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.

Five Fun Facts About Grants Pass, Oregon

Grants Pass sits in southern Oregon, right on Interstate 5 and very near the community of Medford. This is a fun community with some great activities. It’s also very near to some honest to goodness first class attractions too like Wildlife Safari, Oregon Caves National Monument, and Crater Lake. You could even take Highway 199 and head west to the Pacific Ocean!

It’s always nice to know more about a place before you visit. Here are five fun facts about Grants Pass, Oregon.

What’s In A Name?

Grants Pass post office was established in 1865 and was given its name to honor the success of future President of the United States Ulysses S. Grant’s success at Vicksburg during the Civil War.

Coffee, Anyone?

In 1992, two brothers joined together to run a small pushcart coffee business in downtown Grants Pass. That one pushcart would eventually grow to become the very well known drive-thru coffee chain, Dutch Brothers.

Old Newspaper

The Grants Pass Daily Courier, the main newspaper for Josephine County, was established way back in 1885.

Grants Pass Running Back

Dick James was born in Grants Pass and would go on to play football at the University of Oregon. He was then selected in the 8th round of the 1956 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He played eight seasons with the Redskins and then one each with the Giants and Vikings. 2002 would see him named one of the 70 Greatest Redskins on the 70th anniversary of the team’s founding. He would also be so honored in 2012 as a member of the 80 Greatest Redskins. As of 2016, he still holds the NFL record for most career rushing touchdowns by a player born in Oregon.

Oldest and Best

Grants Pass is home to the state of Oregon’s longest running growers and crafters market.

Explore The Dalles, Oregon Area From This Rowena Waterfront Rental

The Columbia River Gorge is a beautiful place to explore. It features the impressive Columbia River, several large hydroelectric dams, and a lot of gorgeous natural and historic places to see. The Dalles area is a great place to use as a headquarters for exploring the Columbia River Gorge. It sits on the gorge’s east side, right where the plains and farmland of Eastern Oregon starts to rise into the Cascade Mountains.

The Dalles is a small community that has a lot to offer around it. It’s conveniently accessible from the east, west, north, and south. There are a lot of places to stay at there and in the surrounding areas so many people come looking for hotels in The Dalles. We found though that a great overnight experience can be had there by getting creative when looking for lodging in The Dalles. If you go away from hotels and search out a vacation rental, you might have an even better experience.


Our visit to the area was made even better when we decided to stay just west of The Dalles in the tiny community of Rowena at a waterfront vacation rental that had everything we needed. Located at the midway point between The Dalles and Hood River, our vacation getaway was perfect for watching or participating in some of the best windsurfing and kiteboarding opportunities in the world. It even offered its own private beach right on the river, very secluded too. There’s even easy access to some local popular bicycling areas.


Our Rowena vacation getaway also offered a huge deck and barbecue area that would’ve been able to take care of far more than the people in our party. There’s an on-site caretaker that can solve any problems and point out all the amenities. The entire home, inside and out, has been exquisitely designed and decorated with intricate wood and rock work. It’s both very comfortable and very upscale at the very same time.


This incredible Rowena waterfront home offers three bedrooms, sleeps up to 10, and offers a media room as well as several fun activities like ping pong and croquet. There’s plenty of room outside too.


We had a great time exploring the Columbia River, The Dalles, and the Hood River area. Our stay there though was truly maximized with our choice of lodging in The Dalles, and we can’t recommend it enough.

Check Out This Rowena, Oregon Vacation Rental

Premiere Rowena Waterfront Home

Five Fun Facts About McNary Dam On The Columbia River



McNary Dam sits on the mighty Columbia River and is nearest to the communities of Umatilla and Hermiston in Oregon and Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland in Washington. There’s a lot of water recreation done in the area and one of the main reasons much of it is even possible is thanks to the water backed up behind McNary Dam.

Here is a look at five fun facts about McNary Dam:

McNary Dam – 7 Years In The Making

Work began on McNary Dam in 1947 and it would open in 1954.

McNary Dam – What’s In A Name?

The original name of McNary Dam was going to be Umatilla Dam.

McNary Dam – 22 and 14

McNary Dam has 14 power producing turbine generators inside it and 22 spillway gates across the top of it.

McNary Dam – What Two Counties?

The two counties McNary Dam touches as it stretches across the Columbia River are Benton County in Washington and Umatilla County in Oregon.

McNary Dam – A Long Way Down

McNary Dam sits 292 miles upstream from the mouth of the Columbia River where it flows into the ocean.

An Awesome Stay At Newport, Oregon’s Hallmark Resort

Hallmark Exterior

The Oregon Coast is a wonderful place to head to at anytime of the year. It offers incredible scenery and stunning natural beauty. It also offers a long list of fun things to do. To enjoy it all though, you need a place to stay.

On a recent trip to the Newport area, we got the chance to stay at the Hallmark Resort. This turned out to be an awesome choice. The Hallmark Resort in Newport sits right on the coast and the view of the beach, rock formations, cliffsides, and of course the ocean, are one of the exact reasons we had come there. This was an opportunity to get away from it all and have fun at the ocean at what is essentially an offseason time of the year. Enjoying the Oregon Coast during the colder months though is very easy. Personally, I just love watching the power of Mother Nature as the winter storms roll in off the Pacific Ocean.

The Hallmark Resort worked as a great headquarter as we ventured out and explored what was there in town, including the Yaquina Head Lighthouse, local marine science center, and the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Plus, anyone who has been to Newport knows that you can also have a lot of fun, and get a tasty bite to eat, when you hang out down in the small but vibrant waterfront area. There were also, of course, a ton of opportunities to get out on the sand and watch the waves up close too. Finding something to do while in Newport was not going to be a problem.

