Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The History of the Vista House

The Vista House is an icon of the Columbia River Gorge. With the house boasting spectacular views (and often high winds) it is a stop for many people touring the Gorge. But how did a building like the Vista House end up on the summit of Crown Point? Read about the history behind this symbol of the Gorge: 
Samuel Lancaster, Assistant Highway Engineer for Multnomah County in 1913, supervised the Columbia River Highway project. Lancaster’s proposal to construct a building on the summit of Crown Point was another reflection of his desire to inspire the traveler along the highway and to make the wonders of the gorge accessible.  
As Lancaster described it, the Crown Point promontory was the ideal site for “an observatory from which the view both up and down the Columbia could be viewed in silent communion with the infinite.”  Such an observatory would also be a fitting memorial to “the trials and hardships of those who had come into the Oregon country.” And it could “serve as a comfort station for the tourist and the travelers of America’s greatest highway.” He suggested it be known as the Vista House.
 Majestic! It’s the only word to describe Crown Point capped by its venerable Vista House.
Since 1918, this regal sight has enthralled millions of travelers. From its surrounding vantage point 733 feet above the Columbia River and overlooking the busy I-84, countless sightseers and photographers have enjoyed a step back in time and one of Oregon’s most inspiring views. 
Few places combine nature’s wonders and human architectural brilliance so majestically. Once called “Thor’s Heights,” Crown Point is a basalt promontory shaped by the same volcanic lava flows, floods and winds that created the Columbia River Gorge. Cited for its “exceptional value in illustrating the natural history of the U.S.,” it was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1971. It is protected as a state park property known as the Crown Point State Scenic Corridor. 
The Vista House was built as a rest stop observatory for travelers on the old Columbia River Gorge Highway and as a fitting memorial honoring Oregon’s pioneers—particularly those who made their way down the Columbia River. Described by its architect, Edgar M. Lazarus, as “a temple to the natural beauty of the Gorge,” Vista House has long been recognized for its historic significance and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
Building the Crown Jewel
The construction of the Vista House was inspired by the builders of the old gorge thoroughfare who were also the most prominent and wealthy of Portland’s citizenry. Upon its completion, the highway was hailed as a “tremendous feat in highway construction,” reflecting the visions of its builders to reconcile nature and civilization and the vision for Vista House was born. The highway was dedicated on June 6, 1916, atop Crown Point. The construction of the Vista House began there December 29 the same year to serve, in the words of the highway’s chief engineer Samuel Lancaster, as an “Isle of Safety to all the visitors who wish to look on that matchless scene.” It was Lancaster who first suggested that it be called the Vista House.
Financing the building of Vista House was challenging. No state dollars were available, leaving the project dependent on funds provided by Multnomah County and donations from private parties.  When the efforts to raise funds from the general public did not develop as hoped, the bulk of the construction costs were paid by Multnomah County with only around $4,000 coming from private sources, including school children.
Edgar Lazarus designed Vista House as an example of modern German architecture, or the German equivalent of Art Nouveau. Native Italian craftsmen who built retaining walls and bridges for the Columbia River Highway laid its foundation. 
Built under the direction of a Multnomah County road master, John B. Yeon, the structure is 44 feet in diameter and 55 feet high. The exterior is gray sandstone. The roof, which for almost 50 years was capped with a copper roof, now has its crown restored to the original matte-glazed green tiles.
Inside, Tokeen Alaskan Marble was used to surface the floors and stairs in the rotunda and as wainscoting on the basement walls. The inside of the dome and its supporting ribs were painted to simulate the marble and bronze. Attached to the wall just below the dome, eight busts of four unidentified Native Americans are aligned so that each mirrors its own likeness. Lancaster furnished plans for other interior decorations that were never realized. 
There has been some kind of commercial activity in the Vista House since its inception. Cross & Dimmitt produced and sold post cards in the building for many of its early years. There was a gift shop in operation by a succession of concessionaires for many years. The nature of the operation of the building changed vhStilwell07when, in 1982, the Friends of Vista House was formed by a group of dedicated community volunteers. Since that time, FOVH has worked in cooperation with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department to provide more education to the public and to operate the building in a more interpretive manner. The Friends’ volunteers contribute thousands of hours each year to staff the information desk and FOVH operates a Museum Gift Shop and espresso bar in the lower level to raise funds for the interpretive and restoration projects.
SRC: Find more information about the Vista House here:

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"Beautiful Music for the Beautiful Gorge" Event

On March 13, 2106 join Friends of the Columbia River Gorge for their concert to benefit Gorge protection. Greg Leif will be the featured pianist, and the event will be held at The Old Church, in Portland, OR. Tickets are $15.00, and reserve them now before they are gone!
Beautiful Music for the Beautiful Gorge
Join us for an afternoon of wonderful piano music that also supports Gorge protection. With a repertoire stretching from classical composition to American ragtime, Greg Lief will keep you entertained! 
This event will also include a silent auction of beautiful nature photographs taken by Greg at some of his favorite locations in the Gorge.
Tickets are $15 for advanced online purchase or $20 at the door. All proceeds benefit Friends of the Columbia Gorge. During intermission there will be a short presentation by Friends staff.
Listen to a preview of Greg's classical and ragtime performances: 
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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Self Defense Class in Fairview, OR

The City of Fairview, OR's Police Department is offering a free Women's Self Defense Class. If you are a woman living or working in Fairview, OR register for this class now if you are interested! 
Fairview Police Department Offering Free Women's Self Defense Class
The Fairview Police Department is offering a FREE Women's Self Defense Class for women 18 and over. The class will focus on the A, B, C's of self defense: Avoidance, Boundary Setting and Combat.
The class is limited to only 20 participants. Priority will be given to Fairview residents and those working in Fairview. These classes have been very popular and fill quickly.
Class is February 20, 2016 at Fairview City Hall, 1300 NE Village Street, from 9 AM to 12:00 PM. Participants must be 18 years or older.
To register for the class contact the Fairview Police Department, Monday – Friday, 8 AM -5 PM, at 503-674-6200. You must register by February 17. 
All attendees are required to sign a waiver and release prior to attending the training.
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Monday, January 25, 2016

Ski and Stay in Hood River

Hoping to get up to the Mt Hood soon to enjoy the great snow season we are having this year? Hotels in Hood River, OR have partnered with Mt Hood Meadows to offer discounted ski passes and lesson packages when you stay at select Hood River locations. See the offer details here: 

Stay in Hood River, Ski Mt. Hood Meadows. And Save Big!

3-out-of-5 Day Adult Lift Pass  $99*
3 Time Learn to Ski Package  $99*
Single-day Adult Lift Pass $49*
Single-day Junior Lift Pass  $30*
* Offer good at  Mt. Hood Meadows when you stay at one of the participating Hood River and Gorge-area lodging facilities. No black-out or restricted dates. November 2015 – April 2016.  Learn to ski package includes 3 Lift Passes, 3 lessons and free rentals each day.
Best Western Plus Hood River Inn . .(800) 828-7873
Brookside B&B . .(541) 387-6589
Columbia Cliff Villas . . . (866) 912-8366
Columbia Gorge Vacation Rentals . . (541) 400-0601
Comfort Suites . .   (541) 308-1000
Cooper Spur Mountain Resort. . (541) 352-6692
Hood River BnB . . (541) 387-2997
Hood River Hostel . . (541) 806-8525
Hood River Hotel . . (541) 386-1900
Hood River Vacation Rentals . . (877) 260-2519
Mt. Hood View Lodge . .(541) 490-5138
Oak Street Hotel & Vacation Homes . .  (866) 386-3845
Old Parkdale Inn . .  (541) 352-5551
Panorama Lodge . . (541) 387-2687
Riverview Lodge . .  (800) 789-9568
Vacasa – Vacation Rentals in Hood River . . (971) 231-6372
Vagabond Lodge . . (877) 386-2992
Villa Columbia BnB . .(541) 386-6670
Vineyard View . . (541) 386-6008
Wy’East Retreat . .(541) 705-7798
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Columbia River Gorge Stamp

