Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Schreiner's Iris Gardens: Open for the season on May 6th 2016 (List of Events)


Bloom season at Schreiner’s Iris Gardens is each year in May. This year, the gardens are open May 6th – May 31st.   

For only a few short weeks a year, Schreiner’s opens the doors to their spectacular Iris farm to the public for free self-guided tours. Stroll the 10-acre display gardens and take in the sight and fragrance of over 500 named Irises in full bloom. During bloom season, the gardens are open from dawn to dusk; gift shop and cut flowers open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hundreds of cut Iris stems will be on display as part of the Schreiner's Cut Flower Show; open daily during bloom season. Schreiner's Gift Shop will be filled with treasures and gardening delights for Iris lovers.  Fresh-cut Iris stems available for purchase every day. During the four-week bloom season, Schreiner's will host special events, including wine and liqueur and live demonstrations, every weekend.

Here’s their list of special events:

Title:   Schreiner’s Iris Gardens Bloom Season 2016
When/Where:           May 6 – May 31, 2016. Gardens and Cut Flower Show open daily from dawn to dusk; gift shop open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., cut flowers available daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
            Schreiner’s Iris Gardens, 3625 Quinaby Rd NE, Salem, Oregon, 97303
What: Tour Schreiner's Iris Gardens’ 10-acre display gardens filled with over 500 named Irises. Shop unique gifts in the Gift Shop on site, and place an order for Iris to ship this summer. View hundreds of Irises on display in the Schreiner's Cut Flower Show. Fresh-cut Irises are available for purchase every day.
            Daily 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., St. Edward’s Not the Same Old Grind beverage cart will serve warm and cold espresso drinks, smoothies, water, tea and lemonade, available for purchase. All proceeds benefit St. Vincent DePaul Society, St. Edward Youth Ministry, St. Edward Knights of Columbus and St. Edward. The Mt. Angel Sausage Co. cart will also join us with their amazing sausages, curly fries, delicious elephant ears and soft drinks for purchase.
Cost:    The gardens are free and open to the public.

Title:   Opening Weekend with Methven Family Vineyards, Elixir Liqueurs and Spiritopia
When/Where:           Saturday, May 7, 2016. 9 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
            Schreiner’s Iris Gardens, 3625 Quinaby Rd NE, Salem, Oregon, 97303
What: Opening weekend for Schreiner’s Iris Gardens is here! The sun is out and the Irises are exploding with color and vibrancy, inviting everyone to enjoy the ten acres of display gardens. Here to help celebrate opening weekend is Methven Family Vineyards, offering wine tastings for purchase from noon to 5 p.m. Elixir, with their Iris and orange liqueur, and Spiritopia, with their premium apple and ginger liqueurs, will offer tastings for purchase from noon to 5:00 p.m. Enjoy a glass of wine or a sipper of liqueur while strolling through the beautiful gardens. Join us 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. for How to Dig & Divide Iris Demonstration. This live demonstration and discussion will review the proper time and technique for digging and separating Iris. It’s easier than you think! Free demonstration, open to all. To find out more about Methven Family Vineyards, please visit their website at www.methvenfamilyvineyards.com. Information on Elixir can be found at www.elixir-us.com, and more about Spiritopia is at  www.spiritopia.com.
            Daily from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., St. Edward’s Not the Same Old Grind beverage cart will serve warm and cold espresso drinks, smoothies, water, tea and lemonade for purchase. All proceeds benefit St. Vincent DePaul Society, St. Edward Youth Ministry, St. Edward Knights of Columbus and St. Edward. The Mt. Angel Sausage Co. cart will also join us with their amazing sausages, curly fries, delicious elephant ears and soft drinks for purchase.
Cost:    The gardens are free and open to the public. Demonstration is free and open to all. Wine and liqueur tastings for nominal fee.


