Although there is a large windsurfing community in Hood River, I’m only exposed to it through family tradition. I mostly keep on heading back down to see friends and to disconnect from the world.
My dad is a firm believer that TV, movies, Internet and texting have no place on family trips. This has slowly become less so over the years, but for the most part, my family still respects the Law of the Motorhome- no tech gadgets.
But, as we’re only able to see our Oregon friends once a year, it’s easy to pass the time. Days are passed with board games, story telling, photographing windsurfers, crafts (friendship bracelets are still cool, guys), blackberry picking and reading books.
All the books.
(Nerd alert: I’ve been known to take out over 30 books for our trips to Oregon. And read them all, plus some of my mom and brother’s books.)
Our evenings are spent on group jogs to the waterfall, smushing coins on the nearby train track, racing remote controlled cars, long boarding, kayaking or stand-up paddling (SUPing). The night usually ends in campfires and s’mores.
That’s what my average summer day in Oregon looks like – relaxing with friends without my phone or a TV set. It’s great!
But the wind doesn’t consistently blow everyday all summer long. Depending on how long the no-wind days last, the family and I will either head to the mountains (because of the imminent heat wave) or will tough it out in the city, if it’s only a day or two tops.
Toughing it out in the city mostly consists of SUP-ing this one-mile stretch from the Marina to a seaweed-surrounded Well’s Island. (Don’t fall in! The seaweed has super powers that try to pull you in!) Of course, after SUPing to the island, this is usually when we’ll attempt SUP yoga for the umpteenth time.
If we decide to escape the city, usually a bike or a hike is in order. My family has been known to drag me on long, gruelling switchbacks up the side of a steep mountain where there’s only a small, easy downhill exit on the way back. That was the 8-mile loop. 7 miles uphill, 1 mile downhill. But biking isn’t always horrible. Occasionally, we’ll bike 6 mile to Mosier, a little town of about 500 people. We’ll grab a popsicle, visit the little trinket store beside the convenience store and head back to our motorhome. One time there was kittens there, so obviously Mosier is the best.
Our favourite hike takes about an hour to get to this huge waterfall. At it’s base, you are soaked from the mist in 10 minutes, if you go behind the fall, just be careful not to slip from the thick coat of peat moss.
What’s your favourite way to enjoy a tech-free summer day? Leave your comment here or on The Full-Time Tourist Facebook page!