Syncline Winery

Kid-Free Adventure Day

What a busy summer! We were kind of making up for last summer, I guess. Last summer we didn’t do much, we didn’t really go anywhere. We were home-bound in the newborn baby fog of lack of sleep and breastfeeding and just trying to stay alive. LOL So this summer has definitely been full of adventures.

Michael’s mom recently offered to babysit Logan for the day so Michael and I made plans to have a baby and dog-free date day! We had to go Syncline Winery to pick up our wine from our membership, so we decided to do a hike and have lunch, too.

We went to Trapper Creek in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. It was fairly close to the other hike we did up there, Falls Creek Falls, about 15 miles north of Carson, Washington. The hike was pretty easy to find, even though the GPS quit at Carson.

It was a really hot day and even in the old growth forest, it was still 100 degrees out. We got a late start to the day, so it was about 11:30 by the time we started the hike. It was a pretty hike in the forest.

There were several other trails that connected to Trapper Creek, so I think you could spend days exploring out there. It was so weird hiking without the dog and baby. For one, it took no time at all to pack the car and then get ready to hike. It literally took 2 minutes to put our boots on and go. LOL Very different than the time it takes to get Bella ready, then Logan, then get Logan in the pack and on Michael’s back…. 🙂

The hike was listed as “Difficult” on the hiking website I use. I can never really tell what that means…like is it a hard hike? Is it classified as difficult because it was long? You can never really tell. This hike started out pretty easy. We discussed whether or not this was actually a “difficult” hike and then all of a sudden, the trail started going uphill and it was most definitely difficult!

Once we crossed the small creek and got to the other side, it was ALL UPHILL. And steep! Apparently we climbed over 800 feet, which doesn’t sound like much but that climb was in less than 2 miles. So pretty steep!

It definitely got our hearts pumping and with the workout and hot day, we were drenched in sweat. (The one time I forget to pack a hiking towel…)

The trail was really peaceful and we didn’t really see anybody else on the hike, except when we first started out. It was a good hike and a good workout.

The trail kept climbing and climbing and finally we decided to turn around at 2.5 miles. It was pretty steep and we were both starting to get hungry. Plus, it was getting pretty late in the day. We turned around and hiked back down the mountain.

We did just over 5 miles total and I burned 730 calories. It was a sweaty one!

I really love seeing the graphs of our hike! So fun to see after the fact. After the hike we grabbed snacks from the cooler (salami, cheese and some soda), cleaned up and changed and then drove to Syncline to go wine tasting and have lunch.

Originally we were going to try and go back to Big Man’s BBQ food cart that we absolutely LOVED but we were running out of time. The hike took longer than we expected. Plus, Syncline had sent me an email the day before saying they were going to have a small wood-fire pizza oven there for Saturday’s wine tasting. Perfect!

We ordered the lamb and pepper pizza for our lunch.

While we waited for our pizza, we did some wine tasting. I didn’t love the Rose they had and there was a white I didn’t really like, but I did get a taste of my favorite white they sell–the Grenache Blanc. Delicious! Definitely brought a bottle of that home.

We played a little corn hole while we waited for lunch. We had both been looking forward to lounging in the hammocks like we did last time, this time without a squirmy baby trying to flip us over! 😉 But unfortunately it was 100+ degrees and laying in the hammock in the sun didn’t sound appealing to either of us.

Finally the small pizza was ready and we were famished. We devoured the pizza. Michael thought it was just ok, he wanted more cheese on it, but I loved it. I thought it was great and smokey and the crust was perfect.

Lunch was good and hit the spot after the hike.

It was starting to get late in the day and we had to get home to Logan, so we wrapped it up and headed home. It was a really nice day away from home just the two of us. I can’t even remember the last time we had a date night. It was a gorgeous day in the Gorge and an excellent start to the long weekend.

On a more serious note, we left The Gorge about 30 minutes before a wildfire started. It started at Eagle Creek because some teenagers decided it was a smart idea to throw fireworks into the forest during the hottest, driest season we’ve probably had in decades. The wildfires started and spread quickly. 140+ hikers were trapped on the trail and had to be rescued. The wildfires quickly spread throughout the Gorge, and even jumped across the Columbia River into the Washington side. More soon…

Gorgeous Gorge

I was soooo looking forward to my long weekend over the 4th of July! It’s no secret that I’ve been feeling a bit burned out at work and needing a break. This was just what I needed. Saturday morning we drove out to Hood River. We rented a little cabin on the Washington side this time, and it was so cute! We were 10 minutes from Hood River, so it was a great location.

I went to the gym early, we packed the car and then hit the road. We arrived in Stevenson, Washington, at lunch time. Perfect timing!

We went to Walking Man Brewery. It’s funny–I think our second anniversary when we were dating we stayed at these super cute log cabins in Stevenson a block from Walking Man and it was kind of a funny memory because we were literally right next to the train tracks and the train went by HOURLY. No exaggeration. So when we went to Walking Man for lunch we went by the cabins and had to laugh about that disastrous weekend. 🙂

Anyways, we got to Walking Man just as they opened and the outdoor patio was open and empty so we got a table in the corner where Bella could hang out (and she miraculously did great!) and we set up Logan in his high chair and we enjoyed a beer and some pizza for lunch! It was kind of the perfect day.

Logan LOVED pizza (and pepperoni) but was not a fan of olives (still). The pizza was great. It was small enough for the three of us to share and it was smokey and good.

After lunch we walked a block to the waterfront park and walked around for awhile. It was a gorgeous, sunny day. The kind of day you just want to hang out in the park for hours in.

After awhile we drove out to Syncline Winery . We had an hour or two to kill before we could check into our cabin. Two separate people had recommended this winery to us recently so we checked it out.

It was SUCH a cool place! There were wine tasting stations outside, there was cornhole set up, adirondeck chairs placed around the grounds, there were private tables in the shade and a bunch of hammocks and gardens. It was such a fun, relaxing vibe. We LOVED it. It was right near our place, too.

We played some cornhole, Logan played too :), I did a little wine tasting and we played in the hammocks (if you follow me on instagram, I posted some videos).

We ended up becoming members! It was such a cool place that we wanted to go back and we really enjoyed all the wines.

After that we checked in at our little cabin. It was in Underwood, Washington, 5 minutes from the bridge to Oregon and Hood River. It was kind of the perfect location! It was a little A-Frame loft above a garage in the woods.

There was a nice kitchen, bathroom, living room and upstairs in the A-frame loft was the bedroom. It was nice because the owners had a pack n’ play set up for us and a high chair. It was a great place!

The best part? The deck outside. The deck overlooked the trees and yard where there was a hammock and a family of deer that meandered through (and apparently wild turkeys??).

We had a few hours to kill before dinner so we went over to Hood River to pick up our half case of wine from Cathedral Ridge (we had a membership that we’ve since cancelled, we just want some variety!) and let Logan run around the yard for a bit.

Then we drove to Big Man’s Rotisserie in White Salmon. It was a BBQ joint that Michael found online and we made a note of wanting to go there. We got the chicken and pulled pork combo to go and went back to the cabin for dinner on the deck.

O.M.G if you are in the area, you MUST go to Big Man’s Rotisserie. That pulled pork was absolutely amazing! We even discussed wanting to go back and getting more before going back to Portland! It was smokey and delicious and reminded us both of Franklin’s BBQ in Austin.

Eating dinner and drinking wine outside in the shade on the deck was pretty freaking awesome!

It was great just hanging outside on the deck while Logan slept! 🙂