Abbey Road Farm Open House September 29th & 30th in Willamette Valley Wine Country

Weekend Festivities Include Music, Artisan Fair, Food Trucks, Wine Tastings, and Cornhole Tournament

September 4, 2018 – Carlton, OR – Abbey Road Farm, newly-revitalized in the heart of Oregon wine country, will hold its first open house “Silobration” at the end of September. Named for the refurbished grain silos that house the bed-and-breakfast lodging, the Silobration is intended to re-introduce the community to the farm, thank supportive vendors and friends, and celebrate the beginning of the grape harvest. Entry to the weekend-long event is free and open to all ages, taking place from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday, September 29th and Sunday, September 30th.

Local restaurateurs Sandi and Daniel Wilkens, owners of Quaintrelle in Portland and Hanko’s Sports Bar & Grill in Lake Oswego, purchased the property in October 2017 and immediately began improvements to the 82-acre farm to turn it into an all-encompassing agritourism destination. Today, Abbey Road Farm boasts one of the most unique lodging opportunities in the area, offering five silo guest suites, and a three-bedroom guest ranch house. The property’s vegetable garden and chicken coop provide fresh ingredients for gourmet breakfasts. Sweeping lawns provide breathtaking views and a gathering space for up to 200 people. Abbey Road Farm’s permanent residents are available to greet guests: mini donkeys, chickens, mini goats, ducks, llamas and alpacas. The facility offers a variety of lawn games including horse shoes, cornhole, croquet and giant Jenga. With close proximity to some of Willamette Valley’s premier wineries, hiking and biking trails, horseback riding, Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey, and Agrivino Fine Dining Event Center, there is no shortage of activities, wining and dining.

The Silobration will include a mix of food, beverages and fun for all ages with 28 artisan vendors and four wine tasting stations featuring wines from Marshall Davis Wines, Suzor Wines, and Abbey Road Wines.


An amazing entrance.

Saturday, September 29
Artisan Fair, Food Trucks, Wine Tasting: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Cornhole Tournament: 11:00 a.m.    


Letters & Dust Chalkboard Lettering Class, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Alice’s Table Flower Arranging, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Ukalaliens Workshop, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.


The Old Yellers, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Kenneth West Music, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
The Big North Duo, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, September 30
Artisan Fair, Food Trucks, Wine Tasting: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


Olivia Grace Paper Sign Painting Class, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Sprinkles of Joy Cookie Decorating, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.


Jeff Ward, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Wanderlodge, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Mood Swings, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

All food and beverage will be available for purchase.  To register and purchase classes, or enter the cornhole tournament, sign up at

About Abbey Road Farm

Located at 10501 NE Abbey Road in Carlton, OR, Abbey Road Farm is a destination in the heart of the Willamette Valley wine country offering lodging, gathering spaces, Agrivino restaurant and a working farm. To reserve a stay or for more information, please visit or call (503) 852-6278.

We tried this recipe at a recent camping trip at Cold Creek in Yacolt. The result is a fun food activity that’s easy to prepare and when fully cooked, the rolls have a flavor of smoked orange. It’s delicious!

Two Cooking Methods

Cooking Method #1: On Pan Over Coals

  1. Cut four oranges in half, and scoop out fruit (eat for breakfast with your cinnamon rolls).
  2. Put one Pillsbury Orange Cinnamon Rolls in each of the orange halves (cinnamon side up).
  3. Put orange halves on old baking pan on grill over campfire. Cover loosely with foil.
  4. Bake until they rise and look done (keep checking on them).
  5. Cool a few minutes, then top with icing.

Cooking Method #2: Directly On Coals

  • Cut the tops off of four oranges (save tops), then hollow out the oranges.
  • Stick one cinnamon roll in each orange and put the cap back on.
  • Put the oranges in heavy duty foil and wrap up the bundle fashioning a handle at the top.
  • Rest them in the coals of your campfire, and bake them for about 12 minutes.
  • Cool, then take the caps off and drizzle with icing.

