15 October 2005

Hood River Harvest Bounty

Hood River Harvest Fest
Originally uploaded by Katherine H.
Every October, when the third weekend of the month rolls around, Hood River County celebrates its harvest bounty of apples and pears. Each year as the Hood River Valley Harvest Festival has grown larger, smaller events have also sprung up to entice visitors to journey off the beaten path and explore the surrounding orchards at the base of Mt. Hood.

The harvest festival is the perfect catalyst for setting out on a day-long driving trip. Exit 64 along I-84 east will deposit you at the festival grounds. After enjoying the handmade crafts and purchasing a bag or two of local fruit, you can follow what is known as the "fruit loop." This jaunt will take you through the rural communities of Odell, Parkdale, and Pine Grove. While your objective may be to handpick some apples or enjoy a hayride, you'll also be rewarded with the sight of changing leaves from vibrant ochre, deep red, and even vivid yellow as the elevation climbs.

Two particularly fine stops along the route are the Apple Valley Country Store where you can enjoy fresh huckleberry shakes and outdoor barbeque, and the Mt. View Orchards Fruit Stand which offers thirty apple and pear varieties along with cider, jams, and pear fudge.

No comments: