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WINTER 2019-20 thegorgemagazine.com


Society Hotel

Inn brings new-school lodging to Bingen

Signs of the Times An ode to neon in The Dalles

Clean Energy Nature and technology will power our future

An app can tell you where the mountain is. But it won’t help you climb it!

We are the wayfinders, the problem solvers, the guides through uncertain territory. All In, For The Gorge


Hood River

Cascade Locks


White Salmon








Photo Credit: Mary Frances Photography




Taste of Village

Fabulous Food ~ Martinis ~ Wine

Fabulous ~ Martinis Beer Food ~ Cocktails Chinese RestauRant & Lounge Fabulous Wine ~ Beer ~ Cocktails Food ~ Martinis ~ Wine Lunch~Brunch~Dinner

{ Cantonese and Mandarin Cuisine }

Minors Welcome All Minors welcome~ all Hours hours Beer Cocktails Lunch~Brunch~Dinner Happy Hour 4pm-6pm

Lunch~Brunch~Dinner Minors Welcome All Hours www.Troutini.com ~ 503-912-1462 Minors welcome all hours Happy Hour 4pm-6pm Happy Hour 4pm-6pm

Downtown Troutdale on the Historic Columbia River Highway

Downtown Troutdale on the Historic Columbia River Highway www.Troutini.com ~ 503-912-1462

Downtown Troutdale on the Historic Columbia River Highway

oRDeRs to go: (503) 666-7768 302 e. historic Columbia River hwy

sun-thur, 11-10pm • Fri & sat, 11-10:30pm gifts HomE dECoR EspREsso

Troutini.com 503-912-1462

971-292-2991 • MyQuiltingLoft.com Hours: Tues-Sat 10am-5pm 253 E. Historic Columbia River Hwy. Troutdale, OR 97060

TrouTdale HisTorical socieTy

Barn Exhibit Hall

King of Roads Exhibit

TROUTDALE’S PIZZA DESTINATION! Serving artisan pizza & a great selection of local craft beer, cider and wine in a friendly, relaxing environment.

(503) 618-9394

celebratemehoameonline.com 319 E. Historic Columbia River Hwy

Wed - Sat 10am-3pm Sunday 1pm - 3pm Admission: $5 (12+ years) 732 E Historic Columbia River Hwy Troutdale, OR 97060 troutdalehistory.org troutdalehistory@gmail.com 503-661-2164

Lindsey Rosencrans, OD

COMPREHENSIVE & URGENT EYECARE Glasses • Prescription Sunglasses Contact Lenses

503-492-3897 • troutdalevision.com 226 E. Historic Columbia River Hwy

503-489-5730 • find us on Facebook 275 Columbia River Highway



TOWARD A CLEAN ENERGY FUTURE Wind, sun and water + technology = alternative energy in the Gorge By David Hanson

Kevin Ricks, special projects manager at Klickitat PUD. David Hanson 4


Photo by Darlisa Black


Photo by Darlisa Black



The perfect base for exploring the Columbia Gorge. River view guest rooms, dining at Riverside, Cebu Lounge, heated shoreline pool, spas, and sauna. Wine tasting passes, tours and recreation packages.

Wine Press Northwest’s “2015 Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year”, 50+ award-winning wines, bistro, Tuscanstyle terrace with views of Mt. Hood, Bocce, live music every summer weekend, tasting room and gift shop.

800-828-7873 • hoodriverinn.com 1108 E. Marina Way • Hood River

877-627-9445 • maryhillwinery.com 9774 Hwy 14 • Goldendale



A friendly art and craft supply store in downtown Bingen with a knowledgeable staff. We carry quality materials for artists, hobbyists, and children, and now offer gift cards. Come be inspired! Open: Tues-Sat 11am-6pm

Spend your day in the Gorge and gather at The Garage. Open, inviting space; perfect for private parties, celebrations, business meetings, workshops and special events. Outdoor deck and event amenities included.

360-818-4359 • tokkiartsupply.com 115 W. Steuben St. • Bingen

CARSON RIDGE LUXURY CABINS Rejuvenate at our romantic getaway cabins. Soak in a spa tub with lavender bath salts. Enjoy a relaxing in-cabin massage. Dream it and we’ll work to deliver it. 509-427-7777 • CarsonRidgeCabins.com 1261 Wind River Rd. • Carson

TRELLIS Fresh Flowers & Gifts We provide unique fresh cut flower arrangements delivered with a smile. We are known for our exceptional service and attention to detail that we put into each arrangement. Give us a call for expert floral guidance! 509-493-4844 • trellisfreshflowers.net 114 W Steuben St • Bingen

thegaragebingen.com thegaragebingen@gmail.com 323 E. Steuben St. • Bingen

STAMP THE EARTH LLC Clean, restore and maintain your investment. Ask how we can stain, seal, and protect your concrete. Offering design, installation and maintenance. Specializing in decorative stamped and stained concrete. CCB: 210688 WA: STAMPEC88JCS 541-716-1094 • stamptheearth.com facebook.com/stamptheearth

FEAST MARKET Restaurant, Bar, Market & Delicatessen Serving lunch, dinner, espresso, beer, wine and cocktails. Offering catering and private party or event space with Mount Hood view. 509-637-6886 • feastmarket.org 151 Jewett Blvd. • White Salmon




OUR GORGE 12 14 16 18 22 26 30 32 60 66




Left, by Kate Schwager and right, by Sean O’Connor


The Teacup Nordic masters program grows as an extension of the junior team

By Ruth Berkowitz



Beloved lecture series marks its 10th season

By Don Campbell


30 6


Top, by Peter Eckert and bottom, by Ben Mitchell

Sunshine Club offers dementia patients and their caregivers a place in the light

By Peggy Dills Kelter


+ + ++


SINCE 1994 SINCE SINCE 1994 1994 SINCE 1994




Carol@DonNunamaker.com RealEstateinTheGorge.com HoodRiverProperties.com NEW PRICE

WHITE SALMON $809,000: Custom Log Home just a mile from White Salmon. 3 BRs, 2 BAs, 2299 sqft, 3.06 acres plus a studio apt above the 2 car detached garage. Main floor: bedroom w/in room bathroom, vaulted living, dining, kitchen w/hydronic floor, wood stove & mini split, concrete countertops, eat in cooktop island. Upstairs: Master BR ensuite & entertainment loft. Mature landscaping, covered patio, lawn, garden, barn & swimming hole and walking/biking trails. RMLS 19330818

uring the first summer I spent in the Gorge, back in the early 1990s, I met some fellow windsurfers who were living in Bingen. I assumed they had rented a house there. But at some point around mid-summer they invited me to stop by and it turned out they were staying at the Bingen School Inn. They shared a (messy) dorm-style room at the hostel, which still had a lot of memorabilia around from its decades as the school for Bingen and White Salmon. I found it weirdly cool. We mostly hung around outside, sitting at the picnic tables in the afternoon sun, and I ended up there several more times that summer.

Well, a lot has changed since then. The old school was bought in 2017 and the new owners, who previously turned a defunct building in Portland’s Old Town into a popular hotel, brought their hybrid hotelhostel vision to the Gorge (page 14). The Society Hotel Bingen opened last Memorial Day Weekend and the buzz it’s generated is well-deserved. The renovation kept much of the feel of the old school — lockers in the hallway, old chalkboards, the gym and its built-in bleachers — while simultaneously turning it into a hip destination. When I go there now, instead of sitting at the picnic tables (still there, on a welcoming patio near the entry), I gravitate to the lobby library, where books line an entire wall surrounding the fireplace, complete with their Dewey decimal system catalog numbers. Everything old is new again here, and the things that are new fit tastefully in to this Bingen gem. We found some other gems around the Gorge. The National Neon Sign Museum in The Dalles is something you may not know about, but should (page 12). Founder David Benko, who has been collecting signs since he was a teenager, has turned the former Elks Lodge building into a fascinating trip through more than a century of Americana. It’s a true visual feast. Another gem is Dyana Fiediga’s Clay Commons pottery studio in Hood River (page 26), which fosters an ever-growing community of potters who learn, laugh, discuss, teach, befriend, and sometimes just quietly listen, while creating with clay. Yet another gem: the Sense of Place lecture series put on by Gorge Owned, which celebrates its 10th season this year (page 54).

HOOD RIVER $1,234,000: Classic turn of the century Farmhouse built in 1908! Mt. Hood & Mt. Adams view!!! 4 BRs, 1.5 BAs, 3353 sqft. 21.69 total acres. Interior: high ceilings, crown molding, hardwood floors, basement for recreation & storage. Remodeled outbuildings: Cottage guest house, 2 car detached garage, work studio/office w/hot tub & sauna and general purpose barn. 19.9 acres irrigable acres for cherry & pear production. RMLS 19121902

David Hanson’s feature on clean energy in the Gorge (page 44) is a must-read. He looks at some intriguing, and sometimes controversial, projects and proposals happening here that are leveraging our region’s gifts from nature with technology to take us into the future of energy. You’ll find plenty of good reads and visual fun in this issue. It’s our mission and we take it seriously. That’s why we were gratified to win several awards at this fall’s Pacific NW Magazine Group Contest, including top honors for Best Writing, and second place for Best Overall Design. We love bringing Gorge stories to you in these pages each season. Thanks for reading. Have a great winter! —Janet Cook, Editor

HOOD RIVER $475,000: Single Level Home in a Great Neighborhood. Almost one owner home meticulously maintained. 3 BR, 2 BA, 1757 sqft on .13 ac lot. Hardwood floors in living, dining & kitchen, hickory cabinets, gas range, corian countertops, pantry, 9’ ceilings throughout w/ 10’10” vaulted living room, den/office, sliders from dining and master to backyard & patio. Quick driving or walking distance to Heights or Downtown. RMLS 19083282

WINTER 2019-20 thegorgemagazine.com



About the Cover The spa and bathhouse at the Society Hotel Bingen features a saltwater soaking pool, sauna, hot tub and cold plunge, along with massage rooms. A café serves fresh juice drinks, kombucha, beer, cocktails and healthy snacks. Non-guests of the hotel can purchase two-hour passes to the spa. (photo by Micah Cruver)

Society Hotel

Inn brings new-school lodging to Bingen

Signs of the Times An ode to neon in The Dalles

Clean Energy Nature and technology will power our future


Oregon & Washington Broker



When you have read this issue please pass it on to a friend or recycle it. Together we can make a difference in preserving and conserving our resources.

WINTER 2019-20 EDITOR Janet Cook

where the Gorge gets




ADVERTISING SALES Jenna Hallett Chelsea Marr

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Ruth Berkowitz, Don Campbell, Peggy Dills Kelter, David Hanson, Kacie McMackin, Ben Mitchell






CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Brian Chambers, Peter Eckert, David Hanson, Kacie McMackin, Ben Mitchell, Kate Schwager, Amy VandenBos

TO ADVERTISE IN THE GORGE MAGAZINE please contact Jody Thompson jthompson@thegorgemagazine.com

VISIT US ON SOCIAL MEDIA facebook.com/thegorgemagazine

THE GORGE MAGAZINE thegorgemagazine.com PO Box 390 • 419 State Street Hood River, Oregon 97031 We appreciate your feedback. Please email comments to: jcook@thegorgemagazine.com

The Gorge Magazine is published by Eagle Magazines, Inc., an affiliate of Eagle Newspapers, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronically or mechanically, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without the express written permission of Eagle Magazines, Inc. Articles and photographs appearing in The Gorge Magazine may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the publisher. The views and opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily those of The Gorge Magazine, Eagle Magazines, Inc., Eagle Newspapers, Inc., or its employees, staff or management. All RIGHTS RESERVED.

Eggceptional Breakfast & Lunch 1313 Oak St., Hood River



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ourGORGE person of interest 12 ventures 14 best of the gorge 16 home + garden 18 locavore 22 create 26 explore 30 wine spotlight 32


A farm-to-table wine dinner is served at the Grateful Vineyard winery in Parkdale. Amy VandenBos THE GORGE MAGAZINE II WINTER 2019-20


Nick Benko


David Benko Curating Americana at the National Neon Sign Museum story by JANET COOK | photos by NICK BENKO and SIMON BENKO


Nick Benko

avid Benko practically emits energy. As he shows me around his evolving project in the historic Elks Lodge building in The Dalles, he carries a large cup of coffee with him that he sets down frequently in order to gesture. He always picks it back up again but it occurs to me that he doesn’t seem to really need it. Benko’s palpable energy current is a fitting personality trait given that his life’s passion and work has revolved around the neon light. “To me, neon is Americana,” says Benko, who started collecting telephone and telegraph glass insulators when he was 8 years old. He soon got interested in old telephone and telegraph signs, then signage in general. He acquired his first piece of neon when he was 15, and never looked back. During high school, he was already traveling far from his home in Seattle to buy historic signs from dealers and auctions.



He attended film school in California after high school, but neon was never far from his mind. He returned to the Northwest and, after a six-month apprenticeship at a neon sign company, launched his own, Rocket City Neon, in Everett, Wash. Benko’s reputation grew, and he was soon repairing and making neon signs for clients up and down the West Coast. In 1994, he moved to Vancouver, Wash., in order to be more centrally located for clients from Los Angeles to Seattle. He continued to add to his own collection, and when he leased a large building in Camas for his business, he started putting some of his sign collection on display in the extra space. In the late 1990s, Benko was asked to curate a new sign museum in Cincinnati. He spent several years commuting there, working to help launch the American Sign Museum, which opened in 2005.

