Posts Tagged ‘hood’

Mt. Hood Summer 2013

Survival Bros recently had the opportunity to tour The Fruit Loop near Mt. Hood. This abundant area is less than 1 hour from Portland. We checked out farms, orchards, vineyards, lavender fields, and even an alpaca ranch. It was a scrumptious trip. I stocked up on all sorts of goodies, and tried every free sample imaginable.

Mt. View Orchards Inc. The first spot we rolled up on was Mt. View Orchards Inc. My parents have been there before, and already knew they had some of the best prices on fresh fruit. We were in the market for a variety of apples, blueberries, and peaches specifically, since they are in season now and being celebrated. This fruit stand is located in Parkdale, with a spectacular view of Mt. Hood. The fruit looked even better, and I took the opportunity to use a fruit picker to snag the choicest peaches growing on huge, abundant trees. There were several types to try, including excellent tiny donut-shaped peaches. After picking a box full, we headed to the store there to pay and try all the samples. There was apple cider, dried pears with cinnamon-sugar, raw honey, fudge, and every kind of jam and peppered jelly you could imagine. Calorie restriction didn’t cross my mind. Before we bounced to the next farm, I examined and swooped up six ears of sweet corn for a buck.

Cameron McKirdy picks fruit

mt view corn

Next stop was Draper Girls Country Farm. They offer U-pick and We-pick varieties of cherries, nectarines, pears, prunes, etc. However, Survival Bros and Co. were more interested in the goats and pigs. They are USDA approved, and so damn cute. We said hi to them, snapped pictures, tried their fruit samples, and rolled on. We got most of our fruit at the first stop. Draper Girls were pretty proud of their bounty, but it’s still cheaper than the grocery store. Fun place, and beautiful. They made me crave some fresh goat milk for sure. If you’re looking for a vacation, Draper Girls rents out the farm house year round.

Draper Girl's Fruit Stand

Draper Girls Country Farm

Draper Girl's Goat Farm

A short drive down the road was Cascade Alpacas and Foothills Yarn & Fiber. Can’t say I’d seen an alpaca before. These goofy creatures have a purpose though. They produce soft yarn for knitting, crocheting, weaving, and spinning. The yarn shop had a huge selection of equipment, and gifts. I liked the beanies and socks, but spent my money on feeding the alpacas instead. They were hungrier than me! So I fattened them up with alfalfa pellets. I did try to eat an alpaca, but the owner said no. That would be like eating a horse. Which way to the BBQ? The alpaca farm was worth the trip. We even got to see some babies. They sheer the young ones for yarn after just a few weeks.

Cascade Alpacas and Foothills

Cascade Alpacas Owner

After nearly biting into an alpaca, I needed to relax. The Hood River Lavender Farms were next. It features epic views of Mt. Adams, Hood, and the Hood River Valley. The small gift shop had Lavender Oil, lotions, and other products derived from the 70+ types of certified organic lavender grown there. We didn’t stay long, or even pick a bouquet, but it was interesting. They were also growing hops on the shop, which was cool.

Hood River Lavender Farms

About this time we got hungry and ate lunch in town at an authentic Mexican joint. Then Survival Bros went to the Apple Valley Country Store and Bakery. I regret not getting their BBQ. How about some cherry-wood smoked ribs? Instead I opted for marionberry pie with Tillamook vanilla ice cream. Here they had tons of free samples. Below is a photo of us putting apple butter on a cracker. I’d go back to this country store.

Apple Valley Country Store & Bakery

We made a quick stop at the Mt. Hood Winery. They had live music, and a big tasting room that wasn’t too crowded. I didn’t feel like spending $7 on a glass of Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Riesling, or anything else. I had a taste, but I think it was just too hot out, and my belly had had enough. I was most impressed with the vintage James Bond movie posters in the men’s restroom. I almost busted the camera out for those, but decided against the bathroom photography. It’s a nice place. Finally we traveled to The Gorge White House, where they serve Mt. Hood wines, and some 25 other local bottles. This historic home sits on a century old working farm. My crew sipped their hard ciders. I enjoyed the mixed berry variety. In The Gorge White House we drank a “Heritage Pear Wine.” It was tasty, so I took a bottle home for $19. There was lots going on here, between a bridal shower, the store, a food cart, tasting rooms, and a massive flower garden to explore. You’ll want to visit this farm. All said and done, nothing beats the splendor of Oregon’s Hood River County Fruit Loop. It’s 35 miles of vast orchards, farms, fruit stands and kind people. I did all this in a day, but you could easily spend two full days leisurely strolling along this community. Visit www.hoodriverfruitloop.com for more info. Thanks for stopping by the Survival Bros blog.

