BY: JOSIAH DEAN
Autumn is officially here and with it, a secret: it’s the best time to travel to the Gorge. It’s sunny and dry, warm but not hot (you might need a sweater or fleece).
The sun is brilliant, and everything is slightly golden. Summer tourists are gone, yet it’s still gorgeous enough to enjoy all the same spots. Without heatstroke or sunscreen.
It’s the perfect time for hiking, biking and fly fishing and touring by car or motorcycle. Lounging in the hammock or eating on the patio are still an option.
It’s a great time to tootle around and go wine tasting—one of our favorite pastimes. As we’ve curated the hotel’s wine list, we’ve visited quite a few of the 30+ wineries that are in the Columbia Gorge Wine Region. (It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it!)
But some people—wine drinkers, mind you—are nervous about winetasting. They’re afraid its stuffy, snooty, or that they don’t know enough about wine and will embarrass themselves. (Do these 2 look uptight and worried?)
The wineries in the Gorge are far from pretentious or off-putting. It’s the most friendly, low stress environment. Some of our favorite Gorge friends are people we met in tasting rooms. After all you’re there to enjoy wine. How hard can that be?
It’s not about spewing “wine notes” (those made-up elaborations on the back of wine bottles… oy vey), but finding what you like. Bring a picnic (we can pack you a lunch) and make a day of it. It’s glorious on the sunny porches as you gaze at rows of grapes or the sparkling Columbia River.
After you’ve enjoyed a day of wine tasting—and really, 2 wineries is plenty, unless you hire a driver—head back to Dufur to recharge with dinner and your favorite bottle of wine on the patio. Wander about town, peek in the windows (whoa!) get an ice cream at Kramer’s Market or a coffee at We3. Poke around the museum and chat with locals. Get restored with Gem-Reiki. Nap. Read and Journal in a hammock. Sleep. Repeat.
Isn’t it your time to un-busy and unwind?
Claire & Josiah for Team Balch
P.S. Want to check out Columbia Gorge wineries? Download their free map, or pick one up in our lobby. We sometimes have complimentary passes to our favorite tasting rooms (ask at the front desk.) Though, most wineries waive tasting fees, with bottle purchase.
A perfect time to explore is during Gorge Wine Weekend November 9-11, 2018. It’s a celebration of the completion of grape harvest, the connection of our community and this beautiful place. Wineries and tasting rooms throughout the beautiful Columbia River Gorge will be offering specials. It’s a fun time to visit a bunch of wineries before & after you spend the night. If you’re interested book your room here.
Join our open women’s dinner party: curated conversation nurtured by yummy food and glasses of wine.
Experience a place to connect, laugh and have inspiring, empowering dialogue with other intelligent caring women.
Savor the sweet rejuvenation of sisterhood, while sharing a luscious dessert. Bring a friend or come solo and meet new ones!
FREE (except food/drink cost) Please RSVP! Call 541.467.2277 or email info@BalchHotel.com, so we know to expect you.
Wednesday, October 17 6:30-9pm
(Arrive/leave as your schedule permits)
ONE ROOM LEFT! Oregon Trail Tour: Along the Barlow Road
It’s the 175th anniversary of the Oregon Trail in the Gorge this Fall and we’re excited to show you where it passed through Dufur. Explore the alternate overland route—The Barlow Road. The rugged toll road from The Dalles, around Mt. Hood to Oregon City was created to avoid the perilous whitewater on the Columbia.
Experience a lively adventure led by expert Oregon Trail & Barlow Road storyteller Wendell Baskins. Visit trail artifacts with someone who knows where to look. Explore surviving remnants from The Dalles through Dufur & beyond.
Weekend for two includes lodging for 2 nights, all meals, tour transportation, presentations and more
October 19-21 Get more details and to book this package.
NEW! Magdalene Path Retreat: Sacred, Soulful &Sexy
Are you ready to live from your Divine Feminine power everyday? Get clearly connected with your higher guidance and re-aligned with your Feminine Soul. Access practical wisdom within to guide your career, love, health and more.
Shift from stress and struggle–activate your feminine magic, using tools from The Magdalene Path. Explore the ancient mystical lineage of Mary Magdalene for more ease, grace and flow in your life. Discover the lost teachings of Sacred Union within and re-awaken your soul’s sensuality.
Explore through art, meditation and more. Join author, art therapist and Balch Hotel co-owner Claire Sierra in a sacred circle of sisterhood.
November 2-4 COST: $397 Early bird: $297 Register before October 15 for Early Bird Rates.
JUST ADDED: Day Retreat: Saturday-only $97 (+ Friday Night FREE!) Details HERE. Reserve your room HERE.
Knot Another Fiber Fest!
Columbia Gorge Fiber Fest is soon! If you like knitting, weaving, spinning—really anything wooly—you’ll love this. Classes, community, marketplace all in the gorge-ous The Dalles Readiness Center.
We offer a Crafter’s Circle and lodging discount. Bring your needles, hooks, wheels and spindles and gather in the parlor with friends old and new on Friday night for a no-host welcome reception. There’s a passel of fiber-festers coming and waiting for you! Details HERE October 26-28. Reserve your room online and mention KAFF for 10% lodging discount when you check in.
