Day Four: Pendleton, Oregon to Cascade Locks, Oregon

June 29 2010 by Jason Fogelson
Comments (2)

OregonDayFour1.jpgNever take a beautiful day for granted. I finally got one, from start to finish today. Temperatures ranging from the low 60s up to the low 80s, clear skies and a light breeze. Perfect motorcycling weather.

I wolfed down a quick breakfast at the Best Western Pendleton Inn, loaded up the Electra Glide and checked out of the hotel. Did I need those biscuits and gravy? Well, at least I skipped the waffles this time.

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Giant Indian Heads Stand Guard Across the Land

June 28 2010 by Sam Lowe

img742.jpgWAIALUA, Hawaii -Between the palm trees and a patch of bare land on Oahu, on the north shore of Hawaii's most populous island, there stands a huge wooden carving of the head of an Indian. He is weathered and stoic, having survived the plentiful rains and ample sunshine that beat steadily down upon his countenance. He is also the last of his kind.

The carving is the final giant head sculpted by Peter Wolf Toth, a Hungarian immigrant who became interested in the plight of the Indian while studying American history prior to becoming a citizen of the United States. He considered their early treatment by settlers and the federal government inhumane, so in 1972, he set out to make a statement of protest. He called it "the Trail of the Whispering Giants," and his goal was to carve and leave one of his massive sculptures in every state.

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Day Three: John Day, Oregon to Pendleton, Oregon

June 28 2010 by Jason Fogelson

OregonDayThree01.jpgAccording to everyone I talk to, I've hit unseasonable weather during this trip to Eastern Oregon. What that means is, more rain today.

When I woke up this morning, the rain was falling so heavily that it obscured the view out of my window at the Best Western John Day Inn. I went to the breakfast room for a cup of coffee to consider my options. The fresh hot coffee went down well with a bowl of cereal and a muffin, and I began to feel better about my day right away. Nothing like a free breakfast to lighten your mood.

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NASCAR - Predict and Win!

June 28 2010 by BW Innsider
Comments (28)

Who's Gonna Win.jpg

It's been back-to-back wins for the last three NASCAR drivers in the Sprint Cup. Whose turn is it to win this weekend? If you think you know, leave your guess in the comments below and you could win a large die cast car signed by Michael Waltrip!

*Entries must be in before the start of the race on 07/03, and winner will be announced on 07/06.

Don't forget to check back before every race to play Who's Gonna Win!

Follow Us on Twitter I Become a Facebook Fan

Limit only one entry per person. Must be 18 years of age or older and a resident of the US or Canada to be eligible to win. Winner will be randomly selected from all correct answers posted in the comments below.

Day Two: Sisters, Oregon to John Day, Oregon

June 25 2010 by Jason Fogelson

OregonDayTwo1.jpgBright rays of sunshine and clear blue skies greeted me when I awoke this morning at the Best Western Ponderosa Lodge. I packed up my gear quickly, and headed for the breakfast room for a quick bite and a cup of hot coffee. And of course I had to make one last visit to my friends the llamas with a bowl of llama treats. General Manager Paul Haggerty greeted me to talk about the Sisters area, and I made him tell me all about the llamas. They live on about 4 acres of the 14-acre property. Several of the animals were actually born and raised right on site. The Lodge has even taken in an abused llama, and nursed him back to health. The herd has slowly accepted the new guy, though he is low man on the totem pole for now. The llamas have a big mound of dirt in their enclosure, and Haggerty told me that they often play "King of the Hill" on it, having great fun pushing each other off of the high point. I'll have to return to see that.

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Days 5 and 6: Portland

June 25 2010 by Amy Graff

On days 5 and 6 of our I-5 road trip, we spend two nights in Portland. We have family and friends in the area so a lot of our time is spent with them, but we still get out and explore the city--even though it's raining most of the time. Here are the highlights:

oregon-zoo.jpg1) $2 Tuesday, Oregon Zoo
On the second Tuesday of the month, the Oregon Zoo charges only $2 admission for kids and adults. Perfect for our budget!