We got this great recipe from our friends at

If you ever wanted to explore Italy’s famous places along with its special, lesser-known areas, you may want to consider the Insider’s Italy Tour. There a multiple tours from which to choose, including two this Fall — and all are organized by local professional artist, Elida Field, and guided by Catholic priest, Father Bruno Segatta, who ran Gonzaga University’s Study Abroad program for 25 years.

The September 20-27 tour includes stops in Venice, Cinque Terre, and Florence. In Venice, explore famous sites and experience some very special, lesser-known areas of the city that contain beautiful architecture, art, and an abundance of history. In Cinque Terre, you’ll get to hike and explore five towns via train or boat, and soak in the beaches and scenic coastline. As a bonus, Father Bruno and Elida will introduce you to Porto Venere. Florence includes a walk with Father Bruno as he highlights the city’s most amazing treasures and history. You’ll also experience a private tour of a leather shop, a visit to Fiesole, or a walk through the lesser-known parts of the city.

Tour Details

The cost of the September 20-27 tour is $2,795 per person (excluding airfare), which includes:

  • 8 days and 7 nights in Venice, Cinque Terra, and Florence
  • Accommodations (double occupancy)
  • Two meals per day
  • Transportation between cities
  • Walking tours and museum entrance fees
  • Painting and Sharpie sketching instruction and materials

To register, go to


Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The second tour, which can be added to the first tour, or taken separately, runs from September 27-October 5, and includes stops in Florence, Rome, and the Italian countryside. In Florence, explore famous sights and unknown corners, enjoy majestic views of the city from Camp Michelangelo, climb the dome of the Duomo and sketch Michelangelo’s “David” at the Academy. Florence is Father Bruno’s old stomping grounds and he knows all the great stops, secret alleys, and best restaurants. In Cagli, you can escape the tourists, hike the countryside, and connect with locals.

Elida says they are often invited into someone’s home to enjoy their homemade wine, tour ancestral homes, or take a personal tour of historical areas. In Rome, you will be able to take in breathtaking views of the city, walk the ancient ruins and special sites, along with a semi-private tour of the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel before it’s opened to the public.

Tour Details

The cost of the September 27-October 5 tour is $3,245 and includes:

  • 9 days and 8 nights in Florence, Cagli, and Rome
  • Accommodations (double occupancy)
  • Two meals per day
  • Transportation between cities
  • Walking tours and museum entrance fees
  • Semi-private tour of the Vatican and Sistine Chapel
  • Italian cooking class and artistic instruction

Each tour requires a $500 deposit, and final payments are due by July 15.

Elida said they started the tours in 2010, the year after she met Father Bruno, who is a fellow artist.

“We met while I was in California visiting my grandma,” said Elida. “I went to his art show, which was at a private home, and we just connected. I later invited him to my art, women and wine class in Washougal, and he suggested we take a tour of Italy. At first, I thought I had no business planning a trip to Italy, but here we are. We’ve gone on 20 tours already!”

She encourages people to learn more about these great experiences, and to consider traveling on one of the tours. She also offers tours during Spring Break.

”Each trip is different and we work hard to make sure each tour is filled with fun, leisure, and good company,” said Elida. “You’ll have a great time!”

Hood River, OR — This February kicks off the inaugural Hood River County Foodie February, a month-long celebration of the area’s outstanding dining scene that gives visitors and locals alike the chance to support local restaurants and discover some of the best food and menus in the region.

Located in the agriculturally rich Hood River Valley, Hood River has an innovative, regionally inspired food scene that rivals its big-city neighbors but is infused with small-town charm. (Heads-up on great Valentine’s Day destination idea!)

