10pm: I realized this evening that I have been dating my photos and journal entries incorrectly. Gained a day.
Today was an Oh Wow day. We were trying to find a particular trail-head, based on some vague directions on a website. I even got some really NOT-vague map coordinates, but that didn’t help. But we took a pretty ride on historic Route 30, going up a mountain and getting a spectacular view of the gorge.
It was very windy!
The map coordinates took us to a parking lot, but it was more useful for seeing the water and watching the windsurfers and kite surfers “put in” to the river than for getting to our planned hike.
A Kite Boarder getting ready
So we got on the highway and got off at Hood River Visitor’s Center, which was well worth the stop. The lady there was very helpful, and loaded us with maps and directions and options and suggestions.
We stopped in Hood River City Center to pick up sandwiches for a picnic, and then went to the Mark O. Hatfield West Trailhead. We parked, got the picnic gear and the wheelchair, and were on our way up toward the Mosier Twin Tunnels. Which were about 4 miles...up.
FABULOUS walk! All paved (most of the other people we saw were on bikes, which seemed to me to be quite a feat), so it was relatively easy for the wheelchair. Sofia did walk a little, but there’s no way she would have made the walk. The boys ran ahead, and did the whole trip together but without us, which was great for them (a little nerve-wracking for us, but we kept checking with the bikers coming the other way to make sure they had seen them).
Starting out together
The tunnels were small but nifty, and we had a nice but WINDY picnic at the top of the trail. The boys went down ahead of us (this time I gave them my cell phone, so they kept calling once they got to the car to see WHEN we would every get to them).
Going in to the tunnels:
My legs and feet HURT now, but it was great. Not too hot, a nice breeze most of the time (plus the wind at the top), and gorgeous views. Peaceful and lovely.
When we got back to the car, we went in to Hood River again. It’s sort of like Port Jefferson NY or Sausalito CA, one of those little water-side touristy artsy towns with really cool cafes and craft shops. We stopped for a snack (I had Affogato - espresso poured over vanilla ice cream - which was heavenly!), and then went down toward the waterfront. There were a lot of people windsurfing, which made me very jealous (I used to windsurf, in my pre-mommy life).
The kids were anxious to swim, so we came back to the hotel and everyone went to the pool for a while. Then showers, and off to dinner.
Outside of Hood River, there does not seem to be a lot of nice places to eat. The Dalles, where we are staying, is particularly lower-rent. We looked at the few restaurant options, before deciding on Thai food.
Which was a GREAT choice. Montira’s Thai Cuisine turned out to have absolutely delicious food, and a wonderful hostess who came out of the kitchen to let us know that Micah’s special order of salmon was safe for him (with no sesame or nuts).
I had one of the special, a Three-Flavored Halibut that was so good and so pretty I actually took a picture of it before I ate it. Sofia had a pumpkin curry with tofu. Sam had Ahi Tuna, Micah had some grilled salmon, and David had tofu in a peanut curry. The rice was mostly jasmine with a little black rice, presented in a heart-shape on each plate.
Sam was stressed, however, because it was late and we were still there after 9:00, when the restaurant officially was closed. We tried to explain to him that it was ok, and they were not going to kick us out. In fact, they were very gracious and kind. We did order dessert to go. Yummy mango sticky rice for me and Sofia, and Micah got Thai Cakes in these little take-home ceramic bowls!
The two younger kids are asleep, and Sam and David are reading. I have to go sort through today’s photos so I can post them... And do something about my aching legs!