Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Drinks anyone?

Part of the ongoing Oregon Bounty, there is now an "Unofficial Official Oregon Cocktail." This years selection was announced at the Oregon Bounty kick-off event in Portland. After pouring over nearly 200 recipes, two rounds of judging, seven regional finalists were selected. The recipes are a creative and enticing collection of cocktails using Oregon’s artisan distilled spirits and ingredients from throughout the state. The judges selected Hike, Fish & Go Camping Punch by Cheryl Meloy of Portland. This drink includes huckleberry syrup, Terminal Gravity IPA, Pendleton whisky and more.

Here is the recipe:
Hike, Fish & Go Camping Punch
Eastern Oregon
Cheryl Meloy, Portland

Serves 4
5 oz Pendleton Whisky (this is a Canadian Whiskey named after the Pendleton Round up)
4 oz (1/3 of 12 oz can) frozen lemonade
4 oz (1/3 of 12 oz can) frozen limeade
4 oz huckleberry syrup
2 bottles Terminal Gravity IPA
Mint sprigs for garnish

Mix together the first four ingredients in large pitcher. Slowly stir in both bottles of beer. Pour punch into a tall, ice-filled glass. Top with mint sprig and serve.

To make huckleberry syrup: Heat to a slow boil 2 cups berries (fresh or frozen; you can substitute blueberries for huckleberries) with 1 cup sugar and 2 cups water. Slow boil for 20 -30 minutes, cool slightly and strain mixture through fine mesh sieve. Work the mash to get all the fluid through the sieve before discarding the skins. You may also cool syrup and store in airtight container in the refrigerator.

“This is an easy, fun loving punch. With a warm whisky, flavorful micro brew, and a handful of wild berries, it’s a real Eastern Oregon concoction. A new twist on the youthful Hop, Skip & Go Naked and classic Whisky sour, this recipe crosses the generational gap and quenches the thirst of all revelers seeking a taste of Eastern Oregon’s high country.”

For all the finalists recipes, click here.

Part of the Bounty celebration this year was an Oregon Distiller's Guild Spirits Tasting.  The event featured a general tasting of the artisan spirits from members of the Oregon Distillers Guild, each distiller provided samples of up to two of their products. In addition, the Oregon Distillers Guild bar featured traditional and creative cocktails that incorporate Oregon spirits.

Here are some more eat and drink events happening around the state during Oregon Bounty.  We have our Oregon Bounty wine package too.  You can also order a bottle during your stay from our wine list.

My favorite beverage, let's see, I would have to say it's Pacific City water out of a hose in the back yard of The Craftsman B&B.  Just don't splash any on my feet.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Driving on the Beach

That's right, you can drive on the beaches around Pacific City. We have a Volkswagen Toureg that takes me all over the place. I love to go for a ride. My nose out the window and ears flapping in the wind. I am good up to 65 mph. I get to smell all sorts of things, cows, cut grass, way more than you humans. I even know when we are almost home. I must admit, I do like to nap in the car, but when I am a block from the house, I wake up. It's weird, I know. I don't know how I do it. Is it the smell? The speed of the car? The noise of the blinker? I think it's all of these things. But I have been tested, Mike has simulated the same type of turns at other places, and I do not react. Want to know how good my senses are? I even do it at the house we stay at in Portland. I know home, The Craftsman B&B.

I digress. I was talking about driving on the beach. This is fun. I get to save my energy to beach exploring. I didn't walk to the beach, so I know I'll be getting a ride home. I go all out. I most always on my leash, my nose can get me too far away from Mike. My favorite is running in the soft sand, right on the edge of the hard sand. Nose to the ground. I like to smell all that came in during the last high tide. I discover all sorts of things, sea birds are very stinky. I don't roll around in them like other dogs, I just mark them and move on. I like to mark sand castles too. Last year there was a sea lion on the beach for months, it got stinkier every time I went by, still, I just marked it, after a good long whiff.

So driving on the beach. Don't do it in your Mustang or Accord. You think I'm joking? You think nobody would drive on the beach in a regular car? You would be wrong. Even if you have a vehicle capable of the sand, the driver still has to be smart.

You can access the beach in your vehicle at the Cape Kiwanda State Park's parking lot.  For adventure, the west end of Pacific street in Pacific City, we call that the Turn-A-Round.  Our favorite spot is a steep road off McPhillips Road, North of the Cape.
Check out this map:

View Larger Map
Tides. A few summers ago there was a black Hummer H3 parked on the beach. As the tide rolled in, everyone moved their vehicles up the beach or left. This Hummer didn't. No one around. So as the water reached the wheels, they came back to move it. Have you ever stood on the beach and let the waves bury your feet. You just stand there and the sand will gather and sink you. Well this Hummer stuck itself, they tried to move it, but it was too late. By the time the tow truck arrived, the water was up to the floor and seats.  As it turns out, this was a rental, get that insurance!