Title:   Celebrating All Mothers at Schreiner’s Iris Gardens

When/Where:           Sunday, May 8, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
            Schreiner’s Iris Gardens, 3625 Quinaby Rd NE, Salem, Oregon, 97303
What: We are inviting all mothers to celebrate with us at Schreiner’s Iris Gardens. Our special gift to these amazing mothers is a FREE cut stem of Iris, while supplies last. Also enjoy sipping delicious wines and liqueur from Methven Family Vineyards and Spiritopia as you stroll through the ten acres of beautiful Iris gardens. Tastings of Methven’s wines are available for purchase noon to 5 p.m. and premium artisan apple liqueur and ginger liqueur tastings, by Spiritopia, for purchase from noon to 5:00 p.m. To find out more about Methven Family Vineyards, please visit their website at methvenfamilyvineyards.com and to find out more about Spiritopia visit spiritopia.com.
            Daily from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., St. Edward’s Not the Same Old Grind beverage cart will serve warm and cold espresso drinks, smoothies, water, tea and lemonade for purchase. All proceeds benefit St. Vincent DePaul Society, St. Edward Youth Ministry, St. Edward Knights of Columbus and St. Edward. The Mt. Angel Sausage Co. cart will also join us with their amazing sausages, curly fries, delicious elephant ears and soft drinks for purchase.
Cost:    The gardens are free and open to the public. Wine and liqueur tastings for nominal fee.

Title:   Tastings and Iris Demos in the Gardens
When/Where:           Saturday, May 14, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and
            Schreiner’s Iris Gardens, 3625 Quinaby Rd NE, Salem, Oregon, 97303
What: Enjoy the wonderful smells and the beautiful colors of 10 acres of iris as you sip a sample of local micro-brew from Gilgamesh Brewing (www.gilgameshbrewing.com), or of a unique liqueur. Elixir, with their Iris and orange liqueurs, and Spiritopia, with their premium apple and ginger liqueurs, will offer tastings for purchase from noon to 5:00 p.m. Enjoy a sipper of liqueur while strolling through the beautiful gardens. Join us 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. for How to Dig & Divide Iris Demonstration. This live demonstration and discussion will review the proper time and technique for digging and separating Iris. It’s easier than you think! Free demonstration, open to all. To find out more about on Elixir visit www.elixir-us.com, and for more info about Spiritopia visit www.spiritopia.com.
            Daily from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., St. Edward’s Not the Same Old Grind beverage cart will serve warm and cold espresso drinks, smoothies, water, tea and lemonade for purchase. All proceeds benefit St. Vincent DePaul Society, St. Edward Youth Ministry, St. Edward Knights of Columbus and St. Edward. The Mt. Angel Sausage Co. cart will also join us with their amazing sausages, curly fries, delicious elephant ears and soft drinks for purchase.
Cost:    The gardens are free and open to the public. Iris Demo free of charge. Tastings for nominal fee.

Title:   Tastings in the Gardens
When/Where:           Sunday, May 15, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and
            Schreiner’s Iris Gardens, 3625 Quinaby Rd NE, Salem, Oregon, 97303
What: Take in all the wonderful smells and the beautiful unique colors of our 10 acres of iris as you sip a sample of local micro-brew from Gilgamesh Brewing (www.gilgameshbrewing.com), or a sample of the premium artisan apple liqueur and ginger liqueur, by Spiritopia for purchase from noon to 5:00 p.m. To find out more about Spiritopia visit www.spiritopia.com.
            Daily from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., St. Edward’s Not the Same Old Grind beverage cart will serve warm and cold espresso drinks, smoothies, water, tea and lemonade for purchase. All proceeds benefit St. Vincent DePaul Society, St. Edward Youth Ministry, St. Edward Knights of Columbus and St. Edward. The Mt. Angel Sausage Co. cart will also join us with their amazing sausages, curly fries, delicious elephant ears and soft drinks for purchase.
Cost:    The gardens are free and open to the public. Liqueur and micro-brew tasting for nominal fee.

