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Trip Report!!! 3 1/2 days in Oregon (Portland, Hood River, and Cannon Beach)

Trip Report!!! 3 1/2 days in Oregon (Portland, Hood River, and Cannon Beach)

Old Apr 18th, 2006, 12:19 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Trip Report!!! 3 1/2 days in Oregon (Portland, Hood River, and Cannon Beach)

Trip Report!!!!

WOW! I never thought you can fall in love so easily with a place but Oregon is sooooooooooo beautiful that we trlly coulnd't help it! Wether in rain, in sunshine, in clouds, in cold, it's just beautiful! Mt Hood and Mount Adams both stayed ellusive this trip (always was was under the veil of clouds) but our anticipated "rainy" weekend was mostly sunny after the first day.

Apologies in advance for the lengthy report....

Flew in to Portland, checked in and had dinner at Jake's Crawfish. Good food, wonderful service (our wait staff Vicki was incredible) but was too tired after so headed back to the hotel to sleep - although there were nice places in the area to go for drinks after.

Got up the next day to head to Hood River in rain and cold. Travelled by the scenic biway by 84 east and stopped first at Wichita Falls, also doing the hike to the top. Never seen anything so beautifully green (and more so than Seattle too (IMHO)! There was something about the drizzle and rain that we really liked about that hike too. Met a few Oregonians on that trail - some of the nicest people you'll ever meet. Stopped by Multnomah Falls from there then was running late so went straight to meet up with our rafting guide. Crossed the green toll bridge in Hood River to the Washington side towards BZ Corner and the White Salmon river to meet up with our rafting outfitter Zooraft or Zooler's. Our guide Russ was amazingly knowlegeable and professional for such a young age (I would hazard a guess that he's just 20). Water was cold but couldn't feel the cold. Zooraft is a wonderful oufitter that is well equiped for cold weather/water white water rafting - the only one supposedly that has all the cold weather gear. We had double wetsuits on, etc. That coupled with the adrenaline at hitting each white water was what kept us warm. It was just me and my honey, the guide and 3 trainies, one of them being the great grandson of the person that first rafted the white salmon. They were a cool bunch to raft with full of information about the area including the history, etc. When we got back to BZ Corner where the outfitter was located, the owner Mark had made some cinnamon apple pastries freshly made from a dutch oven (he was practicing) and he invited us to "help him eat it". Yummy! The facilities were very clean also. Nice changing area and showers, etc. We were so impressed with them that we are thinking of joining them for a 3 day Hell's Canyon rafting trip in mid summer.

After rafting, we drove by a really nice winery tucked away up in the hills called Wind River (recommended by the outfitters) and the proprietor and his wife had us laughing and enjoying the wine. Another winemaker from a nearby winery joined us also. The sun had completely come out by then so we enjoyed wine in the tasting room with gorgeous hillside views of the sun slowly going down. We had originally booked Best Western River Inn but he (the winery proprietor) was telling us of a great band that was playing that night in town and that it would've been better to stay at the original choice of Hood River Hotel. So with his encouragement, I tried changing hotels but by the time I called, Hood River Hotel was booked but they recommended Oak Street Inn instead who still had one or 2 vacancies. So we transferred and boy are we glad we did. Hood River Inn (the Best Western) isn't really walking distance to the shops, restaurants, from Hood River Center and while Ok Street Inn was ok (room was a bit small) it was closer to the restaurants (3 rivers, etc) than Hudson River Hotel. We had a nice dinner at Brian's Pourhouse (which was right next door) and contemplated meeting our new friends at the joint for the live music but was too tired in the end after a full day of hiking and rafting and a full bottle of wine for dinner so we ended up sitting on the porch for a few minutes with a glass of port then headed to sleep.

Got up the next day to a beautiful sunny day (but cold) and after breakfast at the porch of our inn, decided to check out the fruit loop (was also going to head out to Timberline Lodge in Mount Hood but was told the day before by the rafting guides that it was under several feet of snow so decided that itinerary for the next Portland trip). Absolutely beautiful We looked for the festival but missed some of the sign so instead we did just the drive. Stopped by a couple of wineries then headed to Astoria via the Washington side of the river. We were going to stop by Beacon Rock and do a hike but the sun disappeared for a bit during this time and the rain started to pour and Cannon Beach was hours away so we thought it would be hours before we can get into some dry clothes therefore deciding to skip that too and just kept driving. This drive was so lovely and although we don't regret doing it, I doubt we will do this bit again. It was a long way to Cannon Beach via this route and I don't know if it was just because it was easter weekend but Astoria was so sleepy with very few restaurants open, I prefer to have crossed over at the Bridge of the Gods and got back on 84west to Portland then to Cannon Beach via 26.
It didn't help that we were also starving by the time we arrived Astoria and with the visitor's center closed, we had to rely on a gas station attendant to tell us where a nice restaurant by the water may be (which incidentally will be it the area of 11ths street by pier 11. The pier 11 restaurant was closed so we had food at the only open restaraunt by the water, Baked Alaska. Ok food, service was ok (for us) but there was this incident of an older couple coming in after us and although the restaurant was pretty much empty at 4:30pm, the host refused them a corner window table (!!!). Sometimes I wish people remember that they are in business because of the their customers, not the other way around.

There wasn't much to do in Astoria with most of the places closed due to Easter so er headed straight to Cannon Beach after that.

