September 30, 2017

First part of September!

We returned to the Northwest just before Labor Day and got to spend some time with Mike's family before we loaded up Gracie and headed to the mountains!  We were happy to be home again in Gracie and excited to venture to and explore around Mt. Hood.

We had been to Toll Bridge Park earlier in the summer and barely scratched the surface of all we wanted to see and do in that area, so we had booked, in advance, (something we don't often do) a spot for several days over, and past, the holiday weekend.

And, we loved it there!  The park itself is tucked into a forested area just off the road to Mt. Hood, about 15 miles from the cool city of Hood River.  Lots of nearby hiking trails and waterfalls, mountain lakes to paddleboard, bike trails to explore, orchards to enjoy...and the city itself is very cool!  It's a community centered around all of the outdoor opportunities available, tucked in the Columbia Gorge, it's a very popular place for wind and kite surfing...and at the foot of Mt. Hood which is an amazing ski area, it seems everyone in town is headed out to play!

We have a drone!

The Timberline's where the movie "The Shining" was filmed!


Behind Temanawas Falls!

Our new friends, Chelsey and Christina.

Mt. Hood...I think it's my favorite mountain!

We paddled on Trillium Lake, hiked to Temanawas Falls, picked fresh peaches at Mt. View Orchards, took the chair lift up on Mt. Hood, watched kite surfers on the river, went to a yummy dinner in town and hung out around camp, making new friends out of fellow Airstreamers @streamingnomads.

The Eagle Creek Fire
The only negatives we dealt with here was a skunk that seemed to return every night to test our olfactory senses...and the horrible smoke caused by the fires ignited in the gorge.  Sadly, tens of thousands of acres were burned, apparently from a human caused event...hundreds of people were displaced, the freeway was closed for at least a was awful, and it will take the area awhile to fully recover from this tragic event.  But, it will!  And it is a gorgeous area for outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds...  I think it is safe to say that we will be again, we left feeling like we had just scratched the surface!

We moved on, around the mountain, to Silver Falls State Park, just outside of Silverton, east of Salem.  It was a lovely haven from all the smoke lingering in the gorge...and it is most significantly known for the amazing waterfall loop hiking trail.  Mike had been there once before in the winter and the falls were pretty impressive, so it was a little bit disappointing to see them trickling, but the hikes themselves were still gorgeous!

Home, sweet home.

Gracie loves being tucked into the trees!

Moving west, we opted for a winery not too far from Salem, a Harvest Host site.  (If you don't know what Harvest Host is, the link will take you to their page...and if you are a fellow traveler, you ought to consider a remarkably easy membership!)  Aracane/Wheatland Cellars was a great stop!  We enjoyed the heck out of our hosts, Jeffrey, the owner and Delores, who poured the wine!  Their Chardonnay is exceptional...the property is quiet and lovely, along the Willamette River...we even got to pick some fresh apples right out our front door!  After purchasing a few bottles to take with us, we moved on to another Harvest Host, the Blue Heron Cheese Company in Tillamook, to get some yummy cheeses to go with our wine!  This place is less serene, but super convenient and a wonderful place to overnight, a great place to get prepared for what was up next, our two week stay in heaven...

Arcane Cellars

Hint...we were headed a little farther west...

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