And what better to commemorate it than with a nice scenic drive to Hood River? We've been so lucky here in Portland lately. There has been rain, yes but it's been few and far between. Currently, we are being blessed with the most reasonable weather: crisp dry air, cool days and chilly nights. On Saturday, my mom and I decided to venture to Hood River for their annual Harvest Fest. We'd never been that far east, so we thought we'd make a day of it. Mom bought us some coffee and yogurt parfaits at Baker and Spice in Hillsdale, and picked me up and off we went. Complete with a printed map and brochure, we took our adventure to I-84. It's one of the most beautiful scenic drives I've been on, but granted, I have been anywhere much =) Unfortunately that day it Portland, it was a bit overcast with rain clouds deep in the horizon, so we were prepared in case we got caught in a down poor. As we passed Multnomah Falls, the clouds parted to reveal a beautiful, but windy half hour drive. Since we'd never been this far up, we didn't quite know where to turn from exit 64, our brochure gave no directions, it just put numbers on a map. For locals, this would be fine, but for out of towners, not so much. We ended up taking a wrong turn and headed to Odell which is on the way to Mt. Hood. It wasn't a horrible detour as my mom got a chance to take some beautiful photos of Mt. Hood on our way up the windy 35. We pulled over and double checked our map and figured out we needed to head in the wrong directions so we turned around on hwy 35 and headed toward Hood River. Alas, the correct location, but again, the map was not explicit enough to tell us how to get out of their down town, but eventually we found it.
The Harvest Fest was fun, but not as impressive as I thought, yet not as overwhelming as I dreaded, so it was a perfect size. There was a tent with live music and beer/wine tasting, out door food stands with hand dipped corn dogs, elephant ears, gyros, burgers, coffee and more. The final tent had the crafts and just outside the entrance was the produce. The setting, however, was magnificent. The area was nestled between the hills and mountains of Hood River. First things first: Food. Mom enjoyed a buffalo burger, and I enjoyed a German Sausage. Since it was so windy outside, we entered one of the tents just to eat standing up! But man, I have not had a hot dog that good in a long time. Next, it was time to shop! We headed to the craft tents where just in two small loops, you were done, which for me, is quite nice. It helped me decide where and what to spend money on. The first item of purchase was honey from Boring, Oregon. I got large jar of Clover honey, and to spice it up a bit, a tiny jar of Wild Flower honey. Next, Isaiah and I are on a cooking kick, so I got us some local Eugene spices: Garlic Lovers, Italian Herb, Salmon, and one other one. We can't wait to try them on our meets and veggies. And finally, the one I'm most excited about, the Soft Toy Barn for baby James (Isaiah's nephew). They are called Soft Toys and are made by Del & Eppie O'Shell from Shelton, WA. Since my family does a Secret Santa every year, it's hard to start shopping this early for each other, but this toy for a baby was perfect. They have all sorts of themes: barns, dinosaurs, doctor, tool kit and are hand made and sewn locally. That way, he can suck and squeeze it to his leisure.
After the crafts, mom and I headed to the produce. We bought local apples, pears, cider, and peppers. I will make it a point to buy local produce. I think if that's one thing that can help our damaged economy, I'll do it. Go farmers!
Finally, we had to head back. I was going to pick up Dimitri for our night out and race once I got home.
Below are some pictures of our drive back.