Friday, May 12, 2017

Silver Falls State Park, Eola Hills Wine Cellars, Plum Hill Vineyards, Troutdale, Mt. Hood Scenic Loop-all Oregon,then Plymouth, Washington

Jan and I cannot leave the Pacific Coast without one more seafood stop.  This is South Beach Fish Market on Route 101 just south of Newport.  We would never have stopped here  on our own because on the 101 you are looking at the bridge right ahead and lots of other things. It's just a market and a fish store/restaurant. But quite popular and we did find it thanks to Ed and Carol , Lazy Daze owners. These clams are a little different in size and shape, but quite delicious.
Lots of signs and lots of food.  We thought their scallops were excellent as well.
What?  Would you buy this Rogue River Ale?
From Cape Lookout, we headed back to Sea and Sand with the ocean view for one more night.  Then down on Route 101 to South Beach Market and all the way up to Route 18 above Lincoln City to head east past Salem to Silver Falls State Park.
We were told about Silver Falls by a number of campers along the way.  We can see why it is known as the "Crown Jewel" of Oregon State Parks. 
 The grounds are well maintained.
There are lots of hiking trails and personnel for talks and more.
Of course, the park is all about the falls. And you can hike to all ten if you wish.
Still lots of rain. We stayed two nights, dry camping. We could have stayed longer to hike and camp.

 The state park was a ways off Route 22 east of Salem. So we headed back through Salem to Eola Hills Wine Cellars.  Salem is the capitol of Oregon, and one day we drove right by, one street over, from the capitol building. We were surprised how easy it was to drive Lady Blue through the center of the city. We could see the bronze statue top of the Capitol Building--which is made from Vermont marble --by the way.
Eola Hills is in Rickreall on Route 99W just off Route 22.
Again, such nice people at the wine tasting. One server was from Montana , offering lots of information. The other server was heading soon to do graduate work in North Carolina.  Once again, our conversation was about much more than wine.  This was another Harvest Host and we were very surprised to see how many people came in Sunday morning for their family brunch, served inside or outside.  Over one hundred people of all ages!
Click on the Wine Country Brunch to see all the choices offered for their brunch.
Anybody looking for an old well drilling truck -close by?
Though only a few miles outside Salem, this is rural agricultural land.
Once again, Oregon is such a beautiful state. This is on Route 99W, heading north to Gaston which is just south west of Portland. Lots of fields with signs for radish seed growing, peas, grains, and orchards.  
Christmas tree farms and nurseries.
Sometimes fields of yellow.
And then there are homes. The nice thing about these homes is that they are out in the country, but they are also not that far from Salem, the capitol, or Portland.
As we near Gaston, there are more vineyards, including Plum Hill Vineyards.  This is another one of our Harvest Hosts.
 Lots of interesting things about this vineyard, starting with their homemade fountain.
We had great conversations with RJ and Juanita, the owners.
The second link above will take you to a video of RJ running his own one man wine processing. His own invention and welding to be able to process red and white grapes by himself.
The video is under the heading "vineyard pictures" on the webpage.
The picture above is from the main yard.  This was a dairy farm before they bought it in 2004.  A lot of hard physical work involved in preparing the fields and buildings and planting.
If you click above to enlarge, you might notice that what seems to be a cloud in the distance, viewed from the patio, is actually Mt. St. Helens.
In this picture, if you click to enlarge, you can see Mt. St. Helens on the left and Mt. Adams on the right.  These are great views from the windows of the tasting room and the patio.
Came with the dairy farm.  How about a 1951 long bed Studebaker truck.  RJ thinks this will be his retirement project.
From Plum Hill we head up Route 99W to follow GPS to Cornelius and on to Route 26 east. That brings us to Route 405 south to Route 5 north to Route 84 east--all in the city of Portland. While Portland highways are quite busy, you do get these views of Mt. Hood on nice days.
Just remember to watch the traffic!
We exit to Troutdale--listed by their sign as "Gateway to the Gorge"--meaning Columbia River Gorge.
A short 13 or so miles from Portland, but a quiet suburb. We stayed here at Sandy Riverfront three years ago.
Nicely designed campground, well kept, and friendly.
The view from our site is of the Sandy River which flows under that railroad bridge and Route 84 out to the Columbia River.
It also is a short half mile walk to a very nice Italian restaurant, Ristorante Di Pompello.  This is a mural across from the restaurant.
and a menu Pompello menu
From Sandy River, it was easy to follow  the main street back under the sign, take a left, and all the way to Route 26 east.  This is the Mt. Hood Scenic Loop.  Very Scenic!
The closer you get to Mt. Hood, the better the view.
We are climbing to about 4,000 feet, but remember that Mt. Hood is 11,235 feet.
As you get closer to the the entrance road--skiing all year round--there are a number of restaurants and lodging around Zig Zag.
Jan  and I had stopped at the Zig Zag Ranger District Station to see about a campground.  But all of their campgrounds were closed and still snowbound.  So we stayed on Route 26 then exited to Route 35 north to the Mt. Hood District and found Nottingham Campground.
What a find!!
There are a few people here.  This elevation is down to about 3,000 feet. The campground is along the east branch of the Hood River. It has been maintained and cleared for summer.  For this time of year, the camping is free.
 Out in our back yard, a view of the river and snow covered mountain. Jan is loving it.  
A little coffee with that view Jan?
Bruce says "not bad".
 From Nottingham Camp, we continue on Route 35. Beautiful views of orchards and also of Mt. Adams.
 Route 35 brings us north to Route 84 east at Hood River.  Route 84 then follows the Columbia River towards the Dalles and then Biggs where we cross over to Route 14 and continue east in Washington.
Lot of water to be released from the Dalles Dam.

Barges and lots of wind turbines.
Route 14 is mostly a two lane road following the Columbia River east.  One more dam -releasing a lot of water.
Which brings us to Plymouth Park COE campground in Washington.  A few more days here and then north and east into Idaho and Montana!

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