But you get what you pay for...

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Redeeming Points for Summer Trips

June 24 2010 by Chris McGinnis

iStock_000012083792XSmall.jpgWe recently completed an early summer survey of the Best Western Diamond 100 advisory board (BWD100) in which we asked how travel routines change during summer compared to other times of the year.

Here's a sampling of the hundreds of write-in answers provided by our peripatetic group:

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Day One: Bend, Oregon to Sisters, Oregon

June 23 2010 by Jason Fogelson

OregonDayOne1.jpgOkay, that's a little bit of a cheat. Bend and Sisters, Oregon are only about 20 miles apart. But I flew in to Redmond Field Airport today to begin my motorcycle tour around eastern Oregon. Rather than riding off into the distance, I stayed around Bend for the day.

Bend, Oregon was incorporated in 1905, and spent most of the 20th century as a logging town. Something happened in the 1990s. Logging died out, and Bend was discovered by a whole new group of people. Blessed with a mild climate and easy proximity to great skiing, fishing, camping, hiking and rock climbing, Bend became a magnet for a dual-pronged influx of young outdoorsy folk, along with refugees from the California real estate market.

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Day 4: Rogue River to Salem

June 23 2010 by Amy Graff

We spent a lovely day driving through Oregon, covering over 200 miles. Here are a few of the highlights.

oregon-vortex.jpg1) Oregon Vortex, Gold Hill
If you've driven I-5 through Oregon then you've seen the signs for the Vortex and House of Mystery. But have you ever stopped?

We did.

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Day 3: Redding to Rogue River

June 22 2010 by Amy Graff

We covered another 200 miles on Sunday, and I felt as if we zipped by many great stops: Castle Crags, Burney Falls, McCloud. We should have stayed a night in Shasta before continuing onto Oregon but our plan to meet grandparents in Portland and cousins in Seattle didn't allow us to dally. No matter, we found a few sweet spots.

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Bound for Bend

June 21 2010 by Jason Fogelson
Comments (1)

It's time for another motorcycle trip -- finally! It's been months since I've done any significant motorcycle travel, and I'm raring to go. I'm heading to Oregon, where I'll explore the central and northeastern corner of the state.

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Day 2: Sacramento to Redding

June 21 2010 by Amy Graff

On day 2 of our trip we covered 170 miles, traveling from Sacramento to Redding. Many would argue that this is one of the most boring stretches of I-5 but we found plenty to do. Here are six highlights from our day:

california-rr-museum1.jpg1) California State Railroad Museum, Sacramento.

We started our day at this museum in Old Town. We took our kids here about two years ago, when my son was 3 years old and obsessed with Thomas the Train. Now that my kids are older, ages 5 and 7, they're actually interested in the stories behind the dozens of trains housed here.

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NASCAR - Who's Gonna Win?

June 21 2010 by BW Innsider
Comments (43)

Who's Gonna Win.jpg

You've got another chance at winning by correctly predicting the winner of this weekend's race at Loudon. Test your skills at predicting NASCAR's next winner. Leave your guess and if you're right, you will have a chance to win a hat signed by Michael Waltrip!
*Entries must be in before the start of the race on 06/27, and winner will be announced on 06/28.

Don't forget to check back before every race to play Who's Gonna Win!

Follow Us on Twitter I Become a Facebook Fan

Limit only one entry per person. Must be 18 years of age or older and a resident of the US or Canada to be eligible to win. Winner will be randomly selected from all correct answers posted in the comments below.


A Big Twin History

June 19 2010 by Jason Fogelson

iStock_000001501612XSmall.jpgA few weeks ago, we explored the history of the Harley-Davidson Sportster. Now, it's time to dive into the deep end. We're going to explore the Big Twin.

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High-Flying Loonie Means You Need to Act Now!