Benko eventually parted ways with the founders but the experience helped solidify his own dreams of a neon sign museum. He worked with Vancouver’s economic development director and a search committee for nearly a decade to find a home for the museum, to no avail. Then, a few years ago, a friend of Benko’s told him about a building in The Dalles that was for sale. It would be perfect for a museum, the friend said. Benko wrote down the address, stuck it in his wallet and promptly forgot about it. A few weeks later, during a sleepless night, he pulled out the address and looked it up online. His jaw dropped when he saw pictures of the historic 1910 Elks Lodge. He and his wife drove to The Dalles the next day to look at the building. It was a wreck. Years of disuse and then outright vacancy had taken a toll. Vermiculite was falling out of walls, along with old wiring. Ceilings were caving in. The once-grand upstairs ballroom had water damage from a leaking roof. There were dead birds on the floor. As Benko stood looking, a bat flew across the room. “I said, ‘This place is perfect!’” Benko recalls. “I’ve restored antiques my entire life. I look at a rusty old sign and know what it’s going to look like when it’s done.” Where others saw only a decrepit building, Benko envisioned a venue worthy of his vast collection, where he could display and share his rather large piece of Americana. He struck a deal with the city for the building in 2015 and dove into a massive renovation project. Demolition took more than a year. Hundreds of thousands of pounds of waste were hauled out, including four different false ceilings in the ballroom. Benko has brought his vision to fruition in the building, which now seems somehow made for the National Neon Sign Museum. In a theater near the entry, a short film shows visitors how neon signs are made. Then, upon exiting the

Simon Benko

Nick Benko

David Benko, opposite inset, has transformed the former Elks Lodge in The Dalles into a museum dedicated to the neon sign. Benko has been collecting signs since he was a teenager, and has worked as a “tube bender,” creating and repairing neon signs, for decades.

theater, visitors begin a journey through time. It starts with the history of the light bulb and the first signs lit with electricity. And from there it goes. There’s a gallery dedicated to Georges Claude, the French engineer who invented the neon light. In no small coup, Benko tracked down and purchased what is thought to be the first piece of functional neon in existence (he spent 15 years looking for it). It’s on display here, glowing red. Visitors move through several galleries which take them through history’s progression of the neon sign — from early single-word signs to those with multiple words, then images, then branding icons. From the main floor galleries, visitors then go upstairs to the ballroom, whose four walls have been built up with replica storefronts from a by-gone era: a soda shop, a pharmacy, a jeweler, a hotel, a milliner, a restaurant and more — all lit with original, historic neon signs. It’s hard not to stand in awe of what Benko has created. Benko plans to build additional storefronts over the winter when the museum is open on a more limited basis. Eventually, he plans to have a full service “tube bending” neon shop in the basement, for demonstrations as well as classes. Despite the mind-blowing display of signs and artifacts, the museum currently houses only a small fraction of Benko’s collection. He says it will have the capacity eventually to hold about 30 percent of it, some of which will be rotating exhibits. As befits a lifelong collector, Benko knows the story behind each sign — both the significance of the sign and what it was for, as well as how he came to own it. He sweeps his hand around the ballroom. “So many of these went to the landfill,” he says. He points to the Town Pride Frozen Custard sign, and tells me he spoke with a woman who discovered he had the sign (he owns a second one, too). Her family owned the Town Pride shops in Milwaukie, Wisc., in the middle of the last century and was thrilled to learn the signs lived on. “To me,” Benko says, “they all have stories.” For more information, go to nationalneonsignmuseum.org. THE GORGE MAGAZINE II WINTER 2019-20


Alex Hoxie


A School for Grown-ups The Society Hotel Bingen brings a hybrid lodging model to the Gorge

story by JANET COOK | photos by ALEX HOXIE and SEAN O’CONNOR Sean O’Connor


he Society Hotel Bingen is a perfect base for year-round Gorge adventures, but it would be understandable if guests never wanted to leave the hotel grounds. Built within and around the old Bingen Schoolhouse, the hybrid hotel-hostel manages to be both throwback and hip, modern enclave. Multiple accommodation options, comfy gathering spaces both indoors and out, and a spa make it appealing as a destination from afar or simply a staycation. The hotel is the second lodging venture for Jessie Burke and her partners, who are also behind the Society Hotel in Portland’s Old Town-Chinatown, which opened in 2015 in an historic building that had sat dormant since the 1970s. They renovated the building — constructed in 1881 as a boarding house for sailors — with a focus on historic preservation, implementing their hipster, hybrid lodging vision that offers guests a choice of accommodation options and the communal feel of a European hostel. With the success of their Portland hotel, Burke et al. began looking to build on their vision. They had some prospects in other regions — as far-flung as Denver and Southeast Asia — but ultimately decided to stick closer to home. “We looked in Hood River, but had a couple of things fall through,” Burke says. They shifted their focus across the river and found the old Bingen Schoolhouse for sale.

Sean O’Connor



Sean O’Connor

The former school, originally constructed in 1908, was rebuilt in 1937 by the Civilian Conservation Corps after a fire in 1933. It served as the school for Bingen and White Salmon until the 1970s. In 1988 it was converted into a hostel, the Bingen School Inn, which attracted seasonal windsurfers and other guests and operated for more than 25 years. Burke and her partners bought the schoolhouse as well as the adjacent former playing field. The school buildings underwent meticulous renovation beginning in 2017, with the goal of maintaining many of the historic elements of the school while creating a comfortable, modern vibe. The hotel’s reception area includes a café and bar, as well as a lounge that evokes a school library. The 2,000-some books lining an entire wall even have their Dewey decimal system catalog numbers intact. Anyone who knows the system will recognize the collection of hardcover books with numbers from 800-899 as literature. Burke bought the collection from an auction at Marylhurst University when the Portland school closed in 2018.

Hope_Summer Ad_2018_FINAL_To Publication.pdf



3:21 PM

WELCOME TO THE HOOD I came to windsurf, sail, kayak and ski, Smitten by the landscape and community. C



For more than 20 years, I balanced my global career life in Europe, Silicon Valley and Asia Pacific,




Alex Hoxie CMY

The Society Hotel Bingen offers several accommodation options, including cabins, opposite top, bunk rooms, opposite bottom, and private rooms with a shared bathroom, above. The lounge features a cozy fireplace and a wall of literary books, opposite inset. A yoga and retreat space is also on-site, opposite bottom. K

A fireplace, comfy couches and a long, communal table make the lounge an inviting place to gather. And that’s the point. “One of our goals is to have this be a place for human interaction,” Burke says of the lounge and the other community spaces around the hotel. There are no TVs in rooms — “just really good Wi-Fi,” says Burke — and the café-lounge area as well as outdoor fire pits and other seating areas encourage communal gathering. Even the restored gymnasium invites guests to shoot hoops and play other games, or simply hang out in the original bleachers. The space can also be used for corporate meetings and other events. Accommodations at the Society Hotel Bingen include 10 private rooms with a shared bathroom; two bunk rooms, each featuring 24 custom, built-in triple bunks; and the “cabin ring,” newly constructed on the former school field and featuring 20 one- and two-bedroom private rooms with kitchenettes. The cabins are connected by a dramatic contiguous roof angled to draw the eye toward the surrounding Gorge hills. “Our model revolves around efficiency,” Burke says. That goes for the various accommodation options catering to differing budgets as well as the simple yet chic finished plywood furniture and beds in the schoolhouse rooms and the cabins. The cabin ring is built around the spa and bathhouse, which includes a saltwater soaking pool, sauna, hot tub and cold plunge pool as well as massage rooms and a small bar/café. Cabin guests have full access to the spa, while those staying in the schoolhouse and bunk rooms can access it for a day fee. Non-guests can also buy passes for the spa and bathhouse. Outside the cabin ring, built into a hillside, is the Sanctuary. The subterranean dome, lit by a skylight and south-facing glass doors, offers a singular space for yoga classes, family gatherings and other retreats. The hotel opened at the end of May, and has already created a buzz in the region. In September, the hotel was one of 33 winners of Sunset magazine’s 2019 Travel Awards, earning honors as the top “hotel worth border hopping.” “We created the Society Hotel Bingen to be both a basecamp for exploring our beautiful region, plus a relaxing escape for those who want to rest and recharge without leaving the property,” Burke says. “It’s great to see that it’s resonating so deeply with people.”

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For more information, go to thesocietyhotel.com. THE GORGE MAGAZINE II WINTER 2019-20



Indoor Farmers Market


The Hood River Farmers Market continues through the winter at a new location this year, May Street Elementary School. The market happens the first and third Saturday of each month beginning Dec. 7, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the commons/cafeteria area of the brand new school. The market features a wide variety of local food and produce, as well as unique handmade gifts from local artisans and live music. gorgegrown.org

John Hardham

CGOA Events


The Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association presents its usual impressive line-up of performances throughout the winter and spring as it marks the 40th anniversary of the Sinfonietta, one of several CGOA ensembles. Get your holiday on with the Voci Choir and Jazz Collective as they present “Christmas Sings and Swings,” Dec. 13 and 15 ( Wy’east Middle School). On Jan. 4 and 5 it’s Sam Baker’s “Mercy” in Concert with the Sinfonietta (Wy’east Middle School). “Chamber Music in the Afternoon” is Jan. 12 (Valley Christian Church), and “The Gorge Sings II” with the Voci Choir, an audience sing-along, is Feb. 21 and 23 ( Wy’east Middle School). “Wind and Wire” with the Sinfonietta and guest soloist Dr. Erik Steighner is Feb. 28 and March 1 ( Wy’east Middle School). gorgeorchestra.org

The Hop Shuttle


A new free shuttle service to area breweries, wineries and distilleries is available to guests staying at several of Hood River’s hotels. The Hop Hood River, operated by MountNbarreL (a company that offers wine tours by bike) runs a shuttle for guests of the Best Western, Westcliff Lodge, Columbia Cliff Villas and the Hood River Hotel to pFriem Family Brewers, Full Sail Brewing Co., Camp 1805, Naked Winery, Double Mountain Brewery and Riverside. The free shuttle operates on call Thursday through Monday, and runs from Jan. 9 through April 27. thehophoodriver.com Courtesy of MOUNTNBARREL


CAT Expands Services


Columbia Area Transit (CAT) is now managing the Columbia Gorge Express transit services to Portland. The service offers eight trips per day on weekdays and six per day on weekends between Hood River and Portland’s Gateway Transit Center, with stops in Cascade Locks, Multnomah Falls and Troutdale. From the Gateway Transit Center, riders can transfer to TriMet’s MAX trains connecting to the airport, downtown and Clackamas Town Center. CAT also has expanded services on the Hood River City Route, which now runs every 45 minutes from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. “We’re excited to offer more ways for community members to move around the local area and to travel to and from the Gorge to Portland,” said Patty Fink, executive director of CAT. ridecatbus.org

Courtesy of Maryhill Winery

Maryhill Winery Adds Bistro


Maryhill Winery has expanded its tasting room in the eastern Gorge to include a restaurant. The on-site bistro, which opened in November, serves pizza and small plates. “By adding bistros to all our tasting rooms, we are building on our commitment to make high-quality, approachable wines accessible to more people,” said coowner Craig Leuthold. “Our menus, which are centered on locally-sourced ingredients, were crafted to complement our award-winning wines, so people can truly understand our wines the way they were meant to be experienced.” Along with its flagship Goldendale winery, Maryhill also has tasting rooms in Vancouver and Spokane, and will soon open in Woodinville, Wash. maryhillwinery.com Danny McCarty

Beer Fest


Breweries in the Gorge (B.I.G.) hosts the 4th annual Holiday Hangover on Jan. 25 at the Ruins in Hood River. The beer fest allows guests to meet local brewers and sample their labors of love, including special-release tappings. This year’s event features more than 30 beers from 11 Gorge-area brewers, along with live music and food. Attendees receive a commemorative glass. breweriesinthegorge.com

2018 Grand Prize Winner: Colleen Wright

Gorge Photo Contest


The Friends of the Columbia Gorge is holding its 5th annual photo contest, with this year’s theme being “Nature + Nurture.” Entries must be submitted by Dec. 31, and categories are: Community and Culture; Nature and Nurture; Scenic Western Gorge; Scenic Eastern Gorge; Wildflowers; Wildlife; and Youth Photographer. The theme acknowledges both the stunning natural beauty of the Gorge and the need to protect and responsibly steward it for future generations. Winners will be announced in April. gorgefriends.org THE GORGE MAGAZINE II WINTER 2019-20



More Than Just a View Home A Hood River residence is built to nestle timelessly into a hillside story by JANET COOK | photos by PETER ECKERT


s with so many homes in the Gorge, this one was built for the views. When Portland architect Rick Berry, principal at Scott | Edwards Architecture, was approached by a longtime client to design a home on a unique Gorge property, Berry accompanied his client on a visit to the site. “It was all about the view to the north,” Berry said. “We came up with multiple options, but in the end, we all decided that every space should and could have a view from the house.” Other requirements of the client included a detached guest suite and an outdoor living space.



Berry came up with a design for a long, one-level home with floor-to-ceiling glass along the entire north side. The main living quarters are separated from the guest suite by an outdoor space that is well protected from the elements so it can be used for as much of the year as possible. “The key was to create an outdoor space that

The home features sliding glass doors and floor-to-ceiling windows to highlight the views.

could be a living room throughout a lot of the year,” Berry said. The area is protected from the wind and the harsh sun, so it makes for “a nice open space where you can sit outside most of the summer,” he added. A fireplace built into the south wall extends use of the space into the cooler months. The 3,500 square foot, three-bedroom home is anchored on the south side by a 150-foot-long concrete wall topped by clerestory windows. The wall creates thermal mass, helping to regulate the temperature inside. Glass panels slide open from the main living area and the guest quarters to both the north as well as to the outdoor space between them.


12th & Pine Design Home Furnishings

1106 12th Street • Hood River, OR 97031 • 541.645.5953 www.12thandpinedesign.com • assistance@12thandpinedesign.com THE GORGE MAGAZINE II WINTER 2019-20


The home was designed as one long structure, with the main living quarters separated from the guest suite by a covered outdoor living area. It’s built into the contours of a hillside, looking out over the Hood River Valley and Mount Adams in the distance.


Fine Art & Architectural Photography finelinephotography.com 509 369 0034 Charles Sholten - Photographer


All of the home’s main spaces, including a media room and bedrooms, have views and sliding window/doors. The home’s jaw-dropping views of the Hood River Valley sweeping north to Mount Adams are accentuated by the uncomplicated design and construction materials. “We used a simple palette of natural materials that were theoretically found fairly close to the site,” Berry said. Concrete, wood and glass make up most of the home. The cedar used on the exterior extends into and throughout the interior, complemented by walnut cabinets and built-ins. The roof is “one large rectangle with a straightforward structural assembly,” he added. The interior finishes were done by Scott | Edwards interior designer Kate Dougherty, who used boldly patterned rugs and eye-catching lighting to contrast with the subtle tones of the wood and concrete. White countertops provide a Leather furniture also provides a contrast to the building materials. The home, designed as a recreation getaway, is meant to be lowmaintenance. “One of the key ideas was to create simple functionality,” Berry said. “Come with your skis, your windsurf boards, store them and be able to live easily.” A detached garage behind the house provides storage space. Even the siting of the home on the property was done with consideration for the flow of the land. The building site sat in a “bowl” on the property, said Berry. Rather than moving a lot of dirt and creating a built-up site, Berry worked the design into the land. “We wanted to make it feel like the natural contours were hugging the home,” he said. “The home is really nestled into

the side of the hill. It doesn’t dominate the site, it blends with the site.” The landscaping also was designed to look as natural as possible. “We tried to make it something that felt timeless,” Berry said. “We wanted it to feel like a part of the Gorge, like you wouldn’t really know when it was built.” For more information, go to seallp.com.

Hood River 541.386.1001

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Hunger Knows no Season The Columbia Gorge Food Bank works to feed the hungry year-round story by DON CAMPBELL | photos courtesy of CGFB


n innocent yet precociously prescient Anne Frank once declared, “Hunger is not a problem. It is an obscenity.” There is worldwide a pervasive and unrelenting gnawing in the belly for millions of people, heartbreakingly many of them children, who do not get enough to eat. The statistics alone should stagger you into awareness and action: Nearly 850 million people worldwide suffer from hunger, nearly 60 percent of them are women, one in five children suffer from food insecurity, and malnutrition leads to a nightmarish host of developmental problems in kids. “Children who went hungry at least once in their lives,” wrote Time magazine, “were two and a half times more likely to have poor overall health 10 to 15 years later, compared with those who never had to go without food.”



Let all that marinate for a moment. As global, immense and intimidating as the problem is, there is a nagging local hunger that escapes the awareness of many, but one that is being addressed by a fairly new network of dedicated souls in the Gorge that will not abide Anne Frank’s obscenity. The Columbia Gorge Food Bank, under the auspice of the Oregon Food Bank, has become, in two short years, a dramatic transitional program that encompasses Wasco, Hood River and Sherman counties and works with a cadre of 25 regional hunger-fighting partners to provide relief in the form of 33 food-bank and food-pantry service sites, lending a nourishing hand to some 5,000-6,000 people each month. The organization’s mantra is simple: No one should be hungry. For certain not in a state as bountiful as Oregon. And no one embodies the cause more than CGFB’s Sharon Thornberry, the group’s rural communities liaison. From a small office and 2,000-square-foot warehouse in the

port area of The Dalles, with a tiny staff of four, Thornberry knows whereof she preaches. Once a homeless single mom of two, she has given more than 30 years to community action, with 21 of those in direct service to OFB. You can see the fight in her eyes. “I worked my way out of homelessness,” she says, “but it was hard to ask for assistance.” She and her kids once lived for three days on $5 graciously donated by a neighbor. Food-bank services — save for a few church food pantries — did not yet exist to the degree they do today. Thornberry says today’s economics have pushed the hungry and homeless to the breaking point, citing housing costs as an especially cruel hunger driver. Having been there, she says, “This is what fuels me, the fact that a lot of people have it so much worse today. In the ‘60s and ‘70s, a minimum-wage job could sustain a family of four. Now it takes two-and-a-half minimum wage jobs. People can’t afford housing, and that hits kids the hardest. You can’t have stability without housing.” For Thornberry, her crew and partners, and the OFB writ large, direct action speaks the loudest in addressing the pervasive hunger problem. Think of it as a truly local problem, and local solutions can quickly and directly provide the most hope. In CGFB’s last fiscal year, more than a million pounds of food were distributed to its partner agencies, an increase over the previous year. As befits the region’s agricultural heritage and vitality, 22 percent of that was produce. Donations come from the generosity of grocery stores, local orchards, farmers, food drives and food processors, as well as directly from the Oregon Food Bank, through its Portland facilities, and the Feeding America Networks for USDA Commodities and other food-industry donations. Hunger, Thornberry notes, knows no season. While winter can be tough, summer provides its own set of challenges, as school lunch programs close with the end of the school year. There is much to be done with this nascent outreach program: Thornberry could use 6,000-8,000 square feet of warehouse space with additional freezer and refrigeration capability, more donations (both hard goods, cash and Grocery Outlet gift cards), hearty volunteers, board members for guidance, and some general awareness of the extent of hunger among our friends, families and neighbors in the community. “Hunger is everywhere,” says Thornberry. Even the tiny burg of Rufus isn’t immune, where a new food pantry serves some 100 households a month

Aubrie LeGault

Sharon Thornberry, opposite inset, second from left, and a small staff work to feed the hungry in the Gorge. Community input and volunteer help is key to serving the area. Food is distributed from the warehouse in The Dalles, above, to more than 30 regional food banks and pantries.

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HOW TO HELP For more information on the efforts of the Columbia Gorge Food Bank, to donate or volunteer, call 541-370-2333. VOLUNTEER Warehouse: Assist operations staff with routine warehouse organizations, deliveries and orders. Food Team: Bring a team from your church, civic group or business to help pack food bags or produce.

and 10 to 20 homeless people. “Many families are far beyond the government standard for poverty,” she adds. The efforts of CGFB provide “simple things to make you feel human.” Wrote the sage Mahatma Gandhi, “There are people in the world so hungry that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” With the monumental efforts of the Columbia Gorge Food Bank network, there are easy and rewarding ways to help answer that prayer right here at home.

Join the Founding Board: CGFB is looking for individuals and businesses who would like to take the lead in developing the local food bank organization and help build a warehouse to house its future programs.

DONATE Individual food donations: Some of CGFB most nutritious food comes from individuals. Learn the best ways to personally give food. Food and fund drives: Collect food and funds with your workplace, church, school or other organization. CGFB can provide tools and tips to make it easy and rewarding. Individual donations: Add CGFB to the organizations that you support on a monthly or yearly basis. For more information, go to oregonfoodbank.org.

Don Campbell is a writer and musician. He lives in Mosier and Portland and is a frequent contributor to The Gorge Magazine.

COLUMBIA GORGE FOOD BANK PARTNERS Wasco County: Chinook Campus Pantry, Community Backpack Program, DHS — Celilo Harvest Share, DHS — The Dalles, Dufur School Pantry, Gorge Homeless Outreach, HAVEN, Mid-Columbia Housing Authority, North Wasco Recreation District, Pioneer Potlatch, Point Man Ministries, St. Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army, The Dalles Public Library, Wahtonka Pantry, Windy River Gleaners and Youth Empowerment Shelter Multi County: Oregon Child Development Corporation Hood River County: DHS — Hood River, FISH Food Bank, Helping Hands Against Violence, Hood River County Christmas Project, Hood River Shelter Services, Hood River Valley Adult Center and SDA — Hood River Sherman County: Sherman County Food Bank and Rufus Food Pantry


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McFadden, Bonnie Long, Chelsea Finson, Keef Morgan, Marcus Morgan, Ross Henry, Samantha Irwin

All images on this page by Kate Schwager


Building Community Through Clay The Clay Commons is more than just a pottery studio story by JANET COOK | photos by KATE SCHWAGER, and courtesy of CLAY COMMONS and JACKIE SELEVAN


ouse plants led Annelisa Gebhard to where she is now, sitting in front of a pottery wheel in a former Hood River cold storage building by the railroad tracks. The wheel turns slowly, controlled by her foot on a pedal, as she methodically shaves a thin layer of clay from the top of a small pot with a hand tool. “I’ve gotten really into plants and I got tired of buying pots,” Gebhard says. “They’re expensive.” So she signed up for an introductory pottery class at The Clay Commons, a ceramics studio run by Dyana Fiediga. By week seven of the eight-week class, Gebhard has made a collection of planter pots in various sizes, and has ventured on to creating a set of mugs. “It’s been so fun,” she says. “It’s a good creative outlet.” The Clay Commons has long been a dream of Fiediga’s, finally coming to fruition last year as a ceramics studio where she creates her own pottery, teaches classes, and offers space for other expe-

rienced potters to work. It’s a place for building community while building with clay. Fiediga got her start with clay in college while pursuing a fine arts major at Ohio University. “I was drawn to all the art mediums,” she says. “But I spent a lot of time working in the clay studio, mostly hand building.” She was particularly drawn to the tactile nature of clay. After college she headed west, eventually landing on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands where she met a potter who let Fiediga trade 26


Courtesy of Clay Commons

Dyana Fiediga, opposite, makes her own pottery and teaches others at the Clay Commons, her downtown Hood River pottery studio. Along with classes, she offers studio memberships for more experienced potters.

Kate Schwager

work for use of her studio. It was here that she started exploring wheel thrown pottery. When she moved to Bellingham to work in landscaping, she met a renowned local potter who became her mentor. She spent more than five years working in his studio. “That’s how I really learned,” she says. Fiediga eventually got her own studio and began selling her wares under the moniker Somegirls Pottery. When she met someone from the Gorge and fell in love, the timing was less than ideal. “My business was just taking off in Bellingham,” she says. But when she came to the Gorge to visit, it felt right. “I knew I was going to come here and teach even though I didn’t say it out loud to anyone,” she says. Before she could establish studio space here, she created her work piecemeal. She had no kiln, so she’d make pottery in her basement, bisque fire it at the studio of another Gorge potter, then drive to Bellingham for glazing and finishing and delivering to shops. She made extra pottery to sell at the Hood River Farmers Market, where she began making a name for herself locally. Eventually, she found a place in Odell to set up her whole studio — including the teaching space she longed for. But a short time later, the space in the Union Building opened up when the Remains Gallery moved to Oak Street, and Fiediga wanted to be in town. She moved into the studio April 1 and held her first class there two weeks later. The studio has nine wheels, plus Fiediga’s own. There is ample space for throwing, refining, firing, glazing and storing pottery in various stages of completion. “I’ve found it super fun and challenging to develop a space the way I want it,” Fiediga says.

310 Oak Street Downtown Hood River www.chemistryjewelry.com



Courtesy of Jackie Selevan

The Clay Commons has nine pottery wheels, plus Fiediga’s own wheel. The studio has three rooms, providing ample space for potters to work as well as for storing pottery in various stages of completion. Fiediga teaches everything from hand building to advanced wheel throwing.

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Courtesy of Clay Commons




Fiediga teaches group classes in wheel throwing and hand building, offers individual lessons, and facilitates special events and private group parties. She also offers studio memberships for those with some experience, where potters have 24/7 access to the studio (outside of classes and events) as well as use of glazes, tools and firing. Fiediga continues to evolve her own pottery, which she describes as “whimsical, political and sometimes flippant.” She still sells her work at several places in Bellingham and the Skagit Valley, and has a growing client list in the Gorge — including the Columbia Center for the Arts, The Remains Gallery, the Frame Gallery and Lady Fern. She’s also creating serving bowls for COR Cellars and planters for Good News Gardening. But she loves teaching and sharing her passion with others, as well as offering a safe, comfortable space for people to explore and create. “I love giving people the basic skills and setting them free to figure out how things work,” she says. Plus, the communal environment helps newbie potters learn from those with more experience. “I love hearing tips being offered, and seeing someone develop and share their skills,” Fiediga adds. People come to The Clay Commons to learn how to make pottery, but often they find much more. Cyndia Marcaus signed up for back-to-back wheel throwing classes. “I wanted to come and really learn,” she says. Nearing the end of the first eight-week class, Marcaus was successfully throwing and creating several different types of pots. But she had also found the classes to be “really deep.” “It’s like a physical form of meditation,” she says. “I tell people, if you want to do some deep, inner work, take a pottery class. There’s the pottery and the stuff you make, and then there’s all the other stuff.” Monica Dunn agrees. “What I love about it is you can just be in your stillness, or you can interact with everyone,” she says. That sense of community is exactly what Fiediga set out to create at The Clay Commons, and her students and fellow potters have helped her bring the vision to reality. Even the name itself came from brainstorming with her classes. “We had some fun names offered up — the Club House, the Mess Hall etc. — but eventually decided that the Clay Commons captured the idea of a shared clay makers space,” she says. “I see the value of community,” she adds, “and the inspiration that comes from it.”