Foodie February specials include:

  • Camp 1805: Taco Tuesday! Happy-hour tacos all day, along with $6 Mt. Hood Mules and $6 margaritas
  • Full Sail Brew Pub: On February 8 (5-8 PM), join the February Brewmaster Dinner, which features five courses paired perfectly with five tasty beers. $45 per person, limited seating. Reservations: 541-386-2247.
  • Riverside: 2-for-1 Winter Pasta Special, Sunday-Thursday
  • Hood River Farmers’ Market: Go right to the source every first and third Saturday of the month (1-4 pm), when the winter farmer’s market is held indoors at Springhouse Cellars (1st and Cascade Streets). The market features a variety of local food, including local produce, veggies, meats, eggs, cheese, baked goods honey and other artisanal food stuffs. Customers can also shop for unique products from local artists and makers. Foodie February live music: Feb. 3 – Henry Schifter; Feb. 17 – Ole Rusty

Come join the fun!

Beacon Rock State Park, WA — We intended on climbing Beacon Rock, but due to a rock slide, that hike was closed, so we moved across the freeway to check out Mount Hamilton Trail — and what a treat!

This hike is full of the best things the Columbia River Gorge has to offer — easy access and parking, a well-maintained trail, stunning waterfalls, and some incredible views.

As part of Beacon Rock State Park, you can approach this hike a couple ways — by hiking straight up and back for a six-mile journey or by taking the fun 7.5 mile loop.

The first mile is a steady, easy uphill pace with a wide trail (enough for passersby from either direction to get by). You’ll hear the waterfalls then head to the Hardy Falls viewpoint. Keep going until you see another trail leading up to Rodney Falls and the breathtaking Pool of the Winds. The hike to this enchanting pool is easy for people of all ages, and just seeing Pool of the Winds is worth the short trip.

There are lots of protective rails to keep one from falling, but they don’t detract from nature’s beauty.


Half way to Pool of the Winds.

The trail gets steeper past the falls, and it gives you two options: Hamilton Trail — More Difficult, and Hardy Creek Trail — Difficult. The More Difficult option takes you up the Hamilton Mountain Trail, and switches back for 1,400 feet. You can take the Hardy Creek Trail for a 3.2 mile loop.

At the summit, you have walked three miles up. The highest part of the trail is 4 miles in with signs pointing toward the Hardy Creek Trail. You can enjoy a picnic lunch near Hardy Creek. To get back, continue on the Hardy Trail, and after 1.4 miles you’ll be back on the Hamilton Mountain Trail and make your descent.

Mount Hamilton Trail Directions

From Camas, drive 22 miles east on Highway 14 until you arrive at the Beacon Rock State Park entrance. Go past the ranger station, and take the road that angles up to the hill (to the left, on the north side). Look for the brown hiking sign. After .3 miles turns right into the Hamilton Mountain Trailhead parking area.

Mount Hamilton Trail Photos

Camas, WA – Varo Interior Design just announced that the Motor Yacht Chasseur has won best power yacht in the 40m to 65m category by the International Superyacht Society.

The M/Y Chasseur was built by local Vancouver, WA based Christensen Shipyards and designed by Tonya Lance of Varo Interior Design, a Camas company. Chasseur was also the recipient of a ‘Special Achievement’ award at the at the Showboats Design Awards earlier this year.

“When we started the process, I met with the owner to see his vision, and learned he loves the modern design,” said Lance. “I got his reaction to every sample, which included fabrics, carpets, wood, and stone. I brought as many materials as I could for him to view, and then started to build pallets for each room. We selected every piece of wood and stone, and every door is custom.”

Lance said most communications with the owner were by email, but that major presentations were made at Christensen Shipyards, which is located right on the Columbia River. The project took 36 months to complete.

The yacht’s interior really is the pinnacle of refined luxury. Each detail was mindfully designed to pleasure the most selective connoisseur. Milk glazed figured Sycamore walls filled with an abundance of impressive windows graciously surround Chasseur’s light, modern, elegant interior. Her classic teak interior flooring is beautifully accented with holly inlays and adorned with plush silk area rugs. Each piece of furniture is customized to offer the highest level of comfort and performance.

