Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ski at Mt. Hood

photo by: Terry Richard/The Oregonian
Some Ski Resorts do not have enough snow to operate their ski lifts, so where can you go to get some snow? Mt. Hood Meadows and Timberline Lodge have enough snow to operate their ski lifts, so come get some of the fun on the mountain. Read more details below.
Oregon’s winter sports season is dealing with a paltry supply of snow this Christmas holiday, but the state’s four highest-elevation resorts are open and have some good skiing. Resorts operating ski lifts in Oregon are Mt. Hood Meadows and Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood, Mt. Bachelor in central Oregon and Anthony Lakes in northeastern Oregon. Hoodoo, Willamette Pass and Mt. Ashland don’t have enough snow to open ski lifts. Mt. Hood Skibowl is limited to operating its tubing park and a beginner rope tows by using snow it makes.
SRC: http://www.oregonlive.com/travel/index.ssf/2013/12/mt_hood_meadows_keeps_skiers_h.html

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Monday, December 30, 2013

Memaloose Eagle Outing

Photo by Adam Lapierre.

Check out this Gorge Community Foundation Benefit, with eagle expert Tim Pitz. There will be periodic bird walks, wine tasting, and fine cheeses. Read more about this event below.

This benefit for Gorge Community Foundation happens Jan. 1, 9:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Memaloose Tasting Room, Highway 14, Lyle, Wash. Visiting eagle expert Tim Pitz will be on hand and there will spotting scopes to look for birds. A $10 donation is requested. For details call 360-635-2887.
SRC: http://www.hoodrivernews.com/news/2013/dec/28/bird-count-guided-hikes-eagle-watching-join-new-ye/

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Saturday, December 28, 2013

New Year's Eve Music Events


Looking for a good time for New Year's Eve? Check out Troutdale's Edgefield for some entertainment, beer and wine. Details listed below.
New Year’s Eve at Edgefield: Music by Sassparilla and Will West & the Friendly Strangers. 9 p.m. Tue, Dec. 31. McMenamins Edgefield, 2126 S.W. Halsey St., Troutdale; free; www.mcmenamins.com or 503-669-8610
SRC: http://www.oregonlive.com/music/index.ssf/2013/12/new_years_eve_music_events_som.html

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Friday, December 27, 2013

Sasquatch Revealed



Interested in Sasquatch? The Columbia Gorge Discovery Center will be full of Big Foot enthusiusts, Saturday December 28th 2013. Dinner sold out but the exhibit will be on display through Febuary 23rd 2014. Read more about this event below.
Columbia Gorge Discovery Center presents “Sasquatch Revealed,” a new exhibit opening Saturday, Dec. 28. An evening dinner presentation is sold out, but an afternoon presentation at 3 p.m. has been added to the schedule for those who still wish to hear Dr. Jeff Meldrum, Chris Murphy and Thomas Steenburg. Cost is $15 for non-members, and $10 for members. Space is limited. 
This exhibit draws from all the available scientific research and evidence compiled to date on the hominoid known as Sasquatch, or Bigfoot. The display, curated by Christopher Murphy of Vancouver, British Columbia, will be at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center through Feb. 23. Explore audio segments, view a gallery of footprint and handprint casts, reports of sightings in Wasco County and United States, newspaper reports, comparative skulls, and artist renditions.
SRC:http://www.thedalleschronicle.com/news/2013/dec/26/sasquatch-revealed-opens-dec-28/

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Thursday, December 26, 2013

First Day Hikes offered on New Year’s Day


How do you spend your New Year's Day? If you enjoy hiking you may want to take adantage of a free guided tour in your area. This year will include Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail in Mosier. Read more about these guided tours below.
For the third year in a row, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is partnering with America’s State Parks to offer free guided First Day Hikes in state parks across Oregon on New Year’s Day.Eastern Columbia Gorge hikes include one at Cottonwood Canyon State Park in Sherman County and another at the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail in Mosier.
Take in views of the Columbia River Gorge and learn about its history and geology. Look for eagles, osprey, hawks and deer. Be prepared for possible icy conditions.The hike is from 10:30 a.m. to noon starting at the Mark O. Hatfield East Trailhead on Rock Creek Road in Mosier. Terrain is a paved, relatively flat surface with a 500-foot elevation change over two miles.

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thunder Island Brewing Company


Thunder Island Brewing Company recently opened their doors in the city of Cascade Locks. The brewery is located in an old port building in picturesque Marine Park. There are a number of large picnic tables outside, with an unobstructed view of the Columbia River, the Cascade Locks, the Bridge of the Gods, and Washington State on the opposite bank.

To me, Thunder Island Brewing Company represents what craft brewing is all about: People with a passion for fine beer, learning the craft and then sharing the awesome results with their neighbors. It's fun and exciting to see these folks getting their brewery off the ground and their doors open.

