Hood River Restaurants

Weldon Wagon Trail Hike

Sunday morning Logan got us up bright and early (yay vacation! haha) and we had breakfast on the deck and then packed up for a hike. First stop was to White Salmon at the adorable North Shore Cafe for coffee!

We decided to do the Weldon Wagon Trail hike because it was really close to where we were staying–and it was right by the BBQ place we went to! (We loved the food so much we considered stopping for lunch there on our way back but the timing wasn’t right and they were still closed.)

The hike was really cool! We started on an old logging road and then found the trailhead and it went through the forest for a bit before it opened up and you could see everywhere in the valley.

If you look carefully in the photo above, you can see the trail.

The trail was quiet and remote but clearly well maintained. We met a few other hikers on the trail but not many. It was a hard trail, too. Not difficult but the climb was constant and it never leveled off to give you a break.

We stopped a few times for water and the catch our breathe. Not only was it pretty steep it was hot out–even for 10am!

We both really liked the hike….until I didn’t like it anymore. 🙂

It opened up and it was pretty high up in elevation and my fear of heights started to kick in. I was feeling a bit light headed and decided it was time to turn around! It was just really narrow and freaked me out!

I mean, the views were gorgeous! But…scary.

We headed back down the trail and it turned out to be a good little hike and the perfect time to head back to the house to clean up, feed Logan and get ready to head out for the day.

We left Bella at the house this time. We planned on going to lunch and then doing the Fruit Loop in Hood River and you can’t bring dogs and it was too hot to leave her in the car. Kind of a bummer but the safest bet.

We had lunch in Hood River at a Taqueria. They had a really nice outdoor patio! I got the lunch tamale and shared it with Logan. He loved it!

After lunch we drove out to the Fruit Loop.

The first stop was the Draper Girls Farms.  Logan got to see goats for the first time 🙂 and we bought some of their homemade jalapeno feta cheese and some fancy mustard. Next stop: Wy’East Wineries.

I like Wy’East a lot. Logan was asleep though so Michael stayed in the air-conditioned car with him. It just wasn’t the same to go by myself. I did a quick tasting and bought Michael a bottle of their Red Blend.

Next stop: Packard Bakery and Farms. We stopped there last October for their pumpkin patch activities. It was definitely better in the fall! There wasn’t much going on so I just bought a jar of pickled garlic and cowboy candy jalapenos. 😀

After that we checked out the Children’s Park for awhile in downtown Hood River. Then we were home to relax on the deck with Logan and Bella. We drove up to the house and saw a deer right in the front yard and it wasn’t scared off by us! Check out my video on instagram. Then again when I was laying on the hammock it came right through the yard by me!

Dinner was grilled hot dogs! And then early to bed for all of us.

Vision Quest

Another sunny weekend! On Saturday Michael and I got up early-ish and then drove east into the Gorge. The sun was out, the sky was perfectly blue without a cloud in the sky and the Columbia River was simply gorgeous–shimmering and calm. The perfect day for a hike. I picked the Lake Gillette Hike which starts at the Bonneville Dam Trailhead on the Washington side. It’s a quick jaunt across the river on The Bridge of the Gods and then about a mile up the road.

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The trailhead was really nice, complete with a bathroom (always a plus). The trail was well marked and easy to find. The trail was fairly steep at the start but it leveled out once we got up the trail and went around the bend. According to the guide book, the trail “Tamanous” was a Native American word that meant “Vision Quest.” That was in the back of my mind as we trekked through the forest. I definitely envisioned what it would be like to go on a vision quest through the dark forest, through the bare hills and down to the lake. There have been many times in my life that I wanted to do a Vision Quest and I even researched it–read every book out there on the topic. It fascinates me.

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There was a break in the forest and we could see the Columbia River from way up there. I had no idea we were so high up! I could see the highway down below and there was a barge floating down the river. The temperatures were warming up and I took off my jacket at this point. I was wearing compression tights under my pants for the hike (in hopes to lessen some soreness and as an experiment to see if that made a difference with my knees). I was slightly toasty.

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The trail started to go downhill a bit and then deeper into the forest. We came to a fork in the road and the trail split off. There was part of the Pacific Crest Trail to the right (via Bridge of the Gods) and then Lake Gillette to the left. We went left. When I saw that sign I wondered how all those hikers do the entire Pacific Crest Trail (thinking of the book “Wild“) and how they don’t get lost! There are SO many trails out there, not always well marked.

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The trail was pretty easy and for the most part it wasn’t steep. I was happy about that because last weekend’s hike was a little too strenuous for my knees. We could see the lake through the trees, but not very clearly.

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The trail left the forest and wound through a clear-cut area. There wasn’t any shade and the sun was hot. This part of the trail wasn’t exactly scenic, but it was pretty flat. Once we got through this area and back in the shade, we stopped for a water break. Bella was thirsty! (Me too!)

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We used this hike to try and work on Bella’s training. For the most part she did well. The trail was pretty wind-y and several times we turned a corner and almost ran into other hikers. I think being startled like that agitated Bella. So she wasn’t on her best behavior. She did bark at some other hikers. Towards the end of the hike we realized that feeding her treats while other hikers walked past us worked well and she wouldn’t bark.

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The hike ended up being a little bit longer than I wanted to do. I am still wanting to take it easy on my knees and I know super steep and long hikes aggravate that. We got back to the car just around the 2 hour mark! We did 4 miles! After the hike we drove the 30 minutes or so to Hood River for lunch.

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For lunch I suggested the Sixth Street Bistro. We went there last year for dinner and thoroughly enjoyed the food. This visit was no different. Perhaps the 4 miles and 740 calories burned had something to do with it, but the food was AMAZING! Yes, I am a 4 year old. I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich.

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It was provolone and cheddar cheese on sourdough bread. It was gooey and mild and rich. The salad was outstanding. Just as good as I remembered it. I got the vinaigrette feta dressing.  Michael got a turkey, bacon and avocado sandwich on gluten free bread with a salad with bleu cheese dressing.

After the late lunch we stopped at Marchesi Vineyards. It’s one of my favorite wineries in Hood River. We shared a wine flight that was five samples. The place was packed! There were so many people out trying to soak up the sunshine. The first taste was the Pinot Grigio, which we bought a bottle of.

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It’s a delicious, dry wine. Not sweet at all. The second bottle we came home with was the Barbera. It was a toss up between that one and the Sangiovese.

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We’ve talked about joining their wine club for awhile now but decided to wait until after the wedding to decide. Years ago we belonged to a wine club in Hood River and twice a year we got a case of their wine. It was great! You save a little bit of money by doing something like that.

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I have to say, it was probably the perfect day. Sunshine, warm weather, hiking, good food and wine? Sign me up! I cannot wait until summer!