Soft sand.  You will have to drive in soft sand at some point.  Rule #1:  Don't stop.

We drive on a beach just North of Cape Kiawanda.  It is hard sand all the time.  There is a hill that stops the tide, so no hard sand to get stuck in.  During the winter, I can run free on this beach.  The ocean and Cape prevent me from going too far.  By the time Mike walks to the end, I've smelled everything and marked everything.  I am back on my leash and walk back to the VW.  I can also find that where ever it's parked.

So come on down to Pacific City here on the Oregon Coast.  Drive on the beach, just don't get stuck.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Surfing in Pacific City

The past few days and next few days are perfect for surfing in Pacific City.  There are prevailing east winds from the gorge and valley that have made Cape Kiawanda a surfers paradise.  Whether a novice or experienced wave rider, you must wear a wet suit, the water temperature is quite chilly.  Hang ten on your surfboard or boogie board and spend some time catching the waves rolling in, rising tide is best.  You can rent gear as well at our favorite surf shop, Seven Surfboards.

Getting wet, as the surfers say, not for you.  Try flying down a 45-degree vertical slope at Cape Kiawanda on a sand board, card board works too.  We have even seen old snow board gear.  You would think you were on Oregon's Mount Hood.  In fact, there is no snow and the sound of waves from the Pacific Ocean is pounding in your ears.  The cool breeze will keep you core at a reasonable temperature as you hike up the dune for run after run.  Boarding down the dune is not mandatory and only advisable for the young and fit.  You can roll, jump or skip down too.

Just hanging out on the beach offer spectacular views of Haystack Rock.  It's 327 feet tall, takes up 10 acres and is said to be the third largest monolith in the world.  Us locals call it Chief Kiawanda.  The area was inhabited by the Nestugga Tribe up until the late 1800's with Chief Kiawanda as their leader.  The Cape and Rock was referred to as "Chief Kiawanda's playground".  If you look closely, you will see the profile of the Chief with this face pointing south and his "ponytail" being the loop on the north side of the rock.  On the beach for sunset with the “Chief“ and sky painted in hues of crimson and amber is magical.  This time of year, the sun is setting directly behind Haystack Rock.

So still too much adventure?  There is another kind of surfing here at The Craftsman B&B.  You can surf our high speed Internet via wi-fi.  And don't forget to rub my belly.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

House Joint Resolution 33, Pinochle Debacle

So it's near election time and, as a rule, I do not discuss religion or politics with visitors to my home, The Craftsman Bed & Breakfast.  But Pacific City was in the National spotlight, on The Daily Show.  The story, by Mo Rocca, is about House Joint Resolution 33. It designates Pacific City Pinochle Capital of Oregon.
Watch the video of the story:

Mike will watch The Daily show every so often, so I was surprised he didn't tell me to blog about it before.  I became aware of the story from a blog about the 10 best small town moments.  As small towns go, we love Pacific City, her on the Oregon Coast.  And as most news stories, the reporters and producers are always able to find the odd neighbor to interview.  So I'm glad I can laugh about this story, I just wish my fellow townspeople knew what Pinochle is.  Sounds a lot like Meth from watching this story.

We hope this hasn't discouraged you from visiting our small beach town.  We know we have our share of colorful characters, but our beach and views will distract you, I'm sure.  I you do need something to do, how about a game of Pinochle?

Friday, October 24, 2008

What to do.

As a reader of this blog, you know by know that I like to tell you about what is going on in and around my home at The Craftsman B&B in Pacific City.  Well, I'm not the only one.  Here at the B&B, we get the Oregon Coast Today delivered to us every week.  I help Mike put them in all the guest rooms.  They have stories about what is happening every week up and down the Coast.  So, I must admit, I do get some ideas of what to do as far as events go from OCT.

So to make your trip planning easier, OCT is blogging about the top 5 things to do every weekend on the Coast.  You can read The Price of Foam blog here.

Mike met Dave Price a few years ago and has had the paper delivered every Thursday.  Sometimes Dave or his wife Niki will deliver it to.  Just in time for the weekend guests.  The paper is published in "downtown" Otis, smaller than Pacific City, and was the Best Design winner in 2008 by the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association.  They also took home second and third in photography and second place in Target Audience.  Overall a great paper and nice people running it.

When ever we are at a local event, we see one of them there too.  Taking pictures and learning about the events.  They really support the coast businesses and tourism.  Check out their dining guide as well.

