Archive for the ‘Hood River Valley’ Category

Apple Valley BBQ competes in World Food Championships

November 8th, 2015 by Gorge Lodging

We are so darn proud, and lucky, to have the famous Apple Valley BBQ in the Hood River Valley.

On any giving day the smoke from the cherry wood smokers drifts across the valley.  Not an overwhelming smoke, just enough to entice you down for dinner or lunch.  Local cherry wood is delivered weekly from our neighbors,  Mt View Orchards and local pears from Kiyokawa Family Orchards goes into their coleslaw.  The chef, Jason, uses as much local produce as possible and breads and pies are made from scratch.  I need to write another blog post for the desserts alone!  Apple Valley BBQ provides mouthwatering quality and attention to detail with their cherry wood smoked BBQ pulled pork, ribs and chicken and a variety of nine side dishes including pear coleslaw, spicy green beans, and corn bread salad to name a few.  The place really is amazing!

And now they’ve upped their game by placing 6th in the World Food Championships, dubbed ‘the highest stakes food competition in the world’, held this past week in Kissimmee, Florida.  Their final dish was red snapper pan seared in bacon fat on top of a bacon,goat cheese and chive potato hash cake with pork belly greens and a roasted garlic and bacon beurre blanc with bacon fat poached purple asparagus wrapped in a prosciutto chive knot.  Yeah, I know, that’s a lot of bacon!  But I can’t wait for this dish to make it onto their weekly specials menu.

When you reserve your room at the Old Parkdale Inn we’ll be glad to make lunch or dinner reservations for you at Apple Valley BBQ.  Just add your seating time to the Special Accommodations box on our reservation form and we’ll be sure you are treated to some of the best BBQ in the valley.  Heck, now in The World! Congratulations Justin and amazing staff!!  Safe travels home.

Second Saturday at WAAAM ~ Countdown on Events and Activities in the Columbia Gorge

February 20th, 2015 by Gorge Lodging

Jenny at WAAAMThe Second Saturday of each month The WAAAM Air & Auto Museum opens the doors to roll out and run some of its antique airplanes and cars. Visitors watch airplane operations up close and may get to ride in old cars too. Open 9-5. Activities 10-2. Lunch 11-1. Free parking. WAAAM is located three miles from downtown Hood River and 16 miles from the Old Parkdale Inn Bed and Breakfast.

WAAAM has one of the largest collections of still-flying antique aeroplanes and still-driving antique automobiles in the country.  The items on display at this museum are not only full of history, they’re full of LIFE!

The innkeepers of the Columbia River Gorge Bed and Breakfast Association are eager to share their favorite spots and events for adventure and exploration in the Hood River Valley, Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area, Mt Adams and Mt Hood.

Geocaching the Columbia River Gorge and Surrounding National Forests

February 20th, 2015 by Gorge Lodging

‘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. 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 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. 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.

* 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 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 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

Fruit Friday at the Fruit Company ~ Things to do in the Columbia River Area

February 19th, 2015 by Gorge Lodging

9As much as I hate to admit it I think Spring is coming.  Might already be here. The reason I say this is because we’ve had a very warm springlike first couple of months of 2015.  Oh, it could still snow but I might as well accept it, I really like winter, and move on.

Every Friday of the Month The Fruit Company sets aside fruit that doesn’t make it into their high quality Gift Boxes.  This fruit is most of the time higher quality than you would find in the local grocers.  It just doesn’t meet the standard for what The Fruit Company calls ‘gift grade and is sold at reduced costs.  First come, first serve basis while supplies last.  No phone orders or preorders and orders cannot be shipped.  Good excuse to take a ride up into the scenic Hood River Valley

We get phone inquiries all the time that sound like this: We’re thinking about coming to The Gorge but was wondering, is there anything to do in the area?”  Well.  That list is pretty long.  I can almost guarantee something for every one.  And I will attempt to grab them all in these blog posts.

Travel Oregon’s New Bike Friendly Business promotion

March 15th, 2014 by Gorge Lodging

Oregon is becoming a top destination for cyclists, both off road and road biking, touring or simply day trippers.

Travel Oregon, the states leader in tourism, had created a program, Bike Friendly Business, to go along with the State’s Ride Oregon campaign.  When cycling through and around Oregon Bike Friendly Businesses are committed to welcoming cyclists, offer amenities riders may need and have officially been recognized by the state.

Travel-Oregon-Bike-Friendly-graphic-no-iconsBike the Columbia River Gorge, the Mt. Hood Scenic Byway, the Willamette Valley and have a comfy bed and and hearty breakfast at an bed and breakfast along the way.  A Bed and Breakfast offers so much more than a hotel.  Oregon innkeepers know the best back roads, the best places to eat, the scenic attractions you won’t want to miss.  You determine how far you want to go in one day.  The whole adventure is about 200 miles and you’ll discover why those arriving in Oregon on the Oregon Trail called this place “paradise”.  Our inn the Old Parkdale Inn B&B is recognized as a BFB and is the halfway point for this tour.  Don’t necessarily want to tour?  No problem.  We invite you to explore the many backroads of the Hood River Valley.

As a participating business we need to adhere to program requirements and recommendations.
~ as a lodging partner we must provide a secure area to store bikes
~ serve up a hearty hi-carb breakfast with larger than life servings of fruits and vegetables
~ be able to share local knowledge about where visitors can find bike shops, bike maps, good places to ride, and where to pick up a bike rental
~ our guest rooms have oulets and power strips to plug in and re-charge phone and laptops safely and we have free WiFi connection in the house and out in the garden ~ provide laundry service ~ assist in shipping home any treasures you might find while touring the Hood River Valley on the Fruit Loop

Oregon Grown Wool Center Stage at Olympics

February 8th, 2014 by Gorge Lodging

Did you watch the Opening Ceremony last night for the Olympics?  Did you see the sweaters being worn by Team USA!!  American made from start to finish but I will focus on where it all started.

