Even though it was founded in the 1930s, the 43-acre Pat's Acres Racing Complex is still a crowd pleaser. Originally designed as a motorcycle racing course, the grounds were later re-built as a go-kart track. Thanks to the allure of its tree-shaded straightaways and tight, tire-squealing turns, the track has since hosted a slew of national championship kart races, including Superkarts! USA's National SKUSA ProMoto Tour. The track also sees pulse-pounding action on a normal day: drivers as young as 14 take spins in a fleet of rentals, which include Sodikart GT 5s. Each cart is equipped with a Honda 9-HP motor, which allows it 1.5 lateral Gs when cutting through tight corners, and the ability to reach speeds up to 60 mph when outrunning a flaming 18-wheeler. Pat's Acres Racing Complex also helps visitors improve their technique with lessons in track etiquette and kart maneuvers that include ample time on the track. Meanwhile, a full on-site paintball facility poses a different, colorful challenge to individuals and teams.
A refurbished relic of the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition, Portland's first and only "World's Fair," the Aurora State Bank building has gone on a hundred year journey to become the landmark it is today. Transported from Portland to Aurora in 1905, its vaults have played host to robberies, Hollywood productions, and dental cleanings. Though the bank's two original vaults remain, they now house racks that Pheasant Run Winery fills with their small-batch, locally sourced wines. Winemakers harvest their grapes from local and sustainable vineyard estates in Willamette Valley, Walla Walla, and Horse Heaven Hills and ferment them into New World-style wines. They cold-soak grapes in small bins to extract more color and flavor for their signature pinot noir and blend merlot, syrah, and cabernet grapes to create a rich red with notes of blackcurrant and plum and the power to unite feuding grape vines.
This grey brick building is also home to their tasting lounge. Guests walk through the original doors and across the original lobby tiles to savor glasses at tasting tables surrounded by dark wood-trimmed windows. Visitors can also find a rotating collection of prints, paintings, ceramics, and jewelry from local artists. The winery owners also connect to the community through their donations to local charities and non-profits.
Spread across 52 acres of varied pastureland, Rosse Posse Acres shepherds 70 head of elk on a working ranch with a vast natural habitat and plenty of orchard grass hay for meals. A guided tour takes guests through the ranch, beginning with an educational lecture in the barn where they can learn about antlers and the difference between a bull's and cow's ivory teeth. Tours then travel through the handling facility for a view of the hydraulic squeeze chute and handling pens before a stop in the pasture for a close-up look at the elk to see if their antlers are really made of marshmallows.
Though guests are not allowed to touch the elk, they can release their urge to pet at an on-site petting zoo, where smaller animals such as Fallow deer, pygmy goats, miniature donkeys, and a wallaby named Tucker are eager to make friends. In addition to ranch tours, Rosse Posse sells wapiti roasts, tenderloins, and strip steaks by the pound, when available. The meat is processed at Buxton Meat in Sandy, OR under USDA inspection.