I LOVED Cannon Beach. The Schooner's Cove was really nice. We had a room with ocean views on the second floor and a fireplace. We couldn't see haystack rock from our room - it was blocked by a structure but had beautiful views of the lighthouse/edge of ecola state park, crescent beach area. So beautiful. You are able to block out 30 min for a private spa with oceanviews too so we made sure to do that around sunset (and what a beautiful sunset it was). We were still full from our late lunch and with places closing early for easter sunday, we just ended up grabbing some cheese, prosciutto and some wine for a late dinner picnic in our balcony with some soup we got to go (the inn had a microwave and a fridge also in the room).

The next day we woke up to champagne toast for his birthday, presents, etc., then headed to Haystack rock via the beach from our hotel at lowtide (9:35 am) to see starfish, anenomes, and the like. Scarlett, I now have a zillion pictures of Haystack Rock too and I love each one of them. The sandy beach had a mirror quality to it from the recently receded water that it reflected beautifully the changing colors of the sky! I will post some pictures and include a link in the next couple of days if any of you fancy to see it.

Then we had breakfast at the Wayferer and back to the hotel to pack up. After checking out, we went for a stroll around the shops and area, had a couple of cheeky beers and/or Cider at Bill's Tavern then headed to Ecola State Park. I was staring to feel feverish at this point (must've been the rain and the cold interspersed with the heater in the car and the room) so instead of doing a big hike in the park, we walked to the overlooks (the trail to crescent beach was closed due to slides anyway) and then drove to Indian Beach where we had a picnic of leftover cheese, prosciutto and pears, then headed back to Portland via 26. NOTE: It's a long way with very little gas stations along the way so make sure you have enough gas! We almost didn't make it in time! Lovely ride though with snow still on the roadside.

Got to Portland, checked out Powell's books and then had sunset drinks and appetizers at Portland City Grill (you're right, the food was oh so bland and the service was mediocre at best but the view is unbeatable for Portland City views. We then had dinner at Olea for his birthday(wonderful recommendation beachbum and it wasn't expensive at all! - at least not as much as I thought it would be.)

Terri, if you go there, their menu is done daily and very simple but very, very, good. It's a hip little place too with knowlegeable and friendly wait staff. For appetizers, we shared the cauliflower soup with mussel gratin and brown butter (heaven in your mouth) then my honey had the pancetta wrapped duck with spring onions and smoked duck gnocci while I had the manila clams steamed in an assortment of olives, harissa sauce, and 14 different spices. For desert he had the incredible molten chocolate cake with mascarpone-white chocolate ice cream and meyer lemon caramel and I had the strawberry-rhubarb tart with black pepper ice cream and balsamic reduction -YUM, YUM, YUM!!!

It's a bit long for a trip report, especially for 3 1/2 days but we agreed, Oregon will be one of those yearly trips for us, trying it each at different seasons. We are so jealous of you guys that get to live there! ....but no matter, we'll be back very, very soon indeed!

Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions/advice. Oregon is now one of our top places in the US!!!




maria_so is offline  
Old Apr 18th, 2006, 12:28 PM
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...one last thing. The clue, we thought, to why this trip was so good was not only because of the place but that we had a wealth of information about each area so when the weather changed, we were able to roll with the punches and accomodate what would best fit the situation. I have all of you guys to thank for that. I didn't know it but I was already getting Oregonian hospitality before I even got on the plane!!! Many thanks again.
maria_so is offline  
Old Apr 18th, 2006, 12:34 PM
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Maria, what a nice report! I agree, it's so difficult not to fall in love with Oregon!

And your food description makes me hungry Oh, that mascarpone! It's good I'm at lunch right now.

You definitely had great time!

One question: have I missed which hotel you were at on the first night in Portland? Was it good?
FainaAgain is offline  
Old Apr 18th, 2006, 12:44 PM
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We ended up getting a really great deal in Priceline for the Sheraton (four Points) on SW Morrison - for $63 total!!! Nice, good size, clean room and in walking distance to a few things but it was late and we ended up taking the car to jake's.

That food was delicious....hehe. I'm getting hungry too just thinking about it.
maria_so is offline  
Old Apr 18th, 2006, 01:06 PM
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mms
 
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So glad you enjoyed your time here Sounds like a full, but really fun trip. Today is beautiful, blue sky and lots of sun and I could see so many mountains. Hopefully it will be like this on your next trip here.
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Old Apr 18th, 2006, 01:07 PM
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With as much as you crammed into your short time here, it's not surprising the trip report would be so long. ;-) Thanks for writing it! It's always great to see home through someone else's eyes, especially when they talk nice about it, lol. Glad the weather wasn't too bad.
beachbum is offline  
Old Apr 18th, 2006, 03:17 PM
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Wow, I am SO happy that you enjoyed your trip and his birthday!!
Yes, Cannon Beach is very nice, isn't it? I have not been to Astoria yet, I think of going but then Cannon Beach is so nice, we end up spending all of our time there..How great that your room was so nice.
LOL, I am looking forward to seeing your many Haystack Rock photos It always seems that you must take One More!!
And isn't the town nice, with all the galleries and shops? And they are all open too

You were so close to us!
Yeah, Portland City Grill is perfect for a drink and view, nothing more.
Glad you liked Jakes and yes, Olea is lovely. Another tempting spot too close to my home

We are having a heavenly day of sun and blue skies, you have to hurry back!!
Scarlett is offline  
Old Apr 21st, 2006, 08:05 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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I was so glad to hear you had a good time in Hood River last weekend. The weather wasn't the best but it sounds like you didn't let it spoil your weekend.
mauimary is offline  
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