Title:   Celebrate Keizer Iris Fest at Schreiner’s Iris Gardens!
When/Where:           Saturday, May 21, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
            Schreiner’s Iris Gardens, 3625 Quinaby Rd NE, Salem, Oregon, 97303
What: There is no better place to celebrate Keizer Iris Fest than with us, at Schreiner’s Iris Gardens. Enjoy the 10-acre display garden in full bloom as you enjoy a sample of local micro-brew from Gilgamesh Brewing (www.gilgameshbrewing.com), or of a unique liqueur. Elixir, with their Iris and orange liqueurs, and Spiritopia, with their premium apple and ginger liqueurs, will offer tastings for purchase from noon to 5:00 p.m. To find out more about Elixir visit www.elixir-us.com, and for more info about Spiritopia visit www.spiritopia.com.Also here to celebrate the day is Bellows & Squawk sharing their unique interpretations of neglected gems from the American Song Book from noon to 1 p.m. From 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. check out the How to Dig & Divide Iris Demonstration live demonstration and discussion. We will review the proper time and technique for digging and separating Iris. It’s easier than you think! Free demonstration, open to all. Join us 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. as special guest Sue Bielemeier of Green Thumb Florist provides free demonstration on flower arranging with a focus on the use of Iris in your arrangements. Also out to enjoy the fun and to ensure you don’t leave hungry is St. Edward’s Not the Same Old Grind beverage cart will serve warm and cold espresso drinks, smoothies, water, tea and lemonade for purchase. All proceeds benefit St. Vincent DePaul Society, St. Edward Youth Ministry, St. Edward Knights of Columbus and St. Edward. The Mt. Angel Sausage Co. cart will also join us with their amazing sausages, curly fries, delicious elephant ears and soft drinks for purchase.
Cost:    The gardens are free and open to the public. Liqueur and micro-brew tasting are available for nominal fee.

Title:   Willamette Wanderers’ Iris Festival and Flower Walk
When/Where:           Sunday, May 22, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
            Schreiner’s Iris Gardens, 3625 Quinaby Rd NE, Salem, Oregon, 97303
What: We at Schreiner’s Iris Gardens are excited to welcome back the Willamette Wanderers joining us for their Iris Festival and Flower Walk! There will be a self-guided 5K and 10K walk available. Registration will be held at the Display Gardens beginning at 9 a.m. For more information about this event please visit their website at www.willwander.weebly.com/walk-wus.html.  Enjoy the 10-acre display garden in full bloom as you enjoy a sample of local micro-brew from Gilgamesh Brewing (www.gilgameshbrewing.com), or of a unique liqueur. Spiritopia, with their premium apple and ginger liqueurs, will offer tastings for purchase from noon to 5:00 p.m. To find out more about Spiritopia visit www.spiritopia.com.
Cost:    The gardens are free and open to the public. Walk is free, unless you wish to have IVV/AVA credit.

Title:   4th Annual Art & Wine in the Gardens
When/Where:           Saturday to Monday, May 28 to 30, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
            Schreiner’s Iris Gardens, 3625 Quinaby Rd NE, Salem, Oregon, 97303
What: Celebrate this 3-day weekend with amazing art, excellent wine, a local micro-brew, artisan liqueurs, and so much more! Artists from around the valley will join us in the gardens to display and sell their works of art. Many of these artists have been painting in the Display Gardens for years; all will have Iris-themed work on display and for sale. Grab a glass of wine or a sip of liqueur, or a taste of micro-brew, and browse the amazing array of art among the Irises. Methven Family Vineyards is offering tastings of their favorite wines Gilgamesh Brewing, Elixir Liqueur with their Iris and orange liqueurs (Saturday only), and Spiritopia with their premium artisan apple liqueur and ginger liqueur will also pour tastings, for purchase noon to 5:00 p.m. Join us Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. for How to Dig & Divide Iris Demonstration. This live demonstration and discussion will review the proper time and technique for digging and separating Iris. It’s easier than you think! Free demonstration, open to all. To find out more about Methven Family Vineyards, please visit their website at methvenfamilyvineyards.com. More about Gilgamesh at www.gilgameshbrewing.com; Elixir is at www.elixir-us.com, Spiritopia is at www.spiritopia.com.
            Daily from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., St. Edward’s Not the Same Old Grind beverage cart will serve warm and cold espresso drinks, smoothies, water, tea and lemonade for purchase. All proceeds benefit St. Vincent DePaul Society, St. Edward Youth Ministry, St. Edward Knights of Columbus and St. Edward. The Mt. Angel Sausage Co. cart will also join us with their amazing sausages, curly fries, delicious elephant ears and soft drinks for purchase.
Cost:    The gardens are free and open to the public. Wine, beer and liqueur tasting are available for a nominal fee.

