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Brian's Photo Blog — Article 706
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Edgefield’s 106th Birthday
Saturday 24 February 2018   —   Category: Dining Out
On July 8, 2017, I spent the afternoon at McMenamins Edge­field — in Troutdale, Oregon, on the eastern edge of the Port­land metro area — to celebrate the property’s 106th birthday.

The previous year I explored Edgefield for a full 25 hours over two days — check out A McMenamins Edgefield Summer Sol­stice for an overview, and for links to the associated articles and photo albums. You can also check out a listing of all my Edge­field-​related articles and Edgefield photo albums.

Pictured to the right is the Power Station Pub and Power Station Theater, two of eleven locations for eating and drinking at Edgefield. In the background is a historic (built 1927) water tower which can be seen from all over the property.
 
When I arrived around 11:00 AM after a long drive from Albany, I was ready to eat. I browsed the numerous Edgefield menus online and then settled on the Black Rabbit Restaurant and Bar, which is the primary restaurant on the property.

I asked to sit outside, and was given the choice of the back porch or the courtyard patio. As you can see from the photo to the right, I chose a small table on the shady porch.
 
After consulting the tap list, I picked a pint of seasonal Jam Session ISA. According to the brewer:

“Summer is in full swing and its song plays the soundtrack to a beautiful season. In an inspired effort to add our instrument to the collaboration, we produced Jam Session ISA: a light, easy-drinking beer that embodies the spirit of summer. Being an India style, expect our quartet of hops to be the front man of this band, providing strong floral and pine riffs with a beat of citrus. A majority of the hops are added in late additions, which pro­vides full flavors and aromas without the bittering astringency. Whether you’re a hard-rockin’ IPA drinker or a classic golden ale fan, you’ll find the essence and song of the season in every pint.” Meas­ure­ments: 4.8% ABV • 26 IBU

My notes from that day read: “It is the last day of Jam Session being beer of the week during Oregon Craft Beer Month, so I decided to get it again, at the reduced price, even though I had first tried it only seven days ago, at which time I wrote that this beer was pretty good, a bit citrusy and hoppy but not too bad.”
 
I paired my beer with a photogenic an­ti­pas­ti plate. According to the menu, it consisted of “Levoni salami, artisanal cheeses, pickled vegetables, grainy mus­tard, toasted baguette.”

The veggies were pickled red onion, pickled cauliflower dyed with turmeric, and Castelvetrano (or similar) olives.
 
My notes from that day read: “The wait­er told me the two cheeses were an Oregon blue cheese and an Italian sheep cheese. The blue cheese was good, not too strong like some others. The Italian cheese was good too, a bit like a Gruyère in consistency but with a definite lovely sheep cheese taste — but two sides had a hard crust to cut off ... a waste! The very red salami was pretty spicy ... nice! All in all it was a VERY delicious plate!!! I need to make the cauliflower at home!”
 
After that truly scrumptious lunch I wan­dered around the property for a while. This photo shows just a small portion of one of the various gardens on Edge­field’s 74 acres.
 
Accompanying my walk was a pint of Ekuanot Single Hop Pale Ale which had I ordered at the Power Station Pub in a plastic cup so I could take it with me. According to the brewer:

“We brewed this single-hop pale ale to showcase Ekuanot hops in all their hoppy glory. These hops are a fairly new variety and you’ll notice hints of melon, orange, berry, pine and even fresh green pepper. We used most of these hops late in the boil and as dry hops in the fermenter, so while the aroma is all hops, hops, and more hops, the flavor is only mildly bitter. Enjoy!” Meas­ure­ments: 5.9% ABV • 38 IBU

My notes from that day read: “Not bad but not great ... the 38 IBU seems accurate ... not worth getting again, but good to try once.”
 
Eventually my wandering brought me to the front porch of the Edgefield Brew­ery, which faces the Loading Dock Grill courtyard, where Portland band Jawbone Flats was performing.




Here is a video I took of Jawbone Flats playing a song:
 
After a while I headed indoors. I’m not sure why, but when I was there for 25 hours in June 2016, I totally missed an entire wing of the hotel. It was probably because this wing is separate from all the rest of the hotel rooms. The only inside entrances are through the Black Rabbit restaurant and the Edgefield Winery Tasting Room.

The previous year I had spent quite a bit of time wandering the hallways of the hotel, taking pictures of the amazing artwork created by the McMenamins artists. For some reason the Edge­field rabbits (black or otherwise) hold a special place in my heart, but I took plenty of pictures of other artwork as well.
 
Because I had not been able to find this wing of the hotel last year, I also had been unable to find the library. Well, now I have! It is a very quiet, serene place, off the beaten track. A nice nook in which to read in peace and quiet.

After thoroughly exploring and pho­to­graph­ing the Winery Wing (it’s only one floor), I headed out to visit some of the other venues on the property.
 
My first stop was Jerry‘s Ice House — named in honor of the late Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia.

