Hood River Tour – June 2016

Article and Photos by Jane Trout & Curt Graeber

Picture this….an early morning pre-departure meeting at Cascade Village . . . while we wait patiently  in Redmond.  Here they came….eight P’s approaching with waves of “good morning” and “hello” exchanged as we fall into place and head north on US 97. Green fields with irrigation flowing and home to several newborns grazing…foals frolicking under the watchful eyes of their mothers. Our nine car line up is surrounded by majestic mountains….The Sister’s, Mt. Jefferson, and a clear view of Mt. Hood in the distance.

Left onto US 197 toward Maupin and our first stop at mile 86. Compliments of Joe Mansfield, our tour leader, each car receives a “goody bag” filled with useful (I.e., windshield washer and water) and  tasty (i.e., hard candy and trail mix) goodies.

Heading out, we get to enjoy a straightaway as Mt. Hood looms closer and Mt. Adams appears in the distance. The landscape continues to change as we find ourselves maneuvering tight curves surrounded by sage brush and Junipers.

Suddenly, we reach Maupin and turn to cross the Deschutes River bridge …our eyes widen as hundreds of bras…yes, bras…appear hanging from one end to the other to celebrate Maupin’s annual “Splash for Pink” breast cancer fundraiser

As we depart Maupin,acre after acre, mile after mile of Oregon fruit orchards appear intermingled with fields of grain. Deep green hues mixed with gold…our gift from

Mother Nature. The hills dotted with cattle and, of course, power lines compliments of Bonneville Power Authority. Our next view opens to reveal the mighty Columbia River. A quick pit stop along the river as we watch paddle boarders enjoy the perfect temperature and calm water. Eagles perched in high nests monitor the flow of traffic heading into the town of Hood River.
Picture this….our first “tour” stop….”Route 30 Classic Cars”…. owned and operated by an enthusiastic and appreciative fellow (Steven) who arrived in Hood River from Key West, FL.,
in 1986, inspired by the opportunity to wind surf on the Columbia.  A truly “classic” spot with $10 Porsche Rt 30 t-shirts that most members willingly purchased as a trip memento.

Next up, our second “tour” stop….Cathedral Ridge Winery…a beautiful winery set up above Hood River with a magnificent view of Mt. Hood.  Generous and yummy box lunches and salads are served plus a variety of wines to choose from.  Outdoor tables are pushed together, conversation and laughter filled the air as new and old friendships are enjoyed.

Off we go, once again. Next stop, Apple Valley Country Store & Bakery. Nestled in a curve, this little store satisfies the sweet teeth of members with a variety of pies available…but, the real winner seems to be the Marionberry milkshake.  A favorite of most.
Picture this….row after row of lavender plants in a variety of shades of purple and all in full bloom.  We’re now at our next stop…Hood River Lavender Farm.  Daisies, also in full bloom, completed a spectacular show of colorful flowers. The owner gave a short and informative overview, and we escaped without any of our members being stung by millions of lavender crazed bees.

Our final tour stop for the day was Wy’East Vineyards.  Members made good use of the lovely outdoor patio areas while enjoying pours of either the Pinot or Traditional tastings. Our server, the daughter of the owner, was quite entertaining as she shared her family’s history with the vineyard.

Next up…the last stop for the day, The Hood River Inn, situated along the banks of the Columbia with all the amenities needed for our overnight as well as a paved and lighted walkway along the river.  The two hours of free time, available now before the 6:30 cocktails and dinner, found many ready for a short and refreshing siesta and shower.

Dinner was served in a private room overlooking the river.  Having a small group allowed us the opportunity to visit and get to know one another.  Dinners had been pre-ordered but one meal did “take the cake”….that was the vegetarian choice ordered by “me”…Jane Trout.  It was baked eggplant and everyone can attest to the fact that it was ginormous!!!  Enough to share with several others as well as bring home and enjoy for two more meals….best part….it was also delicious. Dessert followed and no one left hungry. Three tables of six at each ate, drank and were definitely merry throughout the evening.  We toasted Joe Mansfield and Lisa McCarthy for the outstanding planning and organization of our trip, and learned from Scott Loring that our club had been named the top club in community service at the Porsche Parade. What a special end to a fantastic and full day of fun.

As Day 2 breaks, our breakfast of choice is served with a view of the river from the patio.  A quick meeting and we’re off to the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum . . a unique, eclectic collection of cars, planes, and trucks dating back to the earliest days.  WAAAM is a national treasure that most of us had no idea existed, let alone in Hood River, OR. Two hours at this astounding museum just left us wanting “more”.  Definitely worth a return visit and the highlight of this trip for many of us. Please visit www.waaamuseum.org/

Our last and final stop on, what has been, a truly memorable weekend adventure was the “George White House”.  A picture perfect setting, light lunch, wine tasting, berry picking and the last chance (this trip) to take pleasure in the company of HDR friends before heading off on our own for the return drive to Bend.

This trip could not have been any better!  Joe Mansfield and Lisa McCarthy outdid themselves in their planning, organization, and as our delightful trip leaders. We will be the first to sign up for any trip they plan in the future.  We thank you!

Jane Trout & Curt Graeber