Monday, November 30, 2015

Hood River Holidays

Join the city of Hood River, OR as downtown Hood River transforms into a place full of holiday cheer!
The Hood River Holiday Kick-off Party takes place in downtown Hood River on Friday, December 4, 2015. Ignite your holiday spirit with an old-fashioned downtown parade, a gorgeous tree lighting, caroling, and a visit with Santa. The Holiday Happy Hour starts at 4 p.m. and the streets will close at 5 p.m. for easy, safe holiday shopping, followed by the 6 p.m. Holiday Parade. The Tree Lighting, which cannot be missed, will follow the parade’s conclusion at 2nd and State Street, and Santa will be waiting at G. Williker’s Toy Shoppe on 2nd and Oak Street downtown. Even before the Kick-off, Hood River is in full holiday splendor.
SRC: Find the full event details here:

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

City of Fairview: 9th Annual Tree Lighting

Join the city of Fairview for their holiday tree lighting event on December 5th, 2015. Enjoy music, take photos with Santa, make holiday crafts, and bring your ugliest holiday sweater to compete for a prize. The event will be fun for all ages, is free, and all are welcome.
Join us Saturday, December 5 from 4 PM to 6 PM for Fairview's 9th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Event. The lighting will be at 5 PM but there will be lots to do before and after. Listen to local choirs share their holiday music, visit with Santa, make a holiday craft, join in on holiday story time, or enjoy a cup of hot cocoa. New this year...the Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest! Judging will be at 5:40 PM and the winner will receive a prize. Please plan to join us for this wonderful Fairview holiday tradition. This event is free and all are welcome.
The event will be held at Fairview City Hall and Community Park, 1300 NE Village Street.

SRC: Find out more information regarding the event here:

SRC Photo:

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Columbia River Gorge Model Railroad Display

Every weekend November, the Columbia River Gorge Model Railroad Club opens their doors to the public to put their creative and detailed work on display. The Club, whose space is in Portland, OR, has recreated the scenic Columbia River Gorge railroad, running on the Oregon and Washington sides of the Columbia River. For 32 years, the club has continued to add detail to their Columbia Gorge Model, welcoming the public to view their work as a fundraising event every year. This is the last weekend for the event: 
Times: 10am – 5pm
Show dates: only two more public shows, November 28 & 29, 2015
Admission: $7.00 for adults, $3.00 for kids ages 3 to 11.
Address: 2505 N. Vancouver Ave (@ Russell St.), Portland, OR.
Contact: call 503-28-train (503-288-7246) or email
VIP tours: available by reservation, they begin at 8:45 a.m. each day of a public viewing and cost $15
Watch a video about this event:,AAAAPLpuSqE~,a1DdoZJH5WQo4iWaJj1w_CktvJfhQVVG

SRC: Read more about this event here:

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A Destination for Fall: The Columbia River Gorge

Out of hiking destinations across the country, the Columbia River Gorge has been featured as the most "unforgettable place" to hike in the fall. With leaves changing on deciduous trees, waterfalls galore, and some crisp, cool Oregon days still in the forecast, the Gorge is a premier place for you to enjoy during the holidays. 
The rain season might detract some people from hitting the Pacific Northwest in fall, but that makes it the perfect time to have the place all to yourself. The Columbia River Gorge is like an amusement park of natural wonders.

The Columbia River is the second largest river in North America, and the gorge region is its prized possession.

It’s an extremely well-kept trail that passes along sheer, moss-covered rock face and literally hundreds of waterfalls. The canyon is 80 miles long, but the highlights are the aptly named Angel’s Rest and Mount Defiance. We’ll let you guess which one is more challenging.
SRC: Read about other top-rated hikes for every season around the U.S.:

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Monday, November 23, 2015

Oregon Park Fees Waived on Black Friday

This Friday, while many are packed into local malls and department stores, Oregon State Parks is giving everyone the opportunity to give thanks for our wonderful Oregon State Parks for free. Memaloose and Ainsworth State Parks in the Columbia Gorge (and all State Parks across Oregon) will have no parking fee, and offer lovely scenery for hiking and picnicking. An added bonus, the forecast is calling for clear weather on Friday; even more reason to go out and enjoy Oregon!
Want to get outside instead of hitting the crowded stores on Black Friday? No problem.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is waiving day parking fees on Friday, Nov. 27, at all 26 state parks that charge one. Normally, the day-use parking fee at those parks is $5.