Title:   Schreiner's Iris Gardens’ Annual Memorial Day Celebration
When/Where:           Monday, May 30, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
            Schreiner’s Iris Gardens, 3625 Quinaby Rd NE, Salem Oregon, 97303
What: Join us for our Schreiner's Iris Gardens’ Memorial Day Chicken BBQ featuring the culinary delights of the Gervais Knights of Columbus, $11 per plate, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. We will also have artists from around the valley joining us in the gardens to display and sell their works of art. Many of these artists have been painting in the Display Gardens for years; all will have Iris-themed work on display and for sale. Methven Family Vineyards is offering tastings of their favorite wines for purchase from noon to 5 p.m. Gilgamesh Brewing, a local micro-brewery, and Spiritopia, with their premium artisan apple liqueur and ginger liqueur, will also offering tastings for purchase noon to 5:00 p.m. Enjoy live music from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. by Fadin’ by 9 – and of course, acres of Irises! Read more about the band at www.fadinby9.com. To find out more about Methven Family Vineyards, please visit their website at methvenfamilyvineyards.com. Gilgamesh Brewing is at www.gilgameshbrewing.com, and to find out more about Spiritopia visit www.spiritopia.com.

            Daily from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., St. Edward’s Not the Same Old Grind beverage cart will serve warm and cold espresso drinks, smoothies, water, tea and lemonade for purchase. All proceeds benefit St. Vincent DePaul Society, St. Edward Youth Ministry, St. Edward Knights of Columbus and St. Edward. The Mt. Angel Sausage Co. cart will also join us with their amazing sausages, curly fries, delicious elephant ears and soft drinks for purchase.
Cost:    The gardens and music performance are free and open to the public. The chicken BBQ is $11. Wine, beer and liqueurs available for a nominal fee.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Head to Santa Fe for Cocktail Week, the new Margarita Trail and more

Rave reviews and sold-out seminars were hallmarks of the inaugural year for New Mexico Cocktails & Culture (NMCC). 2016 will be no different—especially with a slew of new events. Festivities kick off with Santa Fe Cocktail Week on Memorial Day weekend that runs the entire week leading up to NMCC, a four-day long festival from June 3 - 6, 2016. Events are for hospitality professionals as well as sipping / dining enthusiasts.

Santa Fe Cocktail Week includes nearly three-dozen restaurants, bars and hotels featuring a signature cocktail. Official participants enter themselves into one of four categories: Cocktail Bar, Restaurant Bar, Wine Bar / Brew Pub, or Nightlife Venue. Their guests can try them and then vote online for their favorites. Winners will be announced at The Liquid Muse Awards ceremony during the NMCC Closing Party on Monday, June 6 at La Fonda Hotel in downtown Santa Fe.

Another new NMCC event is the Chef & Shaker Challenge, 6:30 – 9:00 p.m. at Scottish Rite Temple on Saturday, June 4. Some of Santa Fe’s most beloved chefs are coupled with specific liquor brands to create ideal food-and-cocktail pairings. Attendees vote for their favorite, and the winning chef receives $500 to donate to his or her favorite local charity. A portion of the $55 tickets will support Cooking with Kids.

The City Of Santa Fe will launch a new Santa Fe Margarita Trail on May 5th and NMCC will offer a seminar “The Historic Journey From Daisy To Margarita—The World’s Most Popular Cocktail” on Saturday June 4 at 1:30 p.m.

New Mexico Cocktails & Culture and Santa Fe Cocktail Week are founded by Natalie Bovis, a Santa Fe native, three-time cocktail book author, beverage consultant, co-creator of OM Organic Mixology Liqueurs, and mixology educator. Natalie is also the Vice President of the New Mexico chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild union. Her business, The Liquid Muse, LLC, turns a decade old this month.

She explains her aspirations for the festival, “I hope to foster local cocktail culture and develop new business opportunities in my home state. Community building begins with education and creating relationships. New Mexico Cocktails & Culture provides that platform.”

The full schedule of seminars, cocktail parties, events, and tickets are available on the event website: www.NMCocktailCulture.com.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Vancouver, Washington - Sometimes it's best to vacation in your own back yard

I love covering the West as a travel writer. I've always been intrigued by the beauty and culture of our Southwest and return home to the Pacific Northwest to see snow capped mountains, rushing rivers and, of course, the sea.