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Cherry Orchard Trail A winter-friendly hike awaits in the eastern Gorge

story and photos by BEN MITCHELL


Friends of the Columbia Gorge/Lisa D. Holmes/Yulan Studio

he winter season in the Pacific Northwest often means misty days on the trails in the western and central Columbia River Gorge while looking for good waterfall hikes when Mount Hood and Mount Adams are socked-in by low clouds. As much as I do enjoy a good waterfall hike in the Gifford Pinchot or the Mt. Hood National Forest, or any of the number of parks sprinkled throughout the Gorge, winter is often a time that I will elect to head east of the Cascade Range … assuming it’s not a good day for snowboarding or cross-country skiing on Mount Hood. We all need a break from the rain sometimes, and I like returning to the dry side of the mountains after I’ve largely neglected that area during the warmer months. There’s one hike in the “off-season” I always end up coming back to, and that’s the Cherry Orchard Trail, located just east of Lyle on the Washington side of the Columbia. Like many other hikes in the Gorge, the Cherry Orchard Trail has become more popular over the years, especially as there are still a significant number of hikes off-limits more than two years after



the devastating Eagle Creek Fire. But the Cherry Orchard Trail is often lauded and promoted as a springtime hike, not a winter hike — and to be fair, for very good reasons. In the spring, the eastern hills are lush and green and full of wildflowers, including my personal favorite, the grass widow, one of the first harbingers of spring in the Gorge. The eastern Gorge is still a pleasant temperature, and you’ll likely stay drier than you would on other hikes west of the Cascades that time of year. In the winter, though, visitation at the Cherry Orchard Trail drops off, making for a quieter hike, and the poison oak, rattlesnakes, and ticks that hikers are heavily warned about both in guidebooks and on the trailhead’s signage become less of an issue. While there won’t be wildflowers, the proliferation of oaks along the trail make for lovely splashes of burnt orange color in the fall and, sometimes, even into the early part of winter. Besides, I don’t go to the Cherry Orchard so much for the wildflowers as I do for the views. Cut into the side of the basalt cliff walls, the Cherry Orchard Trail offers expansive vistas up and down the Columbia River Gorge, giving hikers

The Cherry Orchard Trail winds its way up the hills east of Lyle. Winter makes for fewer people on the trail, and the views up and down the Gorge are stunning. Friends of the Columbia Gorge and other groups are creating two new loops on the trail, inset map.

good workout, but numerous viewpoints offer chances to rest and take in the sweeping Gorge vistas. Most of the elevation change comes in the first half of the hike, as you alternate climbing through oaky forests with wide-open grasslands that pour out and over basalt benches. At the moment, the trail is self-explanatory, with one well-defined route that, after some switchbacks, takes you east through a gorgeous oak forest, before arriving at a large grassy area that is the site of the former orchard (look for the scraggly trees). In the near future, however, you’ll have more choices to make in terms of what route you take. In my opinion, that’s a pretty nice “problem” to have. Ben Mitchell is a writer and filmmaker who lives in Hood River. He is a frequent contributor to The Gorge Magazine.

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an osprey-eye view. The trailhead is conveniently located on the north side of Highway 14 along a large gravel pullout that is just east of Tunnel No. 6 as you head out of Lyle. You’ll likely see other cars at the pullout, especially if it’s a weekend, but if you don’t, there is a wooden sign marking the trailhead and welcoming people to the hike, although it can be tricky to see from the road. Like many other beloved hikes in the Gorge, we’re able to enjoy the Cherry Orchard Trail today due to the conservation group Friends of the Columbia Gorge. In the 1990s, Friends founder Nancy Russell purchased several parcels that make up the 540-acre Cherry Orchard property for the purposes of preservation and restoration. Russell named it after an abandoned cherry orchard on the property, and to this day, a couple of scraggly cherry trees can be seen on the hike. (According to information on Friends’ website, the trees still bear fruit!) After she passed away in 2008, Russell’s estate bequeathed it to the Friends of the Columbia Gorge Land Trust. Over the past decade, continual trail improvements have been made, including removing old buildings and fencing as well as invasive weeds from the property. Currently, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, Washington Trails Association, and volunteers are in the midst of expanding the Cherry Orchard Trail, which will feature a new loop around the old cherry orchard at the east end of the hike, and another new loop at the west end of the hike that will circle around the prominent whitelettered “Lyle” sign that sits in the hills above its namesake town. The Cherry Orchard Loop was nearing completion this fall, with the Lyle Loop scheduled to be finished at the end of 2020, according to Friends’ Towns to Trails Project Manager Renee Tkach. The expansion will add another three miles to the trail system, creating what is essentially a double lollipop loop. For now though, the Cherry Orchard Trail is a 5-mile out-and-back hike that features 1,500 feet of elevation gain, which will definitely give you a




Grateful Vineyard A new winery is the latest addition to Mt. View Orchards’ farm-to-table offerings story by BEN MITCHELL | photos by AMY VANDENBOS


here’s a current trend in the U.S., and especially in the Pacific Northwest, of buying local –– whether that’s shopping at locally-owned, independent businesses and eschewing the big-box stores, or making conscious decisions to shop at places that incorporate locally-sourced materials and ingredients into their products.



Grateful Vineyard represents an intersection of both those concepts. The new winery, which also serves up its own hard cider and pizza, as well as local beers, is located just outside of Parkdale on the 50-acre Mt. View Orchards. It exemplifies the farm-to-table ethos, with ingredients primarily sourced either from the farm or from neighboring businesses. It’s the latest venture for Katrina (Trina) McAlexander, a third generation orchardist who was born and raised in the upper Hood River Valley. Grateful Vineyard opened last spring, and has already been a big hit, with locals and tourists alike flocking to its expansive tasting room to drink in the views of Mount Hood, as well as cider and wine, and to indulge in some of the freshest pizza around. “We’ve had so many people walk inside who can’t believe that we would create this in the middle of the farm,” says McAlexander. “It brings me so much pleasure when people come in and enjoy a really simple, farm-fresh meal here in the middle of our farm, because that’s just a really unique experience.”

Trina McAlexander, above, has added a winery and restaurant to her farm at Mt. View Orchards. The Grateful Vineyard serves farm-totable pizzas and salads, made with ingredients sourced on-site and from local businesses.

Farming is in McAlexander’s blood, going back to her great-grandparents, who emigrated from Switzerland to Helvetia, Ore., in 1905 (a town settled by Swiss immigrants in the 19th century, taking the ancient name of the Swiss people), then started a dairy and planted a vineyard –– “It’s a requirement if you’re Swiss,” McAlexander jokingly notes. Growing up on her parents’ farm where Grateful Vineyard is now, McAlexander says she started having dreams around age 8 or 9 of running the place, but she took a detour first. “In order to really be able to do it here, I needed to get an income that was substantial enough to be able to buy land in Hood River,” she explains. “I always grew up nurturing things and growing things.

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A third generation farmer, McAlexander has expanded Mt. View Orchards to include a cidery, an event space and now a winery and eatery. The wine bottled under the Grateful Vineyard label currently comes from Elk Cove Vineyard, founded by McAlexander’s aunt and uncle.


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So a nice kind of similar profession was becoming a nurse practitioner, because it’s also really nurturing, growing, helping people get well.” While she still works one day a week as a NP at the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility (NORCOR) in The Dalles, McAlexander has devoted most of her attention to her farm’s extensive operations since purchasing the land from her parents in 2014. At a time when family farms are in decline, McAlexander found herself frustrated about things that were beyond her control, like the weather and markets, and so came up with a mental exercise to help change her perception. “I found that what sort of anchored me was making a list every day of what I was grateful for,” she recalls. “And somehow, that gratitude was like an anchor that would sort of quiet my mind and make the experience of farming more about hope and less about fear.” That exercise lends its name to the “grateful” in Grateful Vineyard and also to her blog, “The Grateful Farmer.” A year after buying the farm, McAlexander built a cidery on the property and introduced her own label of cider, Golden Row, which is served in the Grateful Vineyard tasting room and made exclusively from apples pressed on-site from Mt. View Orchards’ 100-year-old trees. She also added an event space and started hosting weddings, community events, and farm-to-table dinners. In 2016, McAlexander planted four acres of grapes and filed paperwork to form Grateful Vineyard, with construction on the roughly 2,000-square-foot tasting room and outdoor patio starting in the summer of 2018. Grateful Vineyard’s tasting room opened this past Memorial Day weekend, and it was a learning experience for McAlexander. She expected to serve maybe 20 to 30 pizzas on opening day. By the end of the day, the kitchen had put out 88 pies. McAlexander quickly learned she had to hire more people, and now has about a dozen employees at Grateful Vineyard. She’s also looking into getting a larger pizza oven. “The first weekend, it was just my brother, my mom, and I in our first kitchen,” she recalls. “We ran out of everything the very first day. We were making dough, we were grating cheese. It’s comical. It’s laughworthy now.” It’s not hard to see why the pizzas at Grateful Vineyard were flying out of the kitchen, a trend that has continued since opening. Chef Ryan McAlexander, Trina’s brother, uses some of the freshest ingredients possible, which includes produce from the farm.


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“My goal has always been to incorporate our farm into our business and into what I do here,” he explains. “I strive to source the best things I can and kind of let those ingredients speak for themselves. You’ll find things here that you’ll only find in season when you’re picking them off the trees in our backyard.” As for the wine, Grateful Vineyard currently has four options to chose from: a riesling, a pinot gris, a rosé, and a pinot noir. At the moment, the wines under the Grateful Vineyard label come from the Willamette Valley’s Elk Cove Vineyard (founded by McAlexander’s aunt and uncle in 1974). McAlexander expects the first crush of grapes from her Parkdale vineyard will occur next fall, with the first vintage available a couple of years after that. She’s currently experimenting with plantings of riesling, pinot gris, pinot noir, gamay noir, and cabernet franc in order to “figure out what grows well in Parkdale.” She also has a row of table grapes to provide fruit for her farm stand and charcuterie boards. In addition to wine and cider, McAlexander will soon be offering her own beer at Grateful Vineyard as well. She’s remodeling an old farm building on the property to turn into a brewery, and then anticipates offering fruit beer made with Mt. View Orchards produce, as well as regular beer, in the Grateful Vineyard taproom sometime this spring. While farming and owning a small business are never easy, McAlexander can’t help but feel grateful with the way things have turned out. “Honestly, it’s been a total dream come true,” she says. “It’s been a blast.” For more information, go to gratefulvineyards.com.

HOOD RIVER COFFEE ROASTERS Hood River Coffee Roasters sells coffee to the public! Yes, the same flavorful and fresh coffees that we offer to fine restaurants, grocery stores, espresso bars and business offices is available to you, too. We are proud to be the Gorge’s premier roaster since 1990. Open MonThu, 9am-5pm and Fri, 9am-3pm. 1310 Tucker Rd • 541-386-3908 hoodrivercoffeeroasters.com

APLAND JEWELERS Designers, goldsmiths, and craftsmen, we make and repair in our state-of-theart workshop. Ken Apland brings 38 years of experience as a goldsmith and gemologist, so whether you need to have old jewelry redesigned, an heirloom restored, or an entirely new design made we can create it using reclaimed metals and responsibly sourced gems. 216 Oak Street • 541-386-3977 info@aplandjewelers.com

WAAAM Visit the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum to see one of the largest collections of still-flying and still-driving antique vehicles in the USA. With over 3.5 acres of indoor display space, our collection is not just full of history, they are full of LIFE! Open daily from 9am-5pm. Special events on Second Saturdays. 1600 Air Museum Road • 541-308-1600 waaamuseum.org

Ben Mitchell is a writer and filmmaker who lives in Hood River. He is a frequent contributor to The Gorge Magazine. THE GORGE MAGAZINE II WINTER 2019-20


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The Columbia Gorge is an ideal place to live for anyone who wants an active, healthy lifestyle. In fact, that lifestyle is the reason many people gravitate here to begin with. We’re surrounded by nature and seemingly endless opportunities for outdoor recreation and exercise. Studies have shown that simply living amid green spaces lowers the risk of depression and anxiety, and we’ve got plenty of green spaces all around us. We’re also lucky to have top-notch healthcare professionals in every field. From eye care and oral health to surgical specialists and natural medicine — as well as several top-rated hospitals — you can find solutions to all of your healthcare needs right here at home. With the new year at hand, it’s a good time to make a pledge to be the healthiest you can be. Everything you need to achieve your health goals is available right here in the Gorge. Here’s to a healthy and happy 2020!


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Health Care That Comes With Heart Since 1986, One Community Health has won the hearts of many people throughout the Columbia River Gorge. With us, patients thrive through an integrated approach to medical, dental and behavioral health. We serve all people in Hood River, Wasco, Klickitat and Skamania Counties. What's more, wellness is convenient, thanks to our regional outreach programs and multiple locations in Hood River and The Dalles. Experience the difference with whole-person health care. It's rooted in gratitude and shaped by our compassion for patients and the community at large.

