The rich Willamette watershed in Oregon has been a location for people to gather for centuries. This dynamic landscape stretches a distance nearly 300 miles from its headwaters in the Cascade Mountains to the confluence with the Columbia River in North Portland. There is no shortage of explorations with wineries, universities, ghost towns, rafting, hiking, and even taking it easy.
Join me on various wanders through the pathways, streets, and back alleys as we explore some of the region’s more colorful stories. Mark leads these trips as a volunteer leader with a Eugene-based hiking club.
South Willamette Valley
Scholars & Scoundrels at the UO
The University of Oregon is a world-class center for education, science, and sports. Yet, hidden in plain sight, and within the surrounding community, are countless stories of daring scholars and desperate scoundrels. On our 1.5 hour walk, we will enjoy many of these duck tales. This is a discreet walk for a small group.
Walking Eugene’s Murals & Street Art
Eugene, Oregon, has become a center of urban murals and street art. Discovering such art often requires that visitors look into places they might otherwise overlook. Join the walk during the day or at twilight when shadows gather to create new works of art.
Eugene & Prohibition
Eugene, Oregon, once had as many saloons as it did churches. On our walk, we’ll locate some of these former locations, learn how Prohibition destroyed the beer and wine industry in Oregon, and discover the new Renaissance that has emerged.
North Willamette Valley & Coast
Walking Scandalous Portland
Portland, Oregon, is now home to swank eateries, posh coffee shops, and a lively urban scene, but at one time it was a wild seaport town with a lusty underworld where saloons numbered 1 for every 40 people!
Many people often think of San Francisco being the wild-west hotbed of frontier injustice, but Portland might have been worse. For decades, weathered sea captains swaggered into Portland’s underworld and bartered in blood money for shanghaied recruits. Saloon grifters preyed on freshly arrived tenderfoots from the east. Rotgut whiskey flowed freely, bordellos floated on the Willamette, votes could be bought for a pint of beer, murder was common, and corruption was a way of life.
We will uncover some of these stories while walking through modern Portland.
Oregon’s Maritime Story: Shipwrecks, Lighthouses, & Wildlife
On this coastal journey along Northern Oregon’s majestic coast, travel in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark as you learn about their final stop before setting out for their journey back to the east. Explore the region’s maritime history at museums and lighthouses, and learn about local marine life and habitats at marine centers and aquariums. Along the way, you’ll have free time to explore the quaint and creative coastal towns, get to know the city of Portland, and take long walks on the beach to see the sunset over the Pacific.