Perched way up Hood River Valley in Parkdale, Oregon, beneath towering, glacier-encrusted volcano Mt. Hood, Draper Girls Country Farm is the pilgrimage destination for high school friends long past high school. We call ourselves the Great Eight.
To the farm employees, we're the "funny ladies," says friendly owner Theresa Draper. We have fun. I'll leave it at that.
But the point is, the Draper Girls farmhouse, surrounded by orchards, riots of seasonal flowers, goats crying like humans, a busy farmstand, and of course The Mountain, provides a homey, comfortable spot to relax into a country pace and reconnect.
Five years ago I posted about Draper Girls and our weekend there, but with so many repeat trips, I treasure going there more with each passing year. It feels like coming home.
Sometimes we venture down to Hood River for meals, like Sunday brunch at the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel or fancy dinner at Celilo. But really, it's so pleasant up at the farm, this year we just take turns cooking meals in the well-stocked farmhouse kitchen.
Some of us (me for sure) get restless inside too long, and long country walks are in order each day. This year it's verging on autumn with the apple and pear harvest well along.
And unlike years past, there's some rain involved. But we're all western Oregon raised, so what's a little (or a lot) of rain? All that moisture is good for the skin.
|Rain on the hills beyond.|
Back on the farm, the goats crack us up with their human-like cries, and the fall flowers are at their brilliant peak. It's all so unpretentious and charming.
With dear friends, a comfortable farmhouse to gather, fresh fall fruit right off the nearby trees, and much more, it's another memorable, wonderful weekend on the farm.
When You Go
This year's autumn harvest is still in full swing, so think about a trip along the Hood River Valley Fruit Loop for cider tastings, heirloom apple celebrations, and other fall harvest events throughout October and into early November. Hint: At Draper Girls Farm, their packages of dried apples dusted with cinnamon sugar are addictive. I never leave with just one. The rental farmhouse/cottage sleeps eight comfortably, with four bedrooms and two bathrooms and room for a few more in the living room.
Here's a link to a map of the Fruit Loop and the farm locations.