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Timberline Hike, Wine, and the Bite August 9, 2010

Posted by stacyb17 in Events, Excursions.
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Bite of OregonAnother weekend, another friend in town. Here’s a little recap of the things we did that I have not written about previously (I don’t think).

Friday we drove out to Hood and did a hike from the Timberline Lodge to Zigzag Valley. It was about 5 miles roundtrip (not including the little off trail climb we did to see some more views). The lifts are still running up at Timberline so it was interesting to see people in ski suits while we wore shorts and tank tops. It was kind of hazy on Friday so we could not see Jefferson or any of the Sisters, but the views of Hood were nice. Next time I want to hang out at the Lodge for a drink, but we had to hurry to make some wineries near Hood River on the way home.

We went to Mount Hood Winery first. The winery has only been open for a year, but the vines are over 20 years old. The wine was not all that impressive in my opinion, but the tasting room has awesome views of Hood and thre are loads of windows to look through. The patio is worth a visit as well.

I’ve written about Naked and Double Mountain before so I’ll skip those.

Saturday we went up to Forest Grove for sake and wine tasting. We hit the sake winery, Plum Hill and then Elk Cove. Elk Cove is actually out past Gaston but it is worth the drive to check out the grounds and taste wine. Five tastes cost $5 and be sure to spend some time sitting outside and looking out over the vineyards. Dinner Saturday night was at Vindalho, an upscale Indian restaurant on Clinton Street. The food was all right, but I’d take Swagat on NW 21st over it any day. And $4 only gets you one naan. The shrimp dish was the highlight.

Sunday we walked down to the Saturday Market. There is a guy there named Eric who does these super slow exposure photos that have words written on them in lights. Check them out if you are down by the market. Really unique! Then we took advantage of the $3 Bite of Oregon entrance before 1 PM. We sat and listened to live music and sampled Portland beers. I know I should have tried something new, but I couldn’t help but get the Koi Fusion taco trio. I have to say that Korean burritos and tacos were a genius idea and that no one does them like Koi Fusion. Yum, yum, yum. Kristin, who lives in Sacramento and is used to great food, was impressed.


Perfect Sunday- Hiking, Wine, and Beer June 18, 2010

Posted by stacyb17 in Bars, Excursions.
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Sorry, I got delayed on posting this. Last Sunday the weather was perfect! 75 degrees and sunny. It was one of those days that makes all the grey and rain worthwhile. I took full advantage of it.

We headed out of the city about 10 AM and drove out to the Gorge. We did the Eagle Creek to High Bridge hike. I had done this hike in January on a rainy day. It was a little more crowded now that the season has started, but still an amazing hike. You walk up and past three waterfalls along a river with terrific scenery the whole way. It is no wonder the hike is so popular. I want to come out and backpack in this area later in the year. the hike is an out and back with about 400 feet of elevation gain. It is 6.6 miles in total (but you can do longer or shorter routes).

After the hike we headed to Hood River. My friend Ben is a member at Naked Winery and it was the member pick up party. When I have money again, I am definitely going to join the club at Naked. It costs $48, four times a year for two bottles of wine each time. But with the membership, you and your friends get unlimited tastings at the winery and at events where Naked participates. There were five of us in total and we all were able to taste more than 10 wines for free because we were with Ben. Naked really caters to its members. There were snacks provided as well. And if you pick up your shipments at the winery, you can trade bottles you are not interested in for similarly priced ones you like better. Their Cabs are really nice and their Barbera, while pricy, is amazing.

After Naked we headed down the street to Double Mountain Brewery for food and beers. They have good pizza and excellent beer. I am a huge fan of the IRA so I got a growler to take home with me. Since the weather was nice, Double Mountain had the garage doors open on the patio to let in the fresh air and give us views of Hood River while we ate and drank.

Days don’t get much better than that!

Off to San Francisco for the weekend. Will report back soon!

Camping on the Oregon Coast June 1, 2010

Posted by stacyb17 in Excursions.
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Oregon Coast
Oregon Coast (photo Slone)

The plan was to mix backpacking and car camping on the Oregon Coast this weekend. We were going to start at Cape Lookout on Thursday and hike to Sand Lake to camp. Friday we were going to hike to Pacific City and meet some friends for two nights of car camping. It didn’t exactly work out that way.


We ended up getting a late start on Thursday because I had an interview, but we figured there is daylight until about 9 PM now. We arrived at Cape Lookout just after 5 PM and drove to the trailhead. Unfortunately the parking at the trailhead is day use only. So we went to the campground to see about paying to leave the car there until Friday evening. They will not let you leave a car there unless you pay for a campsite. And due to the holiday weekend, all camp sites were booked from Friday through Sunday. And the rangers told us there was “nowhere in Tillamook County” we could leave the car to do the hike.

I am going to take a moment to rant here. All of the campgrounds along the coast, including Cape Lookout, have hiker/biker sites available at a discounted rate for those who leave the vehicles and backpack or cycle from campground to campground. And the Oregon State Parks site has a map of the backpacking route down the coast. How are you supposed to backpack if you cannot leave the car anywhere?

We started talking about where we should car camp that night to figure out the plan for the following day when it came to light that my friend had left her backpack in her garage in Beaverton. And that had our only tent as well as the stove and all of her gear. So I “camped out” in her guest bedroom in Beaverton.

Friday morning we drove to Pacific City and did a day hike. We were going to try and hike up to Cape Lookout and have our friends pick us up on their way out. But we hit Sand Lake at high tide and were unable to ford it without getting completely soaked so we just did an out and back. We met our friends in the evening at the Pelican Pub. We had the sampler of all the beers. The beers were not bad, but nothing to write home about (despite the impressive collection of medals that line the walls of the pub). The location is terrific though. We sat next to the window overlooking the beach and Haystack Rock (the other Haystack Rock- not the world’s third largest free standing monolith which is off Canon Beach).  The food was a bit pricy so we waited to cook dinner until we returned to our campsite.

We camped on Friday night at Webb Park Campground. The park is super convenient if you want to explore Pacific City. It is located right across the street from the Pelican Pub and a few blocks from the main downtown area. However, the sites are tiny and the park itself has a trailer park feel to it. I was not a fan and probably will not camp there again.

Saturday we did a day hike to the south down to Cape Kiwanda. We went back to the Pelican to meet another friend and I tried the clam chowder which was quite good. Then we made our way about 10 miles north to Whalen Island to camp for the night. The campground at Whalen Island was much nicer than Webb. The sites are not all on top of each other and you feel like you actually have a little space. The campground is spread out as well. There is a nice walking trail that goes around the island and is adjacent to the campground- we hiked it on Sunday morning. Note that camping on the coast gets rather pricy if you have more than one tent or vehicle. They all charge $20 a night per site (with an additional $5 reservation fee if you reserve in advance) and then charge $5 per extra tent and $3 per extra vehicle.

All in all it was a great way to spend the holiday weekend. Good people, outdoors, some exercise, s’mores, beer, and a nice fireside BBQ on Saturday night. The rain was sporadic and light which helped as well. I am definitely excited for summer when I plan to be outside every weekend. Hooray summer in Oregon!