No matter how much you love wine, visiting wine country, and touring the vineyard you probably wouldn’t go to Napa or Sonoma and not visit San Francisco’s famous sites.

If you go to Mendocino most would go out to the Pacific and explore the charming coastal towns.

And as much as I love wine, enjoy wineries, and love learning more about winemaking, I wouldn’t think of coming all the way out to the Oregon and miss the Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Hood.

Wednesday was a break from wine – ok, we made a couple of stops. We drove the Columbia River Gorge, which I think is one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited in the U.S. After a couple of quick winery stops, we then entered Mt. Hood National park.

The day’s highlight was driving up the mountain to Timberline Lodge. It’s a pretty good day when you can sit at the 6,000 foot level of a 13,000 foot mountain and enjoy he view. We had a glass of Penner Ash Pinot Noir and soaked in the majesty of Mt. Hood.

I have a big photo album here with some expanded cutlines. And giving credit where it’s due, I’m visiting with a college senior who attends Wabash College where I work. Drew Casey, Portland, and his family are hosting me this week. Drew is really a great photographer. Most of the photos in the album are his work. I took a few.

Today – Thursday – it’s back into the Willamette Valley. We’ll start our day at Lange Estate Vineyards, and then visit Winderlea, Anderson Family Vineyards (with its spectacular view), back to Vidon to meet the winemaker and probably squeeze in another visit or two.

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