Do you hear it? It’s the soft purple skin of Oregon Fawn Lily shedding dew drops. It’s the pink pucker of Indian Plum as it arches gracefully toward a silky meadow’s green embrace. It’s spring – it’s happening – Gorge-goers rejoice!
There are many ways to celebrate the return of spring in the Columbia River Gorge’s vast landscape of adventure. It’s obviously time to lace up your hiking shoes and inhale that deep, sweet, wet Gorge air. But why not enjoy a hard pressed cider festival while your at it? How about a Trail Running film festival to cap off a day outside? Maryhill’s spring wine release anyone? A night of stargazing? These are some of the many marvelous Gorge happenings you can mark on your calendar for the next thirty days as you get over winter’s UV light inducing silent treatment and embrace spring’s much gentler communication style.
3 / 20 / Hood River / Columbia Center for the Arts / 5 pm reception, 6 pm showing
With a line up of feature and short films made by both independent and well known filmmakers alike, cozy up at the Columbia Arts Center to appreciate the visual beauty, the impressive stamina and the diverse terrain inherent in the athletic world of trail running.
3 / 22 thru 4 / 13 / The Dalles / Columbia Gorge Discovery Center
Take advantage of a spring break outing at the ever informative and yet endlessly engaging Columbia Gorge Discovery Center against the stunning backdrop of The Dalles. Check out the Birds of Prey show while your there and let your kids view the majesty of the great horned owl or the red tailed hawk up close and personal.
3 / 29 / The Dalles / Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum / 6 pm
Astronomer Jim White will lead a star hungry crowd through an exciting viewing presentation (including a telescope sky viewing if weather allows!) Don’t miss the gourmet burger dinner at 6 so you can enjoy the starry presentation with a happy belly.
3 / 29 / Goldendale / Maryhill Winery / 1 pm to 5 pm
Head down to Maryhill winery and savor Maryhill’s spring wine specials while indulging in the vocal stylings of White Salmon’s Colleen Regalbutto and Portland’s own Groove Collective.
4 / 2 / Hood River / Columbia Center for the Arts / 7 pm
Part of the Sense of Place Lecture series, hosted by the Columbia Center for the Arts, A Nomad’s Sense of Place will delve into the fascinating travels of Amos Burg, as Vince Welch highlights his journey and his deep connection to the landscape around him.
4 / 12 / Catherine Creek / 9 am to 3 pm
Do you enjoy getting your hands dirty with work that helps restore our beloved Gorge ecosystems? Join a Catherine Creek Stewardship team and spend a saturday enjoying the beauty of Catherine Creek’s wildflower bounty while loosening compacted soil and seeding decommissioned areas with native seed mix.
4 / 12 thru 4 / 27 / Hood River
The Hood River Blossom Festival is one of the great Gorge ways to celebrate the blooming fruit trees. Throughout the second part of April you can expect myriad celebratory events, including Gorge open studio artist tours and of course the Blossom Fest winegrowers kick off weekend!
4 / 12 / Hood River / 12 to 6 pm
Sample the verdant Hood River valley apple grower’s delicious cider and see what happens to it when it becomes carbonated – which is to say nothing less than crisp mouth watering magic…
4 / 18 thru 4 / 20 / Dufur
Always been fascinated by the eerie beauty of ghost towns? Oregon has more than a few, so you’re on the right track. Come learn about their historical context, while getting to tour around a few of these time-haunted areas. You will surely leave with a visceral sense of the past. Make it a weekend and enjoy Gorge grown wine, homemade breakfast and the ever-pleasing elegance of The Balch Hotel.
Happy Equinox, Gorge dwellers and adventurers! Take time to watch and wonder at the slow return of the earth, the awakening of color, blade and petal, the rise of rivers and the thickening of community connections. We are done hibernating. Step outside and take it in.