So the next time you are planning a trip to the coast, I suggest you stay with me, here at the B&B, we will have a copy of Oregon Coast Today in your room.  Pick one up all over the coast or check them out online.  One of my jobs is to make sure you have a great stay, same for Oregon Coast Today.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Catch up day

Whew!  It's been a few days of no posting, so I'm going to catch you all up on what's been going on here at The Craftsman B&B.

Wednesday I was left alone.  Well, Mike went out in the car, it got dark and it was just me and Laura.  I kept a careful watch of her all night.  I positioned myself between her and the front door at all times.  I was waiting for Mike to return, but he didn't.  So I took his half of the bed and went to sleep.  The next day, still no Mike.  Then guests started checking in.  Where was this guy, he has never been away when guests check in.  Laura showed them to their rooms, I of course did too.  Then finally Mike was back.  Where was he?

Mike started unloading the car.  Looked like a trip to the grocery store and Costco.  Did that need to take an overnight trip?  Why was I left here alone?  Then he brought a box into the shop, followed with another trip for stuff into the shop.  Maybe this is why he was gone so long, stuff for the shop.  Sure enough, he got a new tool.  When I finish this blog, I will watch him set it up and do what ever he does with it.  I hope it's not too noisy.  I like to lay in the shop when Mike is working.  It's warm, there is music playing and if it gets too loud or I get bored, he lets me out to roam the yard.

The Booze for Boobs event was a lot of fun.  I laid behind the couch to stay out of every ones way and to shelter myself from the loud music.  It wasn't heavy metal, just loud.  Another patron brought in her dog too, it was blue too, but it was way bigger than me, a Great Dane.  I kind of felt tiny, for the first time.  We didn't stay long as we had a houseful of guests.

So before I started writing today, I checked my e-mail.  Someone wrote about me in their blog.  You can read about it here.  It wasn't another story about how adorable I am, I get that kind of mushy stuff when I read guest reviews online at, and  This is is a professional blog for innkeepers.  Now, maybe some peers will be exposed to my blog.  Are there any other spoiled innkeepers dogs out there?  I'm sure there are, but have they been taught to type?  Not likely, I hope I am the only one with that skill.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Booze for Boobs!

I know, Booze for Boobs, but read on.  I wrote about breast cancer awareness here.  I just wanted to remind you that tomorrow, Friday is the big party at Twist Wine Company.  From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Twist will donate 100% of their proceeds to the breast cancer fund.

Twist will be pouring the wines from Basket Case, Shy Wines and Reversal.  Several beers will be on tap as well.  Live music, disco ball and the "pole" at the end of the bar will keep the mood festive.  Pick out some vintage vinyl to spin before the live music starts.

You can find Twist just west of the 4-way stop in Pacific City.  6425 Pacific Avenue, Unit B.  2 blocks from my home at The Craftsman B&B.  Call them with questions at 503-965-NUTS.

We hope to see you there, but if you can't make it, Twist is donating 10% of sales for the whole month of October to Breast Cancer.

Come see me at the party, I'll be the blue dog with the pink shirt.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Gut feelings

We all have them, you encounter something and you suddenly feel one of two ways.  This is going to be awesome!  Or, I need to get out of here as fast as possible, this looks like it might not be so great.  Going for a ride in the car, awesome.  Stopping at the vet to get shots, oh well.  Stopping at the vet to get my ears cleaned, might not be so great.

Laura was craving hot wings at The Schooner in Netarts.  Mike and Laura have been there for lunches and dinners, stops on the Ducati & Stella rides and even to hear music in the bar.  Mike usually gets a pizza that is baked in a brick oven.  So they are used to waiting for the meal, the pizza takes a while.  So last night they go, hot wings on the brain, and they wait a few minutes for a table.  They then discover that the regular menu is not available,  it's Thai Tuesday.  That is when they got that feeling. . .

They know that in the past, things have been slow.  Now add in an entirely new menu, a full restaurant and bar and the fact that Mike doesn't like Thai food or any Asian food.

They decide to stay, they have a great table and server.  Mike notices that everyone in there knows each other.  Locals, this is a good sign.  Mike also remembers that the chef is Asian and has cool chef's knife tattoo's on her arm, hey that's her in the ad.  So they order, Mike a vegi stir fry, Laura gets half a chicken grilled.

It's busy and about 45 minutes after we order, Mike gets his dinner.  Laura's will just be a minute.  Well, Laura has her eye on the pass and she sees the chickens that came off the grill around the time Mike's dinner was served and they all end up in the bar.  So 45 minutes later, she gets her dish.  Now a chicken isn't standard unit of measure, but neither is a basketball and we all know how big a basket ball is.  This half of a chicken was tiny.  So as Mike slowly ate his dinner, Laura was done rather quickly.

