Columbia River Gorge

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The drive along the Columbia River was spectacular and dramatic. We stopped along the way to hike on some of the Gorge’s trails, some of which were fairly steep climbs. We found a quaint but basic motel with a water view that I managed to haggle down to $70 just outside Hood River. While known to be a tourist destination for Portlanders in the summer, it was relatively quiet in comparison to what Bostonians might contend with along the Maine coast. Water falls also line the scenic highway stretch including the two-tiered 642 foot Multnomah Falls.

Hood River didn’t offer much variety but it had beauty. Surrounded by water, the state’s highest peak at 11,240 feet high, and charming restaurants, it was a peaceful place. From C’oeur d’alene west, the food had been dramatically improving, which was a godsend after so many truckstops and Buffalo burger diners in the midwest. Check out the Egg Harbor Cafe on Oak Avenue…..try out their traditional diner-like fare while you read the local morning paper.

River_oregon_1

Stunning_view

Another thing that I loved about the area is its authenticity. Not only were so many of the trails and falls untouched, but traces remain of the “old west” and “western culture” at some of the Columbian Gorge rodeos and museums. Native American museums can be visisted at Warm Springs, Oregon and Toppenish, Washington.

Along the river, we ventured slightly north for a bit of wine tasting in the Columbia Valley vineyards region. We hit close to a dozen vineyards over two days, including Barnard Griffin, Badger Mountain Powers, Bookwalter Winery, Hogue, Kiona, Kestrel, Terra Blanca and Columbia Crest.

Wash_state_vineyard

Renee Blodgett
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Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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