Posts Tagged ‘columbia gorge’

Tundra Swans Return to Mirror Lake in the Columbia River Gorge

November 7th, 2015 by Gorge Lodging

For me the return of the Tundra Swans to Mirror Lake in the Columbia River Gorge, marks the beginning of Winter.

Mirror Lake is at the foot of Crown Point, visible from Interstate 84 just west of the Rooster Rock exit. The Lake can host upwards of 100 Tundra Swans, although as of yesterday only a few had arrived from their Arctic tundra nesting grounds.  The Scenic Colombia River Gorge is just one of Oregon’s 7 Wonders near the Old Parkdale Inn.  The other being majestic Mt Hood.

Tundra Swans dine on plant material, slugs, snails, insects and crayfish, and typically weigh from 10 to 18 pounds, averaging about 53 inches in length.  They mate for life and travel in family groups in roundtrip migrations of up to 3,725 miles.

Tundra Swans winter here and share space with Hooded Merganser, Mallards, Green-winged Teal, Northern Pintail, Bufflehead, Song Sparrow, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Steller’s Jay, Black-capped Chickadee.

Look closely at the photo for Mallards, a Great Blue Heron and a Hooded Merganser.

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.

Passport Month in the Columbia River Gorge

April 2nd, 2015 by Gorge Lodging

‘A World of Wine in 40 Miles’

That’s the motto for the Columbia Gorge Winegrowers.  Americas’ Most Unique Wine Region is located less than an hour East of Portland, Oregon.  Columbia Gorge Growing Region includes the fertile soils of both sides of the mighty Columbia River.  The Washington and Oregon grapes and wines of this unique region are a spectacular selection of sweet whites and luscious reds.

Passport Month in the Columbia River Gorge

A World of Wine in the Columbia River Gorge

The wineries span the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area through 40 miles of peaceful, open-roads running through double mountain views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams.

The 7th Annual Columbia Gorge Wine Passport Month happens the Month of April and events, along with times, vary by winery. Your purchased Passport is your access pass to exclusive offers, incredible discounts and unique experiences at 24 Gorge wineries all April long, including three very special, wine-focused weekend events at participating wineries.Passport holders receive amazing deals at our Oregon and Washington wineries with deep discounts, food pairings, barrel tastings, reserve tastings, and more. Enjoy a relaxing day, memorable weekend, or multiple weekends touring around the wild beauty of the Columbia Gorge.

Rest a spell at a member inn of the Columbia River Gorge Bed and Breakfast Association.  A day can be spent in the Washington wineries, another in our Oregon wineries then complete your time in the Gorge at a downtown tasting Rooms in Hood River.  It’s a wonderful way to spend the month and discover the variety of wines from the Columbia Gorge and Columbia Valley AVAs and Columbia Gorge Bed and Breakfast Association

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

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.