Hood River

Date of visit: May 12, 2012
Population: 7,167 (2010 Census)

One of Hood River’s early settlers, Nathaniel Coe, thought that the soil in the Hood River Valley would be good for orchards so around 1854 he planted apple trees. His hunch proved to be correct and within a few decades the valley was dotted with fruit trees as well as strawberry fields. Hood River became well-known for its apples.

In December 1919 the temperature dropped to 27 degrees below zero and thousands of fruit trees were killed. The apple trees were especially affected, the pears less so. So when farmers re-planted they chose pear trees over apple trees. Although apples are still grown in Hood River, today the area is the world’s leading producer of Anjou pears. About two-thirds of Oregon’s pears are grown here, and a Pear Celebration is held in September with at least 18 different varieties of pears available for tasting and purchase. Over a billion pears are grown in Oregon each year, and they are shipped to 36 countries around the world.

Welcome to Hood River

Downtown Hood River

Hood River City Hall
City Hall

Hood River County Library
Hood River County Library

Mike's Ice Cream
Mike’s Ice Cream, a very popular place on a hot summer day

First National Bank
First National Bank building

G. Williker's Toy Shoppe
G. Williker’s Toy Shoppe

McLaren House
The historic 1907 McLaren House

Inn at the Gorge B&B
The Huggins House was built in 1908 and is now the Inn at the Gorge B&B

Columbia Gorge Hotel
Columbia Gorge Hotel

Map of Hood River

Oregon Towns Project

Adventures in California

In October I was lucky enough to attend a library conference in Monterey, California and spend some time exploring the area. Here’s how my trip went.


San Francisco

Tiled Steps
This very cool mosaic on a staircase is known as the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps.

Ghostly trees
A typical foggy morning in San Francisco. Fortunately the fog burned off around lunchtime.

Sutro Baths
The remains of the Sutro Baths.

Fort Mason
Looking down on the Fort Mason Center, an old military fort that has been converted into shops and restaurants.

Wind arrows
This is part of the fabulous Outdoor Exploratorium at Fort Mason. These are wind arrows and demonstrate how even a slight change in altitude can mean a difference in the direction the wind is blowing.

Wave Organ
The Wave Organ, which allows you to hear underwater “music” thanks to submerged pipes.

A Yoda fountain in the Presidio.

The Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge as seen from Fort Point.

San Jose, Santa Cruz, and Mountain View

Winchester Mystery House
The Winchester Mystery House, which is very cool but very overpriced.

Rocky Dogs
I loved this sculpture in downtown Santa Cruz. It’s called “Rocky Dogs” by Michael Eckerman.

Hollerith Electric Tabulating System replica
Hollerith Electric Tabulating System replica at the Computer History Museum. The 60 million cards punched in the 1890 census were fed manually into machines like this for processing. The dials counted the number of cards with holes in a particular position. The sorter on the right would be activated by certain hold combinations, allowing detailed statistics to be generated. We’ve come a long way since then!

Early calculators
Early calculators from the 1970s at the Computer History Museum.

A RAMAC actuator and disk stack from 1956 at the Computer History Museum. This is the heart of the world’s first disk drive. It has 50 24″ disks that spin at 1,200 RPM and hold 5 million characters of information.

Babbage Difference Engine
Charles Babbage (1791-1871) was an English mathematician who came up with a design for a mechanical calculating engine. He never managed to build one in his lifetime, but this Engine No. 2 was built in 2008 at the Science Museum in London. Every day the Computer History Museum demonstrates how it works.


Monterey, Pacific Grove, and Carmel

The harbor in Monterey, as seen from the public wharf.

Fisherman's Wharf
Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey.

Custom House
The Custom House, built around 1821 by the Mexican government, is California’s first historic landmark and its oldest public building. It is where the first American Flag was raised on July 7, 1846, declaring California part of the United States. It is now party of the Monterey State Historic Park.

California's First Theare
This building was built by English seaman Jack Swan in 1846-47 as a lodging house and tavern for sailors. He built the wood portion of the building in about 1845. He added the adobe portion in 1847, as the actual theater. It is now part of the Monterey State Historic Park.