Her handcrafted Santos Rosewood casegoods are embellished with elements of polished stainless steel and shagreen. Chassuer’s main stairwell is a sculptural work of art showcasing glass and woven leather walls with floating glass treads. Her six luxurious staterooms with en suite bathrooms comfortably accommodate 12 guests. Each stateroom is equipped with autonomous control of an extensive movie and music library, U.S., Caribbean and European satellite television, iPad interface, and the fastest internet speeds available. Every guest bathroom aboard the vessel is clad in exotic onyx stones sourced from the finest quarries around the world. The interior and exterior bar surfaces are composed of backlit crystal agate and mirrored glass. The outdoor living areas provide abundant opportunities for dining, entertaining and basking in the sun. The Sun Deck arrangement features a full height bar, large Jacuzzi tub and lavish lounge areas. The bridge deck will offer two alfresco dining arrangements as well as a chic open air lounge area. The main aft deck provides a lavish seating arrangement and a full height service bar area. All exterior decks will be fully equipped with ample room designated for a helipad and toys.

“The yacht has a natural progression from the outside to the inside,” said Lance. “There’s no tinting on the windows, which keeps it in harmony with nature.”

The yacht is owned by a U.S. resident, but will be docked in the Mediterranean, and is currently en route to France.

M/Y Chasseur is 160 feet long, has a range of 4,000+ nautical miles, and has a maximum speed of 16 knots.  It is powered by two CAT 3512C series engines with a C-rating 1650 HP at 1800 RPM maximum continuous rating.


Chasseur Sky Lounge.

About Varo Interior Design

Varo Interior Design was started in 2007 in Vancouver, WA by Lance. Varo Interior Design’s mission is to gracefully design, plan and manage optimal environments through inspired collaboration and interactive process. Varo Interior Design takes a client-driven approach to every project.

“We are guided by integrity to create designs that will last and be loved,” said Lance. “We accomplish this by carefully detailing interiors in ways that encourage the highest levels of flexibility, durability, performance and appreciation. Our designs capture the spirit and vitality of the surrounding context, focusing on the integration of the project goals with the heritage of the built and natural environment.”

She said from client to client the context may vary, but they always produce designs inspired by the surroundings and reflect the uniqueness of each individual situation. Their inherent nature is to be creative and artistic problem solvers, and believe that only through a collaborative process can excellent design be achieved. To that end they are open and inclusive, welcoming inspiration from all. They also like to challenge the status quo.

About Tonya Lance

With over 17 years of professional experience, Lance is eager to help clients achieve optimal comfort and visual harmony. Tonya is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with a wide range of clientele. She is noted for achieving high echelons of design within any budget. Tonya continually strives to develop strong working relationships to foster open communication and overall clarity. She is continually developing and in search of innovative design solutions. Her formal education includes a Bachelors of Art in Interior Architecture for Marylhurst University as well as a Certificate in Architectural Project Management from Portland State University.

To learn more, visit


John, Oliver, and Tonya Lance, of Camas. Photo by Jennifer Barnes.

About Christensen Shipyards

Christensen Shipyards was founded in 1983 in Vancouver, Washington by Dave Christensen, and builds state of the art yachts of 120’ and more for discerning clients who recognize Christensen’s global reputation. Christensen Shipyards has been a staple in the yachting community and the Pacific Northwest for over 30 years. The shipyard encompasses over 300,000 sq. ft. of climate controlled manufacturing space and employs over 100 craftspeople. State of the Art facilities and modern manufacturing techniques enable Christensen to adhere to high manufacturing standards and build yachts of unsurpassed quality and beauty.

To learn more, visit

Yacht Image Gallery

All photos by Jeff Brown.

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There’s fresh snow on Mount Hood, which means it’s time for winter vacation planning. Hood River is the perfect winter destination with something for everyone, both on and off the slopes.

Located in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Hood River is a welcoming winter destination for art lovers, foodies, outdoor enthusiasts, history buffs and anyone just looking to get away from it all. Here are just a few compelling reasons to plan a winter vacation to Hood River this year:

1. There’s no better place to take a nature bath. When you stay in Hood River, you’ll find lots of ways to get back to nature. Go for a hike on one of the local trails. Cross-country ski or snowshoe in the Mt. Hood National Forest. Take a bike ride on the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. Or check out the area’s beautiful vineyards during Thanksgiving Wine Weekend.