So bottom line here, if you like Thai food, check them out on Tuesdays.  I wish they had Thai beer to go along with the food.  Mike's dinner was OK, Laura's was really late and not that exciting.

The wings and pizza, that's what we at The Craftsman B&B recommend about the Schooner!  This was the first week of Thai Tuesdays, so we wish them successful services in the future.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Coelho Harvest Party

Mike and Laura made a few trips this weekend with out me.  Yesterday evening, they drove to house and vineyard of Dave and Deolinda Coelho. The photo is of the Pinot Noir vines, ready to harvest, as the moon is rising. They had a barn dance and all sorts of food and wine. all the guests were asked to bring a wine to share, so there were lots to choose from. Mike tried several Pinot's, one from a "mystery" bottle, no label. They walked around the vineyard for a bit but Laura, like me, didn't like the propane cannons going off every few minutes. The noise is supposed to keep the birds from "harvesting" the grapes. As the sun went down and the birds roosted for the night, the cannons were shut off. The grounds were very nice with interesting plants and fruit trees and bushes, they are farmers, so they are good at landscaping. They didn't stay too long, but talked with Deolinda for a while and met other guests. They took a back way home and may have discovered a quick sort cut form Pacific City to Amity.

Coelho has a tasting room in downtown Amity. They have re-used an old building and is one of Mike and Laura's favorite places to visit.

Saturday, Mike and Laura went to another place where dogs are not allowed.  The opening of Nestucca Bay Wildlife Refuge that I wrote about here.  They parked in the lower lot and were shuttled up to the upper lot.  Hiked up to the new platform and heard the ribbon cutting ceremony.  After all the official business and great views of the Bay, Haystack Rock and Cape Kiawanda, they joined a bird watching tour that took them to places off limits to regular visitors.  They hiked down the trail and road to a power line road out to the Nestucca Bay / Little Nestucca river inlet.  They saw and heard many birds.  It was great to have a walk like that guided by a person who really knows birds.  Mike got to add a few to his life list.  They got a quick visit by a belted kingfisher, common to the area but limited in range, the sighting was in a perfect spot where you would likely see one.  When Mike lived in Piedmont, California, he watch a kingfisher fish out a neighbors koi pond in a few days.  The migratory birds haven't shown up yet but there were lots of local geese and ducks on the bay.  Mike will be out there many more times I'm sure.

After the hike, Mike and Laura went down to the Neskowin Valley School Harvest Festival that I wrote about here.  They toured the silent auction and check on how their donation was doing in the bidding but didn't stay long as they needed to get ready for a new group of guests here at The Craftsman B&B.

So this was about the kinds of things Mike and Laura do with out me, but it shows that they do know about all sorts of different events around the area.  Come on down to Pacific City, there will be something for you to do, just ask.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pumpkin Time

Do you like carving pumpkins?  Do you like carved pumpkins but don't like the mess?  Well Mike can carve a pumpkin for you.  You can contact him at The Craftsman B&B or e-mail me at and I'll forward the message to him.  We are on the beautiful Oregon Coast in Pacific City.  He can do a logo of your business, names, scary or funny faces.  He will quote you a price base on your ideas.  Pumpkins not carved all the way through will last a month or two outside.  What Mike experimented with this year was carving a Funkin.  This is a great option to save you money.  The funkin will last forever, just put it out every year.  

Mike will pick out a pumpkin or Funkin, your choice, based on the size and shape of you logo or idea.

Mike has carved Ernie and Bert, a carousel, a pumpkin carriage and horse, plus many faces.  Interested in an Obama faced pumpkin?

Look online for ideas, like google, or ideas from Martha, pumpkin sites like this.

Don't waste too much time thinking about it.

Halloween is just a few weeks away.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Harvest Festival

Today is the 26th annual Harvest Festival at the Neskowin Valley School.  Starting at 10 a.m. and lasting until 5 p.m. you will find all sorts of things to see and do.  Located 2 miles off Highway 101 on Slab Creek Road, just South of Neskowin, Oregon.

The main fund raiser for the school is the silent auction.  You can bid on a night at The Craftsman B&B's Prairie Room.  We have bid on golf and dinner gift certificates, wine and art in the past.  They have had a stay in a New York City apartment for a week, other great vacation spots as well.  The items get creative, something you would never think of bidding on like a load of bark dust, an hour of bobcat work, yard work, plus the usual arts and craft items.  There is also a quilt raffle and a wine auction.  Here is a hint, as most people have Blackberry's, iPhone or iPhoney as I like to call the knockoffs, look up the wine online before you bid to make sure the value is there.  You can always risk it, the money goes to the school.  The bakery cafe will be serving food as well at different vendors.  There is children's activities, live music, craft vendors and fun for all ages.

