Cracked Pots

Dateline: McMenamin’s Edgefield, Troutdale, OR. About 16 miles east of Portland.

I think this may be one of the funnest places I have ever stayed. McMenamin’s was built in 1911 as the Multanomah County poor farm. In the 1990’s, the McMenamin brothers bought the property and set about refurbishing the buildings and the grounds, exorcizing the bad juju, and creating a delightful European style hotel property. Every room has a mural and a story to go with, many have bathrooms “en suite,” there are inexpensive hostel rooms as well, plus, 37 acres of gardens, two or three tiny pubs (one seats about 6) a vineyard and a winery, distillery, art shows and live music and 3 restaurants.

Cracked Pots began 9 years ago as a showcase for recycled garden art. An ashtray has never looked so good! Amber, clear, and blue glass ashtrays have been reincarnated as garden ‘blossoms’ and birdbaths. Who woulda thunk it? Old wagon wheels and dinner forks have become 6 foot high teradactyls for the vegetable garden. A dozen shades of soylent green garden hoses have been reconfigured into dandy garden benches on which to rest your tired old bones after dallying among the dahlias. (OK, so all this art is making me feel as though I have artistic license here). And as you roam the grounds, have a hot dog or a hamburger or beef brisket and a brew. Or homemade pear brandy or Pinot, or Syrah. What a place!

The event is educational, the grounds inspirational, the show is free, and worth the trip….and I drove 7 hours to get here.

More later. And photos to boot!