Without naming the retailer, the department cited REI's announcement to close on Black Friday as a key factor in the decision. The company is paying its employees to take the day off while urging shoppers to spend the day outside.

"Rain or shine, windy or not, we're thankful Oregon's outdoors are a constant source of joy," department director Lisa Sumption in a statement. "Take a break, get out, and enjoy some fresh air."
 SRC: Find out more information and a map of Oregon State Parks here:

SRC Photo:

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Thanksgiving Dinner Hosted at Skamania Lodge

If you are looking for a full Thanksgiving spread without a full Thanksgiving load of dishes at home, Skamania Lodge will be serving a Thanksgiving dinner buffet this Thursday. With a large menu including starters, salads, "chef-stations," entrees, and desserts, come enjoy delicious food and lovely scenery at the scenic Skamania Lodge venue. The event sells out, so place reservations in advance!
 When: 11/27/2014

Thanksgiving Dinner Buffet - 11 AM - 8 PM

Join us in the Cascade Dining Room for all your favorites prepared deliciously and served buffet style.

Reservations are required. Event will sell out.  Call 509-427-7700.

Thanksgiving Holiday Menu at Skamania Lodge
Adults- $44.95
Children Ages 8-12-$22.00
Ages 4-7- $13.00
Ages 3 and Under- Free

Antipasto and Crudité platters
Assorted Tapas plates
Imported and Domestic Cheese with Sliced Fruit
Fresh Seafood with Caviar and Cocktail Sauce
House Smoked Lox, Cream Cheese and Bagels
Snow Crab Legs, Peel and Eat Shrimp.  Mussels on Ice with Condiments
Fresh Artisan Breads and Muffins
Seasonal Squash Soup

Mixed Green Salad with assorted dressings
Baby Spinach, Bacon, Candy Nuts, Egg, Warm Cranberry Vin
Chopped Romaine Caesar
Tomato and Mozzarella “Caprese” with Basil, Balsamic Syrup and Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Farfalle Pasta Salad with Shrimp, Tomato, Fennel and Pesto Dressing
Waldorf Salad with Apples, Celery and Walnuts
Red - Red Quinoa, Apples, Cucumbers

Chef Stations
Steamship Pork Roast with Pear Glaze
Carved Burgundy Shallot Sirloin
Pork Roast in Pear Glaze
Carved Turkey, Giblet Gravy, and Cranberry Relish
Pasta Station

Braised Bacon and Brussel Sprouts with Honey White Wine Butter
Myer’s Rum, Brown Sugar glazed Sweet Potatoes and toasted Marshmallow
Whipped Buttermilk Potatoes
Steamed Vegetables with Herb Butter
Honey Crusted Ham
Pan Roasted Salmon
Cider and Herb Brined Turkey
Skamania Family Stuffing
Giblet Gravy

Assorted Mini Pies – Pumpkin, Pecan, Apple
Mini Cannoli’s, chocolate fondue, fruit, Marshmallows 
Petit Fours
Jell-O Desert Casserole
SRC: Find full details about this event here:

SRC Photo:

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wood Village Tree Lighting

On Saturday, December 5th, the 6th annual tree lighting will be taking place at the Wood Village City Hall. It will be a fun event for all, with a visit from Santa and a music performance by the Reynolds High School Expression Choir:
Where: Wood Village City Hall 
When: Tree lighting taking place at 6pm. Followed by refreshments and a visit from Santa.
Free gifts for kids will be provided by KOHL'S 
SRC: Here is the flyer for the tree lighting event:

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AdventureSmith Exploration: Cruise of the Columbia River