WATER’S EDGE in The Dalles is home to the most comprehensive array of wellness services, programs and medically supervised treatment options found anywhere in the Columbia River Gorge. • Water aerobics and physical therapy in our aquatic center. • Massage, esthetician services and acupuncture. • Fitness and exercise in state-of-the-art gyms. • Comprehensive physical therapy services. • Internal medicine clinic. • Nutritional and lifestyle education. • Group fitness classes. • Exercise and sports testing. • Urgent care center (spring 2020). Our beautiful facilities and exceptional programs are overseen by medical professionals including certified physical therapists, fitness specialists, dietitians, exercise physiologists and more. Whether you are recovering from a medical condition or simply striving for a new level of wellness, you are in good hands at Water’s Edge.

Water’s Edge Mid-Columbia Medical Center

CALL: 541.506.5779 VISIT:

onecommunityhealth.org • 541-386-6380

wellnessatwatersedge.com 551 Lone Pine Blvd., The Dalles




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Skyline Family Medicine provider Erica Didier, M.D. At Skyline Family Medicine Clinic, we know primary care is essential to achieving better health and stronger individuals. You can trust our friendly, committed staff to be your partner in health, working diligently to provide the highest quality of care at every stage of life!

We’ve all done it. We wait until we are sick or injured before going to the doctor. And eventually we begin to associate visits to the doctor with something negative. But here’s the good news: Scheduling regular well check-ups and seeing your primary care provider when you’re not sick may be the key to life-long health. Skyline Family Medicine Clinic believes having a trusting relationship with a primary care provider can assist patients in navigating the health care system for the best possible outcome. We know how important it is to have a good connection so you feel comfortable sharing all of your health concerns. When your provider knows you well, he or she can help you prevent disease or illness, manage a chronic disease you may already have, or cure a disease if it is caught early enough. There is truth to the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” A primary care provider not only treats you when you are sick, but also helps to prevent health issues from developing. At Skyline Family Medicine Clinic, our goal is to have continuity of care — where your provider knows you inside and out and is familiar with all of your health issues, family history and stressors. We know treating a whole person is about so much more than a prescription. To schedule an appointment with one of our clinic’s trusting and committed providers, call 509-637-2810 or take advantage of our convenient walk-in clinic. We’re here with you in sickness and in health!

Excellence in denture care! Melanie E. Chapman LICENSED DENTURIST


Two offices to serve you! Hood River

926 12th Street | 541-386-2012




The Dalles

414 Washington St. | 541-296-3310


J. Kyle House DDS, FAAPD Pediatric Dentist

Maggie Anderson DDS

Steven Wohlford DMD, FAAPD Pediatric Dentist

Anesthesia and pain free dentistry



541.387.8688 419 State St. Suite 4 Hood River


1935 E. 19th St. Suite 200 The Dalles

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mite covers for your mattress and pillows. You he allergy season in the Columbia River Board Certified ENT & will want to minimize “clutter” in your sleeping Gorge can be a real challenge for many Allergy Care FACS, FAAOA area. If you were thinking about getting rid of people. The Gorge is unique in that we carpet in your bedroom, you can add one more are in a wind-dominated corridor; we get allergens/ reason to your list. You can also add an air filter pollens from the east and west, depending on to your sleeping space. If you have animal allerthe prevailing wind, as well as our local allergens. gies, you don’t need to get rid of your pets but Some plant pollens do have predominant seasons, if you can keep them out of your sleeping space but it is common for patients to be allergic to and the area you spend the most time each day, different things in multiple seasons. Wintertime you can minimize exposure. If you have forced allergens are frequently mold and dust mites. air heat, you will want to make sure you change Tree pollen allergies dominate spring. In sumthe filters annually. Allergen vacuum bags are mer, grass pollens prevail and can be particularly also a good idea and are inexpensive and easy to problematic and long-lasting. This is also the find (Ace hardware, Home Depot etc.). time of year when stinging insect allergies cause When allergies become problematic enough problems that can be life-threatening for the senthat they prevent you from pursuing normal activisitive allergic patient. Fall takes us into the weed ties such as exercise, outdoor recreation, enjoying season. Patients with animal allergies (including public gatherings or eating out, it is time to seek household pets) suffer all year around. medical counseling. Allergy testing and specific Common allergy symptoms include: fatigue treatment based on the results of these tests can drastically improve due to poor sleep, stuffy or runny nose, drainage in the back of your quality of life and sleep for most allergic patients, and be life saving for throat, cough, difficulty controlling asthma and/or eczema, itchy eyes, those who suffer from anaphylactic level reactions. and sometimes rash or anaphylaxis. There are several measures you can take in your home if you are MendyMaccabeeENT.com; 541-436-3880; 514 State St., Hood River allergic. If you have wintertime symptoms, you should invest in dust


Specialties include: Naturopathic Primary Care | Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine | Chiropractic Care | Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapies | Hypothyroid & Hashimotos | Sports Medicine & Injury Treatment & Prevention | Women’s Health & Menopause | Men’s Health & Andropause | Autoimmune Disease Management | Pain & Musculoskeletal Issues | Nutrient IV & Injection Therapies | Weight Loss & Metabolism Disorders | Heart Disease Prevention & Management | Pediatrics... and many more! We accept most major health insurance carriers! Accepting new patients!


HEALTHCARE Serving the Gorge since 2012


116 3rd Street, Suite 215, downtown Hood River www.hoodtocoasthealthcare.com


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HEALTHY CONNECTIONS Jefferey Horacek, MD Internal and Functional Medicine Physician

Heather Nielsen Horacek, LPC, CHWC

Counselor/Health Coach, Practice Administrator


o you long for a health care provider that sees and understands you, and makes time for your story? At Healthy Connections, the relationships with our clients are our #1 value and priority. We limit our practice membership in order to give each client the time and caring attention necessary to restore and promote wellness. Healthy Connections provides a unique medical service in the Columbia Gorge. Combining personalized internal medicine expertise with deep-dive functional medicine diagnostic and evaluation tools, Jeff Horacek, M.D., helps his clients resolve their health issues, understand what is “too much” and “not enough” in their life that might be helping or harming them, and create new, lasting health habits for optimal longevity. Dr. Horacek brings to his practice 25 years of experience as a primary care physician, with a compassionate heart, a detective’s mind, and a strong passion for helping others heal and thrive.  Together with his wife, Heather, a mental health counselor, mindfulness teacher and wellness coach, their team approach is based on the following:  • • •

• • •

Belief in our clients’ wisdom and motivation. Holistic care, focusing on mind, body and spirit. Appreciation of the complex interconnections of our body systems (our gut is connected to our brain which is connected to our hormones, etc.). A focus on optimal health – not just the absence of symptoms or dis-ease. A collaborative partnership with each client to take an active role in health restoration. A preference for natural, non-toxic therapies – harnessing the body’s ability to heal itself. HEALTHY CONNECTIONS provides both functional medicine consultations as well as Direct Primary Care memberships. We are currently accepting new clients and would love to speak with you about your health and wellness goals and desires.

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Convenient care, weekend hours Walk-ins welcome Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Providence Family Medicine Clinic 1151 May St., #201, Hood River, OR 97031 541-387-1300

healthyconnectionshr.com 541-716-5786 Healthy Connections office

33 Nichols Parkway, Suite 300, Hood River THE GORGE MAGAZINE II WINTER 2019-20


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hronic pain is a common problem in the doctors can boost your body’s own natural healing United States. According to the Centers mechanisms to speed recovery from injuries or for Disease Control and Prevention, even prevent more invasive surgical interventions. an estimated 50 million Americans suffer from Studies performed at the world’s leading medical some form of chronic pain. Nearly 20 million and research institutions confirm that regenerative of those people have high-impact chronic pain, medicine procedures are safe and effective for which is persistent and affects a person’s ability a variety of musculoskeletal conditions such as to carry out day-to-day activities, resulting in a tennis elbow, knee meniscus injuries, and arthritis. lower quality of life. Fortunately, there are more Finally, tapering or stopping traditional opioptions than ever for living a productive life deoid pain medications can be difficult for some spite chronic pain. people after their pain has stabilized or even reSpinal cord stimulation uses low doses of elecsolved. By using medication-assisted treatment, tricity delivered to specific areas of the spinal cord combined with a program to help people make to modulate or “block” the perception of pain and sustain new habits, it is possible to taper and Dr. David Russo, DO from damaged nerves or spinal structures. The discontinue traditional pain medications such as BOARD CERTIFIED IN PHYSICAL treatment can be tested for effectiveness through oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl without MEDICINE AND REHABILITATION a simple office-based procedure. If effective, small uncomfortable side effects or cravings. wires are surgically implanted near the spinal cord and attached to a All of these treatments and more are available close to home. The pace-maker battery to provide long term relief. The procedure is safe specialists at Columbia Pain Management, PC, can help guide you and the recovery from the implantation procedure is speedy. through these options and help you get back to doing the things you Regenerative medicine is a set of procedures that use your body’s love despite the challenges of living with chronic pain. own growth factors and bone marrow progenitor cells to facilitate the healing of damaged tissues such as cartilage, tendon, and soft tissues. COLUMBIA PAIN MANAGEMENT By precisely placing these tissue products into injured or diseased areas, 541-386-9500 • columbiapain.org




Make a family emergency plan – What’s on your evacuation list?

Pack a Go-Kit for car.

www.GetReadyGorge.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/hrcso


EMERGENCY SUPPLIES • Build a Go-Kit of emergency supplies. Start with your camping or travel box • Stock up – 3 days to 3 weeks • Use the Go-Kit checklist here: https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit • Have a Go-Kit in your car year ‘round • Expect power outages and find alternatives

FAMILY EMERGENCY PLANS • Opt-in to Hood River County Citizen Alerts: www.HoodRiverSheriff.com/ events/emergency-alerts • Think about your family plans – an out of state contact you all call to check in; safe meeting places; how you would reconnect if separated. • Practice it – talk through as a family

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Home Health Services at Klickitat Valley Health

Offering a range of coordinated therapeutic and support services, KVH Home Health can help you get back on your feet after illness, accident or injury. Skilled Nursing Care Personal Care Assistance Social Work Support Physical, Speech & Occupational Therapy

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Specializing in a personal, caring, and holistic approach to the prevention and treatment of dental issues in children • • • •

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made for a glassy background in October when JoDe Goudy, chairman of the Yakama Nation, stood before a small crowd to call for removal of the Columbia’s lower three dams. Fearing the demise of the salmon populations, the Yakama and Lummi tribes want to see the river run free from above Celilo Falls to the Pacific Ocean. For now, Celilo remains flooded beneath the placid waters behind Goudy’s podium, backed up by two dams that produce more than 3,000 megawatts of hydropower, enough for roughly three million homes. The question of energy looms large in any talk of dam removal. To some, hydropower represents a clean, reliable energy source. To others, like the Yakama and Lummi tribes, the dams’ effects on water quality and fish passage are killing salmon. Meanwhile, overlooking the Celilo announcement scene, stark white windmills silently turned on the distant hills. Somewhere in a nearby county a vast field of solar panels glinted at the noon sun. Few places in the country share the Columbia River Gorge’s potential for clean energy. Abundant wind, sun and water (coupled with steep topography) are obvious sources, but nothing, as of yet, is perfect. We set out to explore energy development in the Gorge and gain some insight into a complicated, hopeful and contentious topic.



Courtesy of National Grid Co.


Clockwise from top left, JoDe Goudy, chairman of the Yakama Nation, calls for removal of lower Columbia River dams; a rendering of a proposed pumped-storage project near the John Day Dam; a solar project near Wasco; wind turbines in the eastern Gorge.

First, it’s important to understand the rules. Washington State recently committed to 100 percent clean energy by 2045, reflecting similar trajectories in Colorado, Maryland, New Mexico, California and Hawaii. Oregon has pledged to go 50 percent by 2040. A recent report in Colorado found that going clean in that state (solar, wind and natural gas) will be cheaper for consumers than the current coal-based energy. Climate change, technological advances, profitability and consumer demands for clean energy sources have driven the recent renewable boom, but a regulatory mandate at the state level represents a seismic shift. In Washington, coal will no longer be allowed as an energy source by 2025. That’s tomorrow in large-scale utilities time.