We hope to see you there, TODAY!  We will also be at the Nestucca Bay Refuge opening.

Find out more about the school here.

Friday, October 10, 2008

French Cheese

So you think Tillamook only has one place for cheese?  There is another, Blue Heron French Cheese Company.  Located on Highway 101 just North of downtown Tillamook.  They specialize in brie,  that soft gooey cheese good both at room temperature and warmed up.

Blue Heron is an Oregon-based company celebrating their 28th year in the Pacific Northwest. Brie is kind of an adult cheese, but there is something for the entire family when you stop by; sample the Brie, try the gourmet foods, sample some of Oregon's wines, wander through the gift store, and for the kids, they have a wonderful petting farm to visit.  Mike likes the collection of farm equipment and a vintage Land Rover parked out front.

This is also a good spot if you are looking for a fantastic place to eat lunch, the Blue Heron Deli has fresh baked bread, homemade soups and salads.

They sell all sort of fine foods. The Riverhouse restaurant here in Pacific City makes their own salad dressing and its sold here too.  Jam's and jellies, spices and sauces'.   Fancy candy is here too. They also create gift baskets so you can share the bounty with your friends and family.

I love cheese and here at The Craftsman B&B we serve Blue Heron brie when we are entertaining.  Laura prepares it like this:

Preheat oven to 350º
Place 1 wheel of Blue Heron Brie in a Pyrex pie plate
Poke holes all over the top of the brie with a fork
Pour Frangelico, a hazel nut liqueur, all over the top and letting it soak into the holes
Cover with brown sugar
Bake until it gets bubbly, about 15 minutes, watch it!
Add sliced almonds and bake a few minutes more
Serve with sliced apples

As you know, I love cheese.  Mike and Laura do too.  They don't share the brie with me, my palette is not that sophisticated to enjoy it as much as they do.  If you would like us to prepare this for you and your friends, book a few rooms here and we can host an hors d'oeuvre party when you check in.  Check out our wine list too.  We can help with pairings.

If you can't make it out to Tillamook County, you can get Blue Heron on line or try here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  All over the country there are events planned to raise awareness.

So here is a little history, in 1985 AstraZeneca, which manufactures breast cancer drugs, founded the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The aim of the NBCAM from the start has been to promote mammography as the most effective weapon in the fight against breast cancer.  Most of you have seen the pink ribbons.  That all started in 1991 when the Susan G. Komen Foundation had handed out pink ribbons to participants in its New York City race for breast cancer survivors.

It really took off to a nation wide symbol for awareness when Evelyn Lauder, Senior Corporate Vice President of the Estée Lauder founded The Breast Cancer Research Foundation in 1993 and established the Pink Ribbon as its symbol.  Companies of all sizes have created pink versions of a lot of products.  If you are looking to do some shopping, I suggest you shop pink.

The Race for the Cure is now very popular, celebrating it's 25th year and takes place in cities all over the world.   Chenin, my neighbor and part time dog sitter, has participated in that for years and she even dies her hair pink in October. She and her husband Sean, have decided to bring the pink to Pacific City. Twist, their tasting room for Basket Case, Shy Wines and Reversal will be donating 10% of their total sales in October to breast cancer.

But for 4 hours on Friday, October 17, from 5 - 9 p.m., Twist will be having a pink party.  They will donate 100% of sales to the cause.  During the event, sultry sounds of Scott Siegel strumming his guitar will fill the room.  They will pour their wine and selected brews for your libation.  I'll just have a bowl of water and a few crackers.  If you have any questions, call Twist at 503-965-NUTS.

So come on down for the party, mingle with the locals and visitors to the Oregon Coast.  You can stay with me at The Craftsman B&B, we are walking distance to Twist.  Even if you don't wish to drink wine, you have to see the blazing pink display Chenin put in the window.   It's a head turner for sure.

If you can't make it to Twist, you can see Chenin at the Portland Farmers Market on Saturdays.

To find a place to get an exam near you, click here.

Now, I don't think I have any pink to wear to the party. . .

Monday, October 6, 2008

Nestucca Bay Wildlife Refuge

It's that time of year again.  Every night just after sunset the skies are full of migrating geese.  We have a local gaggle that hang around all year, but now, I'm talking a ton of geese.  They fly over the house, squawking at each other.  That is how they keep in contact in the dark.  They are flying back to  The Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge after a day of flying and munching on their way South for the Winter.  Started in 1991, the refuge provides a sanctuary for a portion of the declining Dusky Canada Goose population and for the endangered Aleutian Cackling Goose. The Refuge has seen many changes over the years, including the recovery of the Aleutian Cackling Goose, Bald Eagle, and Peregrine Falcon, and the restoration of 82 acres of tidal marsh and 50 acres of forest land.  It was just for the birds, but now, they have developed it for people to visit too.