This new video of Vancouver, Washington may intrigue you enough to include it in your next vacation. We're only 5 minutes from Portland, Oregon, so there's plenty to see and do on both sides of the river.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Taxes done? Head to Portland's Acadia Bistro for Cheap Eats

Louisiana White Shrimp Creole ~ image by Charles Campos

To ease the pain that the Tax Man brings every April 15th, Acadia Bistro chef/owner Seamus Foran will be offering his “Cheap Eats” menu on Friday, April 15th and Saturday, April 16th.

Normally a part of the Monday night menu, the Cheap Eats entrées are $12 each and consist of:

Cornmeal-Fried Louisiana Catfish with black eyed pea stew and jicama-salsify slaw

Cajun Jambalaya with smoked chicken, andouille sausage, house-made Tasso and smoked tomato relish


Louisiana White Shrimp Creole with black kale, button mushrooms, spinach and English peas


Slow Simmered Red Beans & Rice with choice of house andouille sausage –OR–smoked chicken Cup of Red Beans and Rice, Cup of Gumbo and a Cup of Jambalaya

All entrees can be made into a 3-course dinner with a house salad and bread pudding for $25.  The regular a la carte dinner menu will also be available. 

Whether guests in a mood to drown financial sorrows or spend their refund on an extra round, bar director Charles Campos will complement the fare with some new spring cocktails such as “Suzy Q,” a gin-based concoction spiked with the sweet-tartness of rhubarb marmalade.

Dinner service is from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. and reservations are recommended.  Call (503) 249-5001 to reserve seats.

1303 NE Fremont St
Portland, Oregon


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Santa Fe's World of Art: What's new in 2016?


Santa Fe is known for art and culture, both ancient and contemporary. There is always something new going on in the performing and visual arts. Here are some of the new things you can look forward to in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  
Renowned Santa Fe art collective Meow Wolf recently announced the opening of the highly-anticipated House of Eternal Return installation. The House of Eternal Return is Meow Wolf's first permanent exhibition and the follow-up to their wildly successful The Due Return. Game of Thrones creator, longtime Santa Fe-resident and supporter of the project George R.R. Martin says, “House of Eternal Return is going to be like nothing you’ve ever seen before.” 135 artists are involved in creating 70 different individual immersive spaces, a 300-person music venue, an arcade with 14 games, four tree houses, an interactive cave system and more. The exhibition takes audiences of all ages into a fantastic world of exploratory imagination by way of a radical new form of storytelling where audiences are immersed within a multi-media art experience that unfolds through an interactive and magical narrative. 

New Performance: Santa Fe Opera - UnShakeable
In commemoration of 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the world-renowned Santa Fe Opera presents “UnShakeable,” a new opera composed by Joe Illick with libretto by Andrea Fellows Walters. Set in an abandoned New Mexico theater 25 years in the future, UnShakeable tells the story of Wyatt and Meridian, Shakespearean actors and former lovers who have fallen victim to Erasure, a viral pandemic resulting in memory loss. Exploring themes of memory, connection, and the power of song, UnShakeable incorporates language from some of Shakespeare’s iconic works to create a modern romantic comedy. UnShakeable is entirely suited for audiences of all ages and premieres at the Scottish Rite Temple in Santa Fe with a full chamber orchestra before hitting the road for the 22nd annual Spring Tour, presenting ten free performances throughout the region. 

Santa Fe has historically been home to a diverse religious and ethnic population, so it’s only fitting that the new “Sacred Realm” exhibit is currently featured at the city’s Museum of International Folk Art. “Sacred Realm” highlights the museum’s wide-ranging Asian collection exploring such beliefs as magical protection, blessings, and good fortune. This exhibition presents interesting similarities within the many countries and regions making up Asia and its more than 50 countries, thousands of ethnic groups, more than ten language families—encompassing more than 2,000 spoken languages—and is the birthplace to such world religions as Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam as well as many local faiths.

SITE opened two new exhibitions on March 19, WorkSHoP, a new exhibition exploring the work of the New York-based architecture and design firm SHoP Architects. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

5 Popular Things to Do When Visiting Phoenix, Arizona


Explore the Desert Botanical Garden
Phoenix and the Valley of the Sun have outdoor activities, great museums, historical sites and much more. We all have our favorites. But these are what people usually rave about. We have chosen 5 must-dos for your visit to Phoenix.

