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Hood River Valley Fruit Trees Are Coming Into Bloom

The Hood River Valley in north-central Oregon is hosting its 41st annual Blossom Festival April 22 and 23.

The blooms can be seen from Panorama Point, along a 35-mile loop driving tour through the valley orchards, or via the historic Mount Hood Railroad’s Fruit Blossom Special.

Besides acres of blooming fruit trees, festivities will include an antique show and sale, bazaars and flea markets, plant sales and home cooking from a variety of community groups.

Contact the Hood River Valley Chamber of Commerce at (800) 366-3530 or (503) 386-2000 for additional information.

Short takes: Bits and pieces from around the Northwest:

The wooden passenger steamship Virginia V will be offering tours of lakes Union and Washington in Seattle every Sunday through the end of October. Passengers on the two-hour cruise will learn about the maritime history of the area, view attractions including Gas Works Park, Lake Union Dry Dock, the University of Washington campus and Bill Gates’ estate. The cruise begins and ends at Chandler’s Cove on Lake Union and includes a continental buffet. Call (206) 624-9119.

The Seattle Aquarium will be hosting whale watching expeditions every Saturday and Sunday in April. Three-hour cruises leave from Westport, on the southwest Washington coast, at 2 p.m. with a naturalist from the aquarium to see the grey whales migrating through the area.

Call the aquarium at (206) 386-4353 for information or reservations.

Walter Spangenberg, a biologist at Spokane Community College, will be leading a nine-day trip up the Amazon River in June. The itinerary aboard a river boat includes wildlife watching, jungle walks and visiting native villages. Departure is June 16 and prices begin at $2,400, plus air fare to Los Angeles. For information, call Spangenberg at 466-1396.

See it now: Residents of Adams, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens and Whitman counties can visit the Maryhill Museum of Art near Goldendale, in the Columbia Gorge, at no charge throughout April.

Visitors from those counties will receive complimentary admission to the museum’s permanent collections and changing exhibitions when they present their driver’s license. Call (509) 773-3733.

Opening Days:

Water craft and spectators will gather in and around Montlake Cut on May 6 for Seattle’s 75th Opening Day of Boating Season. Highlights include the Windermere Cup crew races and the boat parade, beginning at noon and featuring over 200 decorated boats from 30 yacht clubs. Contact the Seattle Yacht Club at (206) 325-1000.

Farragut State Park, at the south end of Lake Pend Oreille near Athol, Idaho, has opened Strawberry Campground for the season. Fees are $12 a night with electric service; $9 per night without. For information, call (208) 683-2425.

Northern lights: Gray Line of Alaska is offering a new nine-day tour of Alaska and the Yukon this summer beginning May 17. Prices start at $1,375 per person, based on double occupancy. The tour features travel by coach, vintage rail car and dayboat.

Highlights include the Inside Passage, Yukon Wildlife Preserve, Prince William Sound, Denali National Park, Anchorage and Juneau. For more information on Gray Line’s Alaskan and Canadian Rockies tours, contact your travel agent or Gray Line of Alaska directly at (800) 544-2206.

MEMO: Send information about travel opportunities around the Pacific Northwest to: Travel Editor, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210.

Send information about travel opportunities around the Pacific Northwest to: Travel Editor, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210.