If you are a stamp collector, or know someone who is, the new U.S. Postal Service Stamp featuring the Columbia River Gorge might be the next stamp on your list to collect. The stamp offers beautiful artwork of the Gorge, but the $22.95 Priority Express Mail stamp is also the first stamp ever produced to exceed a $20 denomination.
The United States Postal Service has produced its first postage stamp to exceed a $20 denomination: the $22.95 Columbia River Gorge Priority Express Mail stamp was issued Jan. 17. 
It is also the first U.S. stamp printed by Banknote Corporation of America using a plate number beginning with the letter B. 
A second stamp intended for Priority Mail use, printed by Ashton Potter USA Ltd., was issued at the same time: a $6.45 La Cueva del Indio stamp. 
Both stamps were issued without ceremony in Washington, D.C., rather than at the scenic locations that they depict. 
The stamps are the latest high-denomination stamps to feature the artwork of illustrator Dan Cosgrove in the American Landmarks series, which began in 2008 with the $4.80 Mount Rushmore stamp (Scott 4268) and the $16.50 Hoover Dam stamp (4269).
With the addition of the two new stamps, the series depicts 16 different natural or manmade sights from a dozen or so states and Puerto Rico. 
Each stamp in the series has fulfilled the rate in effect at the time for either the Priority Mail or Express Mail flat-rate envelopes. 
Because these rates have increased over time, the face value of each newly issued expedited mail stamp has also climbed. A 5¢ drop in the Priority Mail rate in 2010 provided the only exception. 
The new stamps have been issued in self-adhesive panes of 10. 
Collectors have the option of purchasing press sheet segments consisting of 60 stamps for the $6.45 stamp, or 30 stamps for the $22.95 stamp. Both denominations are being offered with two varieties of sheet segments, either with or without the die cuts that normally separate individual stamps. 
The quantities issued are 300 sheets of the $6.45 stamp with die cuts and 500 sheets without, selling for $387 for either variety; and 100 sheets of the $22.95 stamp with die cuts, and 250 sheets without, priced at $688.50 for either variety.
La Cueva del Indio (“the cave of the Indian”), shown on the $6.45 stamp, is an archaeological site on Puerto Rico’s north coast, near Arecibo, about 50 miles west of San Juan. 
“La Cueva del Indio gets its name from the great number of engravings, known as petroglyphs, found on the cave’s walls,” according to the Postal Service. “The engravings are believed to be the work of the Taino, the pre-Columbian inhabitants of the island.”
The area was declared a natural reserve in 1992 by the Planning Board of Puerto Rico, and it is managed by the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources. 
The reserve extends nine nautical miles into the Atlantic Ocean and includes coral reefs and sea turtle nesting areas. 
Almost 4,000 miles to the northwest of La Cueva del Indio is the Columbia River Gorge, featured on the $22.95 stamp. 
The 85-mile-long gorge is situated in the Pacific Northwest along the border separating Washington and Oregon, with the Columbia River running through it on its way to the Pacific Ocean. 
The view in Cosgrove’s illustration shows Crown Point, some 730 feet above the river, and the historic stone structure known as Vista House, which was built by Multnomah County between 1916 and 1918. 
“The first Europeans viewed the Columbia River Gorge in 1792 during Captain George Vancouver’s exploration of the Pacific region,” according to the Postal Service. “In 1805 and 1806, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark traversed the rugged gorge on their exploration of the American West. The Columbia River also helped thousands of pioneers migrate to the Pacific Northwest along the Oregon Trail during the 1800s.” 
The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area was created on Nov. 17, 1986, when President Ronald Reagan signed the National Scenic Area Act. 

“A total of 292,500 acres were designated for special protection on both sides of the Columbia from the outskirts of Portland-Vancouver in the west to the semi-arid regions of Wasco and Klickitat counties in the east,” according to the Columbia River Gorge Commission. 
The Postal Service has created standard black four-bar first-day cancels for each of the two stamps, as well as individual digital color postmarks for each. The La Cueva del Indio color postmark has the name spelled out in blue, green and red lettering, while the Columbia River Gorge color postmark shows five green trees with “Columbia River Gorge” spelled out across them. 
The Postal Service sells first-day covers marked with these postmarks on plain white envelopes. Technical details and first-day cancel ordering information for the $6.45 La Cueva del Indio Priority Mail stamp and the $22.95 Columbia River Gorge Priority Express Mail stamp are presented below. 
$22.95 Columbia River Gorge Priority Mail Express stamp
FIRST DAY— Jan. 17, 2016; city— Washington, D.C., and nationwide.
DESIGN: illustrator— Dan Cosgrove, Chicago, Ill.; designer, art director and typographer— Phil Jordan, Falls Church, Va.; modeler— Michelle Finn and Sandra Lane  
PRINTING: process— offset with microprinting; printer and processor— Banknote Corporation of America, Browns Summit, N.C.; press— Alprinta 74; inks— cyan, magenta, yellow, black; paper— prephosphored overall tagged; gum— self-adhesive; issue quantity— 1.5 million stamps; format— pane of 10, from 150-subject cylinders; size— 1.42 inches by 1.085 inches (image); 1.56 inches by 1.225 inches (overall); 4.12 inches by 7.12 inches (full pane); 4.12 inches by 21.36 inches (press sheet); plate numbers— “B” followed by four single digits; marginal markings— plate numbers in two corners (stamp side); “©2015 USPS,” plate position diagram, USPS logo, UPC code in two corners, UPC code behind each stamp; website information; USPS item No.— 119300.
First-day cancel ordering information
Collectors requesting first-day cancels are encouraged to purchase their own stamps and affix them to envelopes. The first-day cover envelopes should be addressed for return (a removable label may be used), and mailed in a larger envelope addressed to Columbia River Gorge Stamp, Special Events, Box 92282, Washington, DC 20090-2282.
Requests for first-day cancels must be postmarked by March 17. 
The Postal Service’s uncacheted first-day cover for the Columbia River Gorge stamp is USPS item No. 119316 at $23.39. USPS order numbers for stamps and FDCs also appear in Linn’s 2016 U.S. Stamp Program.
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Friday, January 22, 2016

