This was, by far, my favorite day of Becca’s visit (and I think her favorite, as well). We left Eugene nice and early for the long drive to Hood River, Oregon (my absolute favorite town in this state). I should point out that I assured Becca it would be fine for us to wear shorts, but as we got closer to our destination, it remained super cloudy and about 50 degrees. Whoops.
We took the Historic Columbia River Highway from Troutdale to Multnomah Falls, giving us lots of scenic viewpoints and waterfalls to see. We stopped at the Portland Women’s Forum State Scenic Viewpoint to take in a very cloudy (but beautiful) view of the Columbia River Gorge. The Columbia River separates Washington and Oregon, making for a pretty beautiful dividing line.
We drove down the road a bit to the Vista House at Crown Point, which is a cool building with nice views.
Next up, we continued down the Historic Columbia River Highway, passing lots of waterfalls (only one of which we actually got to stop and look at, due to the number of tourists taking up all the parking spots along the way). I really wanted Becca to see Multnomah Falls (the second tallest year-round waterfall in the country), so Eric braved the completely packed parking lot while we walked up to the falls. I felt like we were at Disney World. Seriously, it was so crowded. If I can make a recommendation, visit this place in the off-season. It’s much more enjoyable without a zillion people around (and it’s awesome in non-summer weather). You can read about our first visit to Multnomah Falls and Hood River from October 2011 here, and our second visit last December here.
Even with some big crowds, Multnomah Falls is pretty darn impressive. Plus, the clouds left, the sun started shining, and the temperature jumped about 15 degrees while we were there. Not bad.
By this point, we were itching for some lunch, so we headed to Hood River to eat at Full Sail Brewing. We got a spectacular seat on the deck, where we could see some kite boarders enjoying the windsurfing capital of the world.
After lunch, we walked around downtown Hood River for a bit, enjoying the quaint little shops and some much needed iced coffee (because now we’re sweating) from Doppio Coffee + Lounge, a super cool open-air coffee shop that I would love to sit and enjoy sometime. We headed up the road a bit to Panorama Point County Park, which has killer views of both Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams.
From there, we got to the main event: the Hood River Fruit Loop. I’ve been wanting to try this out since our first trip to Hood River a few years ago. There are a ton of orchards and wineries in Hood River, and you can visit them to enjoy wine tastings, fruit samples, baked goods, lavender, etc. There were 30 different places on the list this year, so you could spend an entire week visiting these things. We only had the afternoon, so we had to be a bit picky about what we could do. Luckily, our picks turned out to be awesome.
We started with the Gorge White House, where we wandered the flower fields, admired Mt. Hood (you can see it everywhere!), and tasted some pear wine, which was surprisingly delicious.
Next on our fruit loop tour: Mt. Hood Winery. Holy cow. This place is spectacular. When you pull up, you see this gorgeous winery with Mt. Adams in the background. When you enter the tasting room, you stare at Mt. Hood out the window. Can it get any better? Yes. You get wine. We enjoyed a little wine tasting and then relaxed on the patio to stare at Mt. Hood. Seriously, how do you take your eyes off a mountain?
Another wonderful aspect of Mt. Hood Winery? The photos of male movie stars lining the walls in the women’s restroom. It made me laugh out loud. There’s nothing like using the bathroom in Morgan Freeman’s presence.
Next up: Rasmussen Farms. I didn’t take many pictures here because we spent most of our time tasting cherries. Yum.
Our next stop was Hood River Lavender Farms, where they just happened to be celebrating the Hood River Lavender Daze Festival. Awesome. So we enjoyed some bluegrass music while we cut some fresh lavender with views of Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood. Yes, please.
Our final stop (due to time constraints) was Packer Orchards and Bakery, where we enjoyed endless jam samples (is this heaven?) and attempted to drown our sweat in ice cream.
Next up, we drove to Trillium Lake (you can read about our crazy winter hike there last December here), which is much more navigable in the summer than it was in some serious snow. And just look at that view. There were a bunch of people canoeing and kayaking on the lake, which seems like the perfect way to spend a summer day to me.
We also paid a visit to Timblerline Lodge, a super cool ski lodge with a neat history on Mt. Hood. But it seems I didn’t take any pictures, so you’ll just have to check out photos from our December visit. Just imagine it with less snow.
And with that, we headed back home to Eugene, continuously checking our rearview mirror for last looks at Mt. Hood. The good news is, we could see it until we were about an hour from home.
To recap, I love Hood River. And I don’t know why anyone would ever leave.