In 2004 the Oregon Dept. of Transportation awarded a grant to the USFWS to design and construct visitor facilities on the Nestucca Bay Refuge. The completed project includes two parking lots; a paved, wheelchair-accessible trail that leads to an elevated viewing deck; road improvements; interpretive panels; and a single vault restroom. The paved Pacific View Trail and Deck, perched atop Cannery Hill, affords visitors a sweeping view of the Pacific Ocean, Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge (Haystack Rock at Pacific City), Nestucca Bay Refuge, the Coast Range, and the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway, US 101.

Next weekend will be the Grand Opening!  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in partnership with the Pacific City Arts Association, will host a celebration of Wildlife and the Arts on Saturday, Oct.11.

The refuge will open at 9 a.m. Refuge staff will be around until 2:00 p.m. to answer questions and guide you through the area.  This is going to be exciting, there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:45 a.m. Guided walks around the site will be from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Here is your chance to explore the new Pacific View Trail. 

Beginning at sunrise, the Lincoln City Chapter of the National Audubon Society will sponsor “The Big Sit,” a nationwide bird-a-thon, where the object is to tally as many bird species seen or heard during a 24-hour period while those recording sit in a 17-foot circle.

Here are some events that will take place next door to The Craftsman B&B at the Nestucca Valley Presbyterian Church (if their construction is done in time).  Most likely at The Bible Church next to the Post Office.

Beginning at 2 p.m., Roy Lowe, Project Leader for the Oregon Coast Refuge Complex, will present the “Natural History of Nestucca Bay Refuge." This visual presentation will include an historical background of the new refuge and why it is important to wildlife.

At 3 p.m. Jeni Foster, a lecturer on the Chautauqua circuit, will present “BirdSong: Birds as metaphors in American folk music,” a performance/lecture sponsored by PCAA. Foster will explore the symbolism of birds within the rich heritage of American folk music and illustrate how the dynamic language of metaphor is essential to poets and songwriters.

Numerous galleries, restaurants and businesses throughout Pacific City will be showcasing wildlife works of art. Enjoy touring all of them throughout the day beginning at 11 a.m.

The refuge is located on the west side of Highway 101, approximately six miles south of Pacific City. To visit the refuge, turn west off of Highway 101 onto Christensen Road and proceed a half mile to the parking lot. 

So make a weekend of it.  Stay with me, I don't think I'll ever get to go out to the Refuge, I don't think dogs, especially bird dogs are allowed.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Salmon are running

We have had the first storm of the season in Pacific City during the last couple of days.  Big deal, right?  Well it is a big deal.  The first big flow of fresh water into the ocean triggers the brains of the salmon who are ready to spawn.  That means Pacific City will be full of fisherman trying to get the catch of the day.

Fishing for salmon in the Pacific Ocean was closed this year in Oregon and California.  The bays and rivers are open, so this is the first chance to catch Steelhead and Fall Chinook.  Come stay with me and you can walk a few blocks to the Nestucca river and bay so you can toss in a line.  Or get a guide.  Last week the bay was busy, this week it will be packed.

Fishing with your buddies is one thing.  We suggest you bring your significant other and stay with us, here at The Craftsman B&B.  We don't have lace or dollies, so you don't have to worry about anything to frilly.  We even have a fish cleaning sink.  The non-fisher person can explore the restaurants, shops and galleries in town or head out on the Three Capes Scenic Drive.

So it's simple really, you get to fish and make your partner happy with a nice relaxing stay in a B&B.  Can it get any easier?  I don't think so.  Click here.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Best Breakfast

A few weeks ago, I wrote an entry about some bikers heading down the Pacific Coast.  Read about it here.  Their goal was to get as far as they could.  If that meant San Diego, San Francisco or as it turns out, San Luis Obispo.  Mike almost made it to SLO to attend Cal Poly, he didn't.  He got a job in the trade he wanted to after moving to California and was making too much money to give it up to spend way too much money at school.

So the ESB tour posted a recap of their ride and The Craftsman B&B was chosen for Best Breakfast!  Their tour was 29 days, we were early in their trip and are glad we were so memorable.  We served a Fritatta, and that's not even our signature dish of Banana's Foster French Toast.  They had a rough time the day they checked in so we wanted to make sure they had a hearty meal for the days ride up Slab Creek Road, also chosen as one of the top roads, over Cascade Head.

