16 October 2009

It's Harvest Time

There are certain activities that just seem to evoke the right mood for the season. Today, that meant a drive through the autumn foliage in the Columbia River Gorge and a pit stop at the Hood River Harvest Fest.

My first stop was Vista House, which sits atop a windy bluff overlooking the Columbia River.

They've been busy renovating the exterior of the building, but it's the view of the windows from the interior that I like:

After a windy walk around the point, I meandered east along Highway 30 enjoying the easy pace and the brightly-hued leaves. At the bottom of the hill, I made a quick trip to the base of Multnomah Falls. It's a beautiful sight any time of year.

Further east along the old highway, I came across another destination point that I've been wanting to check out: the newly reopened Oneonta tunnel.

Originally opened in 1914, the tunnel was filled in with rock in 1948. In 2006, the excavation work began, and daylight was once again seen through the tunnel for the first time in 58 years. The tunnel officially reopened to pedestrian traffic in March 2009.

My final stop for the day was the Hood River Harvest Fest. Want to taste a Tokyo Rose apple or Shinseiki pear? This is the place to do it.

There's a nice array of food booths and northwest artisans showcasing their talents. I even managed to complete a fair amount of my holiday shopping as I browsed (and bought).

There's no question that I live in a beautiful state, and autumn is one of the best times of the year to enjoy it.

04 October 2009

An Oregon Scenic Byway

Earlier this week I drove a 52-mile stretch of road along Highway 7 between Baker City and Bates that I had never travelled before. That opportunity doesn't happen very often, so I had to take a photo to document it. East of the Cascade Mountains we had enjoyed blue skies and warm temps all weekend. It was perfect bicycling and rock climbing weather. As I descended from the summit of Santiam Pass, I was once again greeted by the wind and grey skies of the Willamette Valley below.