A National Geographic spread perused over a long wait at the dentist's office alerted Rob to the photogenic town of Hood River, Oregon. That was in 1992 -- we weren't windsurfers or skiers, the area's two major activities at the time. Mostly our sports were beer, food, and a red-headed toddler. We'd hardly spent any time in Oregon between us, but Rob was so smitten by the stunning photographs that he simply said, "We're going." We flew up from Southern California and found great beer (Full Sail, then a micro-brewery), pretty darn good food (soon to get even better), great hikes, and an adorable children's park. The place was drop-dead gorgeous. Rivers, bluffs, green, and those two big mountains.
We went back as often as possible.
We would stay in little rental houses and condos, pretending for a week or two at a time that we lived there. The food scene grew, the brewery scene grew, folks were planting grapes and the Gorge AVA was born. We did a lot of fantasizing about our future.
Then someone said, idly, "Hey, why don't we just have a realtor show us some places, see how much things cost up here?" and suddenly we were signing papers and having a piece of land perked for septic. That property is in the tiny town of Mosier, about a 5 minute drive and a foothill ridge east of Hood River. That's how we got our small orchard in 2010 -- an undeveloped plot with a working well, a red trucking container, wildflowers, an oak grove, a killer view of the syncline, and about 400 ailing cherry trees.
Lately our little town has made the national news with a disastrous oil tanker derailment and fire. No one was hurt, because that day the wind didn't blow. The little town was rattled, but proved strong.