Sonya Wickham Jackson had pretty much done it all, until she embarked on her newest gig — making gelato in a corner of the Hood River Hotel’s kitchen.
The native New Zealander had worked in print advertising, on film crews, and as a bartender all over Australia before her life changed in a big way. She was on a whitewater rafting trip near Rotorua, on the north island of New Zealand, when she met this really handsome rafting guide, Dave Jackson.
Her husband, Dave Jackson. And now her business partner in Gorgelato, dished up from a shaded stand near the Doppio Coffee + Lounge in downtown Hood River.
Sonya, in fact, bought the gelato cart from Doppio, where she had worked in the summer of 2011. It was her way to take a claim on permanence in the Gorge.
She and David had traveled quite a bit after their stars aligned. They lived and worked briefly in Colorado, Pennsylvania, West Virginia (David’s home turf), South America and New Zealand. From that idyllic land, they dreamed of the American west, and a town that had the mix of recreational activities they loved — hiking, whitewater kayaking (Dave is pretty extremely into this), skiing, biking, even things they don’t even do, such as windsurfing and kiteboarding.
Hood River, anyone?
They arrived in the Hood in May of 2011.
“It’s awesome,” Sonya says. “But I’d like more time to enjoy the activities we’re here for.”