Hallmark Interior

One of those things to do though was spend some quality time back at the hotel we’d chosen, the Hallmark Resort Newport. We stayed in a double queen room on the top floor that featured a full balcony, kitchenette, and more. The room was extremely clean and very comfortable. Among other things, our room also featured free high speed wireless, two flat screen televisions, and a living room type area that was separated from the bedroom area.

Hallmark Pool

With the kids in tow, the pool area was very popular. Both had a ton of fun down on the beach, but getting to the pool at the Hallmark Resort was a nice escape from the outdoor conditions. This amazing resort features a large indoor saltwater pool and spa. There is also a fitness room and sauna there too. Our kids also had fun utilizing the horseshoe pits there too, along with the children’s playground.

If we’d been there without the kids, I imagine we would’ve taken more advantage of other amenities like the possibility of on-site massages and room service. It’s also important to know that, though we didn’t have a specific need, the Hallmark Resort in Newport is a pet friendly establishment.

We also took advantage of having a meal at Georgie’s Beachside Grill which is right next door.

Check out the Hallmark Resort Newport online: Hallmark Resort Newport

5 Fun Facts: Oregon’s Haystack Rock

Haystack Rock

Haystack Rock. It’s harder to find a more iconic natural image of Oregon’s coastal area. This huge monolith juts out of the shallow waters at Cannon Beach and is visited by many people every year. You’ve seen the image on everything from websites to television, but here are five fun facts you may not know about Haystack Rock.

23+ Stories

Haystack Rock dominates the local scenery and measures in just taller than a 23 story building at 235 feet.

One Rock – Two Agencies

The placement of Haystack Rock right on the beach, where it is accessible by foot during low tide, means that the popular tourist attraction is managed by two different government agencies. Oregon Parks and Recreation is responsible for the part of the rock that stretches from the high water mark to the ground, while the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible from the high water mark to the top of the rock due to it being a part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge.

One of Six

Haystack Rock is synonymous with Oregon, or at least the Oregon Coast. In truth though, there are at least six other geographic features in Oregon that are known by the name Haystack Rock.

Hey! Put That Back!

Due to Haystack Rock having been granted Marine Garden status in 1990, it is against the law to collect plants or animals from it.

Whoa! Wrong State!

Haystack Rock is featured in the 1979 Steven Spielberg film, 1941. It is out of place though as it is seen as part of the California coastline.

5 Fun Facts: Oregon Lighthouses

Cape Meares Lighthouse

One of the best types of vacation destinations in the world are those that are situated along an ocean coastline. A great way to enjoy the scenery along the coast is to head to some of the many lighthouses that line the shore. These are historic sites as well as beautiful locations.

Oregon has plenty to offer when it comes to lighthouses. Here are five fun facts about some of those very popular attractions.

Heceta Head Lighthouse

Heceta Head Light is one of the more popular lighthouses to visit on the Oregon Coast and is located about 13 miles north of the small town of Florence. This lighthouse is the strongest on the Oregon Coast, with its beam of light visible from 21 nautical miles away.

Cape Meares Lighthouse

Cape Meares Lighthouse was named after Captain John Meares who was the first to sail into Tillamook Bay. Upon his entry, he named it Quick Sand Bay, a name that didn’t stick.

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

Yaquina Head Lighthouse sits very near the community of Newport and stands 93 feet tall. This makes it the tallest lighthouse in Oregon. When it was built in the early 1870s, over 370,000 bricks were used in the construction.

Umpqua River Lighthouse

Located at the mouth of the Umpqua River, about 25 miles north of Coos Bay. This light was built at the same time as Heceta Head Light and actually built using the same plans. Umpqua River Lighthouse was first lit in 1894. There had been a previous lighthouse built there in the mid 1850s but much lower on the shore and eventually collapsed.

Cape Blanco Lighthouse

Located north of Port Orford on the southern portion of the Oregon Coast, Cape Blanco Light is one of the more remote lighthouses to get to in the state, not counting those that are offshore, of course. Cape Blanco Lighthouse was first lit in 1870 and became automated 110 years later in 1980.

An Awesome Time at the Ringside Steakhouse in Portland, Oregon

I don’t think I’ve ever gone wrong on a road trip when I’ve been able to stop off and spend some time in Portland. Portland has one of the more unique atmospheres that can be found in the Pacific Northwest. The mix of stores, attractions, and restaurants found there is really the main thing I like about the city. Portland always keeps me coming back.

The great thing about going to Portland if you like food is that you have such a huge list of places to choose from. They are nearly all great too. Well, not all, but you get the idea.

Ringside - Portland - Steak

My last visit to Portland saw me have the opportunity to have a very special experience as I went out to eat at the Ringside Steakhouse. This is a restaurant that has been in business since 1944. They promote themselves that they have the best steak in town. It was hard to come up with an argument against it too.

The wine list was huge too which made it a big hit with the rest of the group dining with us that night. Everyone also raved about the service too because we were really treated like kings.

Now, for the food itself. The steak was perfect. Cooked exactly like I ordered and exactly like I wanted it to be. The appetizers and desserts were also top notch and it was nice to see that their attention to detail was not just reserved for the entree. I wish we were spending the night one more time because I totally would have like to have another one of Portland’s best steaks.

Dining out at the Ringside Steakhouse in Uptown in Portland was a real treat.