Columbia Gorge Wine Weekend
For one delightful weekend we’re bringing together wine lovers, winemakers, winegrowers, and chefs to celebrate the finale of the season – the completion of harvest. Join us.
Over this 3-day celebration, multiple events are offered at wineries and tasting rooms throughout the Columba Gorge to celebrate the completion of this year’s harvest and gather in thanks. Stop in at one, or spend the whole weekend immersing yourself in this rare place. Details at gorgewineweekend.com
Healing for Empaths
Are you super sensitive to everything around you? Discover how to make a difference in the world by sharing your unique gifts in a whole new way!
Experience healing and connection while learning specific tools to effectively protect yourself from incoming energies. Permanently release what you’ve already absorbed.
Receive remarkably effective energetic transmissions from Dave Markowitz, bestselling author of Empathipedia: Healing for Empaths and Highly Sensitive Persons and Self-Care for the Self-Aware. Endorsed by bestselling authors Shirley MacLaine, Lynn Andrews and Dannion Brinkley. Details available here.
Cost: $279 (plus lodging) Early Bird discount $229 before October 23. Register for workshop Here. Then reserve your room HERE. November 16-18
Our annual seasonal feast celebrating harvest, abundance and gratitude will feature classic, yet rustic fare.
Sit at big tables with an eclectic array of guests, enjoy engaging conversation and synchronistic connections at our casual yet elegant feast, served family-style. (Should you desire something more intimate, let us know in advance and we can seat you separately.)
Thursday November 22, 4 pm. $39 per person, plus gratuity. See the menu details updated HERE. Call to reserve limited seats: 541.467.2277
To entice you to linger, we’re offering a Special Lodging Discount…
Stay 2 Nights Get 3rd Night FREE! Call 541.467.2277 or book online for this special offer. Click on Book NOW and reserve 3 nights, then enter promo code: FALL for this special rate!
Pssst….Secret Insider Deal:
You’ve read this far, so there’s a reward! Dine and Dream package is back! Get a 10% discount on lodging plus $50 credit in our restaurant. (Holidays excluded. Not valid with other offers..) Through the end of year!
Book directly online or call 541.467.2277. Click on Book NOW and reserve your room then enter promo code: DINEDREAM for this special rate! Or click on BOOK NOW button then click on Special Packages to see details.
Nearby & Noteworthy:
Car is King Weekend
Celebrate your love of roads, the automobile, and the arts during this two-day festival at Maryhill Museum.
Concours de Maryhill: Classic car show, on museum grounds. Want to enter your car? Click here for more info.
October 6, 9 am– 4 pm FREE*
Drive the Maryhill Loops Road Only open for cars only twice a year, here’s your chance to take a spin. Navigate the road’s eight hairpin curves and enjoy the beautiful scenery. October 6, Noon – 2 pm FREE*
Maryhill Loops Hill Climb Vintage sports cars from the 30s – 60s race in solo in timed climbs. View the race from the Highway 97 Overlooks.
October 7, 9 am -5 pm FREE* Details are HERE
Tango at Maryhill
A festive evening of tango dancing, with the Columbia Gorge as a backdrop, to engage your senses and transform your spirit. Take a lesson at 6 p.m. (beginning, novice and experienced dancers), then dance until 9 p.m. Come with a partner or solo. Light refreshments included. Sexy red shoes optional.
October 27 6-9pm
*Cost: $7 members / $10 non-members. To register call 509.773.3733 ext. 25.. Click here for details.
*Mention participating in this Maryhill Museum experience and receive a special 10% discount on your lodging at the Balch Hotel (not valid with other offers.)
Ever Wild: An Evening with Darryl Lloyd Enjoy an evening with author Darryl Lloyd: a narrated slide show with questions and book signing. He’ll be sharing his newly released book Ever Wild: A Lifetime on Mount Adams.
If you have ever hiked with Darryl on Mt Adams, you’ll be excited to join us. The knowledge, beauty, adventure he shares is unsurpassed. At Columbia Gorge Discovery Center. More details and tickets are HERE
November 2 6 pm Dinner ($15) and 7 pm Program (FREE)
About the Balch Hotel
Recently named #1 Fan-Favorite Travel Destination in the Columbia Gorge, and #7 in Oregon—according to Trip Advisor, Yelp & Google!
Grace, ease and simplicity await you at the boutique Balch Hotel. With 300 days of sunshine, our on-site dining and spa services, sunny patio, garden grounds and majestic Mt Hood views inspire getaways for rejuvenation and re-connection. 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. Each of our 20 cozy rooms are uniquely styled with antiques, original art and comfy beds that guests rave about.
The casual vintage elegance of this historic country inn, surrounded by the golden expanse of wide open meadows and big sky, invites a clarity of mind and heart that settles the soul. An exceptional venue for weddings, wellness retreats, family reunions, business meetings, auto or bike touring. Visit us online at: www.BalchHotel.com.