My article Escape to the South Willamette Valley won the Bronze Award in the Illustrated Story Category at the North American Travel Journalists Association’s 29th Annual NATJA Awards Competition. This award has special meaning because it is my first award for my travel writing. In the past, I have won awards and Certificates of Excellence for my pet articles.
The article weaves its way through four south Willamette Valley cities; Corvallis, Eugene, Springfield, and Cottage Grove. Each town is different, but they all have a central mural theme. Each city explores art through its murals. This commonality ties each of these cities to the south Willamette Valley. They are also united by wine, as the South Willamette Valley has many wonderful wineries to explore.
Here is an excerpt from my article Escape to the South Willamette Valley:
The Willamette Valley spans 150 miles from Portland to Cottage Grove, with the Willamette River flowing along its entire length. Most people think of the Willamette Valley as the area between Salem and Portland, but this article will delve into the South Willamette Valley, which includes the cities of Corvallis, Eugene, Springfield, and Cottage Grove.
Recently visiting these cities, I noticed something that united them. Although in each town, the perception or execution is different, they all have a central mural theme. Each city explores art through its murals. They also have another aspect in common, wine. The Southern Willamette Valley has approximately 28 wineries to discover.
The area is perfect for a long weekend escape that tantalizes and rejuvenates all your senses. The Cascades are so close if you are a nature buff, you can explore the waterfalls, parks, and forests.