Blossoms in the Hood River Valley, Oregon

Author: , April 6th, 2014

09may23-2-300x225We get this question a lot in the spring.  Because who wouldn’t want to celebrate spring in one of the largest fruit growing regions in our Nation?  Over 15,000 acres of fruit trees, that’s over 2 million trees, putting on a show over a three or four week span with Mt Hood dressed in its spring best as a backdrop.

You see, the Hood River Valley is about 20 miles long, spanning from majestic Mt Hood and the Upper Hood River Valley where Parkdale and the Old Parkdale Inn Bed and Breakfast is located, north to the town of Hood River and the Columbia River Gorge. The three tiered Hood River Valley rises from 90 feet above sea level in Hood River to over 2500′ in the Upper Hood River valley, so we can have upwards of a three, sometimes 4 week span of bloom, Hood River Blooming first and those in the Upper Valley later.

So to answer your question:  When planning your spring visit to the Old Parkdale Inn I advise our guests to visit around the first of May when the Inn, which sits at an elevation of 1750′, is surrounded by acres and acres of awesomeness.   You’ll find answers to your questions on our AskOPI FAQ page on Facebook.

Our Sensual Spring Mid Week Special runs through May and we still have rooms available for Blossom Fest, a three week celebration in the Hood River Valley.  Family fruit stands reopen.  Wineries feature new wines.  First annual Hard Pressed Cider Fest and of course the main event: Blossoms

Purple Roofs Guest Blogger:  Mary Pellegrini, owner/innkeeper at the Old Parkdale Inn Bed and Breakfast in the Upper Hood River Valley, Oregon.  We are about an hour and a half east of Portland, Oregon, a scenic drive through the Columbia River Gorge and the Hood River Valley to our B&B at the base of Oregon’s tallest mountain, majestic Mt Hood.

Geocaching the Hood River Valley and the Columbia River Gorge

Author: , May 10th, 2012

‘Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people, from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.  Geocaching.com is the headquarters for the activity”

Did you know that Geocaching started in Oregon?  A little history lesson, the full version can be read on the Geocaching.com history page from where I’ve gotten this information.

“Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.  Geocaching.com is the headquarters for the activity”  On this site you can read the history of Geocaching.

* On May 2, 2000, at approximately midnight, eastern savings time, the great blue switch* controlling selective availability was pressed. Twenty-four satellites around the globe processed their new orders, and instantly the accuracy of GPS technology improved tenfold. Tens of thousands of GPS receivers around the world had an instant upgrade. Now, anyone could “precisely pinpoint their location or the location of items (such as game) left behind for later recovery.” How right they were.

* On May 3 a GPS enthusiast, Dave Ulmer, computer consultant, wanted to test the accuracy by hiding a navigational target in the woods. He called the idea the “Great American GPS Stash Hunt” and posted it in an internet GPS users’ group. The idea was simple: Hide a container out in the woods and note the coordinates with a GPS unit.  On May 3rd he placed his own container, a black bucket, in the woods near Beavercreek, Oregon, near Portland.

* Within three days, two different readers read about his stash on the Internet, used their own GPS receivers to find the container, and shared their experiences online.  Like many new and innovative ideas on the Internet, the concept spread quickly – but this one required leaving your computer to participate.

* Within the first month, Mike Teague, the first person to find Ulmer’s stash, began gathering the online posts of coordinates around the world and documenting them on his personal home page. The “GPS Stash Hunt” mailing list was created to discuss the emerging activity.

* Geocaching.com was released to the stash-hunting community on September 2, 2000. At the time the site was launched there were 75 known caches in the world.  There are now over 1.5 million caches around the world, in only 12 years.’

This is certainly the condensed version.  Visit Geocaching.com history for the full story.  I checked to see if the Original Cache was still available, but alas, it has been archived and the Un-Original Stash placed in it’s honor.  The links will take you to their listing on Geocaching.com but if you are not logged in I’m not sure if you will be able to view.

When I first moved to Parkdale in ’03 there were only about 20 in the Hood River Valley.  Now there are well over 200, taking you up into the Mt Hood National Forest and the Columbia River Gorge.  Last Sunday we went into the Gorge and found 7 in only about 2 hours all the while visiting sites we had yet to explore.

We’ve hosted geocachers and it is always fun when, at breakfast the next morning, they share their adventures with us.  We have three rooms at the Old Parkdale Inn.  Bring another couple or two and set out on your own geocaching adventure.  Geocaching is Eco Friendly Travel at it’s best.
Purple Roofs Guest Blogger:  Mary Pellegrini, owner/innkeeper at the Old Parkdale Inn Bed and Breakfast in the Upper Hood River Valley, Oregon.  We are about an hour and a half east of Portland, Oregon, a scenic drive through the Columbia River Gorge and the Hood River Valley to our B&B at the base of Oregon’s tallest and majestic Mt Hood.