 SRC: Beer Guy PDX

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Columbia River Gorge - Crown Jewel


Columbia River Gorge - Crown Jewel 
Trip Report:
Ice climbing conditions on Sunday were pretty much as good as it gets in the Columbia River Gorge. We got to the Rooster Rock pullout at about 8:30 a.m. By the time we made it to the base of the route there were already two parties of two ahead of us. One additional party of three was also in line ahead of us and were discussing setting up a TR on the first pitch. Thankfully they talked themselves out of it and went elsewhere.

SRC: CascadeClimbers.com

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Detour in place for visiting Multnomah Falls, icy conditions on Columbia River Gorge Trails

Icy conditions have made trails dangerous at Multnomah Falls and other Columbia River Gorge area hikes. This picture was taken a few years ago but shows ice on Multnomah Falls. / Photo by Chris Daley
If you’re planning on visiting Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge, you are advised to use a short detour. Because of flooding of Multnomah Creek, there is ice in the pedestrian tunnel from the parking lot on Interstate 84, according to officials with the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area.

Instead, they advise getting to the falls from the Historic Columbia River Highway 30.

SRC: http://www.statesmanjournal.com

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Columbia And Snake Rivers Aboard Un-Cruises’ S.S. LEGACY

Photo by Peter Knego, of  Cascade Lock and The Bridge of the Gods
View a tour of the Un-Cruises’ recently launched 88-guest SS LEGACY on one of the ship’s heritage-rich Columbia and Snake River voyages with visits to Crown Point, Multnomah Falls, the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center and a scenic day on the river, as provide by Peter Knego. 

Tad's Chicken 'n Dumplins

One of many historic photos of Tad's Chicken 'n Dumplins
Tad's Chicken 'n Dumplins in Troutdale home to drinkers, romantics, scenery-lovers and more
Sitting on a lonely and pretty stretch of the East Historic Columbia River Highway, Tad's looks like a welcoming lodge. A lodge decorated in knotty pine and punctuated with dried gourds, a liquor still and life-size wooden Native American. Drinkers gravitate toward the room with the enormous bar. Romantics toward the room with the fireplace. And scenery-lovers, the room at the back where you can see the twinkle of the river through the tangle of trees. But, no matter where you sit, your meal starts with a crudites platter complete with a tangy, can't-stop-eating dill ranch house dressing and pillowy rolls brought to the table warm enough to toast chilled fingers.
Not to miss: The general rule is the smart diner never went wrong ordering the specialty of the house. And the rule holds true here, with the original chicken 'n dumplins ($14.50). Enough food to feed two (or one, today and tomorrow), the meal starts with your choice of soup or salad and includes chicken, dumplings and green beans. The vegetables are forgettable, but the chicken is a feast of skinless dark and white meat stewed until fork-tender; the two enormous dumplings, each larger than our fist, are shot through with rich chicken flavor; and the chicken gravy, thanks to its secret ingredient, is pure umami. (The secret ingredient? Duck fat.)
Bargains: The portions are so enormous you could make a satisfying meal out of an appetizer, such as the deep-fried zucchini ($5.50) for which several small -- or one enormous -- zucchinis were sacrificed so you could have a platter overflowing with thick spears of zucchini fried to creamy doneness and served with that addictive dill ranch.
Details: 1325 E. Historic Columbia River Highway, Troutdale; 503-666-5337;tadschicdump.com; 5-10 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 4-10 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Biking Segment Opens Linking Troutdale to Cascade Locks

Bicyclists ride on the new McCord Creek Bridge, part of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, near Cascade Locks, Ore. (Oregon Dept. of Transportation photo)

After the completion of a 1.6 mile segment, you can now bike 34 miles from Troutdale to Cascade Locks. The Seattle Times offers a list of what the new 1.6 mile segment has to offer.
  • A new 12-foot wide paved path accessible to pedestrians, bicyclists, hikers and people using wheelchairs.
  • A distinctive new 76-foot long, 16-foot wide bridge over McCord Creek reflecting the craftsmanship of the original highway design. 
  • A new picnic and rest area with restored views of Beacon Rock. 
  • A link with U.S. Forest Service Trail 400, connecting to Elowah Falls.
Click the following link to read the original Seattle Times article.

Watch Travel Oregon's video about reconnecting the Historic Columbia River Highway below.



You can read more about the trail here


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hood River, Oregon

Rasmussen Farms Pumpkin Patch

Weekender: Hood River, Ore.

A bounty of late-fall fun awaits in Hood River.


Sample local ales, meet an alpaca, and drive the scenic Fruit Loop in this town along the Columbia River Gorge. Area code is 541 except as noted.

To do and see

Fruit Loop The 35-mile route passes through orchards, farmland, and some of the area's most impressive scenery. Off-season farm stands are few, but many shops and wineries welcome visitors year-round. 386-7697, hoodriverfruitloop.com. Glassometry Studios Make your own ornaments, take a metalworking class, or watch artist Laurel Marie Hagner blow art-glass pumpkins at her sprawling studio surrounded by farmland. 3015 Lower Mill Dr., 354-3015, glassometry.com. History Museum of Hood River County An 1800s apple press and vintage alpine climbing tools trace the area's history in the compact museum. 300 E. Port Marina Dr., 386-6772, co.hood-river.or.us/museum. Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum Two hangars hold hundreds of vintage aircraft and vehicles, including an 1899 Locomobile steam car and a 1917 Curtiss JN-4D "Jenny" training plane. 1600 Air Museum Rd., 308-1600, waaamuseum.org.

