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Oregon

More Rainy Days

18 Oct
by Deanna, posted in Hood River Happenings   |  No Comments

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!

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Rainy days continued…

11 Oct
by Deanna, posted in Hood River Happenings   |  No Comments

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!

 

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Sakura Ridge is one of Oregon’s Best Farm Stays in Portland Monthly!

06 Sep
by Deanna, posted in Farm, Food   |  No Comments

Sakura Ridge was featured in the September edition of Portland Monthly as one of Oregon’s Best Farm Stays!  Agrotourism is a growing trend in the US, and many parts of the world including Australia, and Canada. Agritourism, or “agritainment,” is any agriculturally involved activity that brings people out to a farm or ranch. It can include buying fruit from a farm stand, navigating a corn maze, feeding animals, or staying at a B&B on a farm. It is a great alternative for improving the incomes and potential economic viability of small farms and rural communities.  To find more agritourism activities in Oregon, check out Travel Oregon website for Food Trips in every region.  We still have some midweek rooms left in September, come out and be a part of harvest season!

 

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Ready for Harvest

16 Aug
by Deanna, posted in Cooking, Farm, Food, Recipes   |  No Comments

We are busy gearing up for pear harvest which will hopefully start this weekend.  John is staging fruit bins in the orchard, the tractors are all tuned up, and the semi is ready to haul our fruit to the packing house to await their turn to be packed and shipped out.  Most of the fruit from Sakura Ridge heads to small natural food stores up and down the west coast, to the midwest, and all points in between.

Starkrimson is the first variety to come off the trees.  It is a summer pear, meaning that it will be one of the first ones at the market during the August to January pear season. All pears need some ripening time once they are picked. Summer pears, like the Starkrimson, ripen at room temperature without a long period in cold storage that winter pears require. It is also one of the few pears that change color as they ripen, turning from deep crimson to a brilliant crimson red.   Their bright color and mild, sweet flavor make them perfect for fresh use in salads, on a cheese plate or with your morning cereal.  Check out this link for more pear info and recipes!

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Beat the Heat and the Crowds!

02 Aug
by Deanna, posted in Hood River Happenings   |  No Comments

For more than a century, city folks have escaped the heat of summer by heading to the mountains. Early adventurers would take the train to Hood River and then travel by stagecoach to Cloud Cap Inn. Built in 1889, the Cloud Cap Inn, located on the North slope of Mt Hood, is the country’s oldest high alpine ski cabin.

Opening day at Timberline Lodge

With the completion of Timberline Lodge in 1937, summer travelers could now enjoy longer stays in the cool of the mountain; folks would sometimes stay for several months during the heat of the summer.

For a modern day traveler, the journey is much easier, and still a great way to cool off during the hot summer months. To avoid the crowds, plan a midweek mountain adventure that traces the path of those intrepid adventurers.

Ruins Tuesday at Springhouse Cellar

Head into Hood River on a Tuesday night for live music and dinner at Springhouse Cellar’s Ruins Tuesday. Regional musicians and local food from Solstice Wood Fired Pizza or Four and Twenty Blackbirds food carts makes for a lively start to your escape.

After a good nights sleep and a fresh-from-the-farm breakfast, it’s time to head up the mountain. Wind through the valley on the Fruit Loop, stopping to pick up some fresh fruit from one of the local stands. If you want to stop for a hike on your way up Hwy 35, try Tamanawas Falls Trail, starting at Sherwood Forest Campground. This easy hike is 3.8 mi round trip, about an 1.5 hours, through lush forest along a crystal clear stream, ending at a spectacular waterfall complete with cooling mist and a plunge pool to soak your feet.

Continue up Hwy 35 to Hwy 26 and follow signs to Timberline Lodge.  At

Timberline Lodge

6000 ft elevation, the Lodge offers spectacular views and a chance to play in the snow year round. Enjoy the gourmet lunch buffet in the Cascade Dining Room from 11:30 to 2pm daily. After lunch, ride the “Magic Mile” chairlift up to 7000 ft elevation and play in the snow!  Hike or ride back down to the lodge. There are miles of beautiful trails around the lodge to explore, as well as several gift and gear shops to check out. If you want to learn more about the travelers that came before you, watch a video on the history of the lodge or take a free tour from a Forest Service Ranger.

Crooked Tree Tavern at Cooper Spur

After a full day of exploration, meander down the mountain, perhaps stopping at The Crooked Tree Tavern at Cooper Spur Lodge on the way home.  A century ago, after a successful summit of Mt Hood, adventurers would gather to commemorate and celebrate their grand accomplishments with food and drink.  The historic North Face Inn, now part of Cooper Spur Resort, was the location of many such gatherings, which are now showcased in pictures and memorabilia on the walls of the Tavern.

On Thursday, rest up from your historic mountain summit with a relaxing day strolling through the shops in downtown Hood River, or head to the Waterfront Park to watch the wind sports enthusiasts play. In the evening, head up to the Hood River Middle School for the Gorge Grown Farmer’s Market with live music, food carts, and cooking classes from 4-7pm. Grab a blanket and some chairs, perhaps a bottle of wine, and head across the street from the Market to Jackson Park for an outdoor concert. The Hood River Lions Club hosts Families in the Park concert series every Thursday in August from 7-9pm.  Its a great way to cut loose, or just relax before heading back to the city in the morning, just in time for a leisurely weekend at home!

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