Come Aboard Queen of the West

The Queen of the West is an icon of the Columbia Gorge. Tour the Gorge from a different perspective as you venture up and down the Columbia River. The Queen of the West cruises start in early March of 2016, and you can view all available itineraries now. 
Begin your journey on the mighty Columbia from Portland, OR or Clarkston, WA via the 230-foot long Queen, propelled by a three-story high churning paddlewheel.
Capturing passengers and luring them in with its promise of adventure, this Columbia River cruise has it all. It was, after all, the waterway that ushered Lewis and Clark to the
Pacific, and showed America what was beyond the west side of the Mississippi. This expedition stands among the most important explorations of all time.
You’ll venture towards Astoria, OR, the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies, glide through Volcano Alley which has breathtaking views of Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, and
Mt. St. Helens, and witness the wonder of the Columbia River Gorge. At 80-miles long and up to 4,000 feet deep, this popular recreational destination will leave you awestruck. Journey through Pendleton, OR to get a real taste of the west at the world-famous Pendleton Roundup.
From the glittering waterfalls and snow-covered volcanic mountains, to the high desert country, deep river canyons and lush forested slops, this cruise is full of whimsy, wonder, immaculately pristine wilderness, and rich, sensational history.
SRC: If you are looking for pricing or ticket information, find details here: 

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

BIG (Breweries In the Gorge)

While many people might go to Portland to find great beer, you might consider spending a day enjoying lovely scenery and great beer in the Columbia River Gorge. 10 breweries in the Gorge have banded together to form BIG (Breweries in the Gorge), to illustrate all the beer there is to be enjoyed when you find yourself on the Oregon or Washington side of the Columbia River. 
Gorge Breweries

Backwoods Brewing

Backwoods Brewing was founded in 2012 and is located in Carson, WA. We operate on a 20-barrel brew system and specialize in NW style ales. With a full, family-friendly pub, and 10 delicious beers on tap, it is a must-stop on your way to Mt. St. Helens, or up the Columbia River.

Big Horse Brewery

Hood Rivers oldest brewpub, family owned & operated, since 1988. Small batch brews using regional ingredients. Beer true to style, served at its peak. Diverse lunch & dinner menus, fresh, seasonal, locally sourced, everything made from scratch. Kid, pet, healthy, hungry, vegetarian, friendly. River view & sunny decks. Fun, warm, knowledgeable staff!

Double Mountain Brewery

In 2007 Double Mountain opened their doors in the heart of downtown Hood River with a clear mission: make great beer for craft beer fans. The Taproom serves unfiltered and long-aged beers, brick oven pizzas, sandwiches, salads and more. Free live music weekly on Thursday and Saturday.

Everybody's Brewing

We focus on brewing approachable beers with all the flavor. Our family friendly pub features a locally sourced menu in a beautiful wood filled atmosphere. Outdoor seating for 100 people with stunning views of Mt. Hood. Free Live Music Friday's. Unwind with us after your Gorge adventures! 11:30 to close.

Full Sail Brew Pub

Founded in 1987, the independent Full Sail Brewery is perched on a bluff overlooking the Columbia River Gorge. Swing by, have a pint, grab a bite, take a tour and soak up the view! Brewery tours daily at 1, 2, 3 and 4PM. Open every day @11:00AM, serving lunch and dinner.

