April 23, 2014

Mt. Hood Scenic Railroad

One of my goals this month was to explore at least three different things in Portland/ Oregon. I didn't waste any time by jumping on the good ole fashion railroad to take in the scenic Hood River area located in the Columbia Gorge.  Dave and I drove an hour in the rain to get to Hood River and board the train. The whole drive there, I was nervous it was going to rain all day long and put a damper on our adventure. However, in good old Oregon fashion the sun came out and shined during the excursion and started to rain again when we got back to our car!

.i love the colors of the train cars. 

The cars we traveled in were mostly from the 1920s - 1940s. You could turn the seats to face others or have some privacy, which was nice (and reminded me of train we would take from Newcastle to Sydney, Australia). You could also walk between cars and get yourself a snack or beverage, if you didn't bring one with you. 

We rode the train for 1.5 hours to the small town of Parkdale, OR. Parkdale is located only 40 miles from the base of Mt. Hood and I'm sure its a sight to see on a clear day. On the way to Parkdale we saw orchard after orchard, making my mouth water thinking of all the delicious fruit this summer. I can't wait to do the Fruit Loop!! The conductor of the train taught us how farmers kept their orchards from frosting over as well as knowing the difference between cherry trees and pear trees (pair trees have rough bark, cherry trees have smooth). AND around 80% of the orchards in the Columbia Gorge are pear!

When we arrived in Parkdale we explored the orchard before grabbing some lunch. After the rain we truly enjoyed walking around the small town in the chilly spring air. We took our time taking pictures everywhere in town before grabbing lunch from the local grocery store. We found the perfect spot to relax and eat before the train blew it's whistle for us to board again. 

All in all we had a fabulous day on the railroad, taking pictures, and having a quick little adventure. Plus the drive from Portland to Hood River is beautiful in itself. We went in early April before spring had officially sprung, I recommend for others to wait until middle of April or later so you have more color outside your train window. 

Dave and I got our tickets through Groupon, but you can also find more information on the Mt. Hood Railroad website.