A Visit to Hood River, Oregon, Involves Pubs and Wineries
While strolling along the dock on the Columbia River in Stevenson, Washington, I met a young couple from Atlanta. The wife mentioned they chose this area of the country for vacation because they are doing a “pub crawl.” I thought about their quest for a moment and then offered my own personal reflections, which are all based on the assumption that if I tried to do it, I probably wouldn’t get very far.
Craft beer is trendy-hot in Sacramento right now, and craft beer joints are popping up all over, especially in Midtown. Everybody is an artisan. I think I should call myself an artisan real estate agent. If you create something with your own two hands, become obsessed by tiny details and use only the finest ingredients, that makes one an artisan; especially when you’re never satisfied with the finished product and continue to tweak and improve. In the old days, you’d probably go into a straight jacket but today you’re an artisan.
In Washington and Oregon, you’ll find craft beer joints all over, doesn’t matter where you are, small town, large town, they are there. They don’t call them beer joints, though or even what they truly are, which is a bar, because that sounds so crass, so pounding-the-table-like-a-leering-caveman at Hooters. They call them pubs. Because it sounds so British and upper-crusty-like. Just what the Northwest needs.
You’ll also find pot houses in Washington, run by the government, where you can buy pre-rolled joints with filters on the tips that come individually packaged in a plastic tube so if you’re planning to leave it outside somewhere for somebody else to find because you can’t possibly smoke the entire thing and walk at the same time, it won’t get wet. Not that I would know anything about that.
We began bouncing on the sidewalks of Hood River searching for a lunch spot. Initially, I had my heart set on a Sunday brunch at the Columbia Gorge Hotel, which was built in 1921, a beautiful old hotel with many of its original architectural details intact situated on a cliff over the Columbia River. There is also a waterfall right there on the property, and you can stand on top of it and look down, watching the water roar over the rocks and drop below. But we missed brunch by 15 minutes. So, we went downtown Hood River.
It was hot. More than 100 degrees. Little shade regardless of which side of the street you walked on. Lots of little shops, many businesses were closed, and a bunch of cafes featuring sandwiches. After circling a 6-block area, we decided to try up the hill, a restaurant perched at the top, The Big Horse Brew Pub. By this time, we had scorched ourselves in the sun, my iPad was almost too hot to touch to play Ingress, and we pulled our tired selves up the hill and then up another 3 sets of stairs to the restaurant.
It will be a 30-minute wait, the guy at the seating sign predicted. Well, I was too tired and sticky hot to go anywhere else. I imagine my husband was ready to sit down, too. We grabbed at spot at the bar and ordered a couple of drafts while we enjoyed the tremendous view of the town of Hood River below and made fun of the signs warning guys who had too much to drink what not to do. Like, don’t climb the ladder to the loft, which seems decorative anyway.
We considered renting paddleboards at the beach, but just the thought of the hot sun beating down on us, even though we could feel the cold water rolling over our bare feet, well, it just didn’t seem like a lot of fun. It was also a bit windy for paddelboarding. Nope, visiting the Mt. Hood Winery, on the other hand, seemed like it offered more air conditioning and peace and quiet. Of course, we didn’t leave there without ordering a future shipment. I highly recommend the 2013 Estate Dry Reisling or the 2012 Grenache for a nice summer wine.
Which is why we never made it to a hiking spot. We were on our way to at least visit the trailhead when we got sidetracked by the Mt. Hood Winery. Hiking or wine tasting? Over 100 degrees outside. Easy choice.