Logsdon Farmhouse Ales Barrel House & Tap Room

Logsdon Farmhouse Ales brews certified organic ales in the Belgian tradition utilizing practices that have been in place for centuries. Our award winning saisons and other classic Flanders style beers are made with care utilizing local malts, hops and farm fresh fruit of the Northwest. Stop by our new Barrel House & Tap Room in downtown Hood River for a flight of our many draft offerings, to sample from one of our guest taps or pick up some bottles to go!

pFriem Family Brewers

pFriem Family Brewers is a Northwest & Belgian inspired 15-barrel brewery and family friendly tasting room in Hood River, OR. Offering a Belgian-influenced menu made with locally sourced ingredients, designed to pair with the pFriem family of artisanal beers.

Solera Brewery

Solera is a small brewery located in the historic Valley Theater, in Parkdale. Try a Hedonist IPA, one of our seasonal beers, or a wild and sour fruit beer aged on local fruit. Gaze out over pear orchards toward the craggy North face of Mt. Hood from our patio.

Walking Man Brewing

A pioneer brewery in the Columbia River Gorge, Walking Man Brewing has been crafting award-winning beer in Stevenson, WA since 2000. Enjoy our spectacular dog-friendly beer garden or cozy up inside the brewpub and share a pint with friends old and new. Our delicious menu features appetizers, burgers and artisan pizza. Open year-round Wednesday - Sunday. Please visit our website for seasonal hours.

Thunder Island Brewing Co

Thunder Island Brewing Co is a 7-barrel brewery and tasting room serving beer brewed with adventure in Cascade Locks, OR. Overlooking the mighty Columbia River, try a flight or pint of our handcrafted beers with lunch or dinner and enjoy the view. Well-behaved dogs are welcome on the patio. Call for hours.

SRC: Find a map and more information about BIG here:
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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Learn to Knit in Cascade Locks

Ever wanted to learn how to knit? On Saturday, Feb 6th 2016, Sarah Keller, owner of Knot Another Hat, will be offered a free class covering the basics of knitting. Don't miss your chance! 
Winter is here and that means it is time to knit! What better way to spend hours inside than creating knitted items to wear and share? Come learn the absolute basics of knitting while working on a scarf made of super-soft alpaca and merino. Techniques covered include casting on, making the knit stitch, and casting off. Yarn and needles included.
The classes will be held on Saturday, Feb. 6 at 1 p.m. at the Cascade Locks Library and Saturday, Feb. 13 at 1 p.m. at the Parkdale Library. Registration is required. Each class is limited to 10 people. To register, please visit or call the library at Cascade Locks 541-374-9317, Parkdale Library 541-352-6502, or Hood River Library 541-386-2535.
Sarah Keller opened Knot Another Hat in 2005 in downtown Hood River. She created the store out of her love of knitting and fine yarns in all colors, weights, and fibers. Over the last 11 years, she has helped hundreds of area fiber enthusiasts to find their knitting passion as well. Knot Another Hat continues to pursue its mission of helping fiber lovers make beautiful finished projects in its new location at 11 Third Street in Hood River.
The classes are free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the Hood River County Library District at 541-386-2535,, or visit their website at 

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Edgefield Summer Concerts

If you are counting down the months until summer, here are a few more things to look forward to. If you've never been to a concert at McMenamins Historic Edgefield, we recommend it; if you've already been to Edgefield, you probably don't need much convincing to go back.  Here are some recently released shows and dates for Edgefield concerts this summer: 
The Edgefield summer calendar is rolling out—yes, already.
In July, the Avett Brothers will return for a two-night run on July 21 and 22. Weezer will headline the Troutdale venue on July 30, bringing along Panic! At the Disco and Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness (previously of Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin). Weezer recently announced its umpteenth self-titled album, which this time gets the weighty nickname "The White Album." Please do not mistake it for the Beatles one.
Tickets will be available soon via
The new dates join Josh Groban's previously announced Aug. 24 concert, which you should get tickets for now to surprise your parents. And see our full list of major 2016 concerts with early announcements.
-- David Greenwald
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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Zip-Line Tours at Skamania Lodge

If you are looking for some adventure on the weekends, fly through the forest of the Columbia River Gorge at Skamania Lodge. 
Skamania Lodge Zip Line
Get ready to fly with Skamania Lodge Zip Line Tour, the newest adventure just outside Portland in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge. Our excursion will send you soaring through an old growth forest with views of the magnificent Columbia River. The tour consists of seven different lines, three sky bridges and 2.5 hours of stunning views surrounding the world class Skamania Lodge Resort.  And because its hands free and professionally guided, you don't want to miss this opportunity to escape your comfort zone and fly with us!
Tour Information
7 zip lines, 3 sky bridges and some light trail walking
Zip lines range from 100 feet to 900 feet in length
The tour takes approximately 2 to 2.5 hours depending on the size of the group
Tour sizes range from 2-10 people (for larger tours please call 509.427.0202)
Hands free and personalized with two guides
Hiking shoes, tennis shoes required, NO OPEN TOED SHOES 
All other necessary gear is provided
Weight limit 60-275lbs
All Zip Line Tours require a reservation.  Please book online using the Book Zip Line Tour Button on this web page or call 509.427.0202.   
For more information please visit
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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Horsetail Falls Loop

