Tundra Swans Return to Mirror Lake in the Columbia River Gorge

Author: , November 5th, 2015
For me the return of the Tundra Swans to Mirror Lake in the Columbia River Gorge, marks the beginning of Winter.

Mirror Lake is at the foot of Crown Point, visible from Interstate 84 just west of the Rooster Rock exit. The Lake can host upwards of 100 Tundra Swans, although as of yesterday only a few had arrived from their Arctic tundra nesting grounds.  The Scenic Colombia River Gorge is just one of Oregon’s 7 Wonders near the Old Parkdale Inn.  The other being majestic Mt Hood.

Tundra Swans dine on plant material, slugs, snails, insects and crayfish, and typically weigh from 10 to 18 pounds, averaging about 53 inches in length.  They mate for life and travel in family groups in roundtrip migrations of up to 3,725 miles.

Tundra Swans winter here and share space with Hooded Merganser, Mallards, Green-winged Teal, Northern Pintail, Bufflehead, Song Sparrow, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Steller’s Jay, Black-capped Chickadee.

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.

Red Chair Travels Arrives in Oregon

Author: , February 9th, 2015
RedChairWildSpring

How sweet! The staff chair is in holding the umbrella for it.

The Red Chair’s story started on Cape Cod in the spring of 2012. This lucky chair has surfed the waves off Nantucket, explored the cranberry bogs of Chatham, enjoyed the view from Nobska Light in Falmouth, watched the grist mill turn at Stony Brook in Brewster and the sun set over Menemsha.  The chair has traveled all over New England, from Maine to Rhode Island all on the kindness of America’s friendly B&B’s. At each stop, the Red Chair is introduced to all that is memorable and beautiful about the local area, with a B&B owner as the chair’s concierge. Traveling is about getting outside of the everyday and seeing the world with fresh eyes. Through the journey of the Red Chair, we are all travelers off the beaten track where true relaxation awaits. The Red Chair has traveled to over 20 states with nearly 500 innkeepers acting as concierges.  BedandBreakast.com has partnered with the Red Chair Travels to keep the journey alive!  And now the Red Chair has started its journey through Oregon and will visit more than 20 inns of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild.  Follow Red as it visits The Seven Wonders of Oregon, the Bed and Breakfasts in Oregon’s Wine Country, Mt Hood, Crater Lake and all points in between.  We know you’ll enjoy the ride and hope you are inspired to travel to the places, and inns, that Red visits.
Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild Blog

Cozy Winter Nights at the Old Parkdale Inn Bed and Breakfast

Author: , December 6th, 2013

It seems like it’s been forever since I’ve written a blog post, for myself or for Purple Roofs.  But now that winter has set in seems like I have more time to reflect and share with you the Hood River Valley, Oregon, and the Old Parkdale Inn Bed and Breakfast.  Just in time for our Cozy Winter Nights Special

We invite you to experience the quiet Winter Months in the Hood River Valley and surrounding forest.  A spectacular B&B experience at the Old Parkdale Inn situated in the abundant beauty of the Hood River Valley with majestic views of Mt Hood.

Parkdale, Oregon, is the halfway spot along the Mt Hood Scenic Byway, and the Old Parkdale Inn B&B is in the heart of this quiet hamlet.  You’ll get a two-night stay for two, Sundays through Thursday through January 30, 2014, for $189.00.  Your deal, valued at $290, includes a hearty breakfast to start your day and the serenity that comes with spending an evening at the Old Parkdale Inn.

Choose any one of our three guest rooms, each with amenities including a private bath, flat-screen satellite TV and DVD player, microwave, coffee maker, refrigerator, and Free wireless Internet.  You may want to relax in your room or in our tranquil gardens.

The Old Parkdale Inn, only 85 miles from Portland on the north slopes of Mt Hood

The Old Parkdale Inn, only 85 miles from Portland on the north slopes of Mt Hood

The Old Parkdale Inn is located on the famous Hood River County Fruit Loop,  perfectly situated to tour the area’s gorgeous farms, wineries and orchards.  Most of the businesses stay open through Christmas but then it gets pretty sleepy up here in the Hood River Valley.  But that’s one of the bonuses of a winter stay.  Should you choose to head outdoors and have a go at an awesome winter sport you’ll enjoy the quiet serenity at the Old Parkdale Inn when you return.

Come mealtime, head for craft beer and a wild rice burger at Solera Brewery, just a few blocks from the inn.  Sorry Folks, they’re closed on Wednesday. Also walking distance from the Inn, Apple Valley BBQ, closed Monday and Tuesday, serves up top-quality meats, amazing side dishes and a hefty dose of small-town hospitality.  Only minutes from the Mt Hood National Forest you can enjoy, depending on your arrival date, to ski Mount Hood Meadows, XC ski or take a hike to Bald Butte or Tamanawas Falls.  Cycling is quite popular and miles and miles of mountain biking trails and scenic forest roads challenge our cycling guests.  Again this year we will have discount lift tickets to both Mt Hood Meadows Ski Resort and Timberline Ski Area.  These ski areas typically open around Thanksgiving.  Pray for snow!

