I feel a bit like a celebrity when I check out of The Gordon Hotel, an art-centric modern property in downtown Eugene, Oregon, and make my way to my car. Everyone is staring, and for good reason: I’m driving a gray Polestar 1 coupe, which is seen in the wild nearly as infrequently as Oregon’s endangered gray wolf.
Today, my cousin and I are heading into the mountains, where a chill can strike even in summer, so we make a quick stop for activewear (Nike by Eugene) and sweaters (Pendleton Woolen Mills) at the 5th Street Public Market. Is “sporty lumberjack” a look? Apparently it is in the Pacific Northwest…
We keep our browsing to a minimum, though, as we have a two-hour climb through the Cascades ahead of us. Our destination, high in the mountains 120 miles to the southeast, is Crater Lake National Park. The lake that gives the park its name is sunk into a collapsed volcano top, and at 1,943 feet it’s the deepest one in the U.S. The brilliant blue water glistens like a Ceylon sapphire, and it’s hard to imagine that such a serene setting was the result of a violent eruption, followed by hundreds of years of the caldera filling with rain and snow. We circumnavigate the 33-mile Rim Drive, stopping here and there to peer down steep shale cliffs at the water—and to snap a few photos of my cousin for his dating profile.
I hand my cousin the keys for the next leg of the journey, because I’m eager to try some wine. Southern Oregon is home to around 150 producers, growing more than 70 varietals amid numerous microclimates. First on our list is Medford’s Dancin Vineyards, where we pair Barbera and Sangiovese with crisp pizzas and mushrooms stuffed with sausage. Then it’s on to Wooldridge Creek Winery, just south of Grants Pass; since this is the state’s first combined winery/creamery, we can’t help but order a platter of housemade cheese and charcuterie.
Our final destination is the quaint downtown of Ashland, which is best known for hosting the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. We didn’t snag tickets to a show this time, but we do a bit of shopping (Diana’s Records, Bloomsbury Books) on the nostalgia-inspiring Main Street before popping into Alchemy Restaurant and Bar for a dinner of steak tartare, harissa-seared scallops, and savory porcini flan.
It’s time to call it a night, and while there’s no turndown service at the Ashland Springs Hotel, I do have a stash of chocolate from Central Point’s Lillie Belle Farms for one final bite. The Bard wrote that parting is such sweet sorrow—but for tonight I’ll focus on the sweet part.
2021 Polestar 1
The halo car launching Volvo’s new luxury performance electric brand, the Polestar 1 combines Porsche power with Prius efficiency. The longest-range hybrid on the market, this grand touring coupe goes from zero to 60 mph in four seconds, and it’s capable of traveling 52 miles in pure electric mode on a single charge. Package all that in a sleek carbon-fiber body, and you have a vehicle that will undoubtedly attract attention—especially since there are only 1,500 of them in the world. What’s more, future Polestar models will be entirely electric, meaning this one will be a truly coveted collector’s item.
From $155,000, polestar.com
Next Up: The Ultimate Leaf-Peeping Road Trip Through the Berkshires