Shopping

Apple Valley Country Store Taste more than 50 kinds of jams and jellies, such as cinnamon-pear and blueberry-amaretto, or grab a slice of fruit pie at this rural shop. 2363 Tucker Rd., 386-1971, applevalleystore.com. The Gallery 301 More than a dozen artists display their work—ranging from quilted landscapes to handmade guitars—in a restored 1924 bank building. 301 Oak St., 436- 0281, thegallery301.com. G. Williker's Toy Shoppe Delight in old-fashioned wooden trucks, handmade aprons, and a gumball machine. 202 Oak St., 387-2229, facebook.com/gwillikerstoyshoodriver. Mystic Mud Studio Pottery Gallery Handpainted fruit and sunflowers decorate brightly colored tableware in artist Trudi Klinger's downtown store. 104 Oak St., 386-6463, mysticmudstudio.net.

Eats

Celilo Seasonal local produce shines in dishes such as roasted pumpkin soup and lamb loin with sweet-and-sour squash at this elegant corner restaurant. Save room for the molten chocolate cake with house-made ice cream. 16 Oak St., 386-5710, celilorestaurant.com. Full Sail Brewing Company Enjoy hearty salmon fish and chips along with 16 beers on tap at this river-view pub, then stay for an info-packed brewery tour. 506 Columbia St., 386-2247, fullsailbrewing.com. Nora's Table The intimate dinner spot features a rotating roster of international dishes paired with local wines. Breakfast served Fri.–Sun. 110 Fifth St., 387-4000, norastable.com. Pfriem Family Brewers The riverside brewery serves smoked trout fritters and crispy onion rings alongside Belgian-influenced ales. 707 Portway Ave., Ste. 101, 321-0490, pfriembeer.com.

Outdoors

Foothills Yarn & Fiber Meet friendly alpacas, learn about spinning techniques, then shop for plush socks at this homey hilltop Fruit Loop stop. Colorful scarves woven by the owners make excellent gifts. 4207 Sylvester Dr., 354-3542, foothillsyarn.com. Nella Chestnut Farm This tiny farm stand sells colossal chestnuts on fall weekends. Enjoy local red wine and roasted chestnuts under the trees at the annual roasting party (Nov. 2 and 3). 3435 Neal Creek Rd., (800) 400-3658, nellachestnutfarm.com. Rasmussen Farms Find apples, pears, and plenty of squashes at this 17-acre farm with scenic views. Don't miss Pumpkin Funland (through Nov. 11) with a corn maze and pumpkin bowling. 3020 Thomsen Rd., 386-4622, rasmussenfarms.com. Tilly Jane Trail Strap on cross-country skis or snowshoes for stunning views of Mount Hood on a 2.7-mile trek through old-growth forest near the historic Cloud Cap Inn. Off Cloud Cap Road, 352-6002, www.fs.usda.gov/mthood.

Get Going

Request the Oregon TourBook and a map of Hood River and The Dalles at AAA.com or any AAA branch. To find a place to stay, visit AAA.com/hotels. For more information contact the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce: 720 E. Port Marina Dr., (800) 366-3530, hoodriver.org.
Photography by Joni Kabana; courtesy of Rasmussen Farms (pumpkin patch)


This article was first published in November 2013. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

src: http://www.viamagazine.com/destinations/weekender-hood-river-ore

Monday, November 11, 2013

Dog Mountain Hike

Columbia Gorge Dog Mountain

Dog Mountain Hike

A Columbia Gorge trail leads to wildflowers and ski-high views in Washington.
By Nino Padova

Two paths diverged in the woods beneath Dog Mountain, and I—I took the one marked less difficult. Even that was no cakewalk. But to enjoy one of the top hikes in the Columbia River Gorge, you have to sweat a little.

Located off Highway 14, nine miles east of Stevenson, Wash., Dog Mountain rises 2,984 feet. After half a mile, the popular six-mile loop spits you out at a fork. The “more difficult” path means exactly that, a 1.5-mile climb at an average grade of 30 percent—steeper than San Francisco’s famously precipitous Lombard Street. “Go left and you’d better be in shape,” says Tom Savage, a retired ranger at the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

Stay right and pass through a Douglas fir forest lush with trilliums and starflowers. Soon you’re standing amid a blanket of glowing balsamroot and blue lupine, overlooking Starvation Creek Falls—a great spot to have a snack. At the top, a half mile up, you’re met with screen-saver views of the gorge and Mount Hood. Note: Traffic backups due to roadwork (wsdot.wa.gov/traffic) may delay access to the trailhead. (360) 891-5000, fs.fed.us/gpnf.

src:http://www.viamagazine.com/destinations/dog-mountain-hike

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Dalles

The Dalles, OR

The Dalles

Journey to eastern Oregon to savor the pioneer spirit of the West.
By David Sharp

From a bluff overlooking The Dalles, Ore., the landscape resembles the set of a John Wayne shoot-'em-up. With the sun setting behind a high ridge, buzzards wheel about like beady-eyed stringless kites. Below, the Columbia River cuts an oxbow through a scrub-filled desert.

Portlanders may forget that they're in the same state. Oregon laws still apply, but you must cross an unofficial boundary to get here. Both climatically and culturally, The Dalles lies just beyond the line that separates the Pacific Northwest from the West.

The transition is startling because it happens so suddenly. Drenched by storms that roll in from the Pacific, the western end of the Columbia Gorge abounds with waterfalls and forests. But with the Cascade Mountains blocking those storms from traveling farther inland, the scenery along I-84 changes from lush forests to rain-starved mountains in about the time it takes to pop in a new CD.

The Dalles' personality is heavily flavored by its rich frontier past. Located along a main access route between the Pacific and the interior, The Dalles sits on land that was for centuries one of the main indigenous trading centers in North America. Tribes from as far away as North Dakota and California came here to barter.

It is also where Oregon Trail pioneers confronted perhaps the most difficult decision of their transcontinental journey: whether to make an arduous detour through the Cascades or a one-day raft trip down the then-treacherous Columbia River on their way westward. (More than 10 percent of those who opted for the river drowned.) Taking its name from a French term meaning flagstone, the town rose in status in the 1850s when it became the seat of Wasco County, the largest ever formed in the United States, stretching to Wyoming and covering an area more than twice the size of Florida. (The county has since shrunk considerably.)

The Dalles has preserved dozens of elegant 19th- and early-20th-century buildings from its heyday. To explore these architectural gems, take a stroll through the city's walkable downtown. Along the way, be sure to stop inside the county's original courthouse (now a museum complete with old-time jail cells) and at the stained glass-bejeweled Old St. Peter's Landmark, with a 176-foot-high spire that has been a local fixture since 1897. St. Peter's also has a rare tigerwood pipe organ and a life-size statue of the Madonna, carved from the keel of an 1850s shipwreck.

Get in step with the local fashion at Tony's Town & Country Clothing, which stocks enough Western wear to outfit an entire rodeo. If you've been looking for a pair of iguana-hide cowboy boots, look no further. Tony's has boots made from every critter imaginable—including shark, ostrich, and kangaroo.
The Dalles is also home to Oregon's oldest bookstore. Klindt's, which has been in business for 131 years, mixes new best-sellers with an array of out-of-print books.

To feel as if you're dining in a bygone era, drop by the Baldwin Saloon, where a gallery of late 1800s "bar nudes"—large oil paintings depicting winsome women who'd have been excellent candidates for a job at Miss Kitty's Long Branch-adorns the exposed-brick walls. The menu features steaks, pasta, and seafood, and on weekend evenings, guests can enjoy live music from what may be the original piano bar—an 1894 mahogany piano.

If you'd rather not change out of your jeans, make a beeline to Cousins' Restaurant & Saloon, where the home-style cooking includes everything from omelets to pot roast and where an electronic cow moos when you walk in.

Though the city's pioneer roots are plainly visible, its Indian heritage is more submerged—literally. In 1957, the creation of The Dalles Dam permanently flooded key Indian fishing sites that had been in continuous use for 8,000 years. Hop the free shuttle train at The Dalles Dam Visitor Center for a breezy, one-mile ride to the dam itself. There, you can tour its inner workings, which include a row of massive power-generating turbines and a maze of fish ladders where you may catch sight of sturgeon as big as sharks. The dam also has a collection of rock slabs bearing ancient Indian petroglyphs.

Learn more about the region's history at the jointly housed Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Wasco County Historical Museum, which has a vast assortment of Indian artifacts, including a "time ball"—a calendar made from string and beads. For a quirkier glimpse at the past, visit the Fort Dalles Surgeons Quarters—the last remaining building in the town's old fort. In its catchall collection are a wreath made from human hair and a hand-cranked roulette wheel.

Don't leave town without a pilgrimage to holistically oriented Mid-Columbia Medical Center to see its outdoor labyrinth. Patterned after the one at Chartres Cathedral in France, the labyrinth is intended to foster contemplation by leading you along a circuitous yet uninterrupted terrazzo path toward the center—and then out again. Blending New Age with Old West, it's the place in The Dalles where cowboy boots and Birkenstocks are equally appropriate.




Just don't expect to find a host of Birkenstock outlets and espresso bars. The antithesis of trendy Hood River, The Dalles veers more toward cowboy boots and shops as genuinely Western as an old saddle. In fact, you can actually buy an old saddle at Honald's 2nd Street Place, eastern Oregon's biggest antique mall. Its selection includes such Ponderosa-esque items as leather pillows, horse halters, and even a galvanized tin bathtub.