AdventureSmith Explorations will be offering a cruise up the Columbia River in 2016 to celebrate the National Park centennial. The cruise will offer not only the spectacular scenery of the Gorge, but will provide a true taste of the Pacific Northwest through the local cuisine served:
Lewis & Clark National Historical Park at Fort Clatsop in Astoria, Oregon, offers two small ship itineraries on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. The Columbia & Snake Rivers Journey over seven days highlights the culture, history, food and wine of the Pacific Northwest, with an emphasis on local cuisine through a new affiliation with the Food Alliance. Guests will be on board either 62-passenger National Geographic Sea Bird or 62-passenger National Geographic Sea Lion. Over eight days on Legacy of Discovery guests aboard the 88-guest S.S. Legacy traverse the Columbia River Gorge.
SRC: Find out more information regarding the cruise here:

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Falls Creek Falls: Three-Tiered Waterfall

About twenty-five minutes North of the Cascade Locks, an easy out-and-back day hike to a spectacular three tiered waterfall awaits you. Falls Creek Falls, just past Carson, WA, in the Gifford-Pinchot National Forest, is a hike that any waterfall-chaser will love.
The trail to Falls Creek Falls is well maintained with a few short moderately steep areas. The trail hugs the creek for the first mile, and takes you through old growth trees for the second mile. Once the falls are in sight, make sure to stop and look up to see the top tier through the trees. It's not visible otherwise. The trail ends with with an impressive view of the middle and lower tier.
If you're feeling adventurous and don't mind the spray from the falls, scramble to the small ledge below for a different perspective and photo op. Back at the top, you can get to the base of the middle tier, over the giant rocks, under some fallen trees, and up a steep path of loose dirt and exposed roots. It requires a little more skill, but so worth it.
Keep in mind that the road is closed from Dec 1st - April 1st, so if you go during that time, add an extra 4 miles to the hike.
The Falls Creek Falls Trail head #152 is located 15 miles north of Carson, Washington off Wind River Highway.
SRC: You can find complete directions and additional information here:

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Habitat Restoration Helping Salmon in the Groge

Recent restoration efforts in the Columbia River Gorge, focused on improving salmon habitat, are seeing positive returns. Projects, such as this one, have focused on estuary restoration, which aim to improve habitat and increase accessibility for juvenile and adult fish:
Two summers ago the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership and Collins oversaw the rebuilding of a slough that 50 years earlier had been virtually cut off from the Columbia by the construction of Interstate 84.

As state and federal agencies look for ways to rebuild runs of endangered Columbia River salmon and steelhead, they turn to Portland-based nonprofit groups like the Columbia Partnership, which specializes in finding and restoring wetlands. Habitat restoration in the Columbia basin is one of four areas of emphasis to rebuilding salmon runs.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agencies and the states of Oregon and Washington created the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership 20 years ago to tackle habitat projects along the 140 miles of river from Bonneville Dam to Astoria. Although it gets private contributions or state and local help for projects, the bulk of its funding comes from the Bonneville Power Administration as mitigation for environmental harm caused by Columbia River dams.

Which led LCEP and Collins to Horsetail and Oneonta creeks back in 2010.

The two creeks feed the 190-acre wetland tucked between the gorge’s steep basalt cliffs and I-84. But when engineers built the freeway they cut off four outlets to the Columbia and channeled all the water through one massive 230-foot long culvert.

In the spring, juvenile fish heading downstream like to use wetlands to rest, escape predators and grow. In the summer and fall, adult fish returning upstream use sloughs to cool off until temperatures drop in the Columbia.

Because of the culvert’s design the Oneonta/Horsetail wetland was barely accessible to migrating fish. If fish made it past the culvert they found the floodplain inhospitable — long straight channels without good shelter that got too warm in the summer. A three-acre pond fed by Oneonta Creek in the winter would get cut off from flows once the stream receded in the summer.