June 18 2010 by Bryson Forbes

high-flying-money.jpgLet's face it; in general we Canadians are a pretty frugal bunch! We're always looking to get the best possible deal. People regularly ask me when the best time is to book travel in order to get the best deal; it's always a difficult question to answer with so many variables to consider--including those unpredictable things like volcanic ash!

Today, though, my crystal ball seems about as clear as it's ever going to be. I'm convinced that if you're planning a trip in the next six months, especially internationally, you'd be well served to book and pay for it now.

Three major factors support my prediction:

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Summer Plans for Best Western's Best Customers

June 18 2010 by Chris McGinnis

guest-registration.jpgWe've just completed another survey of the Best Western Diamond 100 advisory board (or The BWD100) regarding their thoughts and plans for summer travel this year.

When the super-frequent travelers in this group talk, Best Western listens closely-- it's made up of nearly 400 Best Western Rewards member who have spent more than 250 nights with the chain in the last five years.

Here's what they have on tap for this summer:

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Redeeming Points for Summer Trips

June 17 2010 by Chris McGinnis

summer-vacation.jpgWe recently completed another survey of the Best Western Diamond 100 advisory board (BWD100) in which we asked about plans to redeem loyalty points for summer travel.

When the super-frequent travelers in this group talk, Best Western listens closely--- it's made up of nearly 400 Best Western Rewards member who have spent more than 250 nights with the chain in the last five years.

Two things jumped out to me as surprising findings:

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Day 1: San Francisco to Sacramento

June 17 2010 by Amy Graff
Comments (1)

There's something about the weather that ev'rybody loves. They call it the Indian spring of Sacramento. And when the sun is up in the sky The wind is blowing by the riverside most ev'ry day. You're in Sacramento, a wonderful town. Sing, sing, sing, din-di-din.
--"Sacramento," Middle of the Road

Why is it that you always end up leaving for a road trip several hours later than planned?

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Summer Road Trip 2010: San Francisco to Seattle.

June 16 2010 by Amy Graff
Comments (1)

griswolds-june2010.jpgThe Griswolds are on the road again!

Well, not quite. It's just my family piling into the car for yet another summer road trip. Yet while my husband isn't anything like Clark and would never crash the car through closed road barriers and sail us all through the air (we hope), there will certainly be some laughs on our trip with a 5- and 7-year-old riding in the backseat.

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London Summer Calendar

June 15 2010 by Claudia Kunkel

hampton-court-palace.jpgFor those of us lucky enough to get past the ever threatening cloud of volcanic ash and the British Airways strike, there is a lot to look forward to in London this summer.

My personal favorite is the Hampton Court Palace Festival in June. Picture a picnic in the Palace Gardens followed by an open air concert in the Palace courtyard. Nine big name artists perform during the 10 day festival and, as of this writing, there are still openings for the likes of Michael Bolton and classical British favorite, Katherine Jenkins, just to name a few.

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Guess Correctly for a Chance to Win!

June 14 2010 by BW Innsider
Comments (47)

Who's Gonna Win.jpg

Calling all psychics! NASCAR's next race moves across the country from Michigan to Sonoma, CA. Your task is to correctly predict the winner of this weekend's race and if you guess right, you will be entered into a drawing to win a clear tote bag signed by Michael Waltrip! Leave your prediction in the comment section below for a chance to win!

*Entries must be in before the start of the race on 06/20, and winner will be announced on 06/21.

Don't forget to check back before every race to play Who's Gonna Win!

Follow Us on Twitter I Become a Facebook Fan

Limit only one entry per person. Must be 18 years of age or older and a resident of the US or Canada to be eligible to win. Winner will be randomly selected from all correct answers posted in the comments below.

Things I Don't Like to Pay For

June 14 2010 by Bryson Forbes
Comments (2)

extra-fee.jpgHave you ever stopped dead in your tracks because you realize you're becoming more like your parents? Well, it's happening to me and yes it's a bit scary. Don't get me wrong, I love my folks and they are wonderful people...but it still scares me.

