The Biloxi Mississippi Lighthouse at sunset on November 10, 2021. © Susan Alton, 2021

The Biloxi Mississippi Lighthouse at sunset on November 10, 2021. © Susan Alton, 2021
The Biloxi Mississippi Lighthouse at sunset on November 10, 2021. © Susan Alton, 2021

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Fruit Loop - Thurs., Sept. 26

Peaches, pears, and apples - oh my! With white and gray, non-threatening clouds leading us through the Columbia River Gorge, we eventually shed the rocky gray walls and low-hanging clouds to find a stunning, sun-shiny day in Hood River County. For years, I wanted to travel the Fruit Loop Route around Hood River during the peak season. Today we finally did it.

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.
Pearl's orchard was our first stop where we took a look at all the apples hanging on the trees. We found Elberta freestone peaches and bought a box of 16. Samples of different types of pears were on the cutting board and we tasted our way through those. Bartletts had the sweetest flavor. We bought peaches, Honey Crisp apples, and honey.

Pearl's store.

Apples ready for harvest.
About two miles down the road, our next stop was The Gorge White House with fields of flowers in bloom. They not only had a flower patch, but we also saw ever-bearing strawberries almost ready to pick. We were told they would have strawberries for sale until the first frost. In the house proper a local artist had his works on display. We thought he was superb. Next to the house was a farm store selling apples, pears, peaches, pear syrup, Pinot Noir Chocolate Truffle Sauce (oh yummy) and various preserves.

The Gorge White House
Beautiful signage.
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.
 Mike spotted this frog trying to get out of our way and snapped a photo. Looks like a tree frog.

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.
Off we went for cider at Fox Tail Cider. I had cold, fresh apple cider, Jan had hot apple cider and Mike ordered an apple/peach hard cider. We stopped briefly in an apple harvesting museum. The most interesting find was an antique Fageol tractor. Other than that, this stop was a bust.

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.
Lunch time.
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!
Alpaca kids.
The alpaca kids above just finished chasing a squirrel out of their pasture. In unison, they all turned to look up at us. What were they thinking?

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.
When we finished buying our bounty of cookies, we headed back to Pearl's for more fruit: Bartlett pears and another box of peaches.

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.


  1. Looks like you had another fun day in Oregon

  2. That looks like great fun. Aren't those alpacas cute? Especially the baby. AWWWW.


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