Nature: July 2006 Archives

The Gorge

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We scooted out of Seattle at 4:15pm on Friday heading towards The Dalles, Oregon (pronounced The Dallz). While in cental Washington, I killed my first chukar, but sadly my car was the weapon. After arriving on petro fumes in Yakima, the Matrix was gassed up, and we pulled into Cousin's Country Inn at 8:26pm. For the same price as Super 8 or Motel 6, Cousin's was definitely the right choice--clean room, serious water-pressure, and even a DVD player.

Andrew's Pizza in Hood River is where we concocted a pie with the unusual combination of canadian bacon, mushrooms, and roasted garlic. Hood River is an interesting town--supposedly the wind surfing capital of the universe and also the home of Dakine and Full Sail Beer It reminded me of Kalispell, Montana with the mix of hippies and posh restaurants. Post-dinner, we popped into the Trillium Cafe for a Dave Matthews cover band. It's a family restaurant by day/bar by night with a cool mural a la Where the Wild Things Are. And don't even think about stepping foot in Hood River (or any other small town along the Columbia) unless said foot is wearing Chaco's or the like. Luckily, I just got a pair...and they are amazing.

My attempts to rally the troops for a 6am wake up failed. We settled for a modest 7am followed by breakfast at Cousin's Restaurant. Good breakfast food, huge servings, drinks in mason jars, and a low price. Perfect. And after delivering my waffle, the waitress presented "syrup in a bear" to the table with aplomb.

As usual, I struggled to find the trailhead for the hike I had chosen for us. The directions on this description for Observation Peak are rubbish. Randomly, we bumped into someone else who was looking for the same trailhead, and luckily she tipped us off to an alternate access point. This point turned out to be the "long up and down" of 13 miles round-trip. So (very partly) due to the sleeping beauties hitting the snooze, we were sadly only able to do about 8 miles of this and never really got out of the low-land forest (think lots of ferns and mosses). I'm going to have to study the maps more and head back out there to tackle this one again--definite promise.

On the way back home we stopped for more pizza and beer/root beer at Walking Man Brewing in Stevenson, WA. Fresh place and definitely recommended. After paying our $1 toll on The Bridge of Gods we were back on the road heading home. Droopy eyes forced a stop at Costco in Vancouver, WA for petro and the accidental purchase of chocolate yogurt with berries on top (not recommended). Back in the garage at 8:30pm on Saturday night...and Zizou is arsed out.