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By Matthew Hranek
It all started in a dark bar in Portland, Oregon, with a pear brandy so tasty, I had to meet its maker. A few days later, I toured the city’s Clear Creek Distillery with owner Stephen McCarthy, who showed me his special ingredient: a Bartlett pear grown in a region east of Portland known as the Fruit Loop. Intrigued, I decided to take a detour to my original destination -- the Deschutes River, where I was going fly-fishing -- and see the area for myself.
So began a weeklong road trip through a scenic landscape so varied that it can change within an hour from farmland to mountain to high desert.
The Metolius River, a tributary of the Deschutes River in central Oregon's Deschutes National Forest, is a prime spot for catching wild trout and Steelhead.
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Bins piled high with red Anjou pears at McCurdy's farm stand in the Fruit Loop region, about 60 miles outside Portland, Oregon.
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The elusive blue chanterelle found (and left to grow) on the pine-forest floor of the Deschutes National Forest.
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Fishing for Sport
Wild rainbow trout caught on the Deschutes River (trout fishing on the Deschutes is catch-and-release only).
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Berries hang heavy from the invasive juniper tree, which is loved by cooks and gin makers but despised by high-desert-plains ranchers because of the enormous volume of water its root system consumes.
Swipe here for next slide
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A roadside stand's sign advertising some of the local delights.
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Thrill of the Hunt
A handful of wild chanterelles found during a hunt with Ky Karnecki from Wild Mountain, a roadside produce stand near Sisters.
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The exit from the 1.6 million-acre Deschutes National Forest.
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At 620 feet, Multnomah Falls, in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area -- only 30 miles from Portland -- is the second-highest year-round waterfall in the United States.