Hood River – Day 1

Our friend Bob had been telling us for months about the great riding in the Hood River/Columbia River Gorge area of northern Oregon, so we were thrilled when he suggested that we join him and his wife for a weekend of cycling and sightseeing.

What an epic weekend! Natural wonders all around us – starting with the torrential rains and fireworks-style lightning on our Thursday night drive from Seattle. That was an adventure all in its own right – a major weather event that knocked out electricity all over. Neither us had ever seen lightning quite like it, even from a safe distance. These were explosions of light, pretty much right over our heads, as we tried to navigate through the sometimes blinding rain (including side trips in search of a gas station with power. Running out of gas in those circumstances would have been unfortunate indeed.)

The weather weirdness continued Friday morning, which was fine as it gave us a chance to explore downtown Hood River (more on that in a later post) and enjoy the fogged-in vista from Bob’s friend’s house.

By afternoon, the skies cleared enough to allow for perhaps the best 30-mile loop ever — a Mosier/The Dalles circuit climbing 3,338 feet over 31.8 miles, featuring virtually traffic-free roads, a bike path through a state park, a meaningful climb, and an equally meaningful descent. It doesn’t get any better!

And when we got back to Mosier, Bob and Dana’s dog Oliver served as the welcoming committee …