BY: JOSIAH DEAN Summertime is here, It’s not the one we anticipated, is it? It’s an interesting time to plan any kind of vacation or getaway, isn’t it? ☹️ The desire is there. And yet… so is the concern. Is it safe to travel? We believe so. Celebrate summer, in a clean, open, airy space, away from any hint of crowds. Oregon is now requiring masks for indoor use in common areas, and we continue to keep stringent COVID-19 Safety Precautions. (You can read about them here.) To be frank, although guests arriving are presumed COVID negative (otherwise: STAY HOME!) we treat everything as though you might be infected. That’s our mindset of cleanliness. To be ultra-sure and safe, we let rooms rest between stays so there’s no risk of contamination. If you’re looking for a quiet spot to explore (with maybe an excursion off grounds) consider staying a few days with us. If you’re hungering for some nature-time, get out and hike or bike. We can point you to the best spots with empty trailheads nearby, when you get here. Or check out things to do here. We’ll even store your bike-baby in a safe, protected spot. For free. Feeling more quiet and reflective? Grab a book or journal and lounge around out back. Play a mellow game of all-terrain croquet or bocce on the back lawn. Sip a local wine, beer or kombucha chilled to perfection. Chillax as you dine on the patio—the warm breeze and umbrellas shading you just right—or indoors in well ventilated, air-conditioned comfort. Bliss at the Balch is Sanctuary Maybe you’re feeling exhausted, drained, depleted….as many spas choose not to reopen, Bliss at the Balch is the Sanctuary you need to rebalance and rejuvenate. Our airy, single studio is perfect for the new OHLA guidelines. Individualized revitalization, with no other guest contact. We’ve refined our wellness services to accommodate new safety precautions. You can always see our specials and other fun on Facebook, so be sure to “like” our page. Or to find similar on Instagram, follow us. We’re so happy to welcome you back–it pained us, knowing the value we offer here, to shoo you away. And if it’s not right for you now, stay tuned to our Fall events below. Remember we’re here and ready to welcome you with our quirky charm, rural elegance, and world class hospitality that you’ve come to expect. We really do look forward to seeing you soon. (We like it better when you’re here. 😉 ) The magic is (STILL) closer than you think! Claire & Josiah for Team Balch P.S. Good news! At the Balch we’re very aware of the heavy toll this outbreak may be taking on your mental/physical/emotional well-being. You might be feeling isolated, lonely, and disconnected from the people you normally see every day. If you have a 4-legged family member, you might be pleased to know… We are now pet friendly! Experience the ease and relaxation of the Balch experience with your furry family member! To protect those with allergies, we’ve set firm guideline and chosen 2 rooms with limited common area access, yet ample ease to the exit outdoors. We think it’s a great compromise for pet owners and other guests, alike!! Call to discuss room options. (There’s a fee and agreements for you, also.) P.S.S. We know that in challenging times like these that care, connection, tranquility and wide-open nature—the essence of the Balch experience—are needed more than ever. Gift yourself a taste of replenishment, virtually or in person, now. Bliss at the Balch Wellness Spa is Sanctuary. You know Claire as a boutique hotel owner, but she’s had a therapeutic healing practice for decades. Spa wellness treatments are customized to your need, following the most stringent sanitation/safety protocols while still transporting you to bliss. (That’s where healing happens, you know?) She also offers coaching, therapy and several unique virtual and in person experiences that clients are reporting as enormously helpful. Events & News UPDATE! Hours & Menu Your rave reviews inspired us to refine our dinner offerings with an updated menu for Summer! Expect more robust options on weekends. Enjoy the patio! Balch Bistro is open 5-7 pm on Friday, Saturday & Sunday for dinner by reservation. Dine inside, out on the patio, or Takeaway. With limited times and quantities, please let us know when you’re coming. Service and spacing are different, these are the times we’re in. Let us know how it works for you. Email us or call: 541.467.2277. UPDATE! Spa News Maybe you’re hankering for spa rejuvenation. Bliss at the Balch sessions in our petite spa are one at a time, customized and private. We’ve updated the menu & treatment room for extra sanitation standards per OHLA rules. Refined Menu: AromaTouch Light Contact Essential Oil Treatment and CBD Back Treatment are both enjoyed face-down. Reiki Energy Therapy, Chakra Balancing and Gem Reiki are offered face down, hands off and fully clothed. And Reflex Feet is clothed, face down, on the feet. See the menu here and book a session today! OR email Claire OR call/text 541. 659.7284 to discuss options and availability. Virtual Spa! Your Bliss Breakthrough If you’re not ready or able to travel, you can still have spa experiences. If you’re navigating transition (and who isn’t these days?!) and facing big challenges, Feminine Soul Clarity is for you. Find clarity & direction. Weaves together soul coaching, energy healing, oracle reading, and meditation ritual–rooted in the wisdom of the Divine Feminine. Enjoy from the comfort of your home, virtually using Zoom, (or in person at the Balch Hotel in the Columbia Gorge in Oregon.) 