Congrats on the ride.  I may be stout, but I think I'm fit, just not fit enough to attempt such a journey.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Storm Watcher's

If you live in Oregon you know a few things about the weather.  If you move to Oregon, you will need to learn a few things about weather.  Well here at The Craftsman B&B on the beautiful Oregon Coast, we get all kinds of weather.  For the most part, it is pretty mild.  We say, "the weather is always better at the beach."  What we mean by that is; when it's hot in the Valley, it's cool here; when it's cold in the Valley, it's warm here.  We don't get the temperature swings the seasons bring to most of Oregon.  The Pacific Ocean keeps us hovering around an average.

Well, today we are expecting our first winter type storm.  Big swells = big surf.  Winds are forecasted to be going pretty good as well.  You may think that you'd not want to be out in this weather.  We get a lot of people who visit us just for this kind of weather, we call them storm watchers.  

OK, what do the outsiders need to know about Oregonians take on the weather.  First of all, lose the umbrella.  Oregonians don't use umbrellas, a sure fire way to spot a tourist.  Second, don't postpone any out door activity because of the weather.  If you do that, you won't do anything.  You need to embrace the weather.  Technology in the clothing industry has made this real easy.  A hooded water proof jacket, rubber boots and maybe rain pants is all you need.  Go ahead, walk on the beach during a storm, you'll be hooked!

We are thinking of starting an e-mail group.  When we see big storms or big surf forecasted, we can send you an e-mail so you can come visit me and enjoy the "angry seas."  Sound good to you?  Send me a note at and I'll add you to the list.  Don't want to receive e-mails, I understand, check the weather on TV, when the swells are above 15 feet, you'll be in for a treat.  Add the wind and it gets better.

Check our specials page on our site.  When Winter is going good, we will post Storm Watcher specials.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


OK, what does this have to do with The Craftsman B&B?  Well, until I moved to Pacific City, I lived a very sheltered life, literality!  I used to spend my time in my crate when I was alone in the house or at bed time.  Now that I live on the Oregon Coast, I've been freed.  I sleep on my spot at night and can roam the house and yard when ever I want.  I can also lay on the couch with Mike as he watches Classic music videos of yester-year.  He loves the 80's music.  So when I found out that pop legen​ds DURAN​ DURAN​ have been award​ed the ultim​ate music​ video​ accol​ade by MTV viewe​rs who voted​ the band’​s legen​dary clip for their​ hit singl​e “RIO”​ “The Great​est Video​ Of All Time," I had to write about it​.​ This is the lates​t honou​r for the membe​rs of DURAN​ DURAN​ who have long been ackno​wledg​ed as pione​ers in this field​ and are widel​y recog​nized​ for havin​g turne​d music​ video​-​makin​g into an art form.​

In what was a lands​lide victo​ry vote,​ DURAN​ DURAN​ beat off stiff​ compe​titio​n from the likes​ of Micha​el Jacks​on’s “Thri​ller”​,​ Madon​na’s “Like​ A Praye​r” Nirva​na’s “Smel​ls Like Teen Spiri​t” Fatbo​y Slim’​s “Prai​se You”,​ Notor​ious B.​I.​G’s “Sky’​s The Limit​” and Rage Again​st The Machi​ne’s “Slee​p Now In The Fire”​ to claim​ the top slot.​

Lead singe​r Simon​ Le Bon said of the award​:​ “We were all extre​mely honou​red to hear that ‘Rio’​ had been named​ the ‘Grea​test Video​ Of All Time’​,​ parti​cular​ly becau​se it was the MTV viewe​rs who had voted​ for it. Our relat​ionsh​ip with MTV has alway​s been a very speci​al one to us – as we start​ed out toget​her and their​ suppo​rt over the years​ was defin​itely​ instr​ument​al in our succe​ss.​

“We enjoy​ the proce​ss of makin​g video​s and ‘Rio’​ is still​ one of our favou​rites​.​ It was shot on locat​ion at a time when very few artis​ts had ventu​red out of the studi​o to film their​ video​s.​ Russe​ll (​Mulca​hy)​ did an amazi​ng job – and shoul​d share​ this with us.”

Fusin​g music​,​ art and fashi​on to an unpre​ceden​ted degre​e,​ DURAN​ DURAN​ trans​forme​d video​s from what had previ​ously​ been a simpl​e marke​ting tool into one of the music​ indus​try’s​ most valua​ble asset​s.​ With exoti​c locat​ions,​ beaut​iful girls​ and stunn​ing visua​ls,​ DURAN​ DURAN​ set a whole​ new stand​ard,​ break​ing the mould​ and defin​ed an era.

