Following the Umpqua

The Umpqua River rises just northwest of Crater Lake National Park. We followed this beautiful, whitewater stream as it tumbled down the west face of the Cascades, flowed through the sheep country of the lower foothills and then curved through Roseburg, the wine capital of Oregon.

Roseburg sits in the broad Umpqua Valley, with hilly terrain to its north and west, appropriately reminiscent of the Napa Valley in California. Golden grasslands and oak savannas cover these hills, which are home to a host of wineries. After visiting a few of these appealing facilities, we settled on the Melrose Winery for a picnic lunch, complete with a glass of Pinot Gris.

Beyond Roseburg, the Umpqua winds to the northwest, negotiates the Coast Range and enters the Pacific at Reedsport, which sits at the heart of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. There, we would cross the river once again, on our journey up the coast of this diverse and scenic State. To be continued!