The purpose of this blog is twofold. First and foremost it is in preparation for an upcoming class that I will be teaching at the Lister Academy - it will allow for me to experiment with the technology that we will be using in the class, plus give a forum for my students and I to stay connected.
Secondly, this blog gives a nice side-effect that our friends and family can see what we're up to during our travels. I hope that all viewers (students, colleagues, friends and family) will enjoy the posts and feel free to leave your own comments.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mount Hood and the Fruit Loop

Today we left Portland and headed East towards our next destination. We knew that we'd be spending tonight in The Dalles so that we could head to Idaho tomorrow, but we hadn't really planned our activities or route until this morning. The quickest way to The Dalles is on I-84 and it is only a 2 hour drive - which would be a strangely short day, leaving tomorrow a heavily weighted 8 hour drive. We never intended to drive straight to our hotel, and wanted to do something that would help us capture our final day in Oregon - and I think we stumbled across the right plan.

Mount Hood is south of I-84 and there is a scenic byway that loops down around it, rejoining the interstate just before The Dalles - it's nicknamed the Fruit Loop because of all of the orchards and vineyards along the route. We stopped at several along the way, enjoying some tastings (Wasson Brothers was a favorite) and stocking up on fresh blueberries and cherries (which I am munching on as I type) at The Gorge White House . The real highlight of the day, though, was the mountain.

Mount Hood is a majestic dormant volcano that stays snow-capped year round. We drove up to the Timberline Lodge, where we rode a one-mile ski lift (along side skiers and snowboarders) up to an amazing vantage point. The leisurely walk back down to the lodge was a fantastic break in the middle of the day and gave us a real appreciation for the splendor of this region.

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