The U.S. Forest Service owns the land and identified the area as a good one to restore. It contacted LCEP and in 2010 the two began collecting data on water flow and temperature, fish and plants.
In 2013 crews used a two-month summer construction window to carve twists and turns into straight channels, place logs and root balls for shelter, shrink and make the pond better for fish, and plant thousands of trees and native plants to provide shade.

Now two years into four years of post-construction monitoring, Collins and LCEP are pleased with what they are finding.

Changes to the culvert have improved passage, water temperatures have dropped significantly, and logs, root balls and plantings have taken hold.

“We’re very happy with passage and temperature results,” says Collins, LCEP’s principal restoration ecologist. “These sites are dynamic so it’s always interesting to see how they evolve.”

In the culvert, 18-inch high baffles were notched to 6 inches so juvenile fish in the spring and summer and adult fish in the fall can more easily reach the creeks. A wide, flat concrete slab that funneled water into four of the culvert’s five tunnels was replaced with gravel and rocks to aid fish travel into the slough.

An array of electronic monitors at both ends of the culvert now tells researchers when specially tagged fish move in or out of the wetlands.

“We get lots of hits of juveniles tucking into the site,” says Collins. “We’re seeing them in the summer and fall.”

Ultimately, projects such as this hope to have a lasting effect on salmon health not just through the next year, but for decades to come: 
“We spend a lot of time on projects in the gorge,” Collins says. “The gorge is really important and the Oneonta/Horsetail project was one chance to do something quite big in a really valuable area.”

And, he says, the results found during this record-dry, hot spring and summer bode well for the future.

“We’re trying to make the Columbia and this wetland suitable for salmon in the next century,” Collins says. 
SRC: Read the complete article here:

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Take a Survey and be Entered to Win a Gorge Getaway!

Travel Oregon and communities in the Columbia River Gorge need your help to better understand what motivates people to visit the Gorge. Whether you spend every weekend in the Gorge, or if you've never heard of it, we are interested in your thoughts.

Travel Oregon, in partnership with tourism and community partners throughout the Columbia River Gorge, is conducting a survey on the experience of traveling in the Gorge. Information gathered from this survey will help us craft an even better travel experience in the Gorge!

Survey will close Wednesday November 25th

Please take the survey and be entered to win a Gorge Getaway:

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

Wind Power Research in the Gorge

From Troutdale to Umatilla, researchers will be installing meteorological equipment this week, with their focus on improving wind power modeling in the Gorge area:
The $9 million second phase of the Wind Forecast Improvement Project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Scientists from several organizations, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, are working with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to collect measurements of wind speed and direction, temperature and humidity

The agencies chose to collect info from the gorge because it contains such “complex terrain,” said PNNL spokesperson Franny White. Readings will be taken at 18 sites throughout the gorge.

“Predicting wind power generation is tricky, especially in the uneven, rough terrain of places like the gorge,” she wrote in an email. “Improving weather models can help wind developers and power grid operators make better use of wind power and potentially lower energy costs.”

This is the project's second phase. The first took similar measurements in the flat Great Plains region and, according to the PNNL, improved weather model accuracy by 15 percent there.
SRC: Read the complete article here:

SRC Photo:

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Gorge on Tap: Portland

Gorge on Tap is an event hosted by Friends of the Columbia River Gorge, an organization that aims to preserve the Columbia River Gorge as a treasure for all to enjoy. The Gorge on Tap event travels to communities around the Columbia Gorge, discussing conservation issues and recreation programs with the public. Next Tuesday, November 17, 2015, Gorge on Tap will be taking place at the Lucky Labrador Beer Hall from 5:30pm - 7:30pm.
Enjoy a drink and presentation:
- The Inside Scoop on Coal & Oil Transport through the Gorge
- Happy 35th Birthday, Friends!
  35 Years of Gorge Protection
- 35 & Gorgeous Hike Challenge Recap & Grand Prize Drawing
- Photo Contest Showcase & Winner Announcement

5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Socialize, Eat, & Drink
6:30 - 7:30 p.m. Presentation