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High Hopes for BWR After the First 13 Races

June 11 2010 by Mark Deyer

BWR.jpgBest Western sponsored NASCAR driver, David Reutimann had high hopes for himself and the #00 team in 2010. In 2009, Reutimann saw many career firsts. He picked up a career high ten Top-10 finishes and was even able to squeak out his first ever trip to victory lane in a rain-soaked Charlotte Motor Speedway. Confidence was riding high at the close of the 2009 season, but it's been a mixed bag for the #00 early in 2010.

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All About Saddlebags

June 10 2010 by Jason Fogelson
Comments (1)

saddle-bag.jpgOne of the big issues for motorcycle travelers is cargo. What do you bring, and what do you leave home? And, even more importantly, if you're going to bring it with you, where are you going to put it?

For many of us, the best solution to cargo hauling on a bike is a pair of saddlebags.

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The Storied Bridges of Madison County

June 9 2010 by Claudia Kunkel

storied-bridges-of-madison-cty.jpgIt's hard to have an appreciation for history when you're a kid. Sundays were always a day of rest for my family which always translated into all of us piling into the backseat of the family car and taking a "Sunday drive". Most of that time was spent with my head buried in a book and barely glancing out the window until we pulled back into our driveway at the end of the day. I'm pretty sure we covered every square inch of Iowa during those drives. Looking back, I wish I had looked out the window more than I did.

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Don't Forget to Sign Your Kids Up for Frequent-Flier Programs

June 8 2010 by Amy Graff

frequent-flyer-miles.jpgIt's a huge mistake so many parents make--they sign themselves up for the airline frequent flier program but they never take the time to fill out the forms for their kids.

Yes, it's a hassle, but you should take the time because you don't want to throw miles out the window.

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Who's Gonna Win?!

June 8 2010 by BW Innsider
Comments (66)

Who's Gonna Win.jpg

You've got another chance to win a FREE $25 Best Western Travel Card in this week's edition of "Who's Gonna Win."

Take a guess at who you think the winner of this weekend's NASCAR race at Michigan International Speedway will be, and you will have a chance at winning! Leave your guess below for your shot at the $25 travel card!

*Entries must be in before the start of the race on 06/13, and winner will be announced on 06/14.

Don't forget to check back before every race to play Who's Gonna Win!

Follow Us on Twitter I Become a Facebook Fan

Limit only one entry per person. Must be 18 years of age or older and a resident of the US or Canada to be eligible to win. Winner will be randomly selected from all correct answers posted in the comments below.

Wisconsin Dells = Family Fun

June 8 2010 by Bridget Daly
Comments (1)

wisconsin-dells.jpgAs a child, I can remember going to the Wisconsin Dells for summer vacation and decided it would be worth investigating as a vacation spot for my family. I was amazed to find that it has evolved into the "Waterpark Capital of the World" and the list of FUN family activities is endless.

With a nod to nostalgia, I wanted to make sure we took in the Dells "classics" and that starts with a river tour of the Wisconsin River. This river has unique sandstone formations along the banks, hidden grottos and hemlock trees clinging to the cliffs. It was discovered over 150 years ago and continues to be a big draw to the region. You can tour the river in amphibious vehicles called "Ducks", as well as, on the paddle wheel riverboat or on a jet boat. However you get there, be sure to look for the swallows nest built into the bluffs.

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Top 10 Steps To Plan the Perfect Summer Road Trip

June 7 2010 by Bryson Forbes

summer-road-trip.jpgNow that the May 2 - 4 weekend is behind us, my family is ready to plan our summer road trip. As you also think about your summer travel plans, consider the following 10 steps to ensure you get the most out of your family vacation this year.

10 - Plan now. Industry experts agree that last-minute deals are not going to be as abundant this year as they were last. If you want to save costs, start planning and book now.

