Our final day of vacation started with another enormous breakfast from Chef Jerry (almond belgian waffles, Canadian bacon, scrambled eggs with swiss cheese, and fresh fruit) and a walk on the bed and breakfast’s grounds to take in the amazing views. The B&B is home to a flock of sheep and chickens, as well as some stunning scenery.
Today was a more random day of our trip. After talking with Jerry, we learned of a few fun, local places to visit. And what better place to visit on a mini-vacation than an alpaca farm?
It all started with Jerry showing us his socks during breakfast. I cannot, for the life of me, remember why Jerry lifted his leg above the table to reveal his socks with a small alpaca silhouette above the ankle, but I’m glad he did. It led us on a trip up to Trout Lake, Washington, home of Meadowrock Alpaca Farm.
One thing you should know about me is that I love alpacas. I’m not sure why. But it’s just a fact.
I also love incredible views. And Meadowrock is at the base of Mt. Adams (the largest mountain in the Pacific Northwest- not the tallest, but the largest. We were told that two Mt. Hoods would fit inside Mt. Adams.), with unobstructed views of the mountain (aside from the rain clouds, of course).
So basically, this farm is awesome.
Jim and Barbara started their alpaca farm a few years ago and now allow visitors to come and meet the animals. Jim was super nice and indulged my love for these adorable creatures, letting us pet and feed them! Each of the alpacas has a name, and Jim introduced us to each one and gave us a good idea of what day-to-day life looks like on the farm.
Clearly, I’ve made a lifelong friend here.
After feeding, petting, and laughing at the alpacas, we headed into the gift shop to chat with Barbara, who was incredibly friendly and gave us a great history of the farm and their shop. She sells alpaca products on the farm and online, and I can personally guarantee that the alpaca socks are awesome.
By the time we left the farm, we were ready for a snack, so we headed about a minute down the street to The Station Cafe, where we indulged in some huckleberry milkshakes, as per Jerry’s suggestion. Apparently huckleberries grow wild all around Trout Lake, making for some wonderful milkshakes. And this little diner was too cute. It is attached to a gas station, and therefore, is a bit of a hole-in-the-wall. But this is a really small town, so it’s really all you need. We were clearly the out-of-towners in the group, as everyone who entered this establishment was greeted by name and enjoyed some conversation with the cook. We just sat back, sipped our milkshakes, and enjoyed some small town charm. It was wonderful.
From Trout Lake, we headed back into Hood River to pick up some coffee from the Hood River Coffee Company (the roasters of the delicious blends we enjoyed with breakfast at the B&B) and say goodbye to the super cute town. At Jerry’s suggestion, we took the Historic Columbia River Highway for part of our drive back to Portland. This historic road drives above the interstate, getting up close and personal with all of the waterfalls along the way. It was beautiful.
The highway also passes straight through the Multnomah Falls parking lot, so we had to stop to take a look at the country’s second tallest waterfall. We took the time to hike at the falls last year, but it was raining and we were losing daylight this time around.
We stopped for gas in Troutdale, Oregon, and after noticing how cute the little town was, I pulled out my Oregon guidebook (always good to have on a roadtrip) and read up on the town. Apparently the town was once home to the Multnomah County Poor Farm, a massive Colonial Revival estate that housed Oregon’s aged, indigent, and sick for most of the 20th century. After the poor farm fell apart, it was reinvented as McMenamins, a combination pub, fine-dining restaurant, golf course, vineyard, garden, movie theater, hotel, and spa. So, of course we needed to stop there for dinner.
I’d say this place is worth a visit, even if you just want to walk the grounds for a while. It was dark by the time we finished eating at the pub, but I imagine you could spend a few hours exploring and enjoying some live music and good food!
And with that, our mini-vacation comes to an end. Here’s to many more!