Water Batteries The wind energy business in the east Gorge is booming. Just count the white curving blades looking like giant dinosaur bones as you travel east on I-84. Solar is on the rise, too. Portland-based AvanGrid Renewables is developing an 1,800-acre parcel leased from private landowners and Washington State’s Department of Natural Resources. It will produce 150 megawatts, making it the largest solar project in Washington. In Wasco County, AvanGrid Courtesy of AvanGrid Renewables has submitted plans for a 3,000-acre solar farm. Trouble is, the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine. Electricity producers have to account for peak use times, such as air conditioner demands in summer and heating in winter. As of now, most of that peak demand relies on coal plants. Storing excess solar and wind energy for use at peak marks the crucible of achieving reliable widespread solar and wind power. Pumped water storage, a concept first implemented in the Alps more than a century ago, is one currently available solution. It requires two reservoirs, one at a significantly higher elevation than the other. During peak wind or solar periods, excess clean power pumps the lower water uphill to the higher reservoir. The full upper water basin acts as a battery, storing the energy (water) until peak demand when the water is released to spin hydroelectric turbines en route to the lower reservoir. Unlike current chemical batteries, which have storage capacity in the tens of megawatts, pumped-storage hydro systems can store thousands of megawatts. For decades engineers have pinpointed a former aluminum smelter site near the John Day Dam as an ideal location for pumped-storage. Various developers have tried to bring the project to life, hitting 46


Clockwise from left, Kevin Ricks, special projects manager at Klickitat PUD, tours the renewable natural gas facility at the Roosevelt Regional Landfill; one of the engines that drove Klickitat PUD’s natural gas conversion project decades ago; pipes at Klickitat PUD’s renewable natural gas plant send gas north for use powering natural gas vehicles.

roadblocks each time. Currently, two U.S. developers have plans to construct the pumped-storage system. “The Goldendale energy storage is like Goldilocks in being ‘just right’ — closed loop, not in the river, ideally located within the California-OregonWashington high-voltage transmission system,” says Nathan Sandvig of National Grid, one of the site’s developers. “Goldendale is a 1,200 megawatt nameplate capacity project, and we need 8,000 megawatts of new energy capacity for the region by 2030 to run a reliable grid. There’s probably just not enough land for projected new wind and solar and chemical batteries to meet that peak demand.” The project awaits permitting and aims to be online by 2028. However, as Lauren Goldberg, legal and programs director for Columbia Riverkeeper, says, “It’s not all rainbows when it comes to clean energy.” The Yakama Tribe contends the construction will interfere with sacred cultural sites, and Columbia Riverkeeper wants more research into how the reservoir will impact birds drawn to the new water source that sits close to wind turbines. One group’s Goldilocks can be another’s big bad wolf.

now powers natural gas vehicles (such as garbage trucks) all over the west. Kevin Ricks, Klickitat PUD’s Renewable Energy Assets Manager and proud renewable natural gas nerd, walked me through the one-acre conversion site

Garbage Power Also located in Klickitat County and also on land contested as culturally sensitive by the Yakama Tribe, Republic Service’s Roosevelt Regional Landfill handles 300 containers of trash per day brought from five states. The waste gets buried and depleted of oxygen. Bacteria that break it down emit methane gas, which is at least a 25 times more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. In typical landfills the methane must be burned or “flared” off. The Roosevelt landfill is large enough to warrant conversion of methane into renewable natural gas. For 20 years Klickitat Public Utilities District (KPUD) has innovated cleaner and more efficient ways to convert the gas. Now in Phase III, KPUD has capitalized on 2014 EPA regulations allowing the natural gas produced at a landfill to qualify for cellulosic biofuel credits under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Essentially, the converted methane from the landfill garbage THE GORGE MAGAZINE II WINTER 2019-20



Students work in the electro-mechanical technology lab at Columbia Gorge Community College in The Dalles, above and left. Opposite, Jim Pytel instructs students in the program. The EM-Tech program was started in 2006 with a wind energy focus and has adapted over the years as renewable energy development has expanded and diversified.

on a wind-swept plateau. The shiny pipes and heating and cooling chambers (temperatures range from 600 degrees above to 280 degrees below zero) look like Lamborghini’s version of a mid-size brewery. “What’s cutting edge now becomes baseline later,” Ricks tells me. “My goal is to build a facility to outlast the initial period of economic incentives. My team and I went to a coal mine in Tuscaloosa, Ala., to learn their technology for removing nitrogen from methane. It’s never been done in this way on a landfill and now there are two other facilities being built that use this process.” The irony of coal technology informing its replacement as coal is being phased out of Washington’s energy matrix was not lost on us. “Anytime we can find non-fossil fuel energy, I think we’ve got to go for it and incentivize it,” says Ricks, who cut his teeth in systems management aboard a Navy submarine. “I believe that even this facility is a transitional energy source. It’s a long way off, but I believe we’re ultimately heading toward a hydrogen energy economy.” Hydrogen: another story for another time.

Next Generation Inside the Oregon National Guard Readiness Center, a modern, glass-encased “net zero” building on The Dalles’ Columbia Gorge Community College campus, Jim Pytel pokes small metal nodes into an electrical board in the college’s electro-mechanical technology (EM-Tech) lab. Beginning in 2006 with a wind energy focus, the program has adapted to best train students for jobs in diversified technologies and industries. Graduates of the program have found work in companies ranging from Insitu and Intel to Tofurky and CBD projects. Pytel teaches with the energy of a boy at recess and a command for precision honed during his years as a U.S. Army captain. “I see renewable energy as a patriotic mission,” Pytel says. “We’re training renewable energy soldiers to help us achieve energy freedom and avoid international conflicts.” Pytel’s student soldiers range from college-age to middle age, some of whom were laid off in other industries and came to EM-Tech as part of job re-entry training programs. “We’re blessed with tremendous amounts of renewable energy in this area,” Pytel says. “The challenge is how to store it. Having a technically competent workforce in a rural area surrounded by renewable energy is an extremely attractive prospect for any company looking to develop renewable energy in this region.” 48


There’s an undeniable sense of momentum in the Pacific Northwest and especially in the Columbia River Gorge toward renewable energy. But nothing is guaranteed. Large-scale solar farms are still in the years-long permitting process, as is the water pump storage facility in Goldendale. The countdown to coal-free Washington is only a few years away. On the Columbia River, it can feel like we need to choose between abundant salmon and abundant carbon-neutral hydro-power. With economic incentives, federal

and state regulation changes and an eager workforce, the key to achieving clean energy might come down to compromise and partnership. “We are at a crossroads to take a different approach to the PNW energy picture,” says Columbia Riverkeeper’s Lauren Goldberg. “It’s time to get creative.” David Hanson is a writer, photographer and video producer based in Hood River. Find his editorial and commercial work at ModocStories.com and weddings at CascadiaStudios.com.



David Mackintosh


A Sport to Love for a Lifetime The Teacup Nordic masters program grows as an extension of the junior team story by RUTH BERKOWITZ | photos provided by TEACUP NORDIC


Mia Corkran

t’s a wintry February afternoon and the Teacup Nordic masters and junior ski teams gather outside the rustic warming hut on Mount Hood, 35 miles south of Hood River. We are donned in spandex tights, with headlamps on our heads and hydration packs on our hips. Coach Karl Andersson directs us through warm up exercises: making S-turns around a course of orange cones with only one thin narrow ski and two long poles. I have trouble balancing, although I notice that bending my knees and looking over my shoulder while turning helps.



This is the first year the juniors and masters loosely train together and it’s successful because Nordic skiing is a sport where people of all ages can enjoy the trails simultaneously. Ebullient junior member Catcher Kemmerer asks Andersson to make the course even harder. “You can ski it backwards,” Andersson says, laughing. The cobalt sky melts into darkness, enabling the nearly full moon to light our path. It’s been a snowy month and the trails are perfectly groomed. The night feels magical. Most of us are on skate skis, which require a diagonal ice skating movement, as opposed to the more traditional classic skis — think running with skis on. Some of the hardcore junior skiers are extremely fast and in excellent cardio shape. Then, there are entire families here, like the Corkrans: Doug Corkran competed on the Teacup team as a youth in the 1980s and tonight his wife and teenage daughter join him. There is no other place I would rather be. Last winter, Andersson spearheaded the pilot masters/adult program and it will continue this year. “It just might be my legacy,” Andersson says with a twinkle in his turquoise eyes. I am thrilled that he has opened the team to adults,

Denes Balazs

Kassen Bergstrom

Kassen Bergstrom

Members of the Teacup Nordic junior team participate in races on Mount Hood, opposite. Coach Karl Andersson, above middle, at left, examines skis. Andersson coaches the Teacup masters program as well as the juniors.

on the temperature and type of snow. Andersson’s notebook, combined with his experience and love of chemistry, makes him one of the best coaches and wax technicians in the Northwest. Cross-country skiing can be a leisurely tour in the woods or you can notch it up many levels to an exhilarating full body workout. I first learned to skate ski more than 20 years ago while living in Alaska. I taught myself and developed bad habits. Like many, I thought if I could walk and roller blade, I could skate ski — and I could, but not so efficiently and not so gracefully.

p.marcus catlett imaging

not because I yearn to compete, but because of the quality of coaching, the camaraderie and the opportunity to improve. A “masters program” may sound intimidating; however, our group has varying experience and differing goals. Some of us aspire to compete locally; others have eyes on the famous Birkebeiner cross-country ski race in Wisconsin; many of the juniors want to qualify for the 2020 nationals in Lake Tahoe. As for me, I just want to improve my technique and speed, have fun and ski the Tour of Anchorage in the spring.   I first met Andersson in the winter of 2014, when my daughter, Maya, then an 8th grader, joined the junior team. She trained Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings and raced the PNSA (Pacific Northwest Ski Association) circuit. It was a perfect complement to her competitive running. During their practices, I often tagged along, hoping to learn a few tips from Coach Andersson, who started skate skiing in the mid-1970s, about the same time American Olympic skier Bill Koch pioneered the skating technique. Andersson vividly remembers clomping around in his bulky boots at Lake Tahoe’s Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort when a man in a one-piece Lycra suit whizzed by him. “I can still picture that man and when he passed me flying over the snow, I knew that I wanted to do that,” Andersson recalls. He was hooked. He immediately bought a pair of Rossignol skate skis, competed, and trained with Leslie Krishko, a native Portlander and contender in the 1988 Olympics in Calgary. Most important, Andersson started keeping a notebook, detailing the type of waxes used on his skis. Racing Nordic skis requires different kinds of waxes depending



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Kassen Bergstrom

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Teacup junior skier Leif Berstrom competes at nationals in Lake Placid, N.Y., in 2017.

Becoming an expert takes years. YouTube an Olympic or World Cup race and watch athletes like Americans Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall, or Norwegian Johannes Klaebo, and you’ll witness the intensity, and the skiergives-all philosophy where most collapse at the finish line from exhaustion. The sport has lured athletes from various sports, particularly running, cycling and rowing, who cross train on the snow. “The low impact means fewer injuries,” Andersson says, plus the intense aerobic workout enhances strength and endurance. I wasn’t the only parent lurking like a magpie searching for crumbs. After practice, Andersson often chuckled when he saw his young athletes teaching their parents the lessons they had just learned. Merging adults with the junior team felt natural and is patterned after many of the Scandinavian clubs. “The parents are my huge asset,” says Andersson, especially during race weekends when he needs help waxing skis and preparing meals. The Teacup Nordic program has waxed and waned since its inception in 1982 by legendary masters skier Tom Gibbons, who while coaching the juniors noticed a super fast Andersson skiing the trails. At that time, Andersson had just moved to Oregon to finish college at Portland State University (He never finished because, as he says, “traditional education got in the way of skiing and climbing.”) Gibbons struck a deal and said he would organize the team if Andersson would help coach. Andersson agreed, and coached until 1984 when a neardeath climbing accident prevented him from skiing. The Teacup team disappeared for many years before coming back to life in the early 2000s after Robert Schlicting, a national senior rowing champion, teacher and father, started a program for elementary school kids. When those kids entered high school, Andersson returned to coach the team. Andersson knows it’s hard to compete against teams that train year round and have a hefty budget, like those from Bend and the Methow Valley. Nevertheless, some of his juniors have qualified and competed at nationals, including Leif Bergstrom, Daisy Dolan, Daniel Fischer and Valerie Fischer, Sam Wiley, and Nils Engbersen. This year, Andersson says, the junior team might be smaller than in recent years, but is equally passionate and promising. The masters team will be significantly larger, he adds. He has also brought in more coaches, including Denes Balazs, whose two children compete on the junior team. “My goal is not necessarily to train skiers to qualify for Junior Nationals,” Andersson says. “I want to teach them a sport that they will love for the rest of their lives.” For more information, go to teacupnordic.org.

Ruth Berkowitz is a lawyer, mediator and writer. She lives with her family in Hood River and Portland and is a frequent contributor to The Gorge Magazine.

Experience Skamania County, Washington! COLUMBIA GORGE INTERPRETIVE CENTER


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For nearly 150 years, BNSF Railway has connected this region to the global marketplace — serving as one of the top transporters of consumer goods, agriculture, energy, and housing materials.



509-427-0035 • subway.com 220 SW Second St. • Stevenson

Serving fresh, delicious, made-toorder sandwiches and salads. Fast, friendly service and healthy fresh-fit choices.

SKAMANIA COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: 167 NW Second Avenue, Stevenson, WA 98648 • 800-989-9178 • skamania.org

Michael Hanson


Creating a Sense of Place Beloved lecture series marks its 10th season story by DON CAMPBELL | photos provided by GORGE OWNED


ho doesn’t love a good story? It’s an ancient human rite, an aural necessity, to pass along information, lore, myth, the how-to, the what-for, the why-not — in the glorious exposition of life on Earth. It’s easy in this virtual, digital age to forget about the direct telling of a tale not filtered through an electronic device, but rather through the honest, in-person interaction of teller and listener. The greater Gorge, however, apparently has not.

