Thursday, May 15, 2008

Back to Portland

Try and match the caption to the picture!!!

Barbara sniffing apple blossoms in Wenatchee.

Jay and Nancy at the Portland International Guesthouse on 22nd and Flanders NW.

Paul and Mary Pat at our Portland splurge: Lucy's Table.

Cristine at the Japanese Gardens. (See, we DID do some art!)

Jay at the Portland Art Museum.

More Pictures from the Ranch Adventure

A tick! Removed from Jean's fur

A small portion of the boot display at Detro's Western Store in Riverside

The rattlesnake Mary Claire stepped over!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Cache Ranch Experience


We drove from Hood River up to Riverside on Tuesday, stopping at Vantage for grits and at Dry Coulee to learn the amazing geological history of the topography of the eastern part of this state and the Columbia Gorge. We arrived road weary at the Voelckers' Cache Ranch about 8 p.m.

The next day we took a hike (after being transported by truck up to the water hole along the river) to see some Indian paintings on the rocks. We saw some beautiful country and walked carefully, aware of ticks and rattlesnakes!

After the hike we were met at the field near the water hole with home made tamales, beer and sodas for lunch al fresco with Steve and Pat, and Winnie, our hosts here at the ranch. (AKA Paul's brother and his girlfriend, and Paul's mom!) It was a terrific experience.

Then Mary Claire managed step over a rattlesnake and even got a picture with Steve's assistance!

After painting by the river and picking fresh asparagus the painters returned home to another nice meal at Winnie's house. The next day we had another hike up above the houses to some small lakes, spotted lots of deer, some eagles, and great vistas. Perfect weather too, not too hot for us wussy Alaskans, and a nice breeze. We all had hats and sunscreen as well.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Hood River Adventures

The traveling contingent of the Plein Reiners left cloudy, rainy Juneau on Friday May 2nd for points south. After overnighting in Portland and Seattle, the Portland contingent (Paul, Mary Pat, Mary Claire, Maryanne (gotta get all those Marys in!), Sue, Jane, Cristine and Jay left in two cars for Hood River, Oregon. Along the way traveled the Historic Columbia highway, saw many waterfalls, and ran into a wandering Juneauite (Joel Orelove) at a funeral for Sherlock Holmes (I'm just the reporter here . . .)

We arrived at our condos in Hood River, (some more directly than others - Nancy and Barbara and their always fallible sense of direction took some "adventures" before arriving.) We walked around the charming and trendy downtown of Hood River. After beers and wine at the Full Sail brewery, dinner was consumed and all walked back UP to the condos for a lively round of charades.

Everyone is quite excited to turn on the lights after being in uberconservation mode in Juneau.

Sunday was PERFECT! Sunny and warm at 70 degrees, not windy. We set out for Rowena to a high bluff area over the Columbia to a spot recommended by a local artist, formerly from Juneau, found in a local pottery shop! After a great morning of wild flowers, vistas and thinking about ticks we had lunch al fresco in one of the numerous parks in downtown Hood River. A really cute store was spotted by (guess . . . . ) Nancy, which lured most of us in, the economy was duly enriched and then off to our afternoon painting expedition which was to the valley behind Hood River.

The Hood River valley is full of flower fruit trees, vineyards, and seems like a large green pocket of heaven in a fairly dry landscape. A good afternoon of art activity later, a pleasant drive back and then a little wine and relaxation at the condo. We picked Celilo, a beautiful restaurant downtown for our splurge dinner. WONDERFUL food. Several of us had the black cod with morrells, greens and who knows what else. Just amazing, and a gorgeous atmosphere. Two large paintings by Ellen Dittebrant in the restaurant. (Nancy and Barbara have taken workshops from her.)

Home to sleep and get ready for the big drive up to Riverside and Cache Ranch!