A trip to Lewis and Clark in Oregon | Life in Ludlow

Ned Luce
Posted 10/26/22

Destination: McMinnville, Oregon for a Porsche Club event. 

We were trying to stay on the roads not named “I-5,” but after enjoying BJ’s professional navigation of the …

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A trip to Lewis and Clark in Oregon | Life in Ludlow


Destination: McMinnville, Oregon for a Porsche Club event. 

We were trying to stay on the roads not named “I-5,” but after enjoying BJ’s professional navigation of the scenic routes for an hour, I thought we might miss dinner in McMinnville. Consequently, we decided to head over to I-5, but were alarmed when spotting the huge traffic jam due to some construction. We pulled a “youey” and then encountered the huge traffic jam created by all the folks avoiding the huge traffic jam. It was good that we enjoy each other’s company.

The next morning provided opportunities to see the 15 Porsches in the parking lot at the hotel and share information about them and their owners. Port Ludlow’s Bob and Andi Pistay were party to some of the better stories. One guy had a 1973 911 formerly owned by his father-in-law since 1975. Others had more current cars. Soon the group took off to Salem, Oregon to visit the “Brothers Collection” incredible but private car museum. 

I have dragged BJ to many impressive and not-so-impressive car shows and museums over the years. The “Brothers Collection” is in a league of their own with a display of approximately 355 cars from the 1950s to recent years. We are told that they counted the cars three times and got three different numbers so they just settled on 355 as the official “website-worthy” number. 

The collection includes muscle cars and exotic sports cars in a 117,000-square-foot warehouse turned museum open only for private tours. There were 40 Corvettes, three from 1953, the model’s first year. There were several original Ford Cobras from the 1960s and at least four Ford GTs from the 2000s. I have a picture of BJ standing amongst the GT’s thus confirming “vintage icon status.” Many Ferraris, Porsches and American iron including a stunning Tucker car from 1948 were on display. 

A stay in central Oregon generally includes the obligatory wine-tasting tour. We all complied by riding in a big van to visit three wineries. 

The first stop was Knudsen Vineyards, producer of Dundee Hills Pinot noir. We can testify that the man representing the winery and educating all of us about their wines and the very interesting history of the winery was the best we have ever encountered. His presentation justified the wine-tasting charge and impressed me such that I even bought a bottle of the wine. Just one bottle! 

We also visited the Lachini and Arborbrook wineries. Having exhausted my budget for purchasing wine already I did not buy any more. 

The ride back to McMinnville held the results of a “poker rally” where each participant had blindly selected seven cards and the winning hand won a prize. BJ and I did not win, but if we had combined our cards her hand of four kings would have won! So much for integrity. 

The ride back also had a rousing sing-along with the group joining “Three Dog Night’s” version of “Never Been to Spain.” Yep, that was the wine singing, and not very well. 

The next day, BJ and I headed west to the coast to have lunch at the Pelican Brewery in Pacific City, a stop we have made a few times before. During a storm several years ago, I drove our Porsche out onto the beach for an iconic picture. Then it was off to Tillamook for another regular stop at the “Blue Heron French Cheese Factory.” I found it to be another beautiful day suited for a marionberry ice cream cone on their patio.

We stopped in Astoria to experience the vibe generated there by their extensive maritime history and “The Goonies” movie only recently viewed by us. 

That evening we searched for a tavern with a TV showing the Monday Night Football game with the Kansas City Chiefs playing their longtime bitter rival the Raiders, currently from Las Vegas but with an unstable history in Oakland and L.A. 

We found dinner, new friends, and a TV at the Astoria Brewing Company! When we were leaving, we also met Abby, a delightful young woman sitting alone but noting that we were KC fans. 

Originally from the St. Louis area, she is now living in Boise and was taking the scenic route to a conference in Seattle. We talked colleges, football, Missouri, and other common interests before departing to watch the second half of the game at the hotel. The Chiefs won by one.

Checking out of the hotel the next morning, I encountered Port Townsend locals Carla and Brad Main also checking out. We were all headed home after different trails in Oregon, most of which did not involve Lewis or Clark!

Love a curmudgeon and have a great week. 

(Ned Luce is a kindred spirit to America’s original back-seat drivers, Lewis and Clark [“Sacagawea, are you sure we should turn left? Maybe we should take a right instead.”]. Ned is a retired IBM executive and Port Ludlow resident; contact him at ned@ptleader.com.)