The Imperial Stock Ranch in Central Oregon is a family owned and operated ranch located on more than 30,000 acres of Oregon’s beautiful high desert.  The only privately held ranch in Oregon recognized as a National Historic District, the Hinton/Ward family has been working the ranch since 1871.

Team USA in American Made Sweaters with wool from OregonOnce a year the Ranch harvests the soft, versatile wool from their flock of Columbia sheep and transform this renewable resource into fiber and yarn.  About 15 months ago the ranch was contacted by Ralph Lauren and the production of the sweaters began.

A diverse state with diverse growing regions, Oregon farmers and ranchers also produce award winning wines, berries, nuts, and fruit.  The dairy farms produce high quality milk for delectable dairy products.  These products are supplied to the restaurants, wineries and artisan food markets around the state so for a Northwest Culinary Adventure plan your trip through Oregon and experience the sights, sounds, and tastes it has to offer.

Digging a little deeper I found these Columbia Gorge businesses that retail the fine products of Imperial Stock Ranch: for fiber and yarn, Knot Another Hat and dining Three Rivers Grill in Hood River and Everybody’s Brewing in White Salmon, Washington.

Hood River, Oregon, Holidays

December 9th, 2013 by Gorge Lodging

1450900_10151801581628461_394486125_nIt was certainly cold this past weekend but that didn’t stop the businesses of Hood River, Oregon, from decking the halls. Strolling the downtown visitors will find beautifully lit holiday trees, decorated storefronts, and lots of unique shopping options—including alpaca clothing, handmade jewelry, and one-of-a-kind arts and crafts.

Due to the storm and very cold temps the tree lighting, parade and First Friday celebration will be this coming weekend, December 12 and 13. The downtown streets will be blocked off for easy downtown shopping. Enjoy good food, wine, beer unique shopping options in downtown Hood River, Oregon.

The innkeepers of the Columbia River Gorge/Hood River Bed and Breakfast Association have your rooms ready.

Got Birds? Plenty here at the Backyard Feeders of the Old Parkdale Inn Bed and Breakfast

March 25th, 2013 by Gorge Lodging

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch

We sure do!  Our gardens are a flurry of avian activity!  Sparrows, finches, blackbirds, chickadees…the list goes on.  Our most colorful visitors so far this spring have been the Evening Grosbeaks.  They are a beautiful bird, don’t you think?  And we have had at least 50 feeding regularly at our many feeding stations.

The gardens of the Old Parkdale Inn Bed and Breakfast have been recognized as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Foundation.  That is we provide feed, water, shelter and nesting provisions for the many species of birds that visit our gardens.  One day last spring in just about a half hours time I identified 21 species of birds!  I invite you to come sit in a secluded nook of our garden and watch the activities!

Le Jour de L’Amour at Sakura Ridge Farm and Lodge

February 6th, 2013 by Gorge Lodging

BIGFOOT LODGE EXTERIOR 2 copyBe part of an evening of Romance and Decadence
Wines by Phelps Creek Vineyards served during a Five-course dinner
Chef Shane Eagan of Four and Twenty Blackbirds.

Dine at Sakura Ridge Farm and Ridge, high above the Hood River Valley

All rooms at Sakura Ridge have been reserved.  We suggest visiting www.gorgelodging, the website for the Columbia Gorge/Hood River Bed and Breakfast Association, for additional lodging options

~ Tickets on sale now, $70.  Contact

Don’t Pass Snowplows on the Right! DUH!

November 30th, 2012 by Gorge Lodging


A couple years back someone tacked this added message below the warning sign that really states the obvious.  Be prepared when exploring Oregon during the winter months.  And don’t always rely on that GPS.  Many forest roads, while beautiful alternatives from the main highways and freeways during the snow free months, are not maintained during the winter.

Travelers should be aware that even a few inches of snow can obscure icy roads and soft shoulders where vehicles can become stuck.  Winter storms can trigger unexpected rock slides, and falling limbs and trees; they can quickly change driving conditions on forest roads from passable to impassable in a matter of minutes.

Keys to safe winter driving: Plan for the unexpected.  Keep in mind that cell phones may not work in remote areas.  Check the latest road and weather conditions at or dial 511 before heading out.  Always tell someone where you’re going and stick to that plan.   Carry an emergency kit in your vehicle.  Travelers should be prepared to spend long periods of time in the car.  Blankets or sleeping bags, warm clothes, a snow shovel, water, food and other necessities are recommended as part of a complete vehicle emergency kit.  Always fuel up at the beginning of the trip.

Weather can change quickly, particularly in higher elevations. Good snow tires, a 4-wheel drive vehicle, and chains are advised or often required, when driving in winter conditions.  As a general rule, always adjust your speed to current conditions and drive at speeds that allow you to stop in half of the visible road distance ahead of you.

Helpful information about planning a trip to a national forest during the winter months can be found on the Know Before You Go webpage at

ODOT and the County Maintenance Crews do an amazing job keeping our Highways and Interstates passable.  They plow, they de-ice and sand but it is our job to use a little common sense, stay on roads maintained during the winter months, and drive cautiously to make sure we reach our destination safely.