Enough about our car troubles. I could use a day without VW talk. Here’s what we did last week after leaving Mt. Hood…
After relaxing and living the high-life for a few days, it was time to get back to reality and head out into the wild once again. We made our way up to one of the ski areas at Mt. Hood that has an alpine slide ½ mile long. We all wanted to do it (maybe me more than anyone), but we arrived to find out they had switched to ‘September hours’ and on a weekday we were out of luck. We were able to make Bode happy with the promise of candy, but I was really bummed. Someday.
Down the other side of Mt. Hood we hit the back end of the Fruit Loop and got some freshly-picked produce before rolling into Hood River. Yet another nice little town and appealing lifestyle here. It’s supposedly affordable too. The two things to do around here seem to be windsurfing and making beer. We stopped in at the Full Sail brewery for a tour and tasting and were not disappointed. They’ve got a nice little place overlooking the river too. I never made the connection between Full Sail and windsurfing, but now I know. Apparently, the wind really gets ripping through here and all the local hot-shots have photos of themselves 20 feet in the air clinging to their board. I didn’t see a single photo of someone actually windsurfing in the water. Kind of comical when you see twenty in a row. One more tidbit – they’re working on a whiskey-flavored brew that is currently aging in the barrels. It will be ready in February and sold out shortly afterward. Mark your calendars.
We started making our way east through The Dalles and pulled over for a roadside attraction near Marysville – Stonehenge! There you go, Sarah. Please leave your Spinal Tap quotes below. I loved it, but Jason has been to the real Stonehenge and said there is no comparison. I think they did get the scale correct, but its otherwise just a bunch of concrete.
We received some great recommendations of things to do further east, but the timing just wasn’t going to work out for us. The Pendleton Roundup looks like a good time, but I’m starting to worry that we will eventually be chased out of the Great White North by snow drifts if we don’t get going soon.
So, we turned the bus around and headed back down the Washington side of the gorge and spent the night at a state park right on the river. Since we were right on the river, we got watch (and hear!) the frequent trains barreling down the Gorge all night. Not for everyone, but Bode loves trains. After having a pretty thorough conversation about meteors and falling stars a few hours earlier, we laid out on the grass in the dark and did some star-gazing. It only took about 30 seconds before we all saw a long and bright falling star that crossed a quarter of the sky and broke in two. Serendipity at it’s finest.
We all managed to find our own satellite to track across the sky, did our best to identify some planets, and realized we really need to get a star chart of some kind.
We decided to just snack for dinner and broke out some cheese, crackers, and the elk sausage we bought a few days back. Not really knowing what we had, we dared each other to take the first bite and ultimately decided to all try it at the same time. It was sublime. Not gamey at all. Delicious. We ate and ate. For the record, Jason ate the skorkel.
I’m working on my Portland observations, and will post that soon.
And if anyone has recommendations for Washington, let us know. I’d love to have an actual route planned when we get moving again!