Central Oregon offers an escape from winter’s gloom with 300 days of clear skies and sunshine. Maupin – tucked on the banks of the Deschutes River, is a veritable playground of fishing, hiking, birding and general outdoor recreation. Here are some ideas for Maupin getaways – complete with key dates for some of the most popular events and recommendations on what not to miss!
Nearby Mt. Hood offers mushroom-lovers delight of interesting and delicious varieties to track down. There are as many as 267 mushrooms and fleshy fungus to be found throughout Oregon. Current reports for October show that Chanterelles are beginning to arrive, in addition to the so-called “Skeleton Mushroom” (Helvella lacunose). What are chanterelles and how do you identify them? MadAboutMushrooms.com is a gem of an Oregon mushroom resource.
The fast-moving, cold waters of the Deschutes have always been considered by fisherman as some of the very best fishing grounds for angling. The Deschutes is a technical river, with the occasional span of fast moving rapids weaving in between 1000-foot deep canyon walls – and fish have their favorite spots and can appear sparse if you don’t know where to look. Guided tours from experts in navigating the waters and finding the fishing spots is recommended. Anglers recommend fishing with floating lines from March through July and casting a fly-fishing line mid July through November.
Birds of many a different kind of feather, including chukar, pheasant and quail, may be found hiding the dense sage and juniper which line the banks of the Deschutes. Booking a guided trip will ensure that you know where to go and what is fair game in a bird hunt. September through October is open season for bird hunting although you will need to make sure you have the appropriate paper work completed.
Hiking along the Deschutes River
The banks of the Deschutes are often best explored on foot – where the intricate beauty of sage, juniper and basalt may be observed at leisure. There are looping hikes that trek upwards of rocky scrambles for those looking for a challenge, as well as flat, meandering paths. For those looking for a relaxing balance, imagine spending the day wandering under a bright sun, listening to the rushing river water on one side and the quiet still of the land on the other, before retiring to your lodge room to enjoy a glass of wine and a fine meal.
There are many kinds of beautiful birds to be found for those with the patience and binoculars to find them! Consult the Audubon Society’s full list to build your own birder’s checklist. September-March offers a chance to see blue herons and several kinds of hawks, with the opportunity to see an occasional Bald Eagle.
With its sandy, highly fertile soil and abundant sun: Central Oregon grows some fabulous wine. Imperial River Company does the footwork for you with its winemaker’s dinner, which features vintages from some of the area’s best vineyards. Imperial’s third and final Winemaker's Dinner for 2014 will feature the legendary Troon Vineyard. Troon hails from Southern Oregon's Applegate Valley. Enjoy their top-notch reds and taste a NW Vermentino for the first time. The dinner is November 15th so book soon because seating will be limited. For those who cannot make the dinner, Imperial also has a river-side wine bar featuring reds, whites and sparkling wines from all around.
Imperial River Company has been the home base, guide and retreat for those seeking some sun and fun. Its rustic charm includes private decorated rooms, sumptuous dinning fare and wine tasting, river-view rooms and always reliable, expert guides to take you out on the river or into the brush for any activity your heart desires.