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Summer Music Festivals (Bonnaroo & Telluride Bluegrass Festival)

June 4 2010 by Bridget Daly
Comments (2)

bonnaroo.jpgWhere can you catch performances by Stevie Wonder, Dave Matthews Band, Conan O'Brien, Jay-Z, John Fogerty, Weezer and Norah Jones all in one place? Yep, you guessed it. Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival happening June 10-13. Bonnaroo has taken over in the past decade as the king of all music and arts festivals featuring attractions like comedy shows, a movie tent, yoga classes, art, environmental talks and education, and of course, music genre diversity like folk, punk, rock, soul, rap....you name it.

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Ride the ALCAN Highway

June 4 2010 by Jason Fogelson
Comments (1)

I've got plenty of dream rides on my agenda. One that I'm sure I'll get to soon is to ride the ALCAN Highway.

The Alaska-Canada (ALCAN) Highway was constructed in the 1940s, and ever since then, it has represented a significant challenge to long distance motorcyclists. Though it is open year-round, the wise biker will not attempt to travel the length of the ALCAN Highway in any season other than summer. You may be able to make it from the southern end of the route in Dawson Creek, British Columbia to the northern end near Delta Junction, Alaska, but the trip is sure to be challenging in ways that will not be rewarding.

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Road Trippin' Tips

June 3 2010 by Chris McGinnis

road-trippin-tips.jpgWith airlines and airports expected to be packed over the next few months, it may be the right time to consider taking to the highway instead of the skyway for summer travel plans.

I expect airline flights will be close to 100 percent full and airfares are up nearly 20 percent over last year according to Bing Travel. The good news is that gasoline prices are expected to remain right around $3 per gallon, so there's even more reason to stay grounded this summer.

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Canada Travel Experts are Optimistic

June 2 2010 by Bryson Forbes

travel-optimism.jpgRecently, Best Western orchestrated their annual Leisure Travel Summit at the University Club in Toronto. The event brought together leading executives from the travel industry to discuss the state of affairs regarding the Canadian leisure travel market.

Participating this year were Chris Jones from TIAC, Alison Hermansen from CAA and Dorothy Dowling from Best Western. Chris Robinson, the famous Canadian travel radio personality, moderated the discussion.

The panel covered many topics, but three key topics took centre stage:

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15 Places Every Kid Should See

June 2 2010 by Amy Graff

ellis-island.jpgBudget Travel magazine has put together a list of 15 places all kids should see. This list is a great resource as you plan your summer travels.

You'll find an excerpt below and can find the full story by clicking here.
1) Ellis Island Museum, New York City: About 40 percent of Americans are descended from someone who immigrated through this station. Visiting is a powerful experience, thanks to the smartly curated exhibits--and you get a terrific view of the Statue of Liberty on the same ferry ride (ellisisland.org, free guided tours, audio tours $8).

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The Hamptons

June 1 2010 by Karla Henriquez
Comments (4)

the-hamptons.jpgThere's a reason people are willing to sit in horrific traffic to reach the far eastern end of Long Island - it has beautiful beaches, picturesque towns, and world-class shopping, dining, and nightlife. Somehow the Hamptons manage to be both charmingly quaint and extraordinarily sophisticated.

If you've watched enough television, you've caught glimpses of life out there - manicured lawns, posh boutiques, privacy hedges, perfectly groomed people. The whole place may seem inaccessible and even uninteresting to anyone who doesn't have a hefty trust fund or a seven-figure annual income. That is not the case! This is a part of New York you do not want to miss.

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NASCAR - Guess and Win!

June 1 2010 by BW Innsider
Comments (38)

Who's Gonna Win.jpg

You've got another chance at winning by correctly predicting the winner of this weekend's race at Loudon. Test your skills at predicting NASCAR's next winner. Leave your guess and if you're right, you will have a chance to win a hat signed by Michael Waltrip!
*Entries must be in before the start of the race on 06/27, and winner will be announced on 06/28.

Don't forget to check back before every race to play Who's Gonna Win!

Follow Us on Twitter I Become a Facebook Fan

Limit only one entry per person. Must be 18 years of age or older and a resident of the US or Canada to be eligible to win. Winner will be randomly selected from all correct answers posted in the comments below.