Suzi and I took a quick trip to Hood River. As we neared, we discovered our main reason for going wasn’t going to happen. It was time to improvise.
We found a cool, little taqueria for lunch and then drove to Parkdale. On the way back to Hood River, we saw a sign for Lavender Valley. What could that be? Sure enough, a lavender farm. Fun!
After returning to Hood River, we watch the kite sailers zip around on their hydrofoil-borne craft. It’s wild! Certainly nothing like the Hobie 14 I used to sail. These things are faster and are likely transportable in commercial air travel.
Headed home from Walla Walla, Suzi and I made a few stops in the Gorge. The first was Mayer State Park where I’ve taken a few pictures. A group was preparing to paddle to Hood River, a distance of probably eight miles. They were in long, slender kayaks that an online search says are called “surf skis.” One of the skis had an outrigger pontoon so the paddler used an oar instead of a kayak paddle.
When they left, we did too. We headed to the scenic loop between Rowena and Mosier.
We stopped in the iconic loop below Rowena Crest Viewpoint to enjoy some flowers, not knowing what was to come shortly.1 At the viewpoint and the adjacent Tom McCall Preserve, it became obvious – fields of yellow balsamroot flowers!2
We hiked the trail to McCall Point, taking pictures and making friends along the way. We also saw a bald eagle and a rattlesnake.
We tried to take selfies multiple times, but the sun, wind, and clouds all conspired against us. No worries!
After our hike, a quick trip to Doppio in Hood River capped the day. Mmm… :-)
I was disappointed there were no longboarders bombing the hill. ↩
And a fair amount of poison oak. Three days later, I think it’s safe to say I wasn’t exposed. ↩