If You're Going: 

All phone numbers below are area code 541 unless noted. Pick up AAA's Oregon & Washington TourBook and map. For additional information, contact The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce, 296-2231, (800) 255-3385, www.thedalleschamber.com.

SLEEPS

Columbia House, 525 East Seventh St., 298-4686, (800) 807-2668. Four-room cottage-style bed-and-breakfast with river-view decks. Rate $85.

Windrider Inn, 200 West Fourth St., 296-2607. Four-room Dutch Colonial with shared kitchen, in-ground pool, and hot tub. Rents mainly by the week in summer. Rates from $40 to $50.

EATS

Baldwin Saloon, 205 Court St., 296-5666.

Cousins' Restaurant & Saloon, 2114 West Sixth St., 298-2771.

Holstein's Coffee Co., 811 East Third St., 298-2326. Coffee drinks, fruit smoothies, muffins, and other snacks.

SHOPS

Honald's 2nd Street Place, 402 East Second St., 296-8500. Two floors of antiques and collectibles.

Klindt's Booksellers, 315 East Second St., 296-3355, www.klindtsbooks.com.

Tony's Town & Country Clothing, 401 East Second St., 296-5230.

THINGS TO SEE AND DO

The Original 1859 Wasco County Courthouse, 410 West Second Pl., 296-4798, 296-3594. Open Thursday through Monday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., May to Labor Day. Other times by appointment.

Columbia Gorge Discovery Center/Wasco County Historical Museum, 5000 Discovery Dr., 296-8600, www.gorgediscovery.org. Open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Old St. Peter's Landmark, 405 Lincoln St., 296-5686. Open Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., weekends noon to 4 p.m.

Fort Dalles Museum, 500 West 15th St., 296-4547. Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Memorial Day to Labor Day. Call for off-season schedule.

The Dalles Dam Visitor Center, located at the end of Brett Clodfelter Way, 296-9778. Free train tours of the dam depart every half hour daily 10 a.m. to 4:30 pm., June through August; Wednesday through Sunday, April, May, September, and October.

Labyrinth Garden, 1700 East 19th St. On the east side of the Mid-Columbia Medical Center, the labyrinth is open to the public 24 hours and lighted at night.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Historic The Dalles Day, October 13, 296-2231.

Starlite Parade, November 23, 296-2231.

src: http://www.viamagazine.com/destinations/dalles

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Beacon Rock State Park

Beacon Rock
Beacon Rock State Park

The 848-foot monolith on the Washington side of the Columbia River, 35 miles upstream from Portland, has served as a landmark to voyagers for centuries. Beacon Rock—once the core of a volcano—looks daunting, but a 1.8-mile round-trip trail eases the climb up it with switchbacks, stairs, and handrails. With every step you take, the Columbia Gorge view grows more expansive. (360) 902-8844, parks.wa.gov.

src: http://www.viamagazine.com/attractions/rocky-landmarks-west

Friday, November 8, 2013

Oregon’s Historic Columbia River Highway

Oregon Scenic Highway

Oregon’s Historic Columbia River Highway

From Troutdale To Hood River
Waterfalls plunging down sheer cliffs, and sunlight breaking through maples and firs—the Historic Columbia River Highway packs plenty into 77 miles. Summer attracts crowds seeking shade and cool mists; other seasons allow more solitude. Whenever you visit, start by climbing the highway from Troutdale to the domed Vista House, famous for 360-degree views of the Columbia River Gorge. Next, wend your way downhill on a serpentine road.

The route flattens out at the bottom, aka waterfall central. Latourell Falls looks inviting from the car, but you’ll want to walk closer. The honeycombed basalt at its base is as picturesque as the water. Drive on and the waterfalls keep gushing: Wahkeena, Horsetail, and, of course, 620-foot Multnomah. Other falls—including Punch Bowl, Ponytail, and tall but delicate Elowah—lie just a short hike from the road.

The highway merges with I-84, which heads past the Bonneville Dam to the town of Cascade Locks, where you can picnic next to the river or catch a cruise on the Columbia Gorge riverboat. Beyond that, you can explore Hood River, known for wineries, pears, and windsurfers, and The Dalles, where the lush gorge finally gives way to the dry expanse of northeastern Oregon. —Chris Woolston

src: http://www.viamagazine.com/road-trips/scenic-drives-west

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail to open McCord Creek section

Picture Source: Oregon Department of Transportation.

Terry Richard of OregonLive has a nice article on the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail opening in Cascade Locks. read an excerpt below.

Byclists will soon have a new recreation option after a missing link in the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail opens west of Cascade Locks. The section will be fully useable after Oct. 31.
Scot Sullenger, who owns the Cascade Motel in Cascade Locks, thinks it could be a perfect weekend outing for Portlandesr. In fact, he plans to do it in reverse himself.
This is how it will work. For the first time since the construction of Interstate 84 in the 1960s, there will be an alternative route between Troutdale to Cascade Locks without the need for using any part of the freeway.




Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fall Foliage Studio Tour Official Press Release



Event Date: October 12th through the 20th, 2013

Fall Foliage Studio Tour in Oregon's West Columbia River Gorge

Awe-inspiring views, adorned in the spectacular colors of autumn, will delight your senses as you meander through the Gateway to the Columbia River Gorge, visiting the artists as they work in their studios.

Cascade Locks, Oregon - Fall Foliage Studio Tour invites you to see and meet professional artists in their natural element, the studios in which they fashion their creations. Enjoy a historic and spectacular scenic journey as you experience the communities and meet the artists who live and create here.  Awe-inspiring views, adorned in the spectacular colors of autumn, will delight your senses as you meander through the Gateway to the Columbia River Gorge, visiting the artists as they work in their studios. This free, self-guided event is sponsored by the West Columbia Gorge Chamber of Commerce.

The event begins with the opening of the exhibition gallery in Cascade Locks on Saturday, October 12th at 11:00am.  The gallery will be located at Lorang Fine Art & Gorgeous Gifts. Samples of each artist’s work will be on display October 12th through the 20th, 11:00am-5:00pm. The Reception will be Friday evening, October 18th at the exhibition gallery to meet the artists and mingle with other art enthusiasts. Sample hors d’oeuvres, sip local vintage wine and enjoy live music as you bid on your favorite leaf-themed art pieces and cast your vote for the “People’s Choice Award.”  Maps for the Studio Tour are available that night or anytime the Exhibition Gallery is open.  Artists’ studios will be open Saturday and Sunday from 11:00am-5:00pm. The exhibition gallery closes Sunday, October 20th, at 5:00 pm.


Opening Reception:  Friday, October 18th, 2013, 6:00 pm
Open Studios Tour:  Saturday and Sunday, October 19th and 20th, 11:00am-5:00 pm daily
Gallery Hours:   October 12th through October 20th, 11:00 am-5:00 pm daily                                    
Gallery Location:  Lorang Fine Art 360 WaNaPa St. Cascade Locks OR  www.lorangfineart.com

Visit their website:  www.fallfoliagestudiotour.com or contact  Debora Lorang at 541-374-8007; lorangfineart@embarqmail.com

Monday, October 14, 2013

USA TODAY: Includes Multnomah Falls in Top 10 List

USA TODAY announces Multnomah Falls as one of  10 great places to see waterfalls.

"There's good fall color in the [Columbia River] gorge too," -- Bryan Swan, co-founder of WorldWaterfallDatabase.com.

In an article by USA TODAY Larry Bleiberg with the help of Bryan Swan, co-founder of WorldWaterfallDatabase.com lists the 10 best places to see waterfalls. Read the excerpt about Multnomah Falls below.
Multnomah Falls
Bridal Veil, Ore.
Although this Columbia River Gorge cascade is easily accessible from Interstate 84 and just 30 miles from downtown Portland, it still offers rugged scenery and a rewarding hike to the top. A bridge crosses between the upper and lower falls, offering dramatic views before reaching the top. "There's good fall color in the gorge too," Swan says. 541-308-1700; fs.usda.gov/crgnsa
SRC: USA Today: 10 great places to see waterfalls

Friday, September 20, 2013

VIA Magazine: Things to do in Troutdale Oregon

Hikers take in Columbia River Gorge views from the Angels Rest overlook.
VIA Magazine makes some suggestions for Troutdale, Oregon. Read the article below.

