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Winter Getaways

October 17, 2013

You won’t find any lights decorating the exterior of David and Shirley Bridgham’s Coos Bay home this December. That’s because the couple is far too burnt out from months of spreading holiday cheer throughout the decadent formal gardens of Shore Acres State Park for its annual Holiday Lights event.  

For 27 years, the couple has worked to transform the park into an illuminated wonderland. “We started with 6,000 little white lights,” Shirley Bridgham says. “And now we’re up to 300,000.” 

October 17, 2013

“For their anniversary I got my parents a room for a couple nights at the hotel in Prairie City,” my friend James told me last summer. I thought he was kidding. “Oh, so they are going to stay at the ‘Little Hotel on the Prairie’?” I joked.

October 17, 2013

The words “Kauai” and “cheap” are like two magnets. If you don’t line them up right, they repel each other, but if you pay attention to their polarities, they are very attractive.

October 17, 2012

Noises in the night. Beds shaking. Lights flickering. Rooms flooding. Strange Victorian women. This is not your average relax-by-the-fire-with-a-cup-of-cocoa-after-a-day-on-the-slopes kind of ski getaway. You’re going to need to bring more than your best long johns, hand warmers and whiskey to keep the chills away. You’ll need a flashlight and nerves of steel because this is a different type of trip — a trip down the mountain and into the unknown. Here are four Oregon ski spots where you can whoosh through powder by day and seek out the paranormal by night.

October 17, 2012

Well, the rainy weather and inevitable gloom has finally caught up with us, and there’s a good chance you now feel it’s appropriate to sit on your couch with a blanket and cocoa and never go outside again. I’ll let you in on a secret: We’re not bears, so start acting Oregonian and get the hell out of town already.

October 17, 2012

Mongolia is a distant, wild place. Visiting there, you can still feel the spirit of Genghis Khan, who ruled Mongolia in the 13th century and launched the Mongol Empire, which grew to become the largest contiguous empire in history. 

I traveled to Mongolia to find big fish that also reflect Khan’s spirit. Taimen (hucho hucho taimen) are the world’s largest salmonids. They grow to more than five feet long, and they hunt prey in packs. They are known as “river wolves” and they make short work of mice unlucky enough to fall into their waters.

October 17, 2012

First there was couch surfing, then thanks to the web and social media there was CouchSurfing.org, which let people all over the world find couches to crash on. Now savvy travelers looking for a unique and local place to stay in Eugene or across the planet can use Airbnb.com to find a room, studio or cottage for their vacation getaway.