I just took an awesome trip with a college friend of mine, Juliet, through the Columbia Gorge to Hood River and Dufur (yes, I said Dufur). I had the opportunity to tag along with her while her husband (Dirty Impreza, www.dirtyimpreza.com) raced in the Oregon Trail Rally Race. In the end we ate a lot of chips and cookies, we were physically exhausted, mentally exhausted and we had dirt and dust in every crevasse of our bodies… and it was glorious!
We started day one with the leg at Portland International Raceway but my friend is not from Portland so before registration I HAD To take her to La Petite Provence on Alberta in Portland (see my previous Restaurant Recommendation). We enjoyed a lovely brunch and rushed off to the raceway. Many hours later we rinsed the dirt from our hair and hit the hay only to wake up a short time later and drive through the Columbia River Gorge!
It was a GORGEOUS weekend in the gorge- 80 degrees and bright blue skies. For those of you that don’t live in the NW, days like this cause our inner lizard to come out. We just want to lay in sun and soak up the energy to get through those rainy gray days.
We drove straight to our Bed & Breakfast in Hood River, Vineyard View B&B http://www.vineyardviewbnb.com/. This was my first B&B so I didn’t really know what to expect but I was blown away!
The house was situated off the road with vineyards all around. The view out the back was a breathtaking picture of Hood River and Mt. Adams. David, the gentleman that runs the B&B, was incredibly friendly and laid back. He showed us to our room, we dropped off our stuff and headed off to the race. We couldn’t wait to get back there that evening to relax and enjoy a glass of wine!
On our way to the race we passed this little store- Apple Valley Country Store- and pulled a quick U-turn to check it out. (Don’t worry, we were safe!) What we found was a diamond in the rough! This tiny and tucked away stored had a HUGE selection of homemade jams, raw honey, syrups, baked goods and a number of locally made items such as purses and aprons. We stocked up on scones, bread, honey and jam and hit the road.
The day was spectacular at the race but we were ready to get some dinner and relax at our B&B after hours of hiking logging trails and sweating in the sun. We kicked off our dusty shoes and relaxed in the oversized outdoor furniture next to a calming waterfall and sipped our Pinot Grigio until the sun was setting. How’s that for a run-on sentence? I don’t care, it was absolutely relaxing.
Again we zonked out and woke up to birds chirping early the next morning. Coffee and tea were served in the kitchen where we met the other guests. We grabbed our mugs and headed out to soak up the morning rays- all lizard like. We chatted with the other guests until breakfast was ready.
David had been working away in the kitchen all morning and we were excited to see what this “gourmet breakfast” was that had been advertised. It more than lived up to claim. Thick and fluffy slices of frittata were served from a piping hot cast iron pan. The frittata was filled with Italian sausage, aged parmesan cheese and perfectly cooked greens- YUM-E! The table was set with each place setting receiving its own fresh squeezed carrot, celery & apple juice. Also on the table was a plate of toasted rye bread and organic strawberry jam. As we were loading up our plates David served us roasted potatoes and organic Italian sausage to complete the meal. It was divine. It was heavenly. It was perfect.
We savored the food and conversation with the rest of guests, David and his young son. I really didn’t want to leave but we had a big day ahead. Begrudgingly we loaded up the car, said our goodbyes and headed to Dufur. It was bittersweet because it the last day of the race and we were so excited to support Dirty Impreza but we also wanted to chill the rest of the day at the vineyard because it was SO peaceful and relaxing.
The trip was epic. Our team came in 3rd in their class. We found a gem in the B&B. And we made lots of memories!