90-minute session (and bonuses) $222. Book this session & receive a complimentary 20-30 minute follow up session. Make an Appointment. OR email Claire OR call/text 541. 659.7284 Please Note: While each treatment is designed to support specific challenges, they are not a substitute for medical or psychiatric treatment—please consult your healthcare provider. Perseid Meteor Shower Right now, being outside is the best place to be! Dufur’s dark night sky and low light pollution make for great meteor viewing from July 23 to August 22. Spread a blanket and set your alarm for the wee hours to watch the night sky explode in stars. Dream and make wishes. Visit the Goldendale Observatory in nearby Washington. (Check their calendar for programs.) Peak: August 11, 12 and 13. Book 2 nights and get a fleece Balch blanket to gaze at the stars. Book online or call 541.467.2277 to reserve room. RESCHEDULED! Dufur Poetry Workshop 2020 Join noted Oregon Poet, Penelope Schott of her 14th annual poet’s gathering. Theme: A Checklist of Practical Techniques for Effective Writing and Revision. Get some new ideas or input for sharpening your poems. You’ll discuss, critique, and revise old poems, and begin new ones. Limited to 10 experienced writers, so you’ll have space and get personal attention. Please apply: firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-819-0975. Once registered, reserve your room. $155 plus lodging and meals. (Breakfast included.) 15% discount upon request. October 15 & 16 RESCHEDULED! Pedaling In The Vines Is it a wine tour by bike, or a bike ride with wine tasting? Either way: very fun! This weekend includes a day riding through vineyards, meandering on back roads with bikes or e-bikes—easy, breezy and distanced! (In case of rain, there’s a tour van to transport you.) Stop at wineries for tasting and seasonal U-pick fruit stands. Enjoy a wine reception Friday and “plan your own adventure” options on Sunday with yoga, hiking, waterfall viewing, spa treatment &/or wandering the village for ice cream and lattes. We’re partnering with Hood River’s premier wine country bike tour—for an exclusive way to experience the best of what The Gorge has to offer, like a local! With all the details covered, you just have to show up! October 23-26 Details here coming soon OR email to get on this waitlist. SAVE THE DATE Events in the pipeline, (pending our ability to travel): Healing SanctuaryOctober 2-3Overnight retreat, carefully curated to provide optimal replenishment and revitalization. Group guided and private experiences woven with spa treatments and optional upgrades. Discover the Gorge October 9-11 Tour the hidden & iconic haunts of the Gorge with an insider travel book writer, Mike Westby, as you explore his favorite spots from end to end. Fall Foliage & Fermentation Frolic October 16-18 Experience out of the way, hike(s) in (hopefully) peak color, sampling fermented beverages from Local Wineries & Breweries. Halloween October 31Dress up for an iconic Rocky Horror Picture Show movie showing, with optional Dia de los Muertos/Hallowe’en guided painting experience. Write Away From It All November 5-8 Writing retreat, with group support, structure and ample writing time to really get that book, memoir or dissertation done! Thanks Giving Thursday November 26 always a luscious family style feast. Artisan upgrades to old family favorites. (sit solo if preferred — no forced socializing required. 😊) Hometown Christmas December 12 Lighted Tractor parade, live music and prime rib (or salmon) dinner at the Balch. events around the village. Always a hoot. Vintage Christmas December 24- 26 Step away from the frenzy, to a simpler holiday. Quiet dinner, puzzles by the tree, local wine-tasting, mulled cider around the firepit, DIY gift-making, and group games for fun. New Year, New You: December 31 New Year Visioning Dinner weaves together guided vision-map artmaking, plus scrumptious 4 course with wine pairings, late-night celebratory sparkling and dessert. Are you interested?! Please let us know what sparks your fancy! We love feedback as we are creating these events! Think Way Ahead: 2021 Mining Your Life for LaughterMarch 2021? Humor writing workshop with noted humor author Bob Balmer. Vintage Dufur DaysAugust 6-8 2021 Pencil this in to reconnect with a slice of country life that is more relevant than ever. About the Balch Hotel #1 Fan-Favorite Travel Destination in the Columbia Gorge, and #10 in Oregon—according to Trip Advisor, Yelp & Google Ratings! Grace, ease and simplicity await you at the boutique Balch Hotel. The casual vintage elegance of this historic country inn, encircled by a golden expanse of open fields and big sky, invites a clarity of mind and heart that settles the soul. With 300 days of sunshine, our on-site dining and spa services, sunny patio, cozy library and garden grounds with majestic Mount Hood view inspires getaways for rejuvenation and re-connection. Our 20 cozy rooms are uniquely styled with antiques, original art and comfy beds that guests rave about. An exceptional venue for weddings, business retreats, wellness workshops, reunions, motor or bike touring. The Magic is Closer Than You Think. Centrally located where the Columbia River Gorge meets Oregon’s high desert, after a short drive, you’ll feel like you’re a world away. Visit us online at: www.BalchHotel.com.