Today\’s entire adventure took place in what I have dubbed the greatest small town in America — Hood River, Oregon. So special was this day, that there were not one, not two but three things today that I had never ever done in my entire life. Hey, once you\’ve stared down a 10 point buck, you start to feel like you can do just about anything.
My first new activity I had never done was mountain biking. Yes, I\’ve been road biking for 20 years. But despite Big Gulp\’s numerous invitations, I had yet to hit a trail. After renting bikes at a local shop, Vanessa and I headed to a nearby trail. Things started off pretty rough. I wasn\’t used to the flexibility of the mountain bike and the path was largely uphill. Once we hit a series of steep switchbacks I said \”No mas!\”, but V headed up for a bit. The downhill trip back was a whole lot of fun, though. I ate it once and almost ate it a couple of other times. As of yet, there is no giant bruise on my ass where that same ass flew off the bike and onto the hard ground on a steep downhill. But, good times, right?
Afterwards we biked to a nearby winery and sampled their wares. The Syrah and Marionberry port were standouts and I bought a bottle of each. The syrah had an interesting flavor with a strong note of pepper. FYI marionberry is not named for the former DC mayor, but is a blackberry first grown in Marion County.
Well it was time for lunch and we sat on the deck of the Three Rivers Inn looking out onto historic downtown Hood River and the majestic Columbia River. In my continuing quest to consume as much of the Pacific Ocean as I can while I was up there, I had the fish and chips with several glasses of a local Pinot Noir from the O\’Reilly winery. Both were very good.
While eating, but mostly drinking, we noticed the kites of the board surfers down on the river and suggest we do the second thing I had never done before — fly a kite. Kites were paper and wood and never flew when I was a kid. Friends would have kites and I never remember them going much about 10 feet. So, I never did it.
Well, as anyone can attest, flying kites not only will fetch a powerful hunger but an even more powerful thirst. And to sate (no, I didn\’t use the thesauraus) ourselves we climbed up the many stairs to get to Horsefeathers Brew Pub. To my delight, we got there just in time to see the first quarter of the Cowboy/Bears game. After eating (I had the grilled rockfish on a bed israli couscous and several of their IPAs) a quasi-bored V, returned from one of her frequent potty trips with Jenga. That\’s right, I\’ve never played Jenga. And thus completes my NeverDoneBefore trifecta.
The moral of the story — you\’re never too old to learn to fly a kite, play Jenga or fall on your ass.