All attendees are entered into a raffle!
Membership Special: Donate $20 and receive a free National Geographic Trail Map!
This is a free event, no RSVP required.
Lucky Labrador Beer Hall, 1945 NW Quimby St Portland, OR

SRC: Find event details here:

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Cape Horn Loop

Visit the Cape Horn Loop for one of the premier hiking loops in the Gorge. A 7.7 mile loop, the Cape Horn Trail is an easy 40 minute drive from Portland, offering a perfect weekend hike for Oregonians, Washingtonians, and those visiting the area.
Driving Directions
The Cape Horn trailhead is located at the Skamania County Transit Park & Ride lot near milepost 26 along State Highway 14 at Salmon Falls Road.

From the West:

Take State Highway 14 east past Camas (milepost 12) and Washougal (milepost 16).
Two miles east of Washougal you enter the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic area. Continue east into the Gorge.
Six miles east of the Gorge entrance pass the Cape Horn Viewpoint, where motorists get a glimpse of one of the views hikers enjoy on the trail.
A little more than a mile beyond the Cape Horn Viewpoint turn left onto Salmon Falls Road (just beyond milepost 26, about 20 miles from I-205) and then immediately turn right.
You’ll see the trailhead parking on your right.

From the East:

Take State Highway 14 west about eight miles past Beacon Rock State Park to the intersection with Salmon Falls Road.
Turn right onto Salmon Falls Road, immediately turn right again and you’ll see trailhead parking on your right.
SRC: Find a trail map and additional information about Cape Horn here:

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Peter Marbach: Holiday Open House

Peter Marbach, a local photographer, will be holding his second-annual Holiday Open House November 14 and 15th in Hood River, OR. Come to see his breath-taking photography and learn about his projects that span across the globe.
New items this year include the recently released Columbia River Gorge book and 2016 Gorge calendar, now printed and made 100 percent in the Gorge with Columbia Gorge Press. Marbach provides framed art using sustainably harvested maple from Plywerks.

Come for coffee, dessert, and wine and learn more about Marbach’s current projects, including a planned exhibit on the wild and free section of the Columbia River in Canada, and support for rebuilding efforts in Kumari, Nepal.
The event begins at 5pm, and will be held in his studio at 3121 Elliot Drive in Hood River, OR.
Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Searching for Giants: Protecting the Largest Trees in the Gorge

While people often flock to the Gorge to see waterfalls that plummet over one-hundred feet, there are some who visit the Gorge seeking a different type of natural giant. Hood River photographer, Darryl Lloyd searches the Columbia River Gorge for old-growth trees. In the Gifford-Pinchot National Forest he frequents an old-growth forest, which Lloyd has named "Giants Trees of Lost Creek," with Douglas-firs and Western Red Cedars that are taller than many of the Gorge's waterfalls. 
The most impressive is a Douglas-fir roughly 243 feet tall and almost 9 feet in diameter. The cedars are almost as impressive, growing in thick and ancient groves along the creek, with the largest almost 10 feet in diameter.

“The Lost Creek stand is a very rare gem,” said Lloyd, who lives in Hood River but explores giant trees around the Pacific Northwest with his twin brother, Darvel. “It’s a magical, amazing and truly wild place.”
While the secret old-growth stand was historically protected from a proposed timber sale in 1990 by an activist, Russ Jolly, Lloyd has recently brought more attention to the Giant Trees of Lost Creek.
Lloyd's reasoning is that even with the original timber sale beaten back, the grove never received any official protection. It's located just outside the national scenic area on land classified as “matrix” under the Northwest Forest Plan. Matrix lands are designated for timber harvest, with no limits on the size of trees that can be cut. He worries it could be logged at any time.

 “The only way we’re going to protect it is for people to know about it,” he said. “Skamania County is not well-known for conservation, so that was one reason I felt it was important enough to let the world know about it.”

Oregon Wild conservation director Erik Fernandez agreed.

