Cycling the Countryside
Day two was a farmland adventure, complete with a visit to a historic country store, a farmers market and a ferry crossing—not to mention dining on a famous bowl of oatmeal and some small-batch chocolate truffles.
With a full day of cycling ahead of us, we needed a serious breakfast, so we made our way to Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Store and Restaurant. Founded in 1978, Bob’s Red Mill is famous for producing over 400 organic, all-natural whole grain products. They also serve a mean bowl of oatmeal at the cafe, among other excellent cereals and baked goods.
Suitably fueled up, we headed to the day’s starting point: the Oregon City Farmers Market. The market vendors were all smiles and offered everything from fresh local produce to garden starts to duck eggs. We nabbed some snacks for a picnic lunch, got our gear sorted, and headed down the road. After some incredible farmland roads and rural backdrops, we made our way to the historic Yoder Store. Opened in 1915, it’s been owned and run by the same couple for the last 20 years. I swear Gatorade tastes better when it comes with a story.
Heading back toward Canby, we stopped for wine tasting at St. Josef’s Winery, where an alluring patio and enjoyable wines enhance the friendly vibe. We didn’t stay too long, since we still had miles to log and didn’t want to end up napping on the Adirondack chairs. Once in Canby, we headed into Puddin’ River Chocolates, where owner Teresa Sasse (“Just call me Sassy!”) presides over an empire of cacao-based concoctions such as Oregon Pinot Noir truffles, sea salt caramels and hand-dipped chocolate macaroons. It was a good thing we were pedaling our way through the day, since the calories-per-rider ratio grew exponentially here.
Next stop: the Canby Ferry. One of just three remaining ferry crossings on the Willamette River, the historic Canby Ferry is a unique way to connect parts of Mt. Hood Territory that would otherwise require many more miles of riding. Be sure to put your bike in a low gear before you disembark, as you’ll be climbing a steep section immediately upon exiting the ferry. This pitch is just a warm-up for the serious climb up Pete’s Mountain that follows—and whose fast, fun descent puts you right into the Historic Willamette District of West Linn, and back onto the road toward Oregon City, but not without a quick stop to take in the beauty of The Nature Conservancy’s Camassia Natural Area.
Once back in Oregon City, we were ready to get off the bikes and get cleaned up at the Best Western Rivershore Hotel, another lodging locale with great views, this time over the Willamette River. Dinner was a memorable combination of authentic and lightly rendered Scottish pub fare—yes, those things can coexist—at the Highland Stillhouse Pub. Besides an excellent menu and killer views atop the historic Willamette Falls, the pub boasts an outrageously comprehensive whisky list, with close to 200 single malt Scotch options, as well as offerings from Ireland, Canada and the U.S., and a broad selection of bourbon.
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