Robbie Denning, Immense Imagery



The Sense of Place lecture series (no yawning) is well underway with its 10th successful season of presenting engaging slices of Gorge life that run through a broad and deep gamut of subjects — this year including traditional first (as in Native American) foods, toxic waste in the Columbia River, the impact of Finnish immigrants on this region, Native Americans and salmon, and the still surreal story of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his followers’ unsettling antics in the community of Antelope, Ore. While many people fall into a stupor at the very term lecture series, the Sense of Place presentations have found and built a loyal, enthusiastic and supportive legion that continually help sell out the run. What better way to escape the Gorge’s relentless winter weather than venturing to the Columbia Center for the Arts for a night of learning something about which you likely knew very little? Founded in 2010 by one Amanda Lawrence, under the auspice of Gorge Owned, a nonprofit community-building organization that works toward building “resilient, thriving communities across the Columbia River Gorge,” the series explores and provokes thought among the many stakeholders of this vital region with deep dives into the compelling corners of regional culture and community, presented by knowledgeable people with first-hand passion and experience who share what they know. The decade-long list of presentations is a dizzying mix of values and principles, art, politics, humanities, agriculture, recreation, flora/fauna/mycology, communications, geography, geology, water, forestry — nearly anything that ties the nature of this place to the humans who live here. Lawrence stepped down two years ago and the reins were handed to former Oregon Public Broadcasting and Wahoo Films writer and producer Sarah Fox. The West Linn native grew up on a five-acre farm among rabbits, cats, dogs and other critters, and spent time in Chicago, San Francisco, Ohio, Ghana and India as she sought to quench an insatiable thirst for discovering the makings of a good yarn. “I like finding stories I care about,” Fox says. “Stories about life. I like spending time in the gray zones, not the black and white. You have to get outside your comfort zone. And it’s good to see your own home from outside of it.”

Making History Come Alive… Sarah Fox, opposite inset, is host and curator of the Sense of Place lecture series and the Hear in the Gorge podcast. Her guests have included Terrie Brigham, opposite top, owner of Brigham’s Fish Market in Cascade Locks, and Mary Lee Jones, opposite bottom, a Yakama Nation tribal member who promotes traditional foods. At right, Fox teaches Elliot Brigham some interviewing techniques.

VISIT OUR HISTORIC Hood River Photo Blog: historichoodriver.com DISCOVER culture and history through fresh, engaging exhibits, and exciting programs EXPLORE hands-on activities and educational displays for families and children of all ages

Terrie Brigham

Kyle Ramey

Fox found her way to Gorge Owned and began producing Hear in the Gorge, a podcast companion to the Sense of Place series. She recently presented a live podcast to give an attentive audience a sense for how her show is actually produced. The episode featured Terry Brigham, co-owner of the Brigham Fish Market in Cascade Locks and a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Other podcasts have included the Oregon Trail’s Barlow Road, Woody Guthrie and his Columbia River songs, the harrowing tales of Oregon’s Crag Rats search-and-rescue mountaineers, and the saga of Min Yasui and other Japanese-American immigrants, and the ignominy of a nearby Japanese internment camp. Fox bears a certain weight as she grows into her producer role. “Sense of Place is so well loved and so popular,” she says. “I feel a real sense of responsibility. It was Amanda’s baby. She had lots of help raising nine seasons. Hopefully I can carry that on. There’s not much to change. I respect that she handed me the reins and I want to continue to curate a team of experts on a wide range of topics. People do take the time to listen.” Fox casts as wide a net as possible when requests for proposal go out at the end of each season to begin building a pool of story ideas and presenters from which to draw for the next season. The organization’s board of directors and other staffers contribute potential candidates as well. Funding for the show has come from Travel Oregon and the Oregon Heritage Foundation, as well as sponsors and season tickets (which are largely sold out). Though Fox helps develop the presentations, subject matter is left largely up to the presenters. In the beginning of her role as a producer, Fox felt she had to almost know everything, to prove she’d done her research. “But I quickly realized I didn’t have all the answers,” she says. “I’m honestly curious and want these stories to connect actual knowledge with real people. I’m always looking for stories. I like to talk to strangers — especially ones with good stories. How can I be their conduit?” Sense of Place doesn’t always paint a lush and pretty picture, but it always spins strongly human tales of adversity, courage, curiosity, pure knowledge, and vitality, and always with veracity, about a historic region that continues to claw its way into the future. “People know bullshit,” Fox says. “And they want the truth.” And a Sense of Place truly delivers. For more information, including details on upcoming lectures, go to gorgeowned.org.

300 East Port Marina Drive • Hood River hoodriverhistorymuseum.org • 541-386-6772 Follow us on Facebook and Twitter OPEN: Monday-Saturday, 11am-4pm

Stay & Play in The Dalles Free SuperStart® breakfast All Guest Rooms are Smoke Free High Speed Wireless Internet Microwave • Refrigerator Cable/HBO Guest Laundry Pool • Pet Friendly 609 Cherry Heights Road The Dalles OR 97058 541-296-6888


Don Campbell is a writer and musician. He lives in Mosier and Portland and is a frequent contributor to The Gorge Magazine. THE GORGE MAGAZINE II WINTER 2019-20



Choosing Joy

Sunshine Club offers dementia patients and their caregivers a place in the light story by PEGGY DILLS KELTER | photos provided by SUNSHINE CLUB


very Monday through Thursday, about a dozen people gather in a portable building at the Alliance Church in Hood River for Sunshine Club. Unlike some clubs where exclusivity is key, the Sunshine Club only has two requirements for membership: participants must be at least 55 years old, and have a doctor’s diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The club’s director, Tonya DeHart, and assistant, Kristen Helmes, arrive at 8:30 a.m. Even before any of the participants show up, the place is abuzz with activity. There are muffins to bake, trivia questions to prepare, activities to organize. DeHart and Helmes prepare for the arrival of members as they share observations about each person. As always, the two are dressed elegantly for the day. You won’t find a trace of nursing scrubs here; the Sunshine Club is not a medical facility. It’s a place where people with this diagnosis feel safe, successful, happy and loved. Indeed, a sign on the refrigerator door says it all: “Choose Joy.”



An abbreviated version of today’s Sunshine Club was started in 1993 as a respite center. It was a collaborative effort between Hood River Memorial Hospital, Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, and volunteers from the community. The original club was open once a week for four hours, and sought to help those with memory loss to remain active and interact socially. After a few years, the club closed down. DeHart started working with this population years ago, when she and her own kids volunteered at the Hood River Care Center. When her children started school, she went on to become the activities director at Providence Brookside Manor, an assisted living community in Hood River. After three years, she had to leave to attend to a family member in need, but she never forgot how rewarding working with people with memory loss could be. Today, her official title is “Activities Coordinator at Providence Senior Village,” but this title doesn’t come close to describing the genuine love and support she and Helmes offer to every club attendee.

Tonya DeHart, opposite top at left, director of the Sunshine Club, and assistant Kristen Helmes, opposite top at right, provide activities, companionship and support for people with dementia four days a week.

The club runs four days a week from 9:30 to 4. As participants are dropped off by their caregivers and family members, they’re welcomed with warmth and laughter. “If Kristen and I are stressed at home, we don’t bring it with us,” DeHart says. “We leave it at the door.” Likewise, any anxiety the participants feel quickly melts away. One family member writes, “My mom is often apprehensive when I take her to Sunshine Club — I think because she doesn’t remember much about it from the last time she was there. But the minute we walk through the door, Tonya and Kristen light up and come give her huge hugs and welcome her in. They make her feel instantly at ease.” Alzheimer’s and dementia patients live in the moment; it’s the only place they know. As members of the Sunshine Club arrive, they often don’t remember DeHart and Helmes’s names, but they remember the way the two women make them feel. Jacob was diagnosed four years ago; his daughter says he may not remember who DeHart is, but he remembers that she thinks he is funny. Indeed, she has written on his placemat, “Jacob, you are the one who always makes me laugh.” Over the years, DeHart and Helmes have developed ways of helping their members make connections. Recently, a new participant arrived. DeHart knew she had been a nurse. “Instead of saying ‘Do you remember when you were a nurse?’ which makes them sad because they can’t remember,” she explains, “I tell a story, such as ‘You were my nurse when I had all my babies.’” Routines also help the participants feel successful and at ease. After they arrive, each person sits down at his or her place at the table. There is food and conversation followed by trivia. Club members may have memory loss, but when it comes to trivia, several of them are quick with the answers. Lee looks like he is sleeping, but before Helmes has even finished reading the question, the correct answer flies from his mouth. Exercise follows. Lee helps Helmes pass out hand weights. Some participants are confined to chairs, but everyone is moving and laughing. A few even sing. After exercise, there is lunch. Those that are able help out. Thurlow counts to see if everyone is there; Jackie helps wash dishes. And then, it’s quiet time, a much-needed break. Recliner chairs are available for those who want to lie down. “They are involved in activities from the moment they get here,” DeHart says. “Their brains need to rest. We tuck THE GORGE MAGAZINE II WINTER 2019-20


Sunshine Club members help with cooking and baking, do art and craft projects, and go on “field trips” around the Hood River Valley and the Gorge.

them in; it’s so sweet. Sometimes we give them foot massages or hold their hands until they fall asleep. They all sleep because they feel so safe.” Rested, they are up again and involved in activities. They do everything from gardening to arts and crafts. They take field trips. And they dance. Local musicians come at least three days a week. Pianist Ted Horwitz plays all of their old favorites: “Sentimental Journey,” “All of Me,” a trio of Elvis songs. They invite each other to dance. DeHart and Helmes twirl partners around the room, and everyone sings. Shyness disappears. The room is filled with pure joy. The families of club participants sometimes have a hard time choosing joy. Caring for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients is hard, stressful work. Loved ones may leave the oven on all night, get lost taking a walk, stop sleeping, and throw tantrums. The Sunshine Club is for families as much as it is for the club members. While their loved ones are at the club, caregivers can run errands, visit friends, and catch a nap. “My heart breaks for the families,” DeHart says. “Not only do we love our people, really love them like family, we want to be the support team for them at home — especially younger families that are caring for their kids and their parents.” For a family, she says, it’s big — financially, mentally, emotionally. “They’re losing the person that they were.” DeHart pauses, and then adds, “I try not to say ‘who they were’ because I believe they’re still in there.” Lauren Kessler, an Oregon writer, is the author of Dancing with Rose — Finding Life in the Land of Alzheimer’s, her memoir of working in a memory care facility. The experience was difficult — caregivers are often paid poorly, work long hours, and deal with stressful situations. In her book she writes about her boss, Brooke, who chooses joy. “To her, this is not a place of tragedy and despair…It is rather a vibrant community of quirky souls. It is her job to keep the community together, to keep it functioning, and beyond that, to keep it fun — which is not a word that would occur to most people when describing Alzheimer’s.” Those words could have been written about DeHart. When she hears them, she concurs. “That’s exactly how I feel,” she says. “That’s exactly where my heart is.” Volunteers are always welcome, for everything from picking up supplies to leading a craft project. Recently, I helped out during an art activity. As we worked, Helmes told me that the three gentlemen flanking me were an orchardist, an aeronautics engineer, and a high school history teacher. At least one of the participants had his Ph.D. Together, we all colored small foil stars with markers and chatted. When we were done, we shared our creations with each other. Compliments filled the room, and smiles were everywhere. In that moment, we chose joy. To volunteer or to learn more about the Sunshine Club, contact Tonya.DeHart@providence.org.

Peggy Dills Kelter is an artist and writer who lives in Hood River. She’s a frequent contributor to The Gorge Magazine. 58


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Sourdough Stuffing

with Pine Nuts, Dried Cranberries and Parmesan Recipe and photos by KACIE MCMACKIN

Ingredients • 3 14 1/2 ounce loaves of soft sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil • 2 cups grated Parmesan • 2 cups shredded Parmesan • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, plus more for greasing • 3 very large red onions, coarsely chopped • 6 stalks celery, coarsely chopped • 3 bell peppers (1 red, 1 orange, 1 yellow), coarsely chopped • 12 garlic cloves, minced • 2 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary • 2 tablespoon dried oregano • 1 1/4 cups dried cranberries • 1 1/4 cups toasted pine nuts • 6 large eggs, beaten • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil, thinly sliced • 2-3 cups chicken or vegetable broth

This recipe is adapted from one I found years ago on Epicurious. This was the first stuffing recipe I ever made for the holidays, and it’s so good we’ve never bothered to make any other. I dream about the stuff all year! This recipe serves a holiday crowd and allows for leftovers; for a smaller group, cut it in half.

Directions Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Grease two large, rimmed baking sheets with butter. In a very large bowl place half of the bread, olive oil, and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Toss it all together and transfer it to one of the baking sheets. Spread the bread out into a single layer. Repeat with the remaining bread. Bake the bread for 5 minutes, toss, and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until golden. Remove the sheets from the oven, set aside and allow the bread to cool before transferring it back to the bowl. Melt 1 stick of butter in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Sauté the onions, celery, and bell peppers for 15 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, rosemary, thyme, and oregano and stir, cooking for about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the pine nuts and cranberries. In the large bowl (you may need to use two) mix together the vegetables and the bread. Allow it to cool and rest for about 30 minutes, tossing it occasionally before mixing in half of the basil and the remaining Parmesan. Once cooled, mix in the eggs. Grease one very large baking dish/aluminum roasting pan with butter, or two 13x9-inch dishes. Transfer the stuffing to the pan(s). Moisten with the broth, cover with greased aluminum foil, and bake until heated through, about 40 minutes.* Uncover and bake until the top is golden, another 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining basil and serve. * When I’m bringing this dish to someone’s house for holiday meal, I will stop it at this point and reheat it in their oven covered for 10 minutes, then uncovered for 20-25 minutes. 60


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Kacie McMackin is a food blogger, writer and photographer at gorgeinthegorge.com. She is a frequent contributor to The Gorge Magazine.




