Hood River Apple Picking

In the spirit of the fall season, we decided to take the kids apple picking!

There are many local apple picking orchards close to home in the Willamette Valley that have u-pick dwarf trees, however, Steve and I wanted to venture to the Mt. Hood Fruit Loop.  We heard this loop comes highly recommended, not just for apples for all types of fruit (year round), including lavender!

So we loaded up the troops and drove the two hours to Mt. Hood, despite the forecast of heavy rain.  When we actually got to the ridge on Hood we hit snowflakes!  It was just cold enough for the snow to float across the window of the car for a moment.  Such a delight!

In addition to the short moments of snowfall, Mt. Hood presented the most spectacular display of fall colors I have ever seen.  They are so vibrant and eye-catching, especially when in contrast with the evergreen trees.  The drive was worth it just to see these fall colors.

Our first stop was Kiyokawa Family Orchards.

As Steve and I are growing more accustomed to our family routine, we know to expect the unexpected.  The kids have a mind of their own and we as parents will just try to make the best of it (of course with a smile on our face 🙂 )! Seriously though, getting everybody ready and in the car is like nailing jello to a tree and getting everybody ready and out of the car is conquering the impossible!

Okay so we arrive at our destination, now it’s time to change and feed Rosie.

The car says it’s 37 degrees so let’s bundle up the boys with beanies and coats.

Then let’s find Rosie’s warm jacket and beanie.

Now the boys are hungry.  Let’s get out the packed snacks.

Time to harness Rosie up.  But today she’s not having any of it and is screaming her head off in the Stoke carrier.  So okay let’s try the wrap.

Nope, still unhappy.

Solution, let’s just walk around and hope she soothes.

As we walk up to the fruit stand with a screaming newborn and two wet toddlers, Steve and I shoot each other the look, both thinking “what are we doing?”  We could be home in the warm house, relaxed in pajamas.  This is so much work!!!

But it was worth it and we did have so much fun!

We had the entire orchard to ourselves.  Even though Oregonians are used to rain, I guess only the crazy people will go and pick apples in that weather (aka us).

There were so many varieties of apples.  Our absolute favorite was the Crimson Crisp (so much better thaHoneycrispsp).  I wish we picked more of those.  They were so cold and crisp, with a complex flavor.  By far those take the cake.

Oliver and Georgie had the best time running up and down the aisles, finding their perfect apples.

Had we been more prepared we would have brought a bucket, but the lady at the Fruit Stand was nice enough to give us bags for the boys.

Poor Georgie’s hands were so cold though by the end of the picking.  Lesson learned, next time I will bring gloves!

If you’re not feeling the u-pick experience, then just head to the fruit stand.  I swear there were at least 40 varieties of apples, if not more.  And I wanted to try every one.  But we left wanting more……. till next year.

Not only did we get fabulous apples, but the outing doubled as exercise for the boys (=tired). Win win!

We then stopped off at the Gorge for lunch at Full Sail Brewing. (The Reuben was perfect!).  And the kids even had fun, with no meltdowns.  Double win win!



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