To dive into the history and culture of the Gorge, and stay dry, I would recommend visiting the Hood River County History Museum or The Columbia Gorge Discovery Center in The Dalles. Both offer a look back at the history of the Gorge through unique photos and exhibits. The Discovery Center is also the site of the Interpretive Center for the Columbia Gorge Scenic Area, with several exhibits featuring the natural history and ecology of the area. I always love seeing the raptor show featuring resident birds of prey from the rehabilitation center, also housed at the Discovery Center. It is a powerful experience to see these birds up close.
Another fun historic stop in The Dalles is the Sunshine Mill Winery. The Sunshine Mill has a long, colorful history. The Sunshine Mill milled wheat for more than 130 years, and was the first building in The Dalles to have electricity, powered by a Thomas Edison Motor which can still be seen in The Mill. It is also the only designated skyscraper in The Columbia River Gorge. The Sunshine Mill now houses Quenett and Copa di Vino wineries. The original milling equipment is still preserved in the tasting room decor making this a unique place to taste wine. Grab a bottle to bring back to Sakura Ridge and enjoy in front of the fire!
One of my favorite ways to spend a wet, chilly day is at Glassometry Studio in Odell. The studio is always warm with the glass ovens fired up and the staff is really friendly and helpful. You can blow-your-own decorative pears, apples or pumpkins for the harvest season, or get an early start on Christmas gifts and make your own ornament, icicles, or wine glasses.
If making your own isn’t your thing, they also have a great gallery that showcases pieces by owner, Laurel Marie Hagner, as well as other resident artists.
Glassometry Studio is just off of Hwy 35, right before the turnoff to Odell. On your way there or after, stop by Wy’East Vineyards just across Hwy 35. They will likely be crushing grapes right outside the tasting room, jump in and help sort or sit back with a glass of their Cloud Cap, a Pinot Port-style wine and watch the action!
Of course, we always hope for a few more weeks of Indian Summer in October, but inevitably there will be a few rainy days this month. Luckily there is still plenty to do around Sakura Ridge.
I love strolling through the The Columbia Center for the Arts on a rainy afternoon to check out the newest show in the gallery or take in a live performance. This month, the feature event is “The Crush: A Celebration of Columbia Gorge Wines and Fine Art.” All month long, the gallery will feature works that celebrate the sensuality of wine and the excitement of the harvest season. Every Friday there will be a wine tasting featuring a local winery culminating with a special event on the 25th that will bring together winemakers and vineyardists for a conversation on winemaking in the Gorge. What better way to spend a crisp fall Friday night!