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The typical, torrential rains we’ve had the last month have helped convince my semi-reluctant daytripper love that hello, I WAS RIGHT about making hay–ok, lollygagging–while the sun shines.

As two of my favorite PNW spots are Astoria and Hood River, away we went on separate weekends. I’m not the Oregon Tourist Bureau so I won’t extoll each area’s many virtues, but I will say Astoria’s nicknamed “Little San Francisco” for a reason and Hood River makes windsurfers from around the world cry with joy.

[Though more importantly from my perspective, Hood River is one of the country’s best wine- and fruit-producing regions. Obligatory add-on: Beer, too.]

Both towns are hanging in there in spite of recession woes, and it was great to see new hospitals and playgrounds and community organizations in the mix. But along with infrastructural goodness, I saw people milling around farmer’s markets and ordering a morsel or two in cafés and doing the best they could to keep local businesses alive without going under themselves.

And I admit, the progress and activity made me a little misty-eyed. For a thousand tiny reasons that build upon each other until they create a reason that’s so simple, strong, and pure that it becomes an antidote to all the bad news, all the sad news, all the news that’s not fit to print but is out there anyway.

…I’d love more Big Joy in life right now, but I think the eyedropper method of finding and bringing happiness is worth exploring…

(top to bottom: Hood River clock’s geometric delights; HR’s Full Sail Brewery brings industrial chic to the historic town; HR climbers get a helping hand; an open-weave sweater meets a few of HR’s showy leavesHR’s newish outdoor playzone has postcard views; clouds capture Astoria Column; Astoria’s Columbia River sentries)


2 Responses

  1. These two places absolutely definitely must go on my to-visit list. Beloved Husband loves to windsurf (I have been known to teeter on a board from time to time myself) and I’m sure we would very much enjoy ‘Little SF’ too.
    Thank you for the tips!!

  2. Oh if he’s a WS you HAVE to go–you can hit the wineries if you don’t want to wetsuit up, ha! [Then again everyone says Maui has amazing WSing too and it doesn’t piss rain for 9 months of the year….]

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