Area code is 503.
TO DO AND SEE
McMenamins Edgefield 
A sprawling resort with outdoor soaking pools, vineyards, a vegetable garden, and a distillery—plus concerts on the sloping lawn with headliners like Ben Harper (July 5) and Emmylou Harris with Steve Martin (July 26). 2126 SW Halsey St., 669-8610, mcmenamins.com.SummerFest July 21. The town’s 40th all-day festival features a carnival at Glenn Otto Park, a rubber ducky derby down the Sandy River, and a parade with horseback riders, pit bulls in tutus, and Wild West cowboys. 669-7473. Troutdale Historical Society Museums Open third Saturdays. A trio of local antique treasure troves: the 1900 Harlow House, the Barn Museum with curios from the former county poor farm (now McMenamins), and the Rail Depot Museum. 732, 726, and 473 E. Historic Columbia River Hwy., 661-2164,troutdalehistory.org.
SHOPPING 
Caswell Gallery 
Sculptor Rip Caswell is know for his life-size bronze moose, deer, and other wildlife as well as the seven-foot trout on the town’s gateway arch. 253 E. Historic Columbia River Hwy., 492-2473, ripcaswell.comColumbia Gorge Premium Outlets Forty-five stores, including Gap Outlet and Guess. AAA members receive a free VIP coupon book for extra savings. 450 NW 257th Way, 669-8060,premiumoutlets.com/columbiagorgeTroutdale Farmers’ and Artists’ Market The outdoor Saturday market features farm-fresh produce, homemade tamales, painting demonstrations, and live bluegrass. 473 E. Historic Columbia River Hwy., windancefarmsandart.com. Troutdale General Store Buy nostalgic items such as hula hoops, old-fashioned candy from glass jars, and printed aprons at this sunny replica of an early-20th-century shop. Linger over apple-bacon breakfast casserole or salmon chowder. 289 E. Historic Columbia River Hwy., 492-7912, troutdalegeneralstore.com.
OUTDOORS Dabney State Park Picnic beneath big-leaf maples, fish for salmon and trout from the riverbank, toss horseshoes, or jump in the swimming hole at this 142-acre park along the Sandy River. About three miles east of Troutdale Bridge. 695-2261, oregonstateparks.org/park_151.phpHistoric Columbia River Highway Plan to drive slowly and make frequent stops for short forest hikes, awe-inspiring waterfalls, and expansive views of the gorge along the country’s first scenic highway, which runs between Troutdale and Dodson.oregon.gov/odot/hwy/hcrhSandy River Delta Peer through the wood slats of artist Maya Lin’s elliptical bird blind for a hidden glimpse of herons, hawks, and beavers, or look up at the mountains across the river. Off Thousand Acres Road.confluenceproject.org/project-sites/sandy-river-delta.
EATS AND DRINKS 
Brewligans
 Sample over 100 Northwest microbrews served alongside hot dogs topped with blue cheese and bacon, or wasabi mayo and kimchi, in a 1970s-style living room with thrift-store couches and old-school video games. 275 E. Historic Columbia River Hwy., 489-5919,brewligansbottleshop.comThe Riverview Restaurant Twists on Northwest cuisine, such as seafood with coconut curry and miso-glazed salmon, with live piano and jazz and a river view. 29311 SE Stark St., 661-3663,yoshidariverview.comShaken Martini Lounge Channel James Bond over specialty cocktails like the Sean Connery vodka martini, while boning up on 007 trivia. 101 W. Columbia River Hwy., 512-7485. Tad’s Chicken ’n Dumplins A nearly 80-year-old local institution known for, you guessed it, chicken and dumplings. On warm days, the covered porch opens right on to the river. 1325 E. Historic Columbia River Hwy., 666-5337, tadschicdump.com.
Photography by Robbie McClaran; courtesy of McMenamin (Edgefield)
This article was first published in July 2012. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

If You're Going: 
Request the Oregon TourBook and Portland map at AAA.com or any AAA branch. To find a place to stay, visit AAA.com/hotels. For more information, contact the West Columbia Gorge Chamber of Commerce: 226 W. Historic Columbia River Hwy., 669-7473,westcolumbiagorgechamber.com.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

VIA Magazine: Columbia Gorge Walk, The Klickitat Trail

Vertiginous basalt canyons, windswept prairies, rolling oak and pine forests—an ever-changing landscape is the one constant along the Klickitat Trail. The rugged 31-mile biking and hiking path following an old railroad bed links the towns of Lyle and Warwick, Wash., in the heart of the Columbia Gorge.
Hikers cross a restored trestle on the Klickitat Trail. (Photo by Bev Linde) SRC: GorgeFriends.org
Another entry from Via magazine. This is about the Klickitat Trail, which includes a restored trestle. Read the entry below: 
Heading north from Lyle, the dirt and gravel trail parallels the Klickitat River as it rushes and tumbles from Mount Adams to the Columbia River. The path skirts swaths of wildflowers and tribal fishing sites where members of the Yakima Nation dip pole nets into the swirling waters to catch salmon and steelhead. 
Ten miles in, the trail begins a 13-mile ascent through the remote and starkly beautiful Swale Canyon. Here, marmots, deer, and the occasional bobcat join travelers on the high desert trek. The journey ends on the grassy flatlands of the Goldendale plateau, where views of the Columbia Hills compete with sightings of falcons and golden eagles.
Ambitious cyclists can cover the entire length in half a day. Hikers take on smaller segments from five access points; the closest to Portland is the Lyle trailhead, 70 miles from the city. klickitat-trail.org.
Photography by Greg Vaughn
This article was first published in September 2008. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

SRC: http://www.viamagazine.com/attractions/columbia-gorge-walk 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Late-Fall Fun Awaits in Hood River

Thomas Betts raises alpacas at Foothills Yarn

In Novenmber 2012 Via magazine had some great Fall ideas for things to do in Hood River. Check out the list below.

Sample local ales, meet an alpaca, and drive the scenic Fruit Loop in this town along the Columbia River Gorge. Area code is 541 except as noted.