Pacific House Museum
The Pacific House Museum is part of the Monterey State Historic Park and has some very nice exhibits inside that tell the history of this area.

Coral reef
The very cool Coral Reef exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Sea nettles
The jellyfish were completely mesmerizing!

Say what??
Hello there!

Peering into the underwater world of the kelp forest.

The anchovies swim in circles over and over and over in this circular tank.

Monterey Public Library
No vacation is complete without visiting the local public library! 🙂

Cute cove
A cute little cove at Fanshell Overlook along 17-Mile Drive.

Lone Cypress
The famous Lone Cypress tree along 17-Mile Drive. This tree is about 250 years old.

Carmel Sunset
Sunset at Carmel River State Beach.

Footprints in the sand at Carmel River State Beach.

Sunset magic
Sunset at the Asilomar State Marine Preserve near Pacific Grove.

Two birds and a sunset
Another beautiful evening at the Asilomar State Marine Preserve near Pacific Grove.

While watching sunset, flocks of pelicans kept gliding overhead. COOL!

Point Pinos Lighthouse
The Point Pinos Lighthouse, the only lighthouse I’ve ever seen that is surrounded by a golf course.

Big Sur

Sea Lion Cove
Sea Lion Cove at Point Lobos State Preserve.

Beautiful little China Cove at Point Lobos State Preserve.

The top of a kelp forest as seen at Point Lobos State Preserve. Doesn’t look like much on the surface, but after seeing what it looks like underwater at the Monterey Bay Aquarium the day before I’ll never look at kelp the same way again.

Bixby Creek Bridge
714-foot-long Bixby Creek Bridge on Highway 1.

Hurricane Point
Looking north up the California coast from the appropriately-named Hurricane Point (it was very windy).

McWay Falls
McWay Falls at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. The waterfall used to plunge right into the ocean because there never used to be a beach here, but a landslide north of here in 1983 sent lots of dirt into the ocean and much of it washed up here.

Redwood trees at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.

Force of the ocean
Waves pour through one of the keyholes in the rocks at Pfeiffer Beach.

Sunset at Pfeiffer Beach.

Golden hour
A beautiful evening at Pfeiffer Beach.

Carmel shops
The very touristy town of Carmel looks like something straight out of a Thomas Kinkade painting.

A house in Carmel
A house in Carmel.

Carmel Mission
The chapel at the Carmel Mission, which was established by Padre Junipero Serra in 1770.

Ocean blue
A beautiful morning along the Monterey State Beach.

White River Snowshoeing

Deb and I wanted to go to Tamanawas Falls today, but the freezing level was on the rise and we thought we might be hiking through slush and possibly in the rain if we went there, so we went a little higher to the White River Sno Park instead with the intent of getting up on Boy Scout Ridge.

Our first stop was the viewpoint along Highway 26 just before the Laurel Hill historical marker. The whole hillside of trees was covered in fresh snow. Pretty!

There were maybe a dozen cars when we parked at White River. The weather was not ideal: low clouds and a constant light misting that wasn’t quite drizzle. But I hoped that would stop later on.

No views of Mt. Hood today:

Little trees on a snowy hillside:

Big trees on top of the snowy hillside:

The trail entered the trees and we were surrounded by a winter wonderland:

After a short climb up a hill….

We came up against a very big hill:

Is that the way up to Boy Scout Ridge? No way to know since the trail isn’t marked. Plus, although it’s hard to tell from this picture, it looked like a steep climb. Not to mention that the misting rain hadn’t stopped and we would not be rewarded with views after the effort of climbing up there.

So we went and admired the canyon view before turning around. It was VERY cold and windy here! My lens was spotted with water when I took this shot:

On the way back I made a small snow woman, which I now realize I forgot to give arms to. Oops!

One last view of the canyon before descending back down to river level.

Back at the car as we were taking off snow gear, I realized just how soaked I was. It had never full-on rained over the course of our three-hour hike, but the misting had continued all afternoon (constantly covering my glasses with spots) and it had soaked through my jacket, hat, and gloves. When we turned on the car it said it was 33 degrees out. Just above freezing and drizzling…ick. Ah well, we still had a good time!