Bored? Visit a tourist trap!

Ah, spring break…when undergrads of all races and creeds converge in sexy vacation spots to blow their trust funds one drink at a time. Where girls with low self-esteem expose themselves to drunken frat guys, where money is no object and any spot on earth is open for you to explore.

Ah, spring break…when undergrads of all races and creeds converge in sexy vacation spots to blow their trust funds one drink at a time. Where girls with low self-esteem expose themselves to drunken frat guys, where money is no object and any spot on earth is open for you to explore.

But most of us will be stuck in good ol’ Oregon for spring break with no money and no tropical coconut drinks with umbrellas to sip.

Fear not though–there are plenty of odd, strange adventures to be had in Oregon if you know where to look. Get out those flip-flops, fanny packs and disposable cameras and hit the hot Oregon tourism scene this spring break.

The Oregon Vortex4303 Sardine Creek L Fork Rd.Gold Hill, OR 97525-9732541-855-1543

The Oregon Vortex is where reality bends before your eye. Maybe you’ve heard of this self-described “world famous” mystery spot located in the mining town of Gold Hill, or maybe you’re new to Oregon and don’t know the magic of the Vortex.

“A spherical field of force, half above the ground and half below the ground” that alters perception causing tall people to appear short and balls to roll up inclines. How could all this be possible?

You’ll be amazed at the bending of reality seen before you. I won’t ruin the mystery for you by saying if it’s all real or not (it’s not), but it’s definitely an experience if you are not completely skeptical. If you are, dig up all scientific explanations debunking the “mystery” about the Vortex and leave them lying around for others to find, therefore ensuring their fun will be lost. Yay!

Hours: Daily — 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Cost: Under 5 — Free 6 to 11 — $6.75 12 and Over — $8.75

World’s Largest Hairball (maybe)Mt. Angel Abbey and SeminaryOne Abbey Drive St. Benedict, OR 97373 503-845-3030

Once upon a time, a 300-pound hog liked to lick his hairy skin until the day he was slaughtered in a meat-processing plant. Then, one lucky factory worker found a treasure deep within the hogs belly…a 2.5-pound hairball.

This hairball is proudly on display in a monastery’s museum along with numerous disfigured calves and other oddities of nature.

One note: There seems to be two competing “World’s Largest Hairballs”: our local one and another in East Lansing, MI. Looks like we need a good old-fashioned “hairball off.” Until then, Oregonians might have to come to terms with the fact that their proudly displayed giant hairball might be the second best giant hairball.

Hours:Weekdays — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.Cost:Free

Bigfoot TrapRogue River-Siskiyou National Forest 333 West 8th StreetMedford, OR 97501541-858-2200

A one-of-a-kind trap designed to catch the elusive (read: not real) Bigfoot rests in the hills of Southern Oregon. The now defunct North American Wildlife Research firm created the trap in 1974 to try and catch Bigfoot in the height of the monster craze.

It caught bears instead. Over time the trap deteriorated and the United States Forest rebuilt the trap as an Oregon landmark. If odd Oregon history interests you, then Bigfoot lore is right up your ally.

The trap is a reinforced 10-by-10-foot wooden cage that holds deer carcasses and other sacrifices to the mighty Sasquatch that hang, awaiting its arrival.

The trap is not currently operational so don’t worry about getting shot by any jealous Bigfoot hunter, unless that’s what you were looking forward to.


Enchanted Forest8462 Enchanted WaySalem, OR503-363-3060

If theme parks are your scene, you could either drive 18 hours to Disneyland or just one hour to visit Enchanted Forest. Enchanted Forest is like Disneyland, but instead of high tech you get homemade.

Plastic gnomes replace Mickey and Goofy, and the Electric Light Parade is replaced by a Fantasy Fountain water-light show.

Enchanted Forest uses a storybook motif, and most attractions are based on children’s books, such as Alice in Wonderland or the nursery rhyme “There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe.”

Most of the attractions are for small children, but there is plenty of excitement for college-aged adventurers. The park is full of strange underground tunnels and passageways that seem to never end. The family that runs the theme park makes most of the rides, which adds a quirky subtext to the attractions.

The newest attraction, the “Challenge of Mondor” sends riders “on a quest through forests, caves and castles to save the happy little Drumlins.” If Enchanted Forest doesn’t sound up your ally, you can always get stoned and look for gnomes. (The Vanguard does not endorse drug use.)


Daily — 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. during Spring Break, March 15-31.

Cost: Adults — $8.95, Seniors — $8.50Children — 3-12 $7.95

Good Riddance Rajneesh Mini-Memorial45404 Main StreetAntelope, OR541-489-3257

Did you know Oregon was the home of a cult, the Rajneesh? Well now you do and you can visit the ex-site of it right here in Oregon.

In the early 1980s, Rajneesh bought thousands of acres of land near Antelope, OR and dubbed it Rancho Rajneesh. The Rajneesh were thousands of red-robed cultists who unsuccessfully tried to take over Antelope by poisoning the townspeople with salmonella and bussing in homeless people to vote in the local elections. The leader eventually disappeared, and the “utopia” fell.

For fun, don all red and enter the town asking, “Where are my Rajneesh brothers and sisters?” and look for the reactions from the locals. (Don’t do that either.)

After the cult disbanded, the Rancho Rajneesh was bought by a Christian youth group. From one cult to another.

Hours:All HoursCost:Free