“It's scary to think these trees aren't permanently protected,” Fernandez said. “Just last week, a grove of 500-year-old trees was cut in a park in Douglas County. These old trees are just not as protected as most people think.”
SRC: Read the full article about this old growth forest here:

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

Monday, November 9, 2015

A Driving Tour of the Gorge

Known for great hikes to scenic vistas and commanding waterfalls, the Columbia River Gorge can also be enjoyed exclusively by car. The Historic Columbia River Highway Scenic Byway is a famous driving route, which takes you through the Gorge, leading you through much of the splendor and scenery that the Columbia River Gorge has to offer. Travel Oregon offers this guide for a driving tour through the Gorge, something that can be enjoying if you are a local wanting a drive for the day, or if you are hosting guests from out of town.

Troutdale and the Sandy

To begin your journey from Portland, take Interstate 84 east to exit 17. Follow the signs through the quaint town of Troutdale and over the Sandy River to the Historic Columbia River Highway. In 1805, Lewis and Clark camped along the banks of the Sandy, which ran gritty with ash from the 1802 eruption of volcanic Mount Hood. The road follows the Wild and Scenic Sandy River for several miles, then climbs past orchards and blueberry fields through the communities of Springdale and Corbett, offering glimpses of snow-capped Mount Hood.

Gorgeous Vistas from Crown Point

At the Portland Women’s Forum State Scenic overlook at Chanticleer Point, you get your first glance of the Columbia River and the Gorge: this is the vista that inspired the Highway’s founding father, Sam Hill. The stone guard walls and graceful arches are typical of the highway’s exquisite craftsmanship. The Vista House at Crown Point is an Oregon treasure, one of the most photographed and recognizable in the Columbia River Gorge. Built as a memorial to Oregon pioneers, it offers an inspiring view of the Gorge and the mountains of the Cascade Range.

Unforgettable Falls

To help motorists navigate the 600-foot vertical drop from Crown Point, Lancaster engineered a series of what’s known as “figureeight loops” that gracefully wind down toward the river. You’re soon surrounded by mossy tree limbs, the greenery enhanced by a series of remarkable waterfalls in the next five miles: Latourell, Shepperd’s Dell, Bridal Veil, and Wahkeena. Soon you’ll reach the granddaddy of Columbia Gorge waterfalls—620-foot Multnomah Falls. Only three waterfalls in the nation are taller—and none is more beautiful. A trail from Multnomah Falls Lodge (built in 1925 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places) takes you to the lower cascade, then zigzags to the top. A little farther down the road, Horsetail Falls plummets close enough to the road to mist your windows. Before the Byway joins Interstate 84, at the community of Dodson, you’ll pass Oneonta Gorge, a botanical paradise with more than 50 species of plants that flourish in the damp, cool environs.

Bonneville Dam to Hood River

For the next 25 miles, you’ll leave the Historic Highway for modern—yet still beautiful—Interstate 84. The Gorge’s dramatic geologic formations are a highlight of this segment. Engineering and fishing buffs will want to visit the Bonneville Dam, the first structure to restrain the mighty Columbia. In nearby Cascade Locks, travelers can leave the car for a sternwheeler cruise of the Columbia. More intrepid watersports enthusiasts will want to take to the Columbia at Hood River. Here, the Gorge acts as a wind tunnel to create consistent breezes that have made this once sleepy orchard town the unofficial windsurfing capital of the world.

From Mosier to the community of Rowena

In the 12 miles from Hood River to Mosier, you’ll notice a dramatic change in the scenery. It’s here that the “two Oregons” meet. As you reach Mosier and the the second leg of the Historic Columbia River Highway (off exit 76), the moist and lush western Gorge gives way to dry, eastern Columbia River plateau. Once a booming trade center, Mosier is still famous for its springtime blossoms, fat juicy cherries, and the community’s unrivaled passion for native plants. Just west of Mosier, you can walk or bike the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail through the restored Mosier Twin Tunnels and on to Hood River. Elegant Mayerdale Estate appears unexpectedly on this rural stretch of the road. Look for Memaloose Island in the Columbia, a traditional burial site of Native American peoples of the Columbia Basin that was partially flooded following the construction of Bonneville Dam. Farther east, be sure to linger at the viewpoint at Rowena Crest, which affords sweeping Gorge views rivaling those of Crown Point, and access to the wildflower wonders of Tom McCall Preserve.

