"It's All good in the Hood"
Summer is over and I haven't even written about my favorite travel of the season!
Flashback a little over a month ago, Labor Day was quickly approaching and any extended weekend calls for a trip in my mind. We started throwing out ideas... camping on the peninsula, road tripping to Canada, before checking the weather and seeing only clouds and rain forecasted for the Northwest. Hood River, OR has been on my bucket list and traveling inland had it's perks---> more promise of sun. As we decided last minute to make the trek, I searched air bnb, couch surfing, hotels and camping with no luck. I guess we weren't the only ones with the grand idea. But the wheels were in motion and not having accommodations was not going to detour us. Worst case scenario we would sleep in the car (which we did) and truth be told it ended up being a pretty comfortable sleep!
Hood River is the quaintest waterfront town situated on the Columbia River Gorge. It is an outdoor enthusiasts DREAM with a never ending list of activities. Windsurfing, paddle boarding, kite boarding, mountain biking, snowboarding, skiing, hiking and rock climbing are all available options depending on the season. With a population of less than 10,000, Hood River exudes the small town feel I love but with enough activity to keep you busy. And keep busy we did...
The Hood River County Fruit Loop is a scenic 35 mile drive that takes you through fruit, flower, lavender farms and vineyards. It is well known to tourists but honestly, one of the things I was most excited for.
All because of this....
I don't know when, or even why my obsession for alpacas began, but owning a small herd has become a life goal that I can't shut up about. They are just the freaking CUTEST. It was really hard to move on from Cascade Alpacas of Oregon ..... where I asked the owner question after question about owning alpacas and just how much space I would need for my future farm. :)
Other stops along the 35 mile loop included The Gorge White House, where you can pick your own fruit and flowers and an antique store that sold the most random things you could think of pre-1980.
Eat & Drink
We drove past the vineyards and headed straight for Pfriem Brewery. The beer, the aesethics of the building and the fact that they had an entire upstairs game room made this an A+ brew house. Jared and I happily shared tasters while I killed it at Cribbage, victorious game after game. Beer and winning..... so satisfying. :)
We aso checked out Everybody's Brewing in White Salmon right across the river. While Pfriem definitely wins in the tasty beer department, the brewery did have the most epic view of Mt. Hood and the biggest plate of pulled pork nachos I have ever seen (if you're into meat).
Speaking of food, River Daze Cafe is a local favorite that we stopped by for tasty breakfast sandwiches before our hike. Also grabbed a coffee from Stoked Coffee ...had to try them if only just because I like their name. :)
Hiking around Hood Canal was my favorite part of the trip (tied with the Alpacas). We were able to squeeze in a trail run to Tunnel Falls which is one of the most magnificent waterfalls I have ever seen (and that's saying a lot after spending 7 years in Hawaii!) The funniest part was I was getting cranky with running the rocky trail and I kept thinking that around every corner I would find the waterfall. It wasn't appearing, I was getting defeated and then I heard the water pounding the Earth like thunder. Finally rounding one more corner this 175 ft waterfall comes into view. Myy negativity switched to instant gratitude for my legs and body carrying me to this amazing spot in nature.
Talk about feeling small! After taking what I thought was the necessary amount of pictures, we turned around to finish up the 12 mile out and back hike. The following day on our way back to Seattle, we stopped to hike the mellow Columbia Gorge Waterfall Loop. Short and easy, this loop is great for families and gives you a chance to visit 4 beautiful waterfalls and cool canyons.
Hood River wasn't easy to say goodbye too. Fingers crossed for when we return, it will be to buy a few alpacas!