TO DO AND SEE
Fruit Loop The 35-mile route passes through orchards, farmland, and some of the area's most impressive scenery. Off-season farm stands are few, but many shops and wineries welcome visitors year-round. 386-7697, hoodriverfruitloop.com. Glassometry Studios Make your own ornaments, take a metalworking class, or watch artist Laurel Marie Hagner blow art-glass pumpkins at her sprawling studio surrounded by farmland. 3015 Lower Mill Dr., 354-3015, glassometry.com. History Museum of Hood River County An 1800s apple press and vintage alpine climbing tools trace the area's history in the compact museum. 300 E. Port Marina Dr., 386-6772, co.hood-river.or.us/museum. Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum Two hangars hold hundreds of vintage aircraft and vehicles, including an 1899 Locomobile steam car and a 1917 Curtiss JN-4D "Jenny" training plane. 1600 Air Museum Rd., 308-1600, waaamuseum.org.

SHOPPING
Apple Valley Country Store Taste more than 50 kinds of jams and jellies, such as cinnamon-pear and blueberry-amaretto, or grab a slice of fruit pie at this rural shop. 2363 Tucker Rd., 386-1971, applevalleystore.com. The Gallery 301 More than a dozen artists display their work—ranging from quilted landscapes to handmade guitars—in a restored 1924 bank building. 301 Oak St., 436- 0281, thegallery301.com. G. Williker's Toy Shoppe Delight in old-fashioned wooden trucks, handmade aprons, and a gumball machine. 202 Oak St., 387-2229, facebook.com/gwillikerstoyshoodriver. Mystic Mud Studio Pottery Gallery Handpainted fruit and sunflowers decorate brightly colored tableware in artist Trudi Klinger's downtown store. 104 Oak St., 386-6463, mysticmudstudio.net.

EATS
Celilo Seasonal local produce shines in dishes such as roasted pumpkin soup and lamb loin with sweet-and-sour squash at this elegant corner restaurant. Save room for the molten chocolate cake with house-made ice cream. 16 Oak St., 386-5710, celilorestaurant.com. Full Sail Brewing Company Enjoy hearty salmon fish and chips along with 16 beers on tap at this river-view pub, then stay for an info-packed brewery tour. 506 Columbia St., 386-2247, fullsailbrewing.com. Nora's Table The intimate dinner spot features a rotating roster of international dishes paired with local wines. Breakfast served Fri.–Sun. 110 Fifth St., 387-4000, norastable.com. Pfriem Family Brewers The riverside brewery serves smoked trout fritters and crispy onion rings alongside Belgian-influenced ales. 707 Portway Ave., Ste. 101, 321-0490, pfriembeer.com.

OUTDOORS
Foothills Yarn & Fiber Meet friendly alpacas, learn about spinning techniques, then shop for plush socks at this homey hilltop Fruit Loop stop. Colorful scarves woven by the owners make excellent gifts. 4207 Sylvester Dr., 354-3542, foothillsyarn.com. Nella Chestnut Farm This tiny farm stand sells colossal chestnuts on fall weekends. Enjoy local red wine and roasted chestnuts under the trees at the annual roasting party (Nov. 2 and 3). 3435 Neal Creek Rd., (800) 400-3658, nellachestnutfarm.com. Rasmussen Farms Find apples, pears, and plenty of squashes at this 17-acre farm with scenic views. Don't miss Pumpkin Funland (through Nov. 11) with a corn maze and pumpkin bowling. 3020 Thomsen Rd., 386-4622, rasmussenfarms.com. Tilly Jane Trail Strap on cross-country skis or snowshoes for stunning views of Mount Hood on a 2.7-mile trek through old-growth forest near the historic Cloud Cap Inn. Off Cloud Cap Road, 352-6002, www.fs.usda.gov/mthood.

GET GOING
Request the Oregon TourBook and a map of Hood River and The Dalles at AAA.com or any AAA branch. To find a place to stay, visit AAA.com/hotels. For more information contact the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce: 720 E. Port Marina Dr., (800) 366-3530, hoodriver.org.

Photography by Joni Kabana; courtesy of Rasmussen Farms (pumpkin patch)

This article was first published in November 2013. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

SRC: http://www.viamagazine.com/destinations/weekender-hood-river-ore

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Oregon Live: Photos of Historic Columbia River Highway

Columbia River Highway at Shepperd's Dell on the opening day of the road in 1915. Samuel C. Lancaster and party. Oregon Historical Society neg # 67636
Oregon Live has posted 20 of the greatest photos of Historic Columbia River Highway. You can see all 20 photos by clicking the following link.  Photos of Historic Columbia River Highway.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Oregon Live: Vista House Reopens for Memorial Day Weekend 2013



Oregon Live alerted readers to the reopening of the Vista House on top of Crown Point on the 21st. Read an excerpt below.

The road to Crown Point and Vista House reopens Friday, just in time for the Memorial Day weekend, thanks to the near-completion of the viaduct restoration project.
The project began last summer, forcing closures on the Historic Columbia River Highway. The Oregon Department of Transportation said occasional lane closures will be needed in June as crews finish the project.
The 600-foot-long viaduct surrounds Vista House. Crews have had to restore the viaducts support columns, which were deteriorating. Without that, the road would not have been able to handle heavy vehicles such as tourist buses and RVs.
If you would like to read more go to OregonLive.com