A great Gorge which starts off with a perfect view of Horsetail falls right from the car. Continue up to Ponytail falls where the trail will take you behind the falls and up to beautiful views of the Columbia River Gorge. 
This loop takes you past three falls and can be accessed either by the Horsetail Falls Trailhead (from which Horsetail Falls is easily visible and accessible) or the Oneonta Gorge Trailhead (just west of Horsetail Falls Trailhead). The hiking directions below start from Oneonta Gorge Trailhead.
From the Oneonta Trailhead, find and follow Gorge Trail #400 (this section of trail #400 is the Historic Columbia River Highway) to the junction with the Horsetail Falls Trail #438. This will lead you first to Ponytail Falls, which you can walk behind. The trail will next take you upward with switchbacks for ~0.5 miles until you reach a bridge over Oneonta Gorge. Oneonta Falls is visible from the bridge, looking downstream. Continuing on, you will reach the junction with Trail #424. To add an extra waterfall to the trip, turn left and hike ~0.9 miles to Triple Falls. To complete the loop, turn right from Trail #438 onto Trail #424. This will lead you back to Oneonta Trailhead where you started.
Hike Information:
Type of Hike: Loop
Length: 2.3 Miles
Elevation Gain: 440 Feet
Difficulty: Easy
Restroom Facilities: No
Fees and Regulations: None
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1/2 Price Golfing at McMenamins Edgefield

The McMenamins Edgefield campus in Troutdale, OR features TWO par-3 golf courses. Even better, for January and February 2016 when you reserve a tee-time get a 50% discount! 
Said to be loosely based on the mythic links described in Michael Murphy's novel Golf in the Kingdom, our two par-3 Pub Courses (12 holes & 20 holes) meander throughout the Edgefield property, winding in and around thickets of blackberry bushes, all the while offering panoramic views of the Columbia River Gorge while you work on your short game. Holes vary from 43 to 84 yards in length; all guests are welcome, even those who've never swung a club! Both courses are equally challenging, mostly for beginners, but fun for all.
If you play the East Course, stop and pay homage to Jerry at the "Garcia Bronze," a dramatic, tree-like sculpture by artist Joe Cotter that honors the late Grateful Dead guitarist. After your round, visit our clubhouse in the Distillery Bar to toast your victory or discuss your defeat.
Come tee it up at McMenamins Edgefield for a great weekend activity or min-getaway.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

'Past and Present of Herbal Medicine'

This Saturday, January 16, visit the Hood River Library to listen to Sue Kusch discuss plant-medicines in the past and present. Learn about commonly used herbal remedies, and borrow from Kusch's wisdom on the topic.
Local Sue Kusch will present “The Past and Future of Herbal Medicine” at the Hood River Library on Saturday, Jan. 16 beginning at 2 p.m. Kusch’s presentation and slideshow will review the basics of plant-medicine, its historic and present applications, and the holistic approach herbal medicine brings to health and wellness. The presentation ends with a snapshot of eight plants commonly used in herbal remedies.
Kusch has been exploring the world of plants for several decades and settled in the Gorge in 2010. Kusch tends to herb and vegetable gardens in Snowden, owns The Withered Herb, and teaches classes and workshops on all things herbs.
This program is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the Hood River County Library District at 541-386-2535,, or visit their website at

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Fairview: Community Class on Growing Native Plants

On Saturday, January 20th join the city of Fairview, OR for a free class on growing native plants from live stakes. Learn about what live stakes are, how they are used in restoration, and how you can use them in your own backyard to promote growth of our beautiful native plants.

