Posts Tagged ‘Hood river’

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

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 events@phelpscreekvineyards.com/541-285-8754

100+ Activities and Adventures Await

February 1st, 2013 by Gorge Lodging

Miles and miles of XC ski and snow shoe trails in the National Forests surrounding the Columbia River Gorge.

Miles and miles of XC ski and snow shoe trails in the National Forests surrounding the Columbia River Gorge.

I had a phone inquiry the other day: “We’re thinking about coming and visiting the Columbia River Gorge but was wondering, is there anything to do in the area?”

Really?  Well, let me tell you, one experience at a time.

For us there is nothing better than a hike in our adjacent National Forests, fresh snow, no wind, fresh tracks.  If it’s snowing, it’s even better.  The forests surrounding Mt Adams, in Washington, and Mt Hood, in Oregon, have miles and miles of trails to explore.

The innkeepers of the Columbia River Gorge Bed and Breakfast Association will send you off in the right directions

Don’t Pass Snowplows on the Right! DUH!

November 30th, 2012 by Gorge Lodging

DO NOT PASS SNOWPLOWS ON THE RIGHT
DUH!

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 TripCheck.com 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 go.usa.gov/Cmq.

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.

Apple Dumplings at the Old Parkdale Inn Bed and Breakfast

September 26th, 2012 by Gorge Lodging

The last of the summer peaches went into a cobbler and I made a trip up to Kiyokawa Farms for fall apples and pears from the Hood River Valley Orchard.  The Apple Dumpling is a guest favorite and I look forward to making it for you in the months to come.

Apple Dumplings at the Old Parkdale Inn Bed and Breakfast

Old Parkdale Inn Apple Dumpling ~ 4 servings

For the Sauce: bring 1 cup water, 2/3 cup sugar, 2 tbsp butter, 1/4 tsp cinnamon to a boil and let simmer while you prepare the apples.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Apple stuffing:  Brown sugar, craisins, cinnamon. I make a large batch of this, maybe a couple of cups at a time, and keep leftovers in plastic zip lock bag in frig.  Prepare Puff Pastry: thaw sheet and cut into quarters

Peel and core your apples and fill with brown sugar stuffing then gently wrap puff pastry around apple.  Don’t worry if the dough doesn’t completely enclose around the apples.  Place the dumplings in a buttered pan and pour the sauce over the dumplings and around the sides of the pan. Bake for 40 minutes until golden brown. Serve hot with extra sauce drizzled over the top.

Geocaching the Columbia River Gorge and Surrounding National Forests

May 10th, 2012 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.  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

May 5th, 2012 by Gorge Lodging

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

May 3rd, 2012 by Gorge Lodging

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.

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