A McMenamins Edgefield Summer Solstice
Wednesday 26 October 2016 — Category: Outings
Last month I wrote about the first part of my grand, two-day outing for the 2016 summer solstice — see Portland Washington / Forest Parks Summer Solstice for all the details. But getting up at 3:00 AM, driving to Portland, and going on an early-morning, four-hour, 7.4-mile hike was only the beginning of my solstice celebration!
Once I arrived back at my truck at the Sunset Transit Center in Beaverton, I drove 22 miles east across the Portland metro area to the McMenamins Edgefield property in Troutdale, where I arrived around 11:30 AM.
The 74-acre crown-jewel resort of the McMenamins empire was originally the Multnomah County Poor Farm. Bought by McMenamins in 1990, it now boasts a hotel, winery, brewery, distillery, spa, movie theater, soaking pool, gardens, a concert amphitheater, two golf courses, two vineyards, and ten restaurants and bars — download their PDF Walking Guide Map. My goal was to experience and explore all this in 24 hours ... and I pretty much hit the target!
Visiting Edgefield was part of my McMenamins Passport adventure. Because it is their biggest property, it is the destination with the largest number of stamps to collect. In addition, there was a fair number of optional ‘experiences’ stamps to acquire which would, in sets of four, earn me $20 McMenamins gift cards.
During my first 12 hours there I enjoyed food and drink at seven of their restaurants and bars, went on tours of their distillery, brewery and winery, attended a concert while wine-tasting, saw a glassblowing demonstration, soaked in the pool, and took lots of pictures of the artwork, buildings, grounds, as well as all of my activities. The weather was a bit cloudy all day, which was not what I expected on the summer solstice, but at least it made for a spectacular sunset.
Even though I had gotten up at 3:00 that morning, I didn’t turn off the lights until 11:15 PM! The next morning I was up at 5:00 on one of the longest days of the year. Maybe it was to beat the crowd in the shared men’s bathroom down the hall, so I could have a shower in solitude. Or perhaps it was because I was so excited about another day of adventure at Edgefield. It was probably a combination of both.
Because of my late-evening eating and drinking, I didn’t feel like having breakfast right away. So even though the sky was overcast and gray, I went for a long walk all around the two golf courses, which cover much of Edgefield’s seventy-four acres. I also photographed the gardens, as well as the exterior of some of the buildings.
I eventually arrived at the Black Rabbit Restaurant for my first meal of the day, to enjoy a grilled salmon Eggs Benedict with roasted potatoes and a pot of black tea. After that delightful epicurean experience I wandered up and down the hallways of the hotel for more than an hour to take pictures of the abundant artwork which graces every available space. Although I took nearly 100 artwork photos, I don’t think I photographed even half of the total!
In addition to breakfast, I stopped at a handful of other locations on the property to get my Passport stamps, and refresh myself throughout the morning. I also collected enough ‘experiences’ stamps to earn myself two $20 gift cards, which lightened the cost of my revelry there by $40 ... nice! By 1:00 PM, 25½ hours after my arrival, my summer solstice celebration had finally fizzled, and I was ready for the 90-minute drive home.
Even though I experienced so much at Edgefield, there were a few events that I missed out on or declined. I don’t play golf. I didn’t watch a movie (or eat and drink) in their theater. There was not an outdoor concert while I was there. And the spendy massages and skin treatments at Ruby’s Spa & Salon are not my cup of tea.
Nevertheless, I had such a full time at Edgefield that my cup was definitely overflowing! I think that if you wanted to experience it all, you would need to spend more than one night there.
All in all I collected 19 stamps during my visit, earned those two gift cards, and received a McMenamins canvas tote bag worth $12 for completing the Edgefield pages in the Passport. To document my adventure, I took a total of 559 photos. The best of them — 281 images, almost exactly half — are available for viewing in four separate albums, listed below.
The next article in this series takes you on a tour of the nearly one-dozen locales on the Edgefield property where they serve food and /or drink, as well as the three locations where they make their various libations. However, the McMenamins Edgefield property is so vast and rich that a single article and album does not come close to telling the whole story. So be sure to continue the series with the three other albums and articles, which together give you the big picture of what I experienced on my two-day Edgefield 2016 summer solstice adventure: