PortlandSeptember 16 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C
Dropped off our friends at the Portland Airport, but not before a quick trip to the waterfalls and some “American pizza”.
Dropped off our friends at the Portland Airport, but not before a quick trip to the waterfalls and some “American pizza”.
Took the light railway out towards the south river bank where the aerial tram went from. It was primarily built for health workers to commute to the hospital built on top of a hill without adequate parking space. In to the bargain it offered superb views of the city and surrounding countryside. Once at the top both Mount Hood and Mount St Helens could be seen clearly. Surprisingly no food like facilities could be found - the substantial breakfast would seem to not be substantial enough. On descending the food cart options were either too big or too weird - waffle sandwiches!! Decided to head along the river and see what we could find & ended up at Starbucks - cake & smoothie sufficed. Continuing on eagle eyes lizzy spotted a sign to Poet's Beach - surely some mistake but no - an urban beach had been set up on the river for the first time this year. Oh go on then - if I must have a swim. Not sure Liz was impressed with the ranger talking about a guy swimming across the river - now there's an idea. Bizarre setting just under a spaghetti like junction. In fact we would've driven over the beach yesterday. Who'd have thought. Ambled back along the river taking in an ice cream stop - well we were at the beach. Then the decision - which way to get to the metro - back into town or across the river towards the apartment. Seemed obvious but we ended up hiking through industrial estates and being deafened by freight trains. Liz wasn't impressed. Eventually made it back - plans for eating out were abandoned.Read more
Ziel ist Portland. Gegen 8.00 ist es noch ziemlich frisch und neblig. Scheibenbremsen sind was schönes, wenn sie funktionieren. Öl (Bremsflüssigkeit) ist ausgelaufen und die Bremsen haben permanent gebremst. Also habe ich die Vorderradbremse ausgebaut und gehofft, dass ein Fahrradgeschäft die Bremse wieder repariert. Berg hoch, Berg runter mit nur einer Bremse ist höchst spannend. Die eine Hang war mir zu steil, und deshalb habe ich das Fahrrad den Berg nach unten geschoben. Die ganze Tour habe ich gehofft, dass die Hinterradbremse hält. Nach 2 Akkuladungen fuhr ich sofort zum Fahrradladen und ließ die Bremse wieder in Ordnung bringen.
Anschließend Zimmer suchen Essen und dann schlafen. Die Bilder zeigen paar wenige Eindrücke von Portland. Mein Hauptinteresse galt dem Fahrrad. Es fährt gut. Ansonsten will ich morgen an die Küste fahren.Read more
Die Stadt begrüßt uns mit herrlichem Sonnenschein und 28 Grad. Starbucks musste unsere erste Adresse sein, weil Jörg ein bisschen arbeiten musste, danach sind wir einfach ein wenig durch die Straßen gezogen. Jackpot Records, Tender Loving Empire und Powell's Books durfte für Jörg nicht fehlen.
Chillen am Willamette River. Alles sehr entspannt, aber auch unspektakulär.
Wir wollten für heute Nacht wirklich einen Campingplatz nehmen, aber nachdem wir bei dem 3. Campground ein "no vacancy" gesehen haben und wir schon 19.30 Uhr hatten, entschieden wir uns wieder für die Straße! Wassertank etc. ist auch alles noch ausreichend da, also probieren wir es noch mal. Und morgen buchen wir dann mal wieder, versprochen!Read more
Supplies running low Hard Liquor Replenishment !!
We detoured from the coast into Portland because we wanted to explore the city and experience the Portland vibe. We rolled around taking in the city and its great bike infrastructure, including a new bridge, Tillicum Crossing, that just opened and is only for bikes, pedestrians and public transit (no cars, crazy awesome!). We also went to Powell's and read some books...Read more
Portland was the first time we stayed with a Warmshowers host (a cycle touring hosting website/community) on this trip. Our gracious hosts were Laura, Stephen and their two dogs Pinta and Sancha. They had all sorts of good tips for exploring Portland and we had some great conversations over many cups of tea. It was such a treat to have a home base in the city for 2 nights. We had a slow departure on Saturday morning as we had to check out 2 different markets and chat with a few more friendly folks.Read more
Day 15 Saturday 8th September Smith Rock - Salem
Woke up and got up as early as we could so we could get under way before the heat set in. Was another dodgy night sleep as it was still hot when we went to bed so falsely believed we wouldn’t need a million layers but temp dropped as it typically does in the desert and was freezing again. Also was super windy and the dust was fine enough that it somehow got into the tent thanks to the wind so I had really bad sleep apnea and three or four hours sleep. Lily slept a bit better although she had to keep the windows shut because of the dust so was pretty warm start to her night before the temperature dropped.
Had breakfast and packed up tent etc and made it to Smith Rock by 8:45. Was still about 18ºC at this time of day so we set out on a hike. Took us about half an hour to do the ‘hard’ part of the hike, which was aptly named Misery Ridge Trail. I had to have a 20 minute sit down and my reflux meds once we got to the top as it had seriously tested me. I think the problem was that the entire thing was incredibly steep ‘climb’ up the rocks with absolutely no shade or shelter. A few points on the way up I wasn’t 100% sure I could actually complete it or not. Was glad I did though, and even more of a relief to watch from the top as everyone else (including the regulars who were there to rock climb) struggled with the hike. After I recovered we went on to a joining hike that was just a loop trail (that would take us a long scenic way back to the start). There were heaps of rock climbers and ‘slack liners’ - easiest way to describe slack lining would be like tightrope walking cross high ropes. They had harnesses on, but for the most part they were just walked across a rope bolted between two seperate rocks with huge drops below. We watched one incredibly impressive lady slack line what must have been 100 metres from one section to the other with nothing below. By the time she finished a pretty big crowd had gathered so she got a pretty enthusiastic round of applause. Lily and I were both very impressed but both agreed we probably wouldn’t (and couldn’t) do something like it. As Lily said, you would have to be crazy to do that for fun.
After we finished our hike (about 3 hours after we started Misery Ridge Trail) we hopped in the car and got on our way to Salem. We stopped for some lunch for but then was a pretty smooth run on to Salem as we had just over a 3 hour drive to get through. Arrived in Salem and found the place pretty easily. Checked in and had showers (and skyped families each). I wasn’t feeling very well (heat stroke) so I skipped dinner and just did went through my endless photos, also booked some things because Lily was having a bit of a panic about things we hadn’t organised yet, and then had an early night.
Day 16 Sunday 9th September 2018 Salem - Portland
Got up and went to free breakfast, then got organised and did laundry. I slept really well, but Lily had been really worked up about organising everything so she couldn’t calm down enough to sleep so wasn’t feeling too good this morning. Afterwards had a drive into Salem centre and walked around. Not a whole lot to see and even less people around to see it. Supposed to be the capital of Oregon but it was super hard to plan - I googled “things to do in Salem” and the top 10 list that came up was all things in Portland.
Went and got some lunch and ate lunch in the park. Was some live perfomances/music happening so stayed to watch. Was average, to be honest, but was still good fun and everyone else seemed to think it was awesome. We then got on our way to Portland.
Easy drive - about an hour and no traffic. Checked in at AirBNB using self check in (just using a pin) and got ourselves a bit organised. Couldn’t get the wifi to work so ended up just driving into town to see what we could find for dinner. It was about 7:30-8pm on a Sunday night but it was absolutely dead. We found a park very easily (in the middle of the city) and there wasn’t anyone on the streets, and lots of places closed. Ended up at brewery and had some of their “late night menu” food which was actually delicious (marinated cauliflower and mac and cheese balls) and a beer recommended by the bar tender which was also really good.
We also could use their free wifi to look up how we were supposed to connect to wifi at AirBnB - turns out instructions were on the app which we didn’t have. Anyway was easy enough once we had emailed the host. Back home to do some more planning, and then bed.
Day 17 Monday 10th September 2018 - Portland
Slept really well personally, but Lily really struggled (think she was over tired and then started to stress about not getting to sleep) but slow start to get going. Think our sleeping habits (and probably the travelling) were catching up with us as we were both exhausted despite having decent night sleeps. Eventually got going, catching a bus into town centre. Was supposed to be over half hour bus ride according to google but it was probably 20-25 minutes and was pretty straight forward. I really wish Brisbane would take notes on how other countries/places run their public transport because there aren’t many places I go to that have worse public transport than Brisbane (mind you to be fair, I don’t catch public transport if I can’t figure it out so maybe that’s my fault for not taking public transport in badly set up systems). Portland was very straight forward - a flat fee to ride the bus regardless where you were going (you could also use a hops card, or you could use your hops app to buy a ticket and show the driver, or you could even use apple pay, samsung pay, or android pay to buy a ticket as you hopped on). Bus stops were announced over a speaker as well as displayed on the screen as you came up to them and were titled based on the street they were on and the closest intersecting street to them.
Once in town, went to information centre to get some maps and see if there was anything else recommended to do outside of the things we had already planned. We then grabbed a bite to eat from a street vendor (was AMAZING - was basically just an egg sandwich but best egg sandwich I’ve ever eaten) and headed down to a riverwalk. Based on reviews online and comments made it was a ‘must do’ location and I kind of expected something similar to Southbank - which turned out to be drastically over sensationalised. It was definitely a nice area, but a lot of homeless people had taken over the park areas, and under bridges, and the river wasn’t too nice to look at and was criss-crossed by these massive concrete and/or steel monstrosities of bridges. It also started to rain whilst we were walking along there so we probably weren’t in the right frame of mind to properly appreciate it.
Our walk ended when it was time to head back into the streets of Portland and find a walking tour we had booked. Found it easily enough and got underway. This was one that went for 2 hours and it was honestly brilliant. The tour guide clearly loved Portland (had been born there and spent a lot of his life there) and history and enjoyed his job. The tour was pegged as an underground tour - both as a metaphorical term and as a literal term - as he talked about the ‘shady’ past of Portland and how it came to be (started out talking about how Portland was founded on the three “b’s” - beds, booze, and brothels, talked about ‘shanghaiing’ which was actually called crimping and how all these legends had sprung up about how the tunnels under Portland were built for crimping - which wasn’t true at all they were flood tunnels and you didn’t need tunnels for crimping because it was completely legal to do). We went back to the river walk Lily and I had just been on and he showed us all these little areas we had missed that were memorials for WWII. Portland had a huge population of Japanese - who ran local businesses and lived in the area - before the attack on Pearl Harbour. After, they were giving a month to liquidate their assets and sent to internment camps. According to the guide (who called the whole thing unconstitutional before he even told the story) Portland never really recovered and it’s only in very recent times that he’s been lucky enough to see Portland begin to diversify again (in terms of cultures and race), which really surprised me because even having been there less than 24 hours Lily and I had seen signs everywhere saying “In our America: All people are equal; love wins; black lives matter; immigrants & refugees are welcome; disabilities are respected; women are in charge of their bodies; people & planet are valued over profit; diversity is celebrated” - this exact sign displayed really proudly in front of peoples houses etc or store fronts. It was almost as common as the flag here (the flag was still horrifically common). A lot of stores had notices on their front windows “refugees and immigrants will always be welcome here” and things to that affect. So was really surprising to hear that it was a very white washed society until recently but I guess it goes to show that ignorance really is a choice for some when Portland appears to have risen above it without exposure (unless the interest in inclusivity was a recent movement due to exposure of different cultures and not an ongoing underlying ideology of Portland).
After the tour we went back to some of the places we’d gone on the tour to check them out without a tour group around us, and then we went to one of the biggest items on my ‘must see’ list - Powells City of Books. There’s a bookstore in New York that Guinness Book of Records decided was the biggest book store in the world - but this was due to floor space and if it were measured on shelf space Powells City of Books would be the largest book store (new and used) in the world. We spent close to two hours here and in a massive show of self restraint I only bought five or six books. I honestly could have spent a lot longer there but we were pretty ready for dinner and having spent all day walking/standing we were pretty ready to sit down for a bit, too. There was a pizza place nearby so we thought we would go and check it out. Was actually really impressed with the selection - lots of vegan and vegetarian options, and everything could be made gluten free. Got two slices each thinking we’d never finish them (massive slices) but turned out to be hungrier than we’d thought and managed to finish both each easily.
After dinner we went for a walk back to a doughnut shop our tour guide had pointed out during our tour called Voodoo Doughnuts. Portland seems to be a city driven by its food culture because everything has been really really good and everything seems to be popular. There was a line out the door and up the street when we had walked past it on our tour but when we went after dinner the line was much much smaller. Bought some doughnuts and then headed back to the bus for a trip home. Was a bit harder getting the bus stop right on the way back because neither of us had looked up which was our stop, we just hoped we could guess based on recognising it. We came pretty close, accidentally getting off the stop before. It was fine though and the walk did us good - had to earn those doughnuts!
