Oregon’s Hood River
Surrounded by “enduring images of the Pacific Northwest,” the town of Hood River is a sort of playground for adults, said Jeff Schlegel in The New York Times. The Columbia River carves a gorge through the Cascade Mountains, bringing “steady winds” from the west that have made this part of northern Oregon an “epicenter” of windsurfing and kiteboarding. Natives “flock to the gorge and speckle the river with scores of sails,” but there’s plenty more to do within the “20-mile radius” of this “recreational mecca.” To the south, the “snow-capped peaks” of Mount Hood stand tall, and Washington’s Mount Adams looms to the north, while the countryside in between is “blanketed with pear, apple, and cherry orchards.” Skiing and snowboarding are often possible on Mount Hood throughout the summer, Hood River County has 31 lakes for fishing, and the Hood River itself boasts Class V rapids for rafting and kayaking.
Big Sur after the fires
Last year, California’s Big Sur suffered “massive wildfires” that devastated forests and towns alike, said Adam Baer in Men’s Journal. Flames swept through the area, “charring some 240,000 acres” and shutting down trails. But locals have rallied, and “nursed the rustic wonderland back to health” by repairing damaged buildings and working to restore “beloved paths.” The famous Ventana Inn & Spa has reopened after an $18 million renovation; a new restaurant is expected to open this summer. Another local landmark, which was spared the flames, is Treebones Resort, owned by volunteer firefighter John Handy. Nearby Big Sur Bakery “served firefighters last summer,” even after co-owner Mike Gilson saw his own home go up in smoke. Today, up in the hills, “green shoots and redwood sorrel cover much of the singed ground.” But in Partington Canyon and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, many winding paths “leading to hidden redwood forest and waterfalls” should be open this month.