Travel Oregon, Oregon's tourism board, invited me to explore beautiful Central Oregon for their fall culinary campaign. I didn't grow up in Oregon, so I never got to explore very much of this state until I moved to Portland a few years ago. Even then, I've only really spent time on the west side of the state. I was definitely excited about this job.
As a part of this campaign, I spent time in three cities: Maupin, Bend and Sisters. I ate at the best restaurants, stayed at the nicest hotels and met the most inspiring people. I loved documenting the whole experience through photography and stories.
I can't tell you how many times I pulled off to the side of the road to shoot photos while driving between these beautiful cities. Sure, Central Oregon is full of beautiful destinations, but I think the journey in between destinations is just as special.
"Last night as I was leaving Smith Rock State Park I saw this classic old building sitting on its own, just outside the park entrance.
I pulled off to see what it was, only to remember that a friend told me this is -the- must visit ice cream shop in all of Central Oregon.
From what I could tell, this shop is also the home of the owner. I approached the front door where I saw a sign. "WE ARE OPEN! PLEASE ring the bell and PLEASE allow one minute for us to arrive." So I rang the doorbell and nearly a minute later an older gentleman with a long gray mullet came to the window next to the door with a subtle smile.
He explained to me that the only ice cream they had that day was Wild Huckleberry, but that it was their best-selling and most famous flavor, 41 years in a row.
I told him I'd take two scoops and handed him a two dollar bill.
Best. Ice Cream. Ever."