1. Enjoy Baseball Spring Training
15 professional teams train in the Phoenix metropolitan area in the greatest concentration of professional baseball facilities found anywhere in the United States. Cheer on your favorite team up close and personal every spring. Cactus League Website

2. Explore the Desert Botanical Garden
The meandering paths of the Desert Botanical Garden wind through red buttes of Papago Park. The Desert Botanical Garden hosts one of the world’s finest collections of desert plants of the Southwest. The Garden is a fun place to explore no matter what the season. In early spring there are often special delights with butterfly exhibits, wildflowers and blooming cacti. Desert Botanical Garden Website.

3. Take the Scenic Apache Trail Drive into the Superstitions
A drive on the Apache Trail is one of the most scenic drives near the Phoenix area. This well-travelled road affords visitors an incredible view of canyons, geologic formations, desert plants and trees, desert and lake views, and wildflowers in season. There is mining history and wild west intrigue on a trip to the Superstitions. Take a day and schedule a ride on the Dolly Steamboat on Canyon Lake. Apache Trail Tour  Dolly Steamboat Cruise

4. Visit the Heard Museum


The Heard museum is one of the nation's top places to see Native American artifacts. The museum displays some of the more than 35,000 artifacts in a permanent collection. Three additional gallery spaces, a 400-seat multipurpose auditorium, a well-stocked Museum Shop and Bookstore, and the indoor/outdoor Courtyard Cafe are all features of the famous Heard Museum. If you are in town during a special event at the Heard such as the Indian Market or Spanish Market be sure and fit it in. Heard Museum Website

5. Visit Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West in Scottsdale
Learn about Frank Lloyd Wright's style of desert architecture on the beautiful site of Taliesin West. I highly recommend that you include Taliesin West in your list of things to do while in Scottsdale or the Phoenix valley. You'll see Wright's home as he left it, the art-filled grounds and learn about the education young architects received on the desert grounds. Taliesin West TourInformation.


Monday, March 21, 2016

Journey to Remote Masset British Columbia: Haida art, Culture and Natural Beauty

Entrance to Masset (Massett)
Masset (Massett) is a village in Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands) way up north in British Columbia, Canada. Historic Masset, a living Haida village, has beautiful totems and long houses, native artists and galleries.

Masset is a desired destination for the natural beauty, the fishing and the Haida art and culture. It is located on the northern coast of Graham Island and can be reached by a scenic 1.5-hour car ride from Skidegate. It is also accessible via floatplane and small commercial planes. Popular with sports fishermen the wilderness town of Masset is a place you’ll encounter eagles waiting for returning fishing boats. As you travel, you will experiences stretches of highway with only water and forest views. It is truly a place to get away from it all.
Arrive in Masset via floatplane, small commercial plane or car
Traveling to Masset from Queen Charlotte City and Skidegate
Make sure you have adequate gasoline for your trip. We encountered several closed gas stations along the way. You can gas up at the Co-op in Skidegate.

We drove the Yellowhead Highway from Skidegate through some of the most scenic and sparsely inhabited areas of the islands. The water you will see is Hecate Straits. Along the way the beautiful rocky beaches, eagles and deer kept us busy sight-seeing.

Masset is the true end of the Yellowhead Highway, the northernmost point.

Artists of Tlell
There are some worthwhile stops on your way to Masset. Once you reach the village of Tlell, watch for signs to galleries and artists. The town, and the talent, is well worth the stop. Many enjoy the eclectic Crystal Cabin that represents local artists, including, but not limited to Native artists. Typical of island businesses, when we stopped by, the gallery owner had gone to the local coffee shop for a long break.

However, just down the road we pulled in to a wood carving shop with a “open” sign. This was a true backwoods find.  Ernie Burnett is an excellent wood carver who uses local salvaged red and yellow cedar for hand carved boxes, wall plaques, paddles and even cribbage boards. His work is meticulous and he uses both European and Native designs. (Phone: 250 557-4531)
Artist, Ernie Burnett carves beautiful cedar boxes
Ernie was exposed to wood carving and wood working by his father and grandfather. His Father, Ernie Sr., was a well-known woodcarver. His wood carving heritage goes back to England and this is evident in some of his designs. What I found most attractive were his carefully hewn boxes.