One of McMenamins smaller bars, I had photographed some of it last year, but there was one section that I had skipped because it had been full of people. This time it was empty, so I got my shot.
 
A stone’s throw from Jerry’s is the Edgefield Winery Tasting Room, under the above-​mentioned Winery Wing of the hotel.

The previous year I had enjoyed tasting red wine samples and eating chips and salsa. It had been such a pleasurable ex­pe­ri­ence that I partook again 13 months later, with samples of: My notes from that day read: “All these wines are good! I always especially like the Cuvée de l’Abri Rouge, but my favorite was the Syrah, although the Cabernet was excellent as well. It‘s hard to say which of the two was better ... well, I think I would lean towards the Syrah ... yep. Sounds like Johnny Cash on the stereo.”
 
After the wine tasting I went on another ramble, this time with a pint of Zapatron IPA which had I ordered at the Power Station Pub in a plastic cup so I could take it with me. According to the brewer:

“Here to zap your taste buds is our new IPA! Bright and bal­anced, this beer offers a tropical blast of flavors thanks to the Mosaic, Amarillo, Citra hops, along with the special HBC 342 Experimental Hops. Notes of pineapple, citrus, and berry play a role in the aroma and flavor profile that complement the light malt character. So sit back, get amped, plug in, stay current and enjoy!” Meas­ure­ments: 6.5% ABV • 49 IBU

My notes from that day read: “It is OK, but nothing special ... seems a bit hoppier than IBU 49 ... I would not get it again ... the Ekuanot [described above] was better.”
 
Among other things, McMenamins is known for their paint­ed orbs, found in various sizes at many of their locations.

This one is situated near the Garcia Bronze statue and the Edge­field Concerts Amphitheater. Next to the orb is the pint of Zap­a­tron I was sipping during my wanderings.
 
Next I ambled over to the nearby Fir Grove by the Little Red Shed bar, where visitors can hang out, eat, drink, talk and listen to live music.

Performing when this picture was taken were Lindsie Feathers and friends.
 
I got lucky and snagged one of the rare empty chairs in the Grove. Next time I will have to remember to bring my own seating.

So with most of my Zapatron still in hand I parked my rear and dazzled the crowd with my blindingly-white legs propped up on my photo backpack. I was simply doing my part to help keep Portland weird!

Actually, I would suspect that no one was looking at my chicken legs, or were even interested. Still, it’s fun to imagine!

I have seen a number of musical performers while at various McMenamins venues. My favorite act is Bigfoot Mojo, whom I first saw at a party at Grand Lodge.
 
Band members Belinda Underwood and Josiah Payne (pictured) were performing with special guest guitarist and singer Pete Kartsounes from 4:30 to 6:30. Dur­ing the entire time they were playing I shot 318 photos as well as 14 video clips which total nearly 19 minutes!



Here are the best two videos I took of Bigfoot Mojo’s performance:
 


Consider that all the videos that day were shot handheld with a regular photographic still camera (and not a dedicated video camera), and that I was standing the whole time, and that by the end my arms were feeling kind of weak, I think the videos turned out pretty good ... mostly because of the awesome stabilization capabilities of my Olympus OM-D E-M5.
During the break between sets I returned to the back porch of the Black Rabbit Restaurant for a killer Hogshead Whis­key bread pudding dessert — I was in hog heaven!

I really need to learn how to make this kind of stuff at home!
 
I mentioned above that I took 318 photos during the Bigfoot Mojo concert. All of them except the one above were like this one of Belinda to the right. She is so captivating to watch that I just couldn’t stop pressing the shutter button.

Of course, many of them were so similar that they were prac­ti­cal­ly duplicates. And many shots just weren’t that great. After eliminating all of those, I ended up with 36 pictures of Belinda which were worth sharing.

It took me a while to figure how exactly how to share them. I finally got the idea to make them into a slideshow video. For the soundtrack I used an audio excerpt from one of the videos.




Below is the resulting 55-​second video. It will look its best if you do the following:
 
  1. Reveal the controls by clicking on the video. This will also start playback, so be sure to immediately pause the video.
  2. Click on the Settings gear-icon on the bottom-​right of the YouTube player.
  3. Choose Quality from the menu, and then choose 1080p HD.
  4. Click on the square icon to the right to enter Full Screen mode.
  5. Click on the video to start playing it, then sit back and enjoy!
  6. NOTE: The video may still initially play at a lower quality, but will soon switch to HD.
 
Once the concert was over, it was time to head back home — about a one-​hour 45-​minute drive. But before I left I made sure to get the just-​for-​fun Passport stamp for Edgefield’s 106th birthday as part of my McMenamins Passport adventure.

Besides the 318 photos I took of Bigfoot Mojo, I also took 143 other pictures at Edge­field that day. The best 59 are now available for browsing in the new McMenamins Edgefield Birthday 2017 album.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, you can also check out a listing of all my Edgefield-​related articles and Edgefield photo albums.
For more tales about other locations, see My McMenamins Passport Adventure.
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 706
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Brian's Photo Blog — Article 706
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