First stop, Visitor Info Center to pick up a Fruit Loop map. Then we were on our way into Hood River Valley. First stop: photo op of dramatic Mt. Hood peeking out from behind the clouds, but keeping its top firmly planted in a cloud cap.
|Mt. Hood showing off fresh snow.|
|The rental SUV - a Ford Escape.|
|Apples ready for harvest.|
|The Gorge White House|
|Dahlia photo courtesy of my son, Mike.|
|Echinacea purpurea Ruby Giant|
|Mike amongst the dahlias.|
|Jan (sister) enjoying the pretty flowers.|
|Wow - Mike captured this beautifully.|
|Me dallying in the dahlias.|
|Massive sunflower (photo by Mike G.)|
|A field of sunflowers.|
|Hood River Valley at midday.|
|Guess I won't park here!|
|Sauces, syrups, preserves and honey.|
At the alpaca farm, cuteness ruled. Alpaca food was 25 cents for a small cup. Our popularity soared as soon as the alpacas heard the food coming out of the machines.
|This was all the rage at Paris Fashion Week.|
|This alpaca didn't want just what was in my hand, it wanted the cup too!|
|Sweet baby alpaca (photo by Mike G.)|
|Mike with an alpaca.|
|Love this photo!|
For Karen Pfundtner, check out the loom below and the skeins of alpaca wool.
Packer Orchards & Bakery, our next stop was a true find and a gem. If you are ever doing the Fruit Loop Tour don't miss a stop here! When you walk into their showroom, you see bins filled with cookies and on top of the bins are free samples of the cookies in the bins. My, oh my. I'll tell you what, that is the best marketing ever. People were falling all over themselves snapping up cookies. The cookie samples move those cookies right up to the cash register.
|Packer Orchard & Bakery.|
|Convenient bags for purchase are on top|
of the bins along with cookie samples.
|Mike chooses pumpkin chocolate chip.|
All that cookie tasting was making us hungry so we went into historic downtown Hood River and found a cafe where we had a delicious lunch. Mike had a meat loaf sandwich, I opted for a turkey Reuben with side salad, my sister had a French dip sandwich, and Mom had a half turkey deli sandwich with side salad. All of us enjoyed our meals
Today's blog will be continued in Part 2 - The Columbia River Gorge.