2. Hit the slopes! Just 45 minutes from downtown Hood River are two great ski options: Mt. Hood Meadows, the mountain’s biggest ski area, and Cooper Spur Mountain Resort, which is perfect for families. A huge extra incentive: Throughout the winter season, those who stay at participating Hood River lodging partners gain access to special Ski & Stay deals for Mt. Hood Meadows (see below for additional details).

After an awesome day on the slopes, ease back down from the mountain via the beautiful Highway 35 (avoiding congested Highway 26). Once in town, refuel at one of Hood River’s great brewpubs or restaurants, and then spend the night. Need a down day? Go wine tastingmuseum hoppingor shopping in historic downtown.

3. A cornucopia of art. The winter season is jam-packed at the Columbia Center for the Arts (215 Cascade Ave.), which offers a full calendar of eventsranging from live performances to lectures to painting classes—and just about everything in between. Spend a sunny day discovering the unique sculptures along Hood River’s BIG ART Walk. This 4.5-mile walking tour of public art winds its way around the community, including stops at local eateries. Or you can browse the numerous galleries and shops featuring local artists.

4. Breathtaking scenery. With a dry, arid climate and fascinating geology, the eastern Columbia River Gorge offers year-round hiking opportunities. Located within a 20- to 30-minute drive from Hood River, local hiking trails such as Catherine Creek, Columbia Hills State Park, and the Deschutes River Trail are off the beaten path and nothing short of spectacular. After your hike, go wine tasting at one of the area’s beautiful vineyards.

5. Post-holiday recovery. With its Gorge-ous views, spas, coffee shops and more, Hood River is the perfect place to unwind in January and recover from the holiday season. The historic Columbia Gorge Hotel is also home to Spa Remedease, where you can immerse yourself in one of their relaxing spa treatments, from a holistic facial to a couples massage. Want to kick back with a good book? Stop by Waucoma Bookstore in downtown to find their staff picks for good reads. Then head to local favorite Dog River Coffee for a freshly brewed cup of joe or tea while sitting in cozy armchair.

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The recent Eagle Creek Fire and the resulting trail closures in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area have many people wondering where and how to get their Gorge fix. The answer is simple: They can come to The Dalles and the eastern end of the Gorge, where there is an abundance of beautiful hiking trails, plus unparalleled cycling routes, unique museums, world-class fishing and more.   At the end of the day, visitors can relax at one of the new breweries and pubs, or enjoy a glass of wine at a local tasting room. And with 300 days of sun and only 14 inches of rain a year (compared to 37 inches in Portland), The Dalles is the perfect fall and winter escape.

Some Fun Gorge Escapes

Hike amongst petroglyphs. Head across The Dalles Bridge to Horsethief Butte. For age-old petroglyphs and stupendous views of the Gorge, this hike can’t be beat. Though the trail is just two miles long, the hike can take all day, given the seemingly endless rock labyrinths and basalt mazes within the butte.

The Friends of the Gorge website is a great resource for more hikes in the Eastern Gorge and beyond. For post-fire hiking suggestions, visit


Hike amongst the Petroglyphs. Photo by Michael J. Horodyski.


Hit the road on two wheels. The Dalles is a cyclist’s paradise, with rides ranging from the family-friendly Riverfront Trail to a gorgeous spin on the Historic Columbia River Highway (which is still open east of Hood River) to an all-day, 100-mile epic to Mount Hood and back. Winter is the perfect time to take advantage of the area’s dry climate, and the newly updated “Explore The Dalles Scenic Bikeways” bike map includes six of the most popular local routes, which vary in length and intensity. The map is available online and for free at The Dalles Chamber’s headquarters (404 W. Second St.), Dalles City Cyclery in downtown The Dalles and Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum, which is located at the west end of the Riverfront Trail.