The Dalles

The Historic Columbia River Highway spans the extremes of Oregon’s landscape, from the damp and mossy western beginning along the banks of the Sandy River to the dry oak savannahs skirting Chenoweth Creek near the historic The Dalles. The Dalles was long a Native American gathering place and is rich in Oregon Trail lore. Before you leave the Historic Highway as you enter The Dalles, you’ll find the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Wasco County Historical Museum. Built as the interpretive center for the National Scenic Area, the Discovery Center has answers to all your questions about the Gorge’s history. At the Museum, you’ll learn about the earliest inhabitants and hear tales of the traders and settlers who came later. As your tour over the Historic Columbia River Highway comes to a close, consider beginning a new journey to the Lewis and Clark campsite at Rock Fort.
SRC: Read the full article about this historic route here:
Photo SRC:

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Columbia River Gorge's little Treasures

Not only does Oregon have the Columbia River Gorge but it's also home to many little treasures like Punchbowl Falls. To get to this epic waterfall you have to endure a 3.8 mile round trip hike but good news it's difficultly level is easy. This hike is recommended for children ages 10 and up and is available to hike year round. If you start from the Eagle Creek trailhead you get the 3.8 mile experience, start anywhere else and this hike can take as long as 13 miles to get to Punchbowl Falls. Read more about the hike from Eagle Creek to Punchbowl Falls below.
Before you've gone a half-mile you'll find yourself high above the creek, which has now opened up to a glorious valley. Many months the fog hangs low in the canyon, blocking your view of the snow-encrusted cliff-sides towering around you. In places the trail is narrow and the drop-off is quite steep. Cable lines were built into the walls in sections to provide some stability.
As the trail steadily gains elevation, it begins to divert away from the creek. You'll notice the quiet as you ascend away from the rushing water and deeper into the lush old-growth forests of douglas fir, cedar and hemlock. Dewy ferns, moss-covered rocks, and sometimes poison oak blanket the forest floor. You will be surprised at the beauty and quiet of these sections, which at times are like scenes from a fairy tale.
Along the rest of the hike, you'll cross various side-creeks -- some by rock steps, many by footbridges. Be sure to look upstream as you pass by -- especially in the wetter months -- as you will be treated to waterfalls and more lush greenery.
After you've walked about a mile and a half, watch for an obvious spur trail off to your right. The path drops down to an overlook with a view of the magnificent 100-foot Metlako Falls, which seemingly shoots straight out of a cliffside into a large pool below. 
Walk back up the spur trail to the main drag and continue southward, winding high away from the gorge with the creek well out of view. In just over a half-mile you'll be at an obvious, signed junction and resting spot near your destination,Punchbowl Falls.
SRC: Read more details about this hike to Punchbowl Falls

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The Columbia River Gorge is Full of Magic

The Oregon State University released this video and in an instant you can see why the Columbia River Gorge is a must see destination. The beauty of the Gorge is undeniable, the opportunity for adventure is limitless and the inspiration to engage in this environment is addictive. Read a description from the Oregon State University below, and do not cheat yourself out of viewing this amazing video.
The Columbia River Gorge is full of magic. The roughly 80-mile canyon — stretching east from the mouth of the Sandy River in Troutdale to the confluence of the Deschutes River just east of The Dalles — forms the boundary between Oregon and Washington. The scenery — with the mile-wide river, multiple waterfalls, towering Mount Hood and a landscape that transforms from lush forests to dry grasslands as you travel east — can take your breath away, even if you’re just driving through. Lewis and Clark passed through on their transcontinental journey in 1805, and today the gorge attracts visitors from around the world, including wind surfers and kite boarders who take advantage of its strong, steady winds. Agriculture was — and is — a cornerstone of the economy, with hundreds of family-owned apple, pear and cherry orchards, plus a burgeoning wine industry and craft-brewing community. But the gorge is also fast becoming a center of industry, including aerospace, high tech and energy.   
SRC: See what else OSU is doing at:

