L'Etoile Maison d'hôtes

Flying L Ranch Farmers, hunters, hippies and gold prospectors

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Exchange with Flying L Ranch Country Inn, Glenwood, Mont Adams, WA, USA

Exchange with Flying L Ranch Country Inn, Glenwood, Mont Adams, WA, USA 1Embarking from Prairie City, a scenic 4-hour drive leads to the Columbia River, marking the border between Oregon and Washington. The journey unfolds along Hwy 26, tracing the John Day River to Daysville, before transitioning onto Hwy 19 towards Condon.

The route crosses “Service Creek,” home to Jana & Rich Zwicker. This dynamic duo runs the multifaceted “Service Creek Stage Stop,” offering a café, restaurant, B&B, grocery store, and raft rental. Beyond this point, the landscape ascends to towering wind turbine fields before descending towards Wasco and Biggs.

Exchange with Flying L Ranch Country Inn, Glenwood, Mont Adams, WA, USA 2The environment is dry, with a bracing cold that invigorates the senses. Majestic power-producing turbines operate at full capacity, a testament to the region’s abundant and affordable electricity, sourced from both dams and renewable technologies.

Crossing the river at The Dalles, which spans 1 km at this juncture and broadens to a mile at its confluence with the Pacific Ocean, the journey continues along Hwy 14. This highway traverses Lyle, Bingen, and White Salmon - the last bastion of “modern civilization” before ascending the North slope via Hwy 141 towards Trout Lake, BZ Corner, and Glenwood, and delving into valleys that remain untouched.

The landscape transforms into a gently rolling plateau, with the snow-capped Mount Adams (approximately 4000 meters or 12276’) majestically rising on the horizon, reminiscent of a picturesque painting. Farms, ranches, trailers, and cabins are sporadically scattered across the terrain. The echo of two successive gunshots serves as a reminder of the ongoing hunting season. Americans have a fondness for “ATVs” (known as “Quads” in France), versatile vehicles that facilitate livestock rounding and trail hunting. With the arrival of snow, these ATVs give way to snowmobiles.

Exchange with Flying L Ranch Country Inn, Glenwood, Mont Adams, WA, USA 3Glenwood, a semi-ghost town, still hosts two café-bar-restaurants, a gas station, a grocery store, a quaint post office, and a small school. Towering conifers (“redwood” and “sequoia”) overshadow the wooden cabins, some of which stand uninhabited and in disrepair. Winters in Glenwood are long, with snow blanketing the town for several months. As the local saying goes, “if a white man brings in a lot of wood, expect a very harsh winter!”

Approximately a mile away, on the right side of the road, lies the Flying L Ranch. This Country-Inn Bed and Breakfast is expertly managed by Jeff Berend & Jacquie Perry.

Exchange with Flying L Ranch Country Inn, Glenwood, Mont Adams, WA, USA 4Having been established for six years, the ranch welcomes diverse groups - from hikers and peace-seeking couples to business seminars. The majority of guests hail from Portland, a mere two-hour drive away, with a sprinkling of international visitors from France, Japan, Australia, England, and Canada.

The 80-acre ranch boasts nine wooden chalets, including the main house. The heart of the main house is a spacious living room, complete with a fireplace and a period piano. The piano, with its perfect resonance and touch, complements my musical style, offering a sound that I find immensely satisfying to play.

The living room, spacious and comfortable, features large bay windows that frame views of Mt. Adams and dogs basking in the sun-drenched meadow.

Following a hearty breakfast of orange juice, nut bread, fruit salad, lightly browned new potatoes, scrambled eggs, and coffee, Jeff guides me to the forest to chop wood, accompanied by his dog, Bill.

Exchange with Flying L Ranch Country Inn, Glenwood, Mont Adams, WA, USA 5Jeff plans to visit La Bastide-Puylaurent next May and is keen to learn some French. The language proves challenging for him, especially the pronunciation of the “r”. Despite this, he perseveres, eager to present a positive image of America to France.

Each chalet is equipped with a wood stove, and every room has a small, efficient, and silent electric radiator. The firewood is sourced from their estate, a labor-intensive process involving cutting, cleaning, splitting, collecting, storing, and drying. Despite the hard work, the pleasant surroundings make it a joy to spend the entire day outdoors.

Exchange with Flying L Ranch Country Inn, Glenwood, Mont Adams, WA, USA 6Jacquie, fresh from a rejuvenating week in Mexico, is brimming with energy and new ideas. Her specialty is facilitating working groups for seminars. Well-connected in Portland and the surrounding area, she is an intriguing woman with a big heart. She welcomes me as if I were family. I’m eager to see her reaction to L’Etoile next May.

For shopping, one must travel to the Columbia River and White Salmon on the Washington side, or to Hood River on the South side. In Oregon, gas is served for you, while in Washington, it’s self-service. Hood River, larger than White Salmon and Bingen combined, is accessed via a toll suspension bridge.

The area caters to a diverse population - farmers, ranchers, hunters, hippie communities, and gold prospectors. The clientele’s appearance reflects this diversity, with long beards, para shoes, and large, dust-coated pickups with dogs joyfully riding in the back.

Americans from the hippie generation, now in their fifties, still retain a hint of that “Neil Young” look. They’ve settled down, forming couples from various backgrounds, inviting each other for tea or dinner, and sharing hobbies such as vine cultivation, winemaking, and aperitif preparation. Conversations range from current government policy to the latest recipe for Elisabeth’s excellent clafouti.

As for the French friend’s opinion on the American position? The response is: “Not much idea…” Perhaps diplomacy is no longer solely the domain of “graduate diplomats”. Exchanges between innkeepers serve as a platform for idea exchange, mutual appreciation, and potential partnerships.

Flying L Ranch à Glenwood, Trout Lake, Mt Adams, Washington states, USA - Map 7 Exchange between L'Etoile and Flying L Ranch Country Inn, Glenwood, Mont Adams, WA, USA

Exchange with Flying L Ranch Country Inn, Glenwood, Mont Adams, WA, USA 7Exchange with Flying L Ranch Country Inn, Glenwood, Mont Adams, WA, USA 8Exchange with Flying L Ranch Country Inn, Glenwood, Mont Adams, WA, USA 9
Exchange with Flying L Ranch Country Inn, Glenwood, Mont Adams, WA, USA 10Exchange with Flying L Ranch Country Inn, Glenwood, Mont Adams, WA, USA 11Exchange with Flying L Ranch Country Inn, Glenwood, Mont Adams, WA, USA 12

 

 

L'Etoile Guesthouse

Old romantic Hotel, L'Etoile Guest-House is a mountain retreat in the South of France. With a beautiful park along the Allier River, L'Etoile Guesthouse is located in La Bastide-Puylaurent between Lozere, Ardeche and Cevennes. Many hiking trails like GR®7, GR®70 Stevenson trail, GR®72, GR®700 Regordane way, Cevenol, GR®470 Allier river, Margeride. Many hiking loops. The right place to relax.

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