Go out on two wheels! Photo by Justin Yuen.

Explore downtown. Historic downtown The Dalles is beautifully preserved and offers a plethora of shopping experiences, including Klindt’s Booksellers & Stationers, Oregon’s oldest bookstore (founded in 1870); Yesterday & Today Records (vinyl, CDs, DVDs and an awesome collection of Beatles paraphernalia), clothing stores, antique and second-hand shops, great restaurants and cafes, Dalles City Cyclery, Flyfishing Strategies Fly Shop, wineries and more. For a complete overview, see the downtown shopping map. And don’t miss the unique historic mural artwork while strolling downtown.


Explore downtown. Photo by Klindt’s Booksellers & Stationers

We will feature three more east Gorge escapes soon.

Little Huckleberry Trail Facts:

  • 5 miles/3 hour walk
  • West of Trout Lake in Gifford Pinchot National Forest

“One of the more accessible viewpoints from Highway 14, Little Huckleberry Trail makes a quick, and at times steep trip to an old lookout site,” according to the book, Washington Hiking: The Complete Guide to More Than 400 Hikes. “Views of Mount Adams and Mount Hood, across the Columbia River, are quite nice, and a feast of huckleberries along the way sweeten the deal on August trips to the mountain. This is a nice trail for a weekend morning, if you’re coming from from Vancouver or Portland.”

The trail gains 1,800 feet in just 2.5 miles, which makes it a steady and tiring ascent. Early in the summer, a cold-water spring runs two miles, which makes it a nice place to take a rest. There is room at the top of the trail to pitch a tent.

User Groups: The trail allows hikers, leashed dogs, horses, and mountain bikes. There is no wheelchair access.

Open Seasons: This trail is accessible April-November.

Permits: A federal Northwest Forest Pass is queried to park here.

Directions: from Vancouver, drive east 70 miles on Highway 14 to Highway 141. Turn north and drive 22 miles to Trout Lake. Continue north on Highway 141 as it becomes Forest Service Road 66. Turn left (south) and rive five miles to the trailhead on the left.


Little Huckleberry

Little Hucklebery Trail entrance.

Source: Washington Hiking: The Complete Guide to More than 400 Hikes

The Hood River Valley County Loop explores the heart of the area’s agricultural scene, and this gorgeous 35-mile scenic drive has something for everyone. The route passes by gorgeous pear, cherry, apple, nectarine and peach orchards, as well as numerous farm stands, wineries, cideries, alpaca ranches and lavender farms.

The Fruit Loop really comes into its own in summer and autumn, with a highlight being the numerous u-pick opportunities – strawberries, cherries, peaches, apples, pears, flowers and more. Hood River County Fruit Loop Stands offer a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, flowers, fresh fruit pies, jams, syrups, fruit smoothies, local artisan gifts, all around the county.

In addition to the fruit stands and vineyards, enjoy local lavender, alpaca, and chestnut farms, plus you can experience our seasonal Blossom Festival, fruit celebrations, and fabulous eateries, including Hood River Cherry Days in July and Gravenstein Apple Days in August.

Top tip: Avoid the crowds by planning a mid-week trip, or by exploring farms on the Fruit Loop’s eastside.

To learn more, go to to find a calendar that lists what’s in season, along with a full calendar of farm events and a searchable map. Head to for a listing of u-pick farms and a suggested Fruit Loop itinerary.

Some Fruit Loop Area Attractions

Hood River County Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center
The Hood River County Visitor Center welcomes visitors from around the world and provides information about all the things to see and do in Hood River.

720 East Port Marina Drive
Hood River, OR 97031

Hood River U-Pick Organic
Cherry season through Apple Season
8am-5pm daily
A Certified Organic Family Farm.  It’s all Organic U-Pick – Cherries, Raspberries, Blueberries, Heirloom Tomatoes, Honey Crisp Apples, Wedding Dahlias, Roses.  A fun day!
4320 Royal Anne Drive
Hood River, OR 97031