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Columbia River Highway Collaborative

Rep. Mark Johnson (R-Hood River) has been selected by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown to co-lead a new program, the Columbia River Highway Collaborative.  The Collaborative will work to reduce congestion issues in the Gorge, specifically on I-84. An Oregon Solutions project, the Collaborative does not presently have proposed policy drafted, but the hope is that next there will be something on the table by next summer.
“I’m honored to be selected by Gov. Brown to help lead this important initiative,” Johnson said. “I look forward to working with all stakeholders to learn what can be done to manage the increasing demands for use while also looking out for the best interests of local residents.” 
Stakeholders include the Gorge Commission, Oregon State Parks, Travel Oregon and Oregon Department of Transportation, Johnson said. The team will focus largely on managing the impact of tourists who flow through the scenic area. 
"The historic scenic highway provides access to the wonders of the Columbia Gorge including its amazing waterfalls and spectacular hiking trails,” [Gov. Kate] Brown said in a statement. “With its success as a premier tourist attraction comes the obligation to manage the related congestion resulting from the large number of visitors in a way that preserves the integrity and values of the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area.”

SRC: To read the entire article on the Columbia River Highway Collaborative, visit

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

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Wood Village Leaf Drop-Off

Got leaves? All Wood Village residents are welcome to utilize the Leaf Drop-Off Event provided by the city. Starting November 1st to December 31st the Leaf Drop-Off Event will be held at Donald L. Robertson Park. Learn more details about Wood Village's Leaf Drop-Off Event below.
The cool, windy fall weather causes trees to shed their leaves which can clog storm drains causing localized flooding and deteriorated pavement. Raking or depositing leaves in the street IS NOT an allowed disposal option. Wet leaves on the street can be just as slippery as snow and ice creating dangerous conditions for drivers and pedestrians. 
These problems can be avoided by composting leaves and yard debris or putting leaves into your yard debris can for the waste hauler to remove on your regularly scheduled collection day. In an effort to assist you, the City is providing a leaf drop off area during November and December. 
Where: Donald L. Robertson Park, 24300 NE Halsey in the parking lot against the
wall north of the Tot Lot
When: November 1st through December 31st
What: Leaves and Small Branches Only – NO garbage or large limbs/stumps
Who: Wood Village residents ONLY 
Please deposit the yard debris loose in the designated area, Do Not Leave bags or containers.
SRC: Find more information about the Wood Village Leaf Drop-Off at:

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Monday, November 2, 2015

A Visit to Dry Creek Falls

Enjoy a day visit to Dry Creek Falls by starting your hike at the Bridge of the Gods Trailhead located off the Cascade Locks exit from the I-84 going East along the Columbia River Gorge. This hike is easy to do and fun for the entire family. The total distance is 4.4 mile with an elevation gain of 710 feet. No matter the time of year it is never dry at Dry Creek Falls, dress accordingly and have a great hike. More about the Dry Creek Falls hike below.

The Crest Trail heads gradually uphill, never too steep, through a pretty, dappled sun kind of forest. In the spring, forest wildflowers including columbines are common here. About 1 mile in, you'll come to a powerline access road. Turn right here and follow the road a short distance under the powerlines to the resumption of the trail. Soon after the powerline road, you'll come to a minor summit and the trail begins a gradual descent to Dry Creek. This section of trail heads gradually downward through an interesting area of large lava boulders and trees for almost another mile.
At Dry Creek, the trail comes to another dirt road. This one seems to be open to normal traffic, at least I saw a small, 2 wheel drive pickup last time I was there. The Crest Trail crosses the road and then crosses Dry Creek on a wooden bridge. To get to Dry Creek Falls, instead of crossing the bridge, turn right here and head up the road about 2/10 of a mile to the falls. At the end of the road, there's a car turnaround and a fire pit.
Find more details about hiking Dry Creek Falls at:

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