BACKWOODS BREWING COMPANY 509-427-3412 • backwoodsbrewingcompany.com 1162 Wind River Hwy • Carson

541-374-8477 • bridgesidedining.com Exit 44 off I-84, Cascade Locks

Pizzeria • drafthouse theater • arcade It’s the pizza -over 25 years of authentic East Coast thin-crust pizza

Backwoods Brewing is family owned and located in Carson, WA. Established in 2012, we offer delicious beers, hand-made pizzas, outdoor seating, and welcome all ages.

Stunning views next to the Bridge of the Gods – Bridgeside (formerly Charburger) still serves tasty char-broiled burgers plus an extensive menu of breakfast items, chowders, fish & chips, fresh salad bar, sandwiches, and desserts. New name, new management, but historic charm and western artifacts remain. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

541-386-1448 • AndrewsPizza.com 107 Oak Street • Hood River

On-line ordering • Eat in • Take out • Delivery

Open daily: 11:30am-9pm


541-436-3444 • brodereast.com 102 Oak St. Suite 100 • Hood River Offering Nordic inspired breakfast and lunch to the gorge. Something new and exciting for the whole family to enjoy. Come try traditional recipes such as aebleskiver (danish pancakes), swedish meatballs, norwegian lefse (potato crepes) and lots more! We look forward to serving you! #broderost





CASA EL MIRADOR FAMILY MEXICAN RESTAURANT 541-298-7388 • casaelmirador.com 1424 West 2nd Street • The Dalles

Quality Mexican food prepared with the freshest and finest ingredients. Warm, friendly service and a lively atmosphere. Indulge in generous portions of flavorful sizzling fajitas, fish tacos, savory enchilada dishes and daily specials. Drink specials & Happy Hour menu from 4-7pm, Mon-Fri. Full service bar, take-out menu, gift certificates and catering services. Open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week.


Gift shop • Special event room & terrace

CELILO RESTAURANT & BAR 541-386-5710 • celilorestaurant.com 16 Oak Street • Downtown Hood River

Celilo began with a desire to honor the bounty of this region and a commitment to a healthy and sustainable future. Our ever-changing menu reflects the seasonal highlights of the region’s growers and foragers. We offer the most innovative in fresh, local cuisine as well as an award-winning wine list, full bar, small plate menu, and happy hour daily from 5-6pm. Dinner daily from 5pm


541-352-6692 • cooperspur.com 10755 Cooper Spur Road • Mt Hood/Parkdale

541-386-4502 • dogrivercoffee.net 411 Oak Street • Downtown Hood River

541-386-3000 • doppiohoodriver.com 310 Oak Street • Downtown Hood River

A scratch-made Northwest kitchen hidden up in the woods at the historic Cooper Spur Mountain Resort. Sourcing local and bringing freshness to the table, from the handmade burgers with house baked buns to the hand-cut steaks. Open for lunch & dinner 7 days a week with daily specials. Happy Hour Monday thru Friday 3-6pm.

Named one of ‘America’s top 10 coffeehouses’ by USA Today

Relax on our patio, right in the heart of downtown…enjoy a hand-crafted espresso drink made with locally roasted, fair trade and organic coffee. Serving breakfast and lunch all day: panini, salads, smoothies, and fresh baked goods (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free options). Local beers on tap, and local wines by the glass or bottle. Free Wi-fi and our patio is dog-friendly. Open daily at 7 am.


Full service espresso bar featuring Stumptown coffee Breakfast burritos, pastries and more Caffeinating your adventures since 2004 Open: Mon-Fri, 6am-6pm & Sat-Sun, 7am-6pm





Authentic Jalisco Cuisine. We provide a great dining experience and freshly prepared platters delivered to your table with Mexican hospitality by our friendly staff. Enjoy good food, good folks and good times. Offering daily lunch and dinner specials served all day. Happy Hour Mon-Fri 2-5pm. Enjoy our outdoor patio (open weather permitting).

A brand new patio, expanded menu, and award-winning beers make Everybody’s Brewing a must-see destination when coming to the Columbia Gorge. Don’t miss the live music and wing specials every Monday night!

Ferment is a modern brewery that fuses traditional farmhouse techniques with a forward-thinking scientific approach. Born out of an appreciation for the art of fermentation, Ferment offers a unique family of beers and kombuchas that tap the wild terrain of the Columbia River Gorge for inspiration and foraged ingredients.

541-308-0005 1306 12th Street • Hood River, on the Heights

509.637.2774 • everybodysbrewing.com 177 E. Jewett Boulevard • White Salmon

Open 11:30am to close 7 days a week.

Family friendly food•Growler fills•Open 11am daily

Sun-Thu 10am-9pm, Fri & Sat 10am-10pm


541-436-3499 • fermentbrewing.com 403 Portway Avenue • Hood River Waterfront



Tiger Lounge Sports Bar Happy Hours: 3-6pm Tuesday-Friday & Sunday Buffet: 11:30am-2pm

Located in the heart of the Hood River Valley just minutes from downtown. Breathtaking views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams from our covered patio. Full service bar and fabulous northwest cuisine at a reasonable price. Your everyday vacation spot! Open to the public.

Authentic, fresh, Mexican food and full bar. Proudly serving the Gorge for over 18 years! Daily lunch and dinner specials. Mexican specialties including fresh seafood and vegetarian entries. Take out and catering available.

Closed on Mondays.

Open Daily for Lunch & Dinner. Happy Hour 3-6pm.

New location now open! Open daily.




541-386-5331 • chinagorge.com 2680 Old Columbia River Drive • Hood River (Located off I-84 and the base of Hwy 35)

Authentic Chinese cousine in the Gorge! 41 years of famous flavor prepared with a free scoop of friendly.

541-308-0304 • indiancreekgolf.com 3605 Brookside Drive • Hood River

810 Cherry Heights • The Dalles 2827 W. Cascade Avenue • Hood River 541-386-1168

541-436-0016 • kickstandcoffee.net 1235 State Street • Hood River

503-669-8610 • mcmenamins.com 2126 SW Halsey Street • Troutdale (off Exit 16)

541-321-0490 • pfriembeer.com 707 Portway Avenue, Suite 101 • Hood River Waterfront

Fusion cuisine made from locally sourced ingredients. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Donuts made fresh daily. House-roasted coffee. Local beer, wine & house-infused cocktails at “The Handlebar”.

As the weather cools and winter takes hold, you may find yourself in need of a crackling fire or warm cocktail to battle the elements. With a house-made Hot Buttered Rum to sip on, roaring fire pits and nightly live music, we’ve got you covered during this stormy season. Take a bottle home to craft your own.

pFriem artisanal beers are symphonies of flavor and balance, influenced by the great brewers of Europe, but unmistakably true to our homegrown roots in the Pacific Northwest. Although they are served humbly, each glass is overflowing with pride and a relentless aspiration to brew the best beer in the world. We’ll let you decide.

Ales, wines and spirits are crafted onsite.

Open Daily: 11:30am - 9pm

Open daily 7am-10pm. Outdoor Patio. Fire Pit. SMORES. Kid Friendly. Fundraisers & Special events.




541-386-1606 • pietrosrestaurants.com 107 2nd Street • Hood River

541-716-4020 • remedyjuice-cafe.com 112 Third Street • Downtown Hood River



Pietro’s is proud to serve the same famous original thin pizza crust and pizza sauce that has made us a Northwest favorite over the years. We use only the freshest and finest cheese and toppings. Proud to be locally owned and operated with four locations: Hood River, Milwaukie, Beaverton and Salem. Dine in, take out, online or delivery.

Recharge at Remedy Café with organic and satisfying breakfast or lunch bowls, burritos, curry, smoothies, juices, or hot drinks. Vegan and paleo options, created from scratch from the best quality organic and local ingredients. Kombucha on tap. Locally roasted, organic espresso. Free WiFi. Open Mon-Fri 7am-5pm Sat & Sun 8am-5pm. Dine-in or take out. Call in to order ahead!

Diners seek out newly remodeled Riverside for some of the best food and views in the Gorge, and Cebu for great bar food and drinks. Fresh menus change seasonally—plus an award-winning wine list. Enjoy indoors, on the deck, or in our popular Cebu Lounge.


Open Daily 11am-10pm


Cebu Lounge Happy Hours: Mon-Fri 4-6pm

541-436-0800 • solsticewoodfirecafe.com 501 Portway Avenue • Hood River Waterfront

541-386-7423 • sushiokalani@gorge.net 109 First Street • Downtown Hood River



Family-owned & loved by locals! One of a kind specialty pizzas, housemade fresh pastas, seasonal small plates & salads, & sublime s’mores. Inspired cocktails, craft beers, wine, & ciders on tap. Family dining & kids play area. Vegan & gluten-free options.

Come find us in the basement of the Yasui Building, the local’s favorite spot for fresh fish, Pan-Asian Cuisine, and a rockin’ atmosphere! Lots of rotating specials, creative rolls, and a large sake selection means you’re always trying something new! Private rooms are available for groups up to 20 people. Take-out menu available online. Open for dinner nightly at 5:00, closing hours change seasonally.

We are nestled on the banks of the Sandy River in Troutdale, OR–the gateway to the Columbia River Gorge. We are located halfway between Portland and Multnomah Falls. Serving exquisite American cuisine since the 1930s. The menu includes: Seafood specialties as well as traditional steak, chicken, and pasta dishes; a full bar, and our famous home-style chicken ‘n dumplins. Open every night for dinner.

Wood-fired & Gorge-inspired!

gorge in the gorge

A local guide to the best food, drinks, farms, and markets! gorgeinthegorge.com


541-386-4410 • riversidehoodriver.com Exit 64 off I-84 • Waterfront Hood River


503-666-5337 • tadschicdump.com 1325 East Historic Columbia River Hwy • Troutdale


GIVE the GIFT of the GORGE SUMMER 2019 thegorgemagazine.com

A subscription to the area’s premier lifestyle publication and winner of four awards from the 2019 Pacific NW Magazine Group Contest, including Best Writing.

THUNDER ISLAND BREWING CO 971-231-4599 • thunderislandbrewing.com 515 NW Portage Road • Cascade Locks

Thunder Island Brewing Co is an adventure-based brewery that is handcrafting creative and innovative beers in the Pacific Northwest since 2013. Thunder Island Brewing makes crushable beers inspired by a love of outdoor adventures, with a nod to local history and with a respect for all that the scenic Columbia River Gorge has to offer.


River Moves A water sports photo essay

Trout Lake Dairies Idyllic valley carries on a longstanding tradition

Klickitat Trail

WINTER 2019-20 thegorgemagazine.com

Easy riding on a former rail bed


Society Hotel

541-436-4395 • find us on Facebook 1803 12th Street • Hood River Family-friendly sports bar owned and operated by long-time Gorge locals. We offer a casual dining experience with many delicious menu options to keep the whole family happy. And, let’s not forget craft cocktails, local micro brews and your favorite macros all available seven days a week at a price you can’t beat. 15% off on Wed to all season pass holders. Open Mon-Fri 10am-10pm & Sat-Sun 9am-10pm


Inn brings new-school lodging to Bingen

Signs of the Times An ode to neon in The Dalles

Clean Energy Nature and technology will power our future

Subscribe now for only $19.99 (4 issues) or $29.99 (8 issues) 541.399.6333 | thegorgemagazine.com for more information The Gorge Magazine is published quarterly, new subscribers will receive the next available issue. If the post office alerts you that your magazine is undeliverable we have no further obligation unless we receive a corrected address within one year.

The area’s premier lifestyle publication

Reserve Ad Space Now FOR SPRING 2020! On Stands March 6th CONTACT Jody Thompson: 425-308-9582

Be a part of the Gorge community! Support The Gorge Magazine by advertising and subscribing.

jthompson@thegorgemagazine.com Jenna Hallett: 503-341-3671 jhallett@thegorgemagazine.com For more information, contact Janet Cook jcook@thegorgemagazine.com or 541-399-6333




Brian Chambers has taken photos from the iconic Rowena Crest Viewpoint many times. But when a late winter storm last March left the eastern Gorge covered in white, he knew he wanted to get another image. “I thought the snow would make a nice contrast with the road,” he said. He set up his gear and waited and waited for a car to drive up the curving highway below. None came. “I was running out of time,” he said. “Daylight was coming and I knew I wanted lights in the photo.” There was one other car parked at the overlook, with the engine running. Chambers finally decided to take a risk and leave his camera set up on its tripod on automatic shutter release and drive down the hill and back up to get the headlights he wanted in the image. When he returned, his camera and tripod were there just as he’d left them, and he’d captured this unique photograph.

The Photographer BRIAN CHAMBERS has lived in the Gorge for more than 20 years, working as a veterinarian in Hood River. He fell in love with photography in high school, and built a darkroom in his basement. “I wanted to be the next Ansel Adams,” he said. After high school, he mostly stopped doing photography. Then, about 10 years ago, he got a digital camera and dove back in with the same passion he’d once had. “Living here is really inspiring, having so many things to photograph and such great subjects year round,” he said. “It’s a wonderful place to be a photographer.” Chambers is a founding member of the 301 Gallery in Hood River, where his work is permanently on display. To see more of his work, go to brianchambersphotography.net.



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Profile for The Gorge Magazine

The Gorge Magazine - Winter 2019-20  

Enjoy our winter issue full of captivating stories and beautiful photography. Happy reading!

The Gorge Magazine - Winter 2019-20  

Enjoy our winter issue full of captivating stories and beautiful photography. Happy reading!