Last week, Jack and I headed to Hood River for the first time. With fall colors awash throughout the area, it seemed the perfect time to sneak away for a few days and check out the area’s famous Fruit Loop.
Located in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge, the Hood River Valley is the nation’s largest pear-growing region. It’s also known for its numerous vineyards and wineries, and is a great place to stock up on (depending on the season) fresh apples, cherries, blueberries, raspberries and such.
We had no real plan other than to meet up with Jack’s sister and her husband and explore the region as time and the weather allowed. Our rendezvous spot was the quaint Hood River Hotel, which proved to be the ideal home base for prowling around downtown Hood River (thanks, Jimmy) and the scenic environs beyond.
Here, in pictures, are a few highlights of our trip:
No, this isn’t France; it’s the Hood River Valley.
Hood River U-Pick organic farm was low on fresh fruit (sold out, sold out, sold out) but the perfect spot to experience down-home Hood River farm life – the resident chickens have the run of the place, and the family goats and alpaca up the cute-quotient significantly.
Dahlias (and, on this day, bees) are also plentiful at U-Pick.
One of the many, many apple orchards along the Loop.
The Old Trunk Antiques Store.
Inside the Old Trunk — lots of great finds here.
At Kiyokawa Family Orchards & Fruit Stand, gourds galore. (We stocked up on fresh Honeycrisp apples and Comice pears.)
All aboard the Mount Hood Railroad’s Parkdale Excursion train — an outstanding way to catch the fall color.
From the train, we spotted several bald eagles perched atop snags alongside the river, waiting for dinner.
The scenic lunch stop in Parkdale.
A burst of color, viewed from the train.
More fall color, viewed from the platform of the caboose.
Weather not co-operating? Check out the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum, which has one of the largest collections of still-flying antique airplanes and automobiles in the country. Fascinating!
My favorite discovery of the trip: the mind-blowingly scenic Rowena Crest overlook, accessed from the Historic Columbia River Highway.
About the Author
Lisa Broadwater, GRI, CDPE, is a Central Oregon-based real estate professional who specializes in listing and selling homes, especially in Sisters, Tumalo, Bend and Redmond.