Free Community Class - Growing Native Plants from Live Stakes for Backyard Habitat Program

Cutting and planting live stakes in winter is an easy and inexpensive way to grow beautiful native shrubs—such as red osier dogwood, Pacific ninebark, and snowberry—for restoration work and your own backyard habitat.
Join us for a hands on live staking class. We will collect and plant live stakes in a stream-side restoration site along Johnson Creek. Learn how we are growing habitat for local wildlife through natural area restoration and our Backyard Habitat Certification Program. Leave with live stakes to plant in your own yard!
Dress for the weather, including rain and muddy trails. Tools, gloves, and snacks will be provided.
Saturday, January 30, 2016, 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM – Gresham’s City Operation’s Center parking lot, 2123 SE Hogan Road, Gresham, Oregon. For more information about this event, or to RSVP, contact Ivy Watson at 503-618-2383 or
SRC: Find more events in Fairview, OR here:

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Monday, January 11, 2016

Antique Shopping in Troutdale, OR

While you might know the West Columbia Gorge and the surrounding towns to be famous for their incredible views, have you even considered the shopping? The quaint town of Troutdale, OR, the Gateway to the Gorge, has a great selection of antique stores. Come out to the Gorge to enjoy the views and also to find premier antique goods! Here is a list of antique vendors in Troutdale:
Bev Frank Antiques
387 E Historic Columbia River, phone: (503) 665-1640
Green Door Antiques & Antique Restoration 
113 W. Historic Columbia River Hwy., phone: 503-666-7483
Heritage House Antiques
320 E Hist Columbia R Hwy, phone: 503-667-5997
Nostalgia Antiques
345 E Hist. Columbia River Hwy, phone: 503-661-0123
Thomas Werbin Antiques 
387 E Hist Columbia R. Hwy, phone: 503-674-2910
Troutdale Antique Mall
359 E Historic Columbia River, phone: (503) 674-6820
Venuste Antiques & Estates
255 E Historic Columbia River, phone: (503) 618-0248

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Christmas Tree Recycling--Last Weekend!

If you still haven't gotten around to taking down your Christmas Tree, this weekend is the last weekend to get some additional help with the ordeal. Boy Scout Troop #174 will be in Troutdale, OR again this weekend recycling Christmas Trees, even picking them up from your home if needed: 
JANUARY 8 and 9 – 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sponsored by Boy Scout Troop #1742373 SW Cherry Park Road (Fujii Farm berry stand across from Safeway)To have your tree picked up, come to the recycle location and make an appointment.  
Donations appreciated!
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Angels Rest Hike in the Gorge

An iconic hike in the Columbia River Gorge, Angel's Rest is certainly worth doing if you've never make the trek, and probably worth doing again even if you've already summited the peak. The hike is almost 5 miles round trip, and gains about 1,500 feet, but this climb is well worth the effort when you reach the 270 degree view of the Gorge at the top. Make sure you check the forecast this time of year before you venture out towards the Gorge area.
Hike Description
Angel's Rest is an exposed bluff on the Western end of the Columbia River Gorge. This summit is characterized by a long, rocky spine surrounded on three sides by cliffs, boasting a striking 270 degree view! While you can't see any of the Cascade volcanoes from the top, you do get great vantages of Beacon Rock, Silver Star Mountain and many other landmarks.
The real draw, however, is the perspective of the river below - like you're on a balcony over a great auditorium. Its near-2000 foot prominence, and its proximity to the Columbia River give you the false sensation that you could dive from the summit to the water below!
Getting to this precipice takes a relatively short hike (2.4 mile one-way) with an easy to moderately-steep ascent. Its bang-for-the-buck makes this a long-time favorite of families and hiking clubs. When you consider that the drive time from downtown Portland to the trailhead is under 45 minutes, it is understandable how popular this destination can be on sunny summer weekends.
The trail passes two waterfalls along the way, an overhead view of Coopey Falls and a quick detour to smaller Upper Coopey Falls. The forest expanses surrounding the summit burned in a fire back in 1991, and lots of charred evidence remains. It is a unique landscape - one quite varied from other locales in the Gorge.
Angel's Rest, while a worthy destination by itself, is also a favorite stopping point for longer hiking loops in the area. Don't be surprised if you even see backpacking thru-hikers taking a breather at this splendid rest-stop.
Note for families: While, there is plenty of space to avoid danger at the top, but it should be noted to keep little ones close by to avoid them getting too close to the cliffside drop-offs. As one, somewhat nervous woman pointed out "There are no handrails".
  • Hike Type: Out and Back
  • Distance: 4.8 miles round trip
  • Elevation gain: 1450 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: All Season
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: Yes 
SRC: Find a map and more information about the hike here:'s_Rest_Hike
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Looking for Lunch in the Gorge?

