Before we even came to Oregon, my friend Ruth was reaching out and trying to coordinate when we could see each other. With her work schedule and mine being so complicated, we finally settled on meeting in Hood River for dinner, but I didn’t account for all the vacations I would be trying to cover. Ultimately the week came and I wasn’t 100% sure I would be able to make it. Thankfully several of the managers had noticed that I wasn’t really taking my days off and made arrangements for someone to come up from another area and cover for me. That was incredibly nice of them and drove home how important it was that I start to get my days off under control. It wasn’t just that I wasn’t doing anything, but I was also starting to get really tired and we all knew this pace wouldn’t be sustainable. Plus, I finally was starting to feel more comfortable in the job, and thought it was a good time to get away.
So on the Thursday of our dinner, Lee and I both worked in the morning, but around 2pm we headed towards Hood River. One of the most interesting things about living so close to a mountain is the weather patterns can change dramatically. In this case it was gray and overcast when we left Timothy Lake, and sunny and 20 degrees warmer at a lower elevation. Since we had extra time we went into this great Olive Oil store called Arome and taste tested several oils, vinegars, salts, and teas before making our purchases. There’s nothing quite like the “good stuff” when you are talking about olive oil, and I walked away with a pretty large jar of the mild. Lee picked up some hickory flavored salt to try on steaks and we really had a nice time.
Then we walked down to the restaurant and took a few pictures in front of the fountain. We were a few minutes early, but I told Lee I knew Ruth would already be there. And sure enough she was and we had a very lovely dinner with her and Dale. They spend a ton of time in Oregon, and she recommended lots of places for us to go and see.
After we said our goodbyes and were heading out, I saw a sign for the Hood River Annual Library Sale on Saturday. I love libraries and library sales and since they only usually happen once a year I always get excited when I stumble across one. Plus because of the vacation schedule I actually had Saturday off, so I resolved right then and there to make the trip down again. When Saturday morning came I almost talked myself out of it. It was 1-1/2 hours to get to Hood River and I had no idea if the sale would be good or not. But, mindful of my need to disconnect on my day’s off, I jumped in the truck at 8:30am and headed that way. God/The Universe smiled upon me because it was an absolutely beautiful day. Since it actually took less time than I thought, I took a few minutes and drove up to Panorama Point. The parking lot was completely deserted and I got some wonderful pictures of Mt. Hood and the valley.
After seeing the view I arrived at the library at 10:02am and found free parking. I wasn’t sure what to expect but was thrilled to learn that the cost was only $2 a bag. I plunked down a $10 bill and pretty quickly filled up two paper grocery bags full of recipe books. After that I saw they had lots of movies and grabbed a bunch of those to add to the little movie library the office has for the staff. They didn’t have much in the way of books, but I did grab several about hiking in the area (which I donated to the staff library) and one absolute treasure called Romance of Waterfalls. It’s an older book and a little out of date, but has terrific descriptions of the hikes. Plus for every waterfall it recommends kissing spots, which I loved!!
While I was driving to the library, I saw a sign for the Farmer’s Market and was thrilled to see it was open on Saturday as well. There are tons of farms in the Hood River area, so as soon as I finished at the library I drove over. It was a really, really good farmer’s market. All locally grown and a great mix of farm products and crafts, which was nice to see. I bought some spinach, some cabbage, and some gorgeous radishes and then headed back to Timothy Lake an extremely happy person and more relaxed than I had been since I got here.
I had such a good time that as soon as I got back, I went and looked online to reserve a tent site at a state park Ruth had recommended. It’s a good thing I did because they were totally booked in July, so I grabbed the next Tuesday and Weds night after asking Lee if it was OK. It was really short notice, but since he was in full agreement we needed to start taking our days off he rolled with it. Next up I’ll share our amazing time in Silver Falls State Park, which turned out to be our favorite State Park that we have ever been in.
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Or you can check out our recipe book filled with 80 real recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. The cookbook specializes in recipes that have a limited number of ingredients, without sacrificing flavor and is organized into categories that matter to full time RVers such as Happy Hours, Travel Days, and Pot Lucks You can preview the kindle version on Amazon or the Apple version on Itunes. It is available in paperback on Amazon if you prefer.