Making Butter with Hood River Valley Pears in the Crockpot

Author: , April 20th, 2012

The beginnings of Old Parkdale Inn Pear Butter

Slow cooking pears in the crockpot sure makes the inn smell wonderful. I start with about 5-7 pounds of pears from the Hood River Valley.   With so many growers we have the pick of the crop for the very best Pears in the World!  The Hood River Valley is the largest pear growing region with over 2.4 million fruit trees, not all pears, apples, peaches, cherries, too.  As I type the blossoms are popping giving hope to a plentiful harvest.

For my last batch of Pear Butter I used about half Bosc and half Anjou, two of my favorites.  I diced them into half inch cubes, filling my 6 quart crock pot to the top.  Then I added about a quart of Ryan’s Apple Cider, half cup of brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.  Sorry I never measure, just add a little at a time until I get the flavor I’m looking for.  The cider gives the pears something to cook down in, but don’t worry, most of the liquid will cook out, leaving the sweet taste of fruit.

I cooked this down, on high, for about 4 hours.  Depending on what type of pears you use will determine if your sauce will have the ability to stay chunky.  At this point you can choose to put all in the blender to puree, creating the butter, or leave it as is. After you’ve pureed, return it to the crock pot, turn it down on low, leave the lid off and let it cook on down.  Same process, minus the puree, to create more of a pear compote.   I usually start the process after serving breakfast to our guests and let it cook all night. I present it on the table to be used on fresh fruit scones or apple/pear pancakes and waffles.

Plan your fall vacation now to the Hood River Valley and the Old Parkdale Inn, to pick up your pears and apples.  The Hood River County Fruit Loop is a 35-mile, scenic drive through the valley’s orchards, forests, farmlands, and friendly communities.

Purple Roofs Guest Blogger:  Mary Pellegrini, owner/innkeeper at the Old Parkdale Inn Bed and Breakfast in the Upper Hood River Valley, Oregon.  We are about an hour and a half east of Portland, Oregon, a scenic drive through the Columbia River Gorge and the Hood River Valley to our B&B at the base of Oregon’s tallest and majestic Mt Hood.

Geocaching in the Hood River Valley Oregon

Author: , March 21st, 2012

Geocaching allows one to get out and about

Did you know that Geocaching started right here in Oregon?  A little history lesson, the full version can be read on the Geocaching.com history page from where I’ve gotten this information.

“Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.  Geocaching.com is the headquarters for the activity”  On this site you can read the history of Geocaching.

* On May 2, 2000, at approximately midnight, eastern savings time, the great blue switch* controlling selective availability was pressed. Twenty-four satellites around the globe processed their new orders, and instantly the accuracy of GPS technology improved tenfold. Tens of thousands of GPS receivers around the world had an instant upgrade. Now, anyone could “precisely pinpoint their location or the location of items (such as game) left behind for later recovery.” How right they were.

* On May 3 a GPS enthusiast, Dave Ulmer, computer consultant, wanted to test the accuracy by hiding a navigational target in the woods. He called the idea the “Great American GPS Stash Hunt” and posted it in an internet GPS users’ group. The idea was simple: Hide a container out in the woods and note the coordinates with a GPS unit.  On May 3rd he placed his own container, a black bucket, in the woods near Beavercreek, Oregon, near Portland.

* Within three days, two different readers read about his stash on the Internet, used their own GPS receivers to find the container, and shared their experiences online.  Like many new and innovative ideas on the Internet, the concept spread quickly – but this one required leaving your computer to participate.

* Within the first month, Mike Teague, the first person to find Ulmer’s stash, began gathering the online posts of coordinates around the world and documenting them on his personal home page. The “GPS Stash Hunt” mailing list was created to discuss the emerging activity.

* Geocaching.com was released to the stash-hunting community on September 2, 2000. At the time the site was launched there were 75 known caches in the world.  There are now over 1.5 million caches around the world, in only 12 years.’

This is certainly the condensed version.  Visit Geocaching.com history for the full story.  I checked to see if the Original Cache was still available, but alas, it has been archived and the Un-Original Stash placed in it’s honor.  The links will take you to their listing on Geocaching.com but if you are not logged in I’m not sure if you will be able to view.

When I first moved to Parkdale in ’03 there were only about 20 in the Hood River Valley.  Now there are well over 200, taking you up into the Mt Hood National Forest and the Columbia River Gorge.  Last Sunday we went into the Columbia River Gorge and found 7 in only about 2 hours all the while visiting sites we had yet to explore.  We’ve hosted geocachers here at the Old Parkdale Inn and it is always fun when, at breakfast the next morning, they share their adventures with us.  We have three rooms and we invite you to bring another couple or two and set out on your own geocaching adventure.

I am Mary Pellegrini, owner/innkeeper at the Old Parkdale Inn Bed and Breakfast in the Upper Hood River Valley, Oregon.  We are about an hour and a half from Portland, Oregon, a scenic drive through the Columbia River Gorge and the Hood River Valley to our B&B at the base of Oregon’s tallest and majestic Mt Hood.