Geocaching the Columbia River Gorge and Surrounding National Forests

‘Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people, from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.  Geocaching.com is the headquarters for the activity”

Did you know that Geocaching started in Oregon?  A little history lesson, the full version can be read on the Geocaching.com history page from where I’ve gotten this information.

“Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.  Geocaching.com is the headquarters for the activity”  On this site you can read the history of Geocaching.

* On May 2, 2000, at approximately midnight, eastern savings time, the great blue switch* controlling selective availability was pressed. Twenty-four satellites around the globe processed their new orders, and instantly the accuracy of GPS technology improved tenfold. Tens of thousands of GPS receivers around the world had an instant upgrade. Now, anyone could “precisely pinpoint their location or the location of items (such as game) left behind for later recovery.” How right they were.

* On May 3 a GPS enthusiast, Dave Ulmer, computer consultant, wanted to test the accuracy by hiding a navigational target in the woods. He called the idea the “Great American GPS Stash Hunt” and posted it in an internet GPS users’ group. The idea was simple: Hide a container out in the woods and note the coordinates with a GPS unit.  On May 3rd he placed his own container, a black bucket, in the woods near Beavercreek, Oregon, near Portland.

* Within three days, two different readers read about his stash on the Internet, used their own GPS receivers to find the container, and shared their experiences online.  Like many new and innovative ideas on the Internet, the concept spread quickly – but this one required leaving your computer to participate.

* Within the first month, Mike Teague, the first person to find Ulmer’s stash, began gathering the online posts of coordinates around the world and documenting them on his personal home page. The “GPS Stash Hunt” mailing list was created to discuss the emerging activity.

* Geocaching.com was released to the stash-hunting community on September 2, 2000. At the time the site was launched there were 75 known caches in the world.  There are now over 1.5 million caches around the world, in only 12 years.’

This is certainly the condensed version.  Visit Geocaching.com history for the full story.  I checked to see if the Original Cache was still available, but alas, it has been archived and the Un-Original Stash placed in it’s honor.  The links will take you to their listing on Geocaching.com but if you are not logged in I’m not sure if you will be able to view.

Geocaching is Eco Friendly Travel at it’s best.  Choose a member inn of the Columbia River Gorge Bed and Breakfast Association for your home base when Caching the Gorge

A Northwest Culinary Delight ~ Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Strawberry-Rhubarb Coffee CakeIt is spring in the Pacific Northwest.  The rhubarb in the gardens of our inn, the Old Parkdale Inn, is just about ready to harvest and the Oregon strawberries are showing up at our Farmers Markets.  Put the two together and we get a favorite of our guests, Strawberry-Rhubarb Coffee Cake.

3 c fresh rhubarb, cut in 1-inch pieces
2 c fresh strawberries
sweeten with agave nectar (or one c sugar)
1/3 c cornstarch

Cook the strawberries and rhubarb for about 5 minutes.  Combine the sweetener of your choice with the cornstarch and add to fruit.  Cook until bubbly and thick.  Set aside to cool

3 c flour
1 c sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 c butter

1 c buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp almond extract

Combine dry ingredients.  Cut in butter until the mixture resembles fine  crumbs.  Beat wet ingredients together and add to flour mix, stirring just to moisten.  Spread half the batter in a greased 9x13x2 inch baking pan.  Spread the cooled rhubarb filling over this and spoon the remaining batter in small portions on top of the filling.

Make a topping by combining

3/4 c sugar, 2 cup flour, cut in 1/4 cup butter and then add 1/4 cup flaked coconut

Sprinkle over the coffee cake batter, bake at 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes.  The innkeepers of the
Columbia River Gorge/Hood River B&B Association truely enjoy turning your vacation into a culinary vacation.  Coffee anyone?

Ski, Surf, and Sip in and near the Columbia River Gorge

The town of Hood River, the hub of the Columbia River Gorge, is known in the world of sports as the windsurfing capital of America. Stiff prevailing winds and the Columbia’s strong Mt Hood, Oregon's tallest peak at 11, 240' watches over the Hood River Valleyriver currents combine to create a kind of wind tunnel that makes for legendary windsurfing and kitesurfing conditions.  South of the city, above the pear and apple orchards of the Hood River Valley, the massive glaciered peak of Mount Hood rises to fill the horizon, a perfect postcard image of Oregon.

Where can you ski in the morning and windsurf into the afternoon and evening?  And it’s blossom time in the Hood River Valley.  Take the Fruit Loop, a 35 driving tour through the valley’s orchards, forests and quiet communities.  Stroll the quaint shops, breweries, and wine tasting rooms in downtown Hood River before dinner in one of many fine dining rooms. The innkeepers of the Columbia River Gorge/Hood River B&B Association will provide unique accommodations, a superb Northwest Culinary experience, and tips on where to dine and explore.

Columbia Gorge Pear and Wine Festival ~ May 19-20, 2012

Raise your glass and join the festivities in the Hood River Valley.  This annual event held in the heart of Wine and Pear Country celebrates the Columbia River Gorge and its local chefs, fruit, wine and art.

Not only will this event celebrate the Gorge, it will give back as well. Proceeds go to the Rotary Club of Hood River Scholarship Program, funding scholarships to area youth for higher education.

Create memories and plan to stay the weekend at an inn of the Columbia River Gorge Bed and Breakfast Association some just minutes from the WAAAM Museum where this event is being held.

Pheasant Valley Winery, in the Hood River Valley, Oregon

Come celebrate the blossom of our 8th year
Award Winning Organically
 Grown and Crafted Oregon Wines

Create memories at Pheasant Valley Bed & Breakfast, a 3 room inn in the Hood River Valley, Oregon. You are walking distance from their tasting room and as their guest you will receive a complimentary sampling of Pheasant Valley Winery’s award winning wines at our turn of the century wooden bar. Talk with our knowledgeable wine tasting staff, relax next to our large rock fireplace or wander through our gift shop.

Pheasant Valley Winery
3890 Acree Drive, Hood River, Oregon 97031
541-387-3040 or wine@pheasantvalleywinery.com

Ski Mount Hood

Skiing Mt. Hood is easy. We offer specials to ski and stay at any participating Gorge Lodging B&B.

Details for Mt Hood Meadows Ski Resort: Tickets – Guests purchase their lift tickets directly from their host for just $50 for adults, $35 for children ages 7 to 14 and seniors, 65+. These are all day tickets – with a value of up to $79 (good from first lift to last). While there are no block out dates, minimum stays or other restrictions, the lift tickets have to be used within the same dates as the guest lodging visit. One lift ticket per guest per night’s stay.

Details for Timberline Lodge Ski Area Tickets – Guests purchase their lift ticket vouchers directly from their host at a cost of $40 for adults, valued of up to $64. While there are no block out dates, minimum stays or other restrictions, the lift tickets vouchers are to be used within the same dates as the guest lodging visit. One lift ticket per guest per night’s stay.

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