We left Washington fairly early since we were driving around 130 miles to Viento State Park where we planned to grab a walk in site for a 2 night stay. This 130 mile drive was no ordinary drive as it traversed through the awe inspiring Columbia River Gorge. Prior to choosing Viento we read the not so kind reviews of this state park about loud train noise but we are not usually bothered by noise too much with our double paned windows so we decided to give it a try anyway. However the negative reviews were spot on because the tracks are actually within the park and the trains along with their horns are very active!
Not to be deterred from our not so perfect sleeping conditions we decided a drive on the Fruit Loop outside of of Hood River Oregon was the thing to do. With near perfect weather and clear skies we chose to enjoy a self-guided tour along this scenic 35-mile loop in the Hood River Valley. This area is the nation's largest pear-growing region but has plenty of other fruit bearing trees to see.
The orchards as well as the fruit stands are a treat to visit and most allow sampling of the fruits. We love sampling all the varieties of apples, pears and plums since there are so many different ones. Many of the varieties we have never seen in a store and some were quite tasty so we will keep a lookout for them in the grocery stores.
The drive also was magnificent in that we had many views of two of the huge mountains in this area. Mount Hood can be seen to the south and Mount Adams in Washington can be seen to the north. These beautiful snow capped peaks were perfectly visible on the clear and sunny day providing quite a treat for the eyes.
After the drive we found a nice hike called the Indian Creek Trail in Hood River. Better yet there were still some blackberries available for the picking even though it appeared many of them had already been nipped by a recent freeze in the area. Still we were able to pick enough for a nice cobbler, crisp or for snacking.
While we were near Hood River for two days we also enjoyed walking around the quaint town and visited a couple of its breweries. While the fresh hop beers at Big Horse Brewpub were delightful the fresh hops beers at Double Mountain Brewery were a bit better. Big Horse does however provide great views into the Columbia River Gorge. We certainly wouldn’t hesitate to return to either one…
Note: We are moving today from Ainsworth State Park where we stayed two nights and moving over to Portland Oregon where we will stay a week at Columbia River RV Park.