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Well, we’re (finally) living up to our reputation for Wet, but not to despair!… we have a lot you can see and enjoy with only brief forays out into the deluge (she says as the sun comes out and lights the trees up yellow and orange against striking gray clouds with not a drop falling from above).

Break in the clouds outside the window

Head to Portland Women’s Forum

The view up at Portland Women’s Forum (Scenic Hwy 30 about 9 miles east of Troutdale) is magnificent any time.  Including (especially?) when the clouds are lower than where you’re standing and the view up the Gorge looks primeval and secret.

This image was taken during a break on a stormy day when I ventured the trail on the west side of the lot, down a little hill and around a bend to the most lovely view.  The fields on the other side of the river seemed particularly lovely that day with the little bit of snow in the hills, so zoomed in hard, but, yes, there is a river (big river) between here and there.

Grab a coffee at the Corbett Market on the way up, and stop at the Springdale Pub on your way back down the hill to enjoy something local from the tap and a good burger.

Go On An Explore
Not Cherries from Cascade Locks

Last night I got word that a cousin I hadn’t seen (since my age started with a 1) was going to be in Cascade Locks with his family, so I got in the car after work and headed out I-84 to meet them.

Now, I’m not going to tell you it was a beautiful drive – it was dark and there was something bearing a close resemblance to a Deluge going on – but what a great short trip.  I got there around 6:00, and, as I pulled into the parking lot of their hotel, I saw a big sign that said CHERRIES, and a man under a long tarp with a table full of fruit.  Just as I was thinking, Cherries?  How can there be cherries?... I saw that he had a second big sign out that said CHERRIES and I thought, Well, maybe cherries have a second season like strawberries that you never know about if you’re buying your cherries in town.  So I stopped. And got out in the Deluge (which never is as Deluge-ish when you’re not driving through it at 60 mph) and joined him under the tarp.  I said, “You really have cherries?”.  He said, cutting a pear, “Sure do!  In about ten more months.  Right here in this very spot.  Try this pear.”

The pears were very good.  I have ten dollars worth of pears now.  I can’t eat ten dollars worth of pears, so there is pear sharing going on.

The hotel sent us across Bridge Of The Gods into Stevenson for dinner.  The Bridge Of The Gods is quite possibly the only toll both (costs a whole buck to cross – don’t let it deter you) in the country with Halloween knick-knacks tucked into every nook and cranny of the bridge near the booth.  No, not your standard outside Halloween decor, but little ghosts and goblins and witches and pumpkins…  it’s very festive.  Made me smile.

We had a lovely dinner at The Big River Grill [“Sturgeon General Approved”… didn’t see that coming, did you?] with entree salads (spinach with grilled portabella one side of the table;  wild salmon the other) and huge sandwiches (veggie portabella and a reuben) enjoyed thoroughly.  Nice atmosphere, good service and food.  Recommend a stop there, and Stevenson looks like a charming town.

All in all, it was a great break on a workday… made it feel like a day off (!) and I was tucked back in by the fire by 8:30.

Meanwhile, back at the farm…
It’s supposed to be raining on Halloween.  I know of a cozy hotel hosting an evening of treats and art and fun :)… see you at the Halloween Hanging!

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