pendleton. Pendleton was also briefly the home to Pro Football Hall of Fame member, and Dallas Cowboys star, Bob Lilly who had relocated there from Texas for his senior year of high school.

One Photo: The Cowlitz River Near Packwood

Cowlitz River Near Packwood

Driving down Highway 12 on the west side of White Pass brought a special treat, the turquoise water of the Cowlitz River. There were so many spots to pull off and get a photo, but this one is right near the green metal bridge between Packwood and Randle.

This water flows right from the slopes of Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Adams. It’s cold and refreshing. And it’s also beautiful. Extremely beautiful.

Visit Portland And Stay At The Courtyard By Marriott Portland City Center

Portland is a great road trip destination, whether you’re coming from the west along the ocean, from the north on Interstate 5 from the Seattle area, from the south and the Willamette Valley, or from the east through the incredible Columbia River Gorge. Once you get there, continuing on can be a huge mistake. This city has a lot to offer in terms of attractions, things to do, and of course food and drink.

Portland is known for a lively food scene, as well as great coffee and craft beers. Portland also offers an incredible selection of parks, museums, historical sites, and shopping opportunities. You can even go to Portland and have one of the highlights of your trip be getting out on the water of the Willamette or Columbia rivers.

You’ll need a place to stay though when you’re there. The Courtyard by Marriott Portland City Center in Downtown Portland is near the top of the list of options for a lot of reasons. This modern hotel of course offers clean rooms with all the amenities you’ve come to expect. It also has a restaurant right next door, the Original Dinerant, which features well-loved breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. You’ll appreciate the in-room safes and love the free wireless internets and big screen HD televisions available in every room. The 24-hour fitness center is huge and has plenty of equipment. The staff is very helpful too, with great suggestions and tips for your time in the hotel or exploring the immediate vicinity.

The location of the Courtyard by Marriott Portland City Center though is one of the main reasons to choose it. You’re going to Portland for a reason, to experience it, and this is a great base of operations for that.

Looking for something to do in Portland? You’ll be within walking distance of the West End and Old Town neighborhoods, the Pearl District, as well as both the tallest and second tallest buildings in Oregon. All of these attractions feature not only interesting things to view but also some incredible shopping options.

Right across the street from the hotel is a MAX Light Rail Station which means you can get to almost every top attraction the city has to offer.

One of the best parts of a visit to Portland though is the food that is there. Some of the top restaurants worth visiting in the area around the Courtyard Portland City Center include Sushi Sakura, Portland City Grill, Sawasdee Thai, Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe, and the previously mentioned Original Dinerant. A food experience you may have never had though awaits you there too as the hotel is conveniently located within walking distance of three different Portland food cart pods.

A food cart pod is a parking lot filled with tons of choice of food available from food trucks and food carts that are parked around the edge. This is perfect for the adventurous eater as there are all kinds of cuisines and specialties available. it’s also great for the lover of comfort food as reliable favorites are easily located too. The Alder Street Food Cart Pod and the Third Avenue Food Cart Pod both feature a great list of options, truly something for everyone. The smaller but very enjoyable Fifth Avenue Food Cart Pod is located just across the street from the Courtyard by Marriott and also has some great things to eat.

No matter if you’ve been to Portland before or this is your first time, a stay at the Courtyard by Marriott Portland City Center is a great way to make your visit to this awesome city even better.

Check out this hotel online:

Courtyard by Marriott Portland City Center
Reservations: 1-503-505-5000

Local History: Check Out Baker Cabin Near Portland, Oregon

Baker Cabin Carver Oregon

Baker Cabin Carver Oregon

Located southeast of Portland, just south of the small community of Carver, is a very cool Oregon historical site that goes by the name of Baker Cabin. This site is maintained by the Baker Cabin Historical Society and includes a small historic cabin built there long ago as well as a church that was relocated to the area over 40 years ago.

Baker Cabin was constructed in 1856 for the Bakers by their neighbors. Horace Baker was a stone mason and had picked this location due to some local deposits of basalt. His rock quarry business took off but it kept him so busy he neglected to build himself a cabin. The cabin is of the cantilevered style and is said to be the only cantilevered cabin in all of Oregon.

Tours of the cabin are available if you contact the historical society ahead of time. Both the cabin and the church, as well as some of the historical items on display, are very interesting pieces of local history. The cabin was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

The Baker Cabin site sits just a half hour drive from Portland and is a great way to get out in the country and enjoy the rural side of Oregon even though you’re still so close to the big city. It’s also a great stop if you’re heading from Portland off into the mountains to the east too.

Check out the Baker Cabin Historical Society online:
Baker Cabin Historical Society

Road Trip Apps: Plan Your Next Pit Stop With iExit

iExit Logo

iExit Logo

So, you’re driving down the freeway and you want to pull off for a bite to eat, a bathroom, a place to spend the night, or even a hospital. But, oh no! You’re not familiar with the area. Good thing you’ve got iExit on your phone! Well, you should.