Day 18 Tuesday 11th September 2018 - Portland
Slept well again but still woke up very very tired. Gave Lil one of my tablets so she ended up sleeping really well although she said it made her feel very out of it/stoned (I always feel like it shuts my brain up and I can function properly so I guess that’s a fair comparison). I really really wanted to go out for breakfast because of the food culture in Portland - I wanted to try their coffee and see what kind of breakfast options they had (see if they broke away from greasy and gross and sugared to something actually edible). I had searched the night before places to go and found what I hoped would be a nice one called Gigi’s Cafe. It was along the same bus route we had taken before so we got ourselves organised and headed off. When we arrived, the place was closed because they were treating their staff to a relaxation retreat ….which sounds exactly like our luck. We actually had a pretty decent laugh because it was closed the days we were in Portland only (except for the day we were due to leave it would reopen) and that seemed to line up with a few things that had been happening over the trip.
There was a bakery nearby that smelled amazing though so we went there instead. Coffee was okay but breakfast was amazing again (omelette inside a croissant for me - Lily had similar but also had a sweet treat for after). There was no where to sit but one women shifted a few things around on her table and we pulled some chairs over and were able to share the space pretty well. This seemed to be fairly common as two more guests were also able to do something similar at other tables around us.
After breakfast got back on the bus into town and went back to the information centre. We were doing a hop on hop off trolley tour that I had looked into and we just needed to find out where to buy tickets etc. Found in easily enough and had some time to do a bit of window shopping before the next trolley came along. It was a pretty rainy and miserable day so we were happy to be inside in the warmth until the trolley arrived, and then happy to see the sights from the shelter of the trolley. The whole trolley tour (if you sat on it from start right until the end) takes about 2 and a half hours, a new one starting every hour, so we had looked ahead to see and try and plan which stops we wanted to get off at as there wasn’t enough hours in the day to do them all OR to just sit on the trolley. We hopped off at the rose garden, which was gorgeous, and tried to do the Japanese garden but there was a fee to get in and we both felt that seeing as we have both been to an actual Japanese garden in Japan we would probably be disappointed with it after having paid to see it. Checked out the gift shop instead and had a wonderful time there too before heading back to catch the next trolley.
Was really nice to hear the information and history about things around Portland without having to walk in the rain, and the day started to clear up. One of the stops we got off at was the Riverplace which was probably closer to Southbank than the riverwalk the day before with restaurants and art pieces doting the walk. We stopped in for a late lunch where we had jacket potatoes and I had a smoothie and Lily had a glass of wine and then went for a walk. Was much more scenic and definitely a nicer area with the sun out, although again pretty deserted.
Ended up catching the last trolley back into town. Lily wanted to do a bit of shopping after that for some more winter gear, and we hopped we would be hungry enough for dinner after that. We weren’t in the end, so we caught a bus out to the Cultural District because Lily really wanted to see it. I had done a little research and wasn’t really keen but neither of us were hungry yet and knew we had to have dinner before going back to the AirBnB so it was a good way to kill time. It was a 30-45 minute bus ride to get out there which was easy enough to sort out. It had been raining again the ride there but stopped by the time we arrived. It was definitely a very artsy area - street art everywhere and the shops were more independents (no chains anywhere) and specialised/boutiques but most were closed. Again there were no people around, and no where to eat (we still weren’t hungry though so wasn’t a problem. We had a walk around and Lily bought some stickers (she is collecting them from her travels) at this one shop that was open. Was a bit of a highlight to be honest because the shop owner had his cat with him in store so Lily shopped and I got to make faces at the cat until she allowed me to pat her.
Started to rain pretty heavily so we went and caught a bus back into town (another 30-45 minutes) but we missed the stop to get off at by quite a long shot so had a 20-25 minute walk added to the end which was fine. Still weren’t hungry (too many carbs at lunch probably) but it was getting late (around 7:30) so we just sucked it up and walked into a ‘pub’ although Portland doesn’t really do pubs the way Australia would. It was very high end and we were worried we might have been under dressed - but it was still a pub and whilst some people were dressed up there were a lot who weren’t. We got a cheese board and a dip board. It was really excellent, three types of cheese all locally sourced, fruit paired to match the cheese, the dip board had humous and tzatziki and a pita bread and a whole heap of veggies for dipping. Our waiter was also hilarious so ended up being a really good meal and despite not being super hungry it was all so good we finished almost all of it.
Caught bus home, and then spent the night packing up/getting ready to leave the next day.
Day 19 Tuesday 12th September 2018 - Portland - Mt St Helens
Up early and on our way - a pretty good night sleep again but as is now the standard we were still tired. We decided to have