The Gorge White House U-Pick fields

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Produced By Cam McKirdy

In this HD video clip I relieve pressure on my foot.  These big blisters were the result of an 18 mile hike on The Ramona Falls Loop and The Pacific Crest Trail.  I should have busted out the Moleskin as soon as it started hurting, but I didn’t think they would develop so quickly, and puff up like this.  If your blisters are huge, there’s nothing wrong with poking into them with a sterile knife or needle.  You can sterilize your tools by cleaning them with alcohol, a lighter, or boiling them in hot water.  It’s also a good idea to soak the wound in Epsom salts for up to 30 minutes.  Plus, apply an antibacterial cream like Neosporin before covering with a bandage.  Clean the area twice daily if possible too.  Prevention is key.  Wear thick socks, and break in your hiking boots long before you hit the trail.  

survival bros logoDisclaimer:  Information provided on the Survival Bros blog is for entertainment purposes.  Do what’s right for you.

P1000580By Cameron Consumption McKirdy

My dad and I have been planning this one for awhile. We hiked half of the Ramona Loop and lots more on Mount Hood in Oregon. It was brutal. The hike was almost 18 grueling miles. We crossed the Sandy River several times, and were on the epic Pacific Crest Trail.

First I will list the gear in my day pack. I rocked a black Kelty day bag with a new U.S.M.C approved 3 liter Camelbak hydration system. I recently got that at a Navy Exchange. Here was my checklist: compass with whistle, emergency poncho, Mylar blanket, Bear Grylls Gerber Ultimate Survival kit, Moleskin plus padding, Coleman biodegradable eipes, caffeine pills, lighter, various fruit and nut bars, GoPro Hero 3 Black on my head, Panasonic TS4 digital camera, Vibrams, Coast LED flashlight with with white and red light, extra socks, Chapstick with SPF, cash, mace pen, Coast Rapid Response 3.0 knife, 12 hour glow stick, Tillamook County turkey jerky, natural bug spray, and hand warmers. My backpack was on the heavy side with all the extra stuff. It weighed maybe 25 pounds.

To begin we hiked from our spot at Lost Creek campground. It was an easy climb along the Sandy river. We crossed it on a temporary wood bridge to get to Ramona Falls. I’d never been there. It was spectacular, and massive. I filmed the waterfall, and snapped pics.

Along the way I spotted several types of mushrooms popping up. Unfortunately, king boletes are a few months away from harvest. I did find out at the Ranger Station that they only give out 20 mushroom collecting permits per day, and commercial hunting is not permitted. Amanita Muscarias are in season. But of course those are hallucinogenic and poisonous. I found a few russulas too. In addition, I identified and tried huckleberries. They aren’t my fav, but were better than nothing when I ran out of aqua.

We met lots of people on the trail. Most were on day hikes like us. The route from Timberline Lodge to Ramona Falls was popular. I wish we did that, because our hike sucked. We were mobbing hardcore for 10 hours straight. We only had a few brief breaks, just long enough to catch our breath, check the map, and grab a snack.

Cameron McKirdy hiking on the trail

I wore new waterproof Columbia boots. They held up, and had lots of cushioning. My tall Nike Dri-Fit training socks helped too. They were dry at the end of the day, and shielded my legs as we bushwhacked the unpopular, overgrown trail. We almost didn’t make it back before nightfall! It was getting dark quickly in the forest. So we had to book it all day. I was dumping buckets of sweat. I went through my entire 3L hydration pack, plus 1.5 coconut waters.

The pain of hiking that much basically nonstop was draining. My feet hurt, knees ached, and balls were sore. Women complain about childbirth, but try hiking with a big pair. I stretched along the way, but my hamstrings were tight. If you plan on doing a trek like this, bring pain killers just in case. I will be sore tomorrow, but didn’t cramp up or anything. I managed.

It will be a day or so before I get back to civilization, and can upload pictures and HD video. I got great shots of the canyon, mountain, and river. The highlight of the day was when pops and I used sticks and hiking poles to cross the rapid Sandy river. It had a path of loose rocks and wet logs. We made it across fine, but my dad realized he left his boots across the river. I got a good laugh in and filmed him tip toeing to safety. So he had to cross 3 times then. He changed into sandals, and me the Vibrams, so we didn’t get our boots wet. More soon. Thanks for visiting the Survival Bros blog.
Sandy River and Mt Hood

Cam McKirdy at Mt Hood

Sandy River Canyon near Mt. Hood

Mount Hood Waterfall in Oregon

Dad crossing the Sandy River for the 4th time.  He won’t leave his boots behind in the future.