If you find yourself looking for lunch in the Columbia River Gorge area after a hike to Punchbowl Falls or a trek up Angel's Rest, you don't have to wait until you make it back to the Portland-Metro area before you find a place to grab a bite:
Locks Waterfront Grill  
The Locks Waterfront Grill is part of the Visitors’ Center in Marine Park, Port of Cascade Locks off Highway 84 at exit 44. 
Our menu by chef Mike Conklin features fresh, local and organic selections including fresh cut french fries, fish and chips, Painted Hills Organic ground beef burgers and much more prepared in our state of the art kitchen.
The Grill operates full time with expanded waterfront seating directly overlooking the Columbia River and plenty of free parking for all. The Visitors Center is packed with information and history about the Cascade Locks, the Columbia Gorge and activities available to you during your visit.
Bridgeside Restaurant 
Bridgeside restaurant in Cascade Locks, Oregon, is a historic restaurant next to the landmark Bridge of the Gods. With outstanding Columbia River views, Bridgeside has been a dining destination and popular travel stop for over six decades.
Bridgeside serves breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Under new ownership since July, 2013, the former Char Burger restaurant was completely remodeled and updated in 2014. In 2015, the new owners decided to change the name from Char Burger to Bridgeside to better describe the restaurant’s incredible location next to the Bridge of the Gods. The new name is also more inclusive for the variety of menu items Bridgeside offers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And finally, we hope it will enable us to better promote the special event space with its stunning views.
Bridgeside retains the historic character and memorabilia for which the Char Burger in Cascade Locks was well known. Bridgeside is the perfect traveler’s restaurant for visitors of the Pacific Crest Trail, Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, Multnomah Falls and other Columbia Gorge waterfalls and attractions. We also enjoy serving long-time locals, and folks just passing by.
SRC: See the full Locks Waterfront Grill wesbite here:
SRC: Look through the menu for Bridgeside Restaurant here:

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An Event: "Lights Out: Going Dark in the Columbia River Gorge'

Come visit the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center on January 22 for a presentation about a type of pollution no often discussed, light pollution. Bob Yoesle, the keynote speaker, will be presenting on the hazards and effects of light pollution in the area, the country, and across the globe. Come early for dinner, or just come later for the free program.
WHEN: January 22, 2016 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
COST: Dinner $16 ~ Program free to the public
LIGHTS OUT: Going dark in the Columbia Gorge
Dinner: 6 p.m., Beef stroganoff, steamed broccoli, salad, rolls, dessert: $16.
Program: 7 p.m., Free to the public.
Columbia Gorge Discovery Center presents Lights Out: Going dark in the Columbia Gorge. Bob Yoesle will talk about the effects and hazards of night-time outdoor lighting.
Once a source of wonder and enjoyment, the star-filled nights of just a few years ago are rapidly vanishing in a foggy haze of artificial light. The effects of bad lighting is cumulative and adds up quickly: light pollution not only masks our view of the stars; poor lighting is ugly, threatens public safety, and wastes energy to the tune of $2.2 billion per year in the U.S. alone.
Dark-sky friendly lighting does not require you to live in darkness or turn off all the lights at night – only the unnecessary ones.  Light pollution is that rare issue that costs less to solve than to let it continue.  Learn how glare lighting actually threatens public safety, and how to implement outdoor lights that are designed to save energy and money, and keep and protect our dark-skies for current and future generations.
An amateur astronomer for over 50 years, Bob Yoesle was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and moved to the Northwest 37 years ago. Yoesle is the President of Friends of Goldendale Observatory, and does frequent observations and education about the sun, and renewable energy from the sun.
SRC: Find the event post here:

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Monday, January 4, 2016

New Stamp Features Columbia River Gorge

A new stamp is to be released, featuring the Columbia River Gorge in all its beauty. It is a Priority Mail Express Stamp, so you can now send your Priority Mail with lovely scenery in tow. 
Priority Mail Express: Columbia River Gorge Stamp
With this new Priority Mail Express stamp, available in panes of 10, the Postal Service celebrates the grandeur of the Columbia River Gorge. Approximately 80 miles long and up to 4,000 ft. deep, the gorge runs along the Columbia River to form part of the border between Oregon and Washington. 
The stamp art captures the beauty of the Columbia River as it winds its way through the steep cliffs of the Cascade Mountain Range. The historic Vista House sitting atop Crown Point and overlooking the river 725 ft. below shimmers in the golden light of the setting sun. Illustrator Dan Cosgrove of Chicago worked under the direction of Phil Jordan of Falls Church, VA, to create the stamp image.
SRC: Find a photo of the stamp here:

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