Havin​g sold over 70 milli​on recor​ds,​ and consi​stent​ly toppi​ng the chart​s aroun​d the world​,​ DURAN​ DURAN​ are widel​y recog​nized​ as one of the most succe​ssful​ pop group​s of the past three​ decad​es.​

Since​ refor​ming in 2002,​ the band have been honou​red with no less than five of the music​ indus​try’s​ most prest​igiou​s award​s inclu​ding MTV’s​ “Life​time Achie​vemen​t Award​”,​ Q Magaz​ine’s​ “Life​time Achie​vemen​t Award​”,​ the Briti​sh Phono​graph​ic Indus​try’s​ “Outs​tandi​ng Contr​ibuti​on to Music​ Award​”,​ a Spani​sh Onda “Life​time Achie​vemen​t Award​” and the covet​ed Ivor Novel​lo “Outs​tandi​ng Contr​ibuti​on To Briti​sh Music​ Award​”.​

DURAN​ DURAN​ are curre​ntly prepa​ring for the last leg of their​ ‘Red Carpe​t Massa​cre World​ Tour’​ which​ is set to kick off in early​ Novem​ber in Lima,​ Peru.​ This final​ run will see the band under​takin​g one of their​ most ambit​ious Latin​ Ameri​can tours​ to date,​ in suppo​rt of the relea​se of their​ 12th studi​o album​,​ ‘Red Carpe​t Massa​cre’,​ follo​wed by two weeks​ of dates​ in the US.

Current photo, 2007. Photo by Stephanie Pistel.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I Love Cheese

I love cheese!  It's one of the people food's I get to snack on every now and then here at The Craftsman B&B.  I am not allowed in the kitchen, so Mike built a gate that separates the kitchen from the pantry.  When there is cheese out, I know it.  I lay in front of the gate and hope a piece is sliced just for me.  Mike and Laura like cheese too.  Laura prefers cheese to chocolate.  I know, some of you can't believe it, but it's true.  I sure am glad I live in Tillamook County, home of the best cheese in the country.  Don't believe me, our guests seem to think so.
One of the family traditions in Oregon is to take the kids to the Tillamook Cheese Creamery and Visitors Center.  School buses from camps and day trips to the Oregon Coast stop for the tour.  So all these kids grow up and want to return.  They take the tour and get an ice cream cone.  It's a good spot for lunch as well.  When Mike and Laura were working on the house, there was a lot of demolition and trips to the County transfer station.  They would reward their careful loading of the truck and dump of the junk with lunch at the Farmhouse Cafe inside the Creamery.  Try the Tillamooker, Mike's favorite with Tater Tots.  My friend Jackson, likes the Pacific, a grilled cheese with shrimp.  Mike also gets 2 large chocolate milks and skips the ice cream cone for dessert.

The self guided tour takes you through a view area's that show videos of life at the dairy and milking machines used to get all the milk, the best part is the name of one machine: BouMatic.  Mike loves made up words in marketing and advertising.  So after that, it's upstairs to overlook the packaging line on one side and the cheese making on another.  Back down stairs through the tasting area, try the squeaky cheese!  As all factory tours, it ends in the company store.  Buy some black label cheddar, Mike's cousin Brad from San Diego was so happy to get a loaf when he came to help paint for a weekend.  I like it all.

So the best part is how the Creamery works.  It is a  farmer-owned cooperative that was formed back in 1909. It grew out of the desire on the part of a handful of farmers to ensure that the cheese produced in the area was of the absolute highest quality.  Now the Tillamook County Creamery Association has expanded to approximately 130 dairy families.  It is the largest employer in Tillamook County.  Most people work at the Creamery or on the dairy farms. Profits from the cooperative go back to the farmer-owner to help keep their dairies economically sustainable.

So the dairy farmer needs land and cows.  They work on preserving the land and keeping healthy cows.  They also need people to process the milk and do a lot for the community.  We like looking at all the cows when we drive around.

OK, now for some "cow tips."  No, cow tipping is not a good thing to try, now matter what the beer gods may have whispered in you ear. 

#1 The line at the ice cream counter can get long, if you go upstairs, like you are going on the tour, they sometimes open an additional ice cream scooping area.

#2 Cheese need to be refrigerated, if you don't have a way of keeping to cool, don't buy more that you can eat in a day.

#3 If you are going to have lunch, they have menus at the counter, grab one while you wait in line and have someone decide what they are going to get and have them look for a table.  Turnover is good, you will find a table before you get your food.

#4 Dessert?  The slowest eater has to decide on the ice cream and hold the table while others stand in line.  Don't forget tip #1.