Since he uses found wood, there will be interesting colors and grains in his work. A visit to Ernie’s wood carving shop is a must-do when traveling the highway to Masset.

Tlell is known for the Edge of the World Music Festival and Tlell Fall Fair. It is mid-island and has some great hiking trails and scenic rocky beaches. There are some B&B's in the area.

Exploring Masset
Once we reached Masset, we visited the Co-op which is a great well-stocked grocery store (it has a rest room). We then traveled through the streets were marked in the Haida language on canoe shaped signs. The Haida people are friendly and helped us with directions and recommendations. You'll get a sense of Haida life as you travel slowly through the streets. At one home a man was sitting outside tending drying strips of salmon.

One special stop that you must take as you travel through Old Masset admiring the beautiful totem poles, is Sarah’s Haida Arts and Jewelry. While Sarah is not Haida, her shop is full of carefully selected Haida jewelry, cedar baskets and hats, books on local art and collectible carvings.
Sarah's Haida Arts is located in a longhouse.
Sarah is highly knowledgeable about Haida art and artists. She purchases from the locals in town and you will be ensured of authenticity when you purchase from her. She also has a great selection of books about the local art, history and culture. She is located at 387 Eagle Road and her phone is 250.626.5560. Her shop is in a scenic long house with beautiful totem in front.
Sarah has a wonderful selection of Haida arts and crafts.
If you are hungry after your journey, consider stopping in town for a sandwich. We found that restaurants come and go. We watched for where the locals dined and had a great hamburger. The locals can advise you on where to go… just ask.

If you decide to stay in Masset, there are fishing lodges that may have rooms. It is a fairly remote area so having a reservation ahead is recommended. There is a Vistors Center as you enter town. Places to stay in Masset.

This journey is an excellent day trip from Sandspit (which has an airport). You’ll cross to Graham Island by a quick 25 minute ferry ride to Skidegate and then turn right on the Yellowhead Highway.

Flying to Masset
From Vancouver B.C. you can fly direct to Masset's Municipal Airport (ZMT) with Pacific Coastal Airlines 1-800-663-2872. Located 3km from the village center. Taxi service and rental car pick-ups are available at the airport. Masset also features twice daily floatplane service to Prince Rupert with Inland Air  250-626-3225

More Information


Monday, March 14, 2016

Waterfalls of the Columbia River Gorge (photos)

I've been working on a project to be launched this year... Bindu Itineraries. While doing my assignments, I crop my waterfall photos in a different way. I also have the opportunity to see detail I missed when I took the photos as I focused on the height of the various falls. You'll see what I mean. Enjoy!

Latourell Falls
Wahkeena Falls, a cascading waterfall.
Benson Bridge at Multnomah Falls

Friday, March 11, 2016

Outdoor Recreation Awaits You in Vancouver, Washington


Walk along the Columbia River on the
Columbia River Waterfront Renaissance Trail
and enjoy the boats and barges
Vancouver, Washington, just across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon has outdoor recreation opportunities galore. Cool blue lakes and miles of hiking and biking trails invite adventure seekers to explore the wonder of the great outdoors in Vancouver USA.
Wood Duck at Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge

Just 10 minutes from downtown, visitors can enjoy a stunning view of Mount St. Helens while canoeing, kayaking, or stand-up-paddle boarding at Vancouver Lake.  The 234-acre park also features hiking trails and a 2.5-mile sandy shoreline for beach volleyball and picnicking. Dragon boat races and rowing teams compete on the lake throughout the year.

Visitors can explore the wildlife and over 5,000 acres of wetlands at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. Encounter deer, nesting eagles and a variety of migrating birds. This local gem is a popular spot to bird watch. While hiking, visitors can see sandhill cranes, tundra swans and great blue herons. Guided, naturalist-led hikes are also offered at the refuge.

Other urban outdoor adventures in Vancouver USA that offer beautiful scenery to bike, hike and paddle are:


Now is the time to get out and about in Vancouver USA. The cherry blossoms are blooming and the weather is mild.