Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring Ahead: Parkdale OR

On that first day of Daylight Savings, a friend and I snuck in a couple of hours of cross-country skiing before it got too warm and started to drizzle. Not ones to ski in rain and melting snow, we decided to get a drink instead. So we hit one of our favorite Hood River Valley destinations – the Solera Brewery in Parkdale.

We love this place. It has a certain scruffy charm, and it's off the beaten path. But really, you don't have to drive that far off the beaten path to get there - just 6 miles off of Hwy 35. It's a perfect diversion in our opinion. 

We came here many times when it was still the Elliot Bay Public House. (Look closely, and you can see the ghostly outlines of the old sign.) And when it closed for a while, we were devastated. A favorite hang had been taken away from us.   

Thankfully, it reopened. During this particular visit, the new proprietor turned us onto a lovely IPA which wasn’t too hoppy, and in his words, was more “floral”. The beer is good, and the pub grub is above average. But what makes this minor detour worth taking is the view from the back deck. It borders on a pear orchard, and on a clear day (which this wasn't), the view of Mt. Hood is fantastic.

It’s a terrific place to come after hiking or skiing. And it's also fun to take visitors, because it’s just so Oregon.

And since we had gained an extra hour of daylight, we decided to take the backroads back to Hood River. The late winter light, the barely budding pear trees, and the dark clouds were stunning.

4945 Baseline Drive
Parkdale, OR  97041