A Stopover in Vancouver

Jeanne had found out about a lot of stuff to do in and around Vancouver/WA & Portland/OR (both pretty much the same city, just divided by the Columbia River), so we set our sights on the Vancouver Elks Lodge for a few days’ stay. Unfortunately, the weather was horrendous for doing outdoor activities, lots of rain off and on. But we gave it the good ol’ college try. After our (5) hour drive and initial set up, first on our itinerary was to hit a brewery we had heard about (OK, our son Chad sent us on a beer shopping spree…) called Great Notion Brewing. We braved the absolutely horrible driving conditions (traffic, plus rain, plus drivers with HUA) and found Great Notion. They had a pretty good selection of brews and I found (3) porter/stouts to be worthy…Double Stack, Cake Party, and Hot Fudge Saturday. Unfortunately, they don’t distribute much, particularly the Cake Party and Hot Fudge Saturday, beers that are limited in production and usually “tapped out” fairly quickly. But at least I got a taste…

On another rainy Monday we ventured over to Ft. Vancouver to check out Officer’s Row. The U.S. Army  “fort” built in the mid 1800’s was called Vancouver Barracks and later part of the Department of the Columbia. Officer’s Row was a series of some 21 residences for the officers and their families with the Marshall House and the Grant House belonging to various commanders of their times. The City of Vancouver took over ownership of the residences in the 1980’s and restored them. Today, some of the homes are working businesses, some residences. The city gives free tours of the Marshall House (lower level) and our docent did a very nice job of giving us a history narrative surrounding Brigadier General George Marshall.

Being the intrepid travelers we are, it was off into the rain again, this time to drive the historic Columbia River Hwy. and see some of the sights along the way (mostly waterfalls). First stop was the Vista House. It was built on a point overlooking the Columbia Gorge as a rest stop & observation point for travelers to stop and gawk at the scenery. The views were very nice. It was then onward and eastward where we encountered Latourell Falls, Shepperd’s Dell Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Wahkeena Falls, Multnomah Falls, & Horsetail Falls. The trail to the upper falls area of Horsetail Falls was closed, so we only got to see the falls that were next to the road. (Gee, I hope I don’t mislabel any of the photos, but if I do, go ahead and sue me!) We ended our journey along the Columbia River Hwy. at Clock Tower Ales in The Dalles. Clock Tower Ales is housed in one of the early courthouses and is now a tap room and restaurant. The beer was good, the food fair, and the building historic.

When we finally got a clear day with minimal clouds we loaded up the Woodster and headed to the Waterfront Renaissance Trail, a trail along the Columbia River in Vancouver. We let Woodrow lead us on a couple miles of paved walkway along the river, watching a few of the fishermen catching whoppers out of the river. When we finished we dropped Woody off at the bus and headed into Portland to check out a brewery Jeanne found on line with some high end seasonal offerings, the brewery  called Hair of the Dog Brewing Co. We had a nice pre-birthday lunch (her birthday happens to be this week on Friday the 13th…great!) and tasted some of the malts, barley, and hops they offer. Holy moly, I just added one to my top 4 brewers list. Hair of the Dog now occupies my top tier of breweries (my opinion) along with Evil Twin Brewing, Founders Brewing, and Firestone Walker Brewing Co. We had a great lunch to boot. May I suggest the brisket and potato/pasta salad with a wash down of their Fred From The Wood. Mmmmmmmmmm! Hair of the Dog also does a very limited production (sometimes just a dozen bottles per release) on a barrel aged brew they call “Dave”. “Dave”, as they have a couple of bottles there now, goes for upwards of $800 per bottle. It is about a 29% ABV Barleywine that has been aging in multiple barrels for over 20 years. I better get crackin’ watering that money tree I have… 

Moving day is here and we are off, southbound and down. Until next post…

About rvrrat520

Recreational wanderers just livin' the dream while we can still get vertical.
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