We were pretty cold on the Oregon coast and made sure to always have our jackets with us. But the last few days in Hood River it has been down right hot. While we had to run the furnace at night on the coast we’ve got the windows wide open up here. It’s been a welcome change in the weather! But when I opened the truck door in the parking lot at the Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood I realized I didn’t have my jacket. The kids had all thought to bring jackets and Steph had a wind breaker tucked away in her bag (that bag is bottomless it seems). But there I was in shorts, t-shirt, flip flops and a hatless head. Now, I had brought socks and shoes so I changed into those, sucked it up and went out to check this mountain out.
After a pretty lazy morning we set out for the riverfront park in Hood River to see all the windsurfing and kite boarding action. I think we sneaked in with the heathens while all the good boys and girls were at church because we got a parking spot right at the park which apparently is usually not possible. We played at the playground for awhile then took Sheba to the dog beach to play in the water. But this is also the place for the windsurfers and kite boarders to hang out while they rest or wait “for the wind to pick up.” After a guy said that I realized this was probably not going to be my sport. I’m not very comfortable in the water and I’m really not a fan of wind. But there are plenty of people to keep the sports alive without me. There were just so many windsurfers and kite boarders it was crazy. I was interrogating the boarders and kiters about how their gear worked and how they went about learning to fly a huge kite while balancing on an itty bity board bouncing across white caps caused by 30mph wind going upstream and water flowing downstream. Sounds impossible, but they make it look easy and it’s very neat to watch! Read more
Hood River has been on our itinerary since my good friend John moved there for work this spring and today we arrived at Viento State Park just a few miles west of town. This state park is right on the Columbia river….but also sandwiched between I-84 and a heavily used railroad. It is a beautiful place for the eye but not so much for the ears. We knew this going in so were not surprised. Our site was a driver side back in so we nailed it on the first try and as we were setting up John showed up! We chatted for quite awhile as we ate lunch then decided to go check out Bonneville Dam. John had been to the dam 4 weeks earlier for Father’s day and the shad were running. He wasn’t sure if there would still be anything to see at the fish ladders or not. But we were pleasantly surprised to see there were still plenty!!
A trip to the Pacific Northwest would not be complete without a visit to the Oregon coast as well. Steph was able to score us two nights at the very popular Nehalem Bay State Park so we saddled up and headed down the coast from the Olympic Peninsula. We had to stop and dump tanks along the way since the Hard Rain Cafe did not have a dump station. But we found the Kalaloch dump station without issue and only had to wait for one RV in front of us. We were cruising along just fine until we got to the town of Aberdeen. I am not sure what the deal was but traffic here was at a complete stand still. Google was giving us suggested reroutes but we’re nervous of those in towns because Google doesn’t know we’re dragging a 38 foot home behind us and can lead us down some narrow roads, under low bridges and/or tight turns. Also, NOBODY else was pulling out of traffic. Surely the locals would all start hitting those side streets to work their way around….but no, everyone just sat there idling. It took over an hour to get 1 mile through town. So ridiculous!! And we still have no clue what the hang up was.
After the crazy traffic jam we stopped for a quick bite to eat and bathroom break before continuing along our journey. We’d just gone a few miles and were headed up a twisty road when traffic came to a stop. We could see that up ahead there was a pretty fresh accident. Luckily it seemed it was a single vehicle (a logging truck mind you) and there seemed to be no injuries. But this was pretty freaky to see these giant logs scattered all over the road and the big semi jammed into the side of the hill!