Friday, June 26, 2009


The weather in Hood River is pretty wild. The norm – as we knew before we arrived – is wind. Eight days out of ten, that means WINDY. One or two days out of ten will be breezy. The RARE day will be dead calm.

Bill, Bev, Laurie, Odel posing at Vista House at Crown Point in the Columbia River gorge.

My parents arrived at our gate around 11 am on Monday. The wind was breezy in Hood River, the sky a mix of clouds and sunshine. We decided to spend the afternoon touring the western portion of the Historic Columbia River Highway, home to the most well –known icons of the gorge, Multnomah Falls and Vista House at Crown Point.

It is a wonderfully scenic drive and we had a big surprise: no wind at Crown Point, high up on the side of the Gorge. Wow, did we luck out!

Tuesday was even more surprising: no wind at all in Hood River. Odel took advantage of the calm to head out on the golf course, and my mom, dad and I took off for a beautiful, sunshine filled day of sightseeing.

I was beginning to think they wouldn’t believe that Hood River’s economy runs on wind, but the weather returned to normal on Wednesday: a calm morning followed by a freshening breeze building to high sustained winds and tree-bending gusts. How lucky we were on Monday and Tuesday!

I’ve got lots of photos of our sightseeing. Here are some of the highlights of this beautiful area, starting with a view of the Vista House (very tiny in this photo) on Crown Point, taken from the Portland Women’s Forum State Park.

The Vista House on Crown Point from Women's Forum State Park

On Tuesday, we had clear views of Mt. Hood (south of Hood River) and Mt. Adams (north of Hood River, in Washington). I took these photos when we visited a nearby lavender farm:

Lavender and Mt. Hood The photo of Mt. Hood, above, was taken looking south. I turned around and took the photo of Mt. Adams to the north.

Lavender and Mt. Adams

Though the lavender was incredibly beautiful and fragrant, I was dazzled by the poppies:

Red Poppies blooming next to the lavender

Next we headed to Lost Lake, on the northwest side of Mt. Hood, for a picnic. I took this photo from our picnic table:

Mt. Hood from Lost Lake on a sunny day.

On the way home, we stopped at one of the many fruit stands along the “Fruit Loop”, a scenic drive through the orchards in the highlands above Hood River and the gorge. We found fresh Bing cherries, and just-picked strawberries – the small, delicate ones with a juicy red heart, just the opposite of the huge, firm, often hollow strawberries shipped to grocery stores. Hurray for local produce! By the way, the Hood River County Fruit Loop Cherry Celebration is coming up in a few weeks, July 11-12, 2009. Ummmmmmmmmmm…!

On Wednesday, Odel and I were back at work while my mom and dad explored on their own. We had dinner at Dixie’s Southern Grub, the third time Odel and I have eaten there. Once again, EVERYTHING was delicious. I won’t go into a description of each of our far-above-average dishes – I’m afraid I’d get started and never stop – but we HIGHLY recommend Dixie’s to anyone who is looking for an excellent dining-out experience in a comfortable, casual (and remarkably kid-friendly) setting. A day on the Fruit Loop during the Cherry Celebration, dinner at Dixie’s… now that would be a good, good day.


  1. Love your pictures of the lavender and poppies -- two of my favorite things to photograph. Also I love the idea of a Women's Forum state park! Only in Oregon, I suspect!!

    Lovely place.


  2. Hi Laurie, your pictures of the many views of Oregon are beautiful. Did you know that in southern California, red poppies only come up after a fire? There were many after the fires of 2003, but, I saw them all over in Israel.

    Hugs, Sharon & Ron

  3. I sure enjoy reading your posts of this area. We did exactly each of the things you describe in this one. I think Lost Lake was one of the first places Boo Boo went "swimming" much to her surprise.