Check them out online if you’ve never heard of them before: iExit App

With the iExit App you can see where you are right now and what the upcoming exits are. Then you, or ideally your co-pilot, can scroll through them until you come to the exit that looks like it best suits your needs. This doesn’t just tell you that there are restaurants at a given exit, it tells you precisely what restaurants are there. It doesn’t just say fuel is available, it tells you what brands there are and if you click deeper you’ll find out what other services they offer.

This is a real game changer. What a great way to help your road trip be a little better!

Five Late Summer Things To Do In Leavenworth, Washington

Downtown Leavenworth Washington

When you visit Leavenworth in the late summer, there is still a lot of things to do and see. No, you probably aren’t going to be able to go skiing up at Stevens Pass, Mission Ridge, or at the local ski hill. Snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and sledding are also out of the question. But, sitting on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains means that Leavenworth is usually going to have some of the nicest weather in the state when August rolls around.

Downtown Leavenworth Washington

Downtown Leavenworth, Of Course!

Downtown Leavenworth is hugely popular no matter what time of year you’re there. In late summer, this can be a truly memorable visit though. There are all kinds of shops there, some focused on specific items like hats, toys, outdoor equipment, and even a famous store devoted only to Christmas decor! Once you’re tuckered out from shopping you’ll find that Downtown Leavenworth is the perfect place to go to find something completely delicious to eat too. There are also plent of options for liquid refreshment, even some for just the adults.

Visit the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm

It’s late summer and you’re not thinking about Christmas, right? Don’t let that stop you from heading over to the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm, whether you’re traveling with kids or not. You’ll get the opportunity to stroll around a beautiful little farm, learn a lot about these fascinating creatures, and even feed them right from your hand. How many times will you get the opportunity to mingle with actual reindeer?

Explore Icicle Gorge

Icicle Gorge is accessible by taking the last road to the south on the west end of Leavenworth. This makes for a great scenic drive as you’ll be up close and personal with some rocky cliffs and the sometimes raging water of Icicle Creek. You’ll also have the opportunity to explore the outdoors by stopping at some of the hiking trails, campgrounds, and rock climbing opportunities on this short drive into the deep mountains. Bring your camera!

Discover Some Local History

The local history of the Leavenworth area can be very interesting. From logging and mining to Native American legends and more, there is a lot to learn about this amazing destination. It can be easily discovered too with visits to the Upper Valley Museum, Nutcracker Museum, Tumwater Dam, Cashmere Museum and Pioneer Village, Blewett Historic Town Site, and the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center.

Visit Plain

A short drive from Leavenworth will lead you to the small town of Plain. This is a great way to experience another of the small towns in the area. Plain features a couple of places to eat and a couple of stores. It’s August and you’re on the east side of the mountains, so make sure to not leave without getting an ice cream cone! There’s also a great little Farmers Market on Saturdays!

Five Fun Facts About The Yakima River

yakima river

yakima river

The Yakima River rises near Cle Elum and winds its way all the way to where it meets the Columbia River at the Tri-Cities. Along the way it provides scenic beauty and recreational opportunities to visitors and local residents alike. It also flows by several great destinations.

Here are five fun facts about the Yakima River.

How Long?

Over the course of its run from the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains to where it meets the Columbia River, the Yakima River travels 214 miles.

The Longest Of Them All

The Yakima River is the longest river that is entirely within the borders of Washington State.


The Yakima River has three tributaries. The three rivers that flow into it are the Cle Elum River, Teanaway River, and Naches River.

Are You A Beer Lover?

The water of the Yakima River irrigates approximately 75% of the hops grown in the United States.

Yakima River Communities

The Yakima River flows past the communities of Cle Elum, Ellensburg, Selah, Yakima, Zillah, Granger, Prosser, Benton City, West Richland, and Kennewick.

One Photo:  A Secluded Pond Near Stevens Pass

Smithbrook - Pond
Stevens Pass is one of the main East-West routes across the Cascade Mountains in Washington State.  Lake Wenatchee is a popular destination near there and the route usually taken is to travel about 20 miles east of the summit of the pass on Highway 2, and then turning towards Lake Wenatchee State Park at Coles Corner.

Another route though during the warmer months is called Smithbrook and is a gravel ed forest service road.  It’s a shorter route, but because of the road being more winding and a slower speed, it takes about the same amount of time.

Very near where you crest the mountain range separating Stevens Pass from the area that drains into Lake Wenatchee is this scenic little pond.  This photo is taken right from the road.  The pond is strewn with lily pads and is calm and serene, half surrounded by tall evergreens.

Going to have to take that off the beaten path shortcut again some day.