The two-night midweek stay must be booked Sunday through Thursday now and January 30, 2014, for $189.00 and cannot include a Saturday or Friday night.   Stay must be two consecutive nights.

Share this special with your family and friends.  Maybe they’d like to join you for a memorable getaway to the Old Parkdale Inn.

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.

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.

Hood River Blossom Festival and an Oregon B&B

Author: , April 17th, 2012

Mt Hood, blooming orchards and beehives near a Mt Hood Bed and Breakfast - photo by Mary PellegriniIn the Hood River Valley 15,000+ acres pears, apples, cherries and other fruit, will burst into blossom this month.  It is a true sign of sping as we dust the snow off our back steps.

Blossom Festival celebrates the arrival of spring with a full plate of events from BBQs, to arts and craft shows, to antique sales.

You won’t want to miss the Blossom Fest Quilt Show with some 80-100 beautiful handmade quilts will be on display, many for sale.  Another can’t miss event is the Dessert Party at theApple Valley Country Store.  A variety of desserts, jams and jellies, all made with fresh local fruit, will be available.

Start your day at one of the many Oregon Bed and Breakfasts near Mt. Hood and the Columbia Gorge with a breakfast prepared from fresh local products.  Ginger baked pears, fresh Blueberry Scones, Apple Quiche, we’re talking Northwest Culinary breakfasts!

Take the scenic 35 mile Fruit Loop through the valley’s orchards, forests, farmlands, and friendly communities.

Just want to sit back and relax?  The Mt Hood Railroad travels through thousands of acres of orchards in blossom and has a layover in Parkdale and the Art and Music Festival.  Enjoy live music and art in the park while taking in stunning views of Mt. Hood.

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.

Birding the Mt. Jefferson Loop of the Oregon Cascades Birding Trails

Author: , April 13th, 2012

The Evening Grosbeak

The spring bird migration has begun and its time to choose a member inn of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild as your home base when exploring the Mt. Jefferson Loop of the Oregon Cascades Birding Trails.

The largest town in central Oregon, Bend, is a popular destination for both summer and winter travelers, with many lodging options. The summer offers rafting on the Deschutes River, miles of biking and hiking trails, perfect for picnics and birdwatching.

Mt. Jefferson, Oregon’s second highest peak, is bordered by dry sagebrush and juniper flats and dense forested corridors. Harlequin Duck reaches it highest density here and the high mountain lakes host typically east-side species. You’ll find bird-rich riparian zones along major rivers like the Metolius and Deschutes.

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.

It Really is a Family Affair at Wilson Ranches Retreat

Author: , April 13th, 2012

Wilson Ranches Retreat is Celebrating 12 Years and 4 Generations

Wilson Ranches Retreat Bed & Breakfast celebrated their 12th Anniversary on March 12, 2012.  Thank you for twelve years of extraordinary memories and for being an amazing extended family!  They’ve created an amazing Oregon Geotourism adventure in Central Oregon.

Wilson Ranches Retreat in Central Oregon

Your hosts, Phil and Nancy Wilson’s families homesteaded in Wheeler and Gilliam Counties over 100 years ago after traveling the Oregon Trail in the 1800’s.  Four generations, from 6 to 98, participate in the daily ranch operations.  Grandpa Morris and Grandma Viola are frequently driving their Chevy S10 to flag for cattel drives and join the picnics at branding.  Calving season is in full swing with the first having been born February 4th.  This is Phil’s favorite time of year watching ‘new lives’ begin and the hill turning green.

Although the ranch has been running for over 100 years the Wilson’s opened the farmhouse to B&B guests 12 years ago.  Breakfast with the Wilson’s is about much more than just good food and nourishment, it is truly a unique dining experience.   Phil and Nancy sit down with the guests and share about ranch life, local history, and the funny and serious sides of rural living. Whatever the topic at the breakfast table, expect the conversation to be intelligent, informed and often humorous. You are likely to have a large helping of fun and laughter with Phil’s stories.

Let your inner Cowboy or Cowgirl out!  Visit Wilson Ranches Retreat for an authentic Ranch experience.  Not the riding type?  Not a problem.  Sit under the cottonwoods, sipping lemonade while the rest of your party is out ‘working’! But you might want to join in. There may be an inner cowhand you’ve never even met!

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.

Central and Eastern Oregon Musuems Worth Making the Trip

Author: , March 30th, 2012

High Desert Museum, in Bend, Oregon, is nationally acclaimed and is dedicated to broadening the understanding of the High Desert’s wildlife, culture, art and natural resources.

Bobcat of Eastern OregonAt daily shows and demonstrations, wildlife experts will help you learn about the Museum’s more than 100 wildlife creatures — from porcupines, golden eagles and owls, to bats, lizards, snakes and spiders.   In the Birds of Prey Center you will have a rare opportunity to get a close-up look at some of nature’s fiercest predators – owls, hawks and eagles.

Kam Wah Chung Museum. in John Day, Oregon, is a must-see for anyone with an interest in Oregon history. This structure was built as a trading post on The Dalles Military Road in the mid-1800’s. Chinese businessman Lung On and herbal doctor Ing Hay worked out of this building. Dr. Hay administered care to the Chinese gold-mine workers, pioneers, and others from the John Day area and beyond by using traditional Chinese remedies. Built to preserve the legacy of the Chinese workforce in Oregon, the museum contains artifacts and displays that share some of the trials of everyday life of these people. The museum is open seven days a week, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Call (541) 575-2800 or (800) 551-6949 for more information.

They walked for 2,000 miles…men, women, and children by the tens of thousands. The story of this journey comes alive today through the life-size exhibits at the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, Baker City.  The museum offers living history demonstrations, interpretive programs, exhibits, multi-media presentations, special events, and more than four miles of interpretive trails.Let the innkeepers of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild share their knowledge of these unique museums and many other natural attractions in the beautiful and vast expanse of Eastern Oregon.

Get to know our State like a local.  Select a Bed and Breakfast from where to start and end your trip.  Experience romantic getaways, historic treasures, and tucked away rustic retreats. Whether your trip is for a quiet escape to a quaint rural or coastal town, for a World Class City experience or for a new spin on business travel, you can be assured of combining gracious hospitality with ambiance by staying at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.

Hopewell Bed and Breakfast, A Willamette Valley, Oregon B&B

Author: , March 29th, 2012

Hopewell Bed & Breakfast is an extraordinary B&B, minutes from Salem, Oregon, in the vast Willamette Valley, an inspected and approved member of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild.

Hopewell Bed and Breakfast in the Willamette Valley of OregonHopewell offers all the modern amenities from WiFi to a hot tub with your Private Suites set in the country.  Your hosts, Mike and Penny Walsh, raise cattle, hay & vegetables on the 12 acre farm in the wine country of the Willamette Valley.

The pond on the property is great for swimming, fishing or relaxing in the hammock.  The surrounding gardens have attracted more than 50 bird species… from king fishers & osprey to bald eagles & Rufus humming birds

The Lakeside Lodge (560 sq.ft.) & Country Cottage (520sq.ft) have private decks with BBQs & kitchenettes that make it perfect for one nighters or extended stays.  Each room contains a convertible sofa for extra guests.

You’ll want to reserve more than one night at the Hopewell Bed and Breakfast for the perfect relaxing escape that many of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast member inns provide.

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.

If You Don’t Birdwatch in Oregon You’ll Kick Yourself Later

Author: , March 23rd, 2012

Sandhill Cranes in the Eastern Oregon fieldsWatch surfbirds and black oystercatchers scramble over rocky headlands along the Oregon Coast. Explore the alpine meadows, picturesque lakes, mountain streams, and dense conifer forests of the Cascades in search of Lewis’s woodpecker and Clark’s nutcracker. Listen to the song of hermit warblers among majestic pines framing the snowy volcanic peaks. Mt. Jefferson, Oregon’s second highest peak, is bordered by dry sagebrush and juniper flats and dense forested corridors. Harlequin Duck reaches it highest density here and the high mountain lakes host typically east-side species. You’ll find bird-rich riparian zones along major rivers like the Metolius and Deschutes.

The murmur of thousands of snow geese will mesmerize as they settle to rest in the tule marshes of the Klamath Basin and Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Smell blooming sage as the song of Brewer’s sparrows fills the warm evening air in the high deserts Central Oregon.  Salem, Oregon’s state capital, is a leader in urban forestry, with tree-lined streets and 40 city parks and is located in the heart of the Willamette Valley alongside the Willamette River so no wonder there are many birding sites in it’s backyard.

Supporting one of the highest concentrations of breeding hawks and eagles in North America, the Zumwalt Prairie in Eastern Oregon, is also home to falcons making this a haven for birds of prey and 17 species of grassland songbirds. The nearby Wallowa Lake has a wide variation in habitat and terrain drawing a large number of species.

When your journey ends, your bags are unpacked, and you’re scrolling through your vacation photos you will reminisce on memories of great accommodations, food, conversation and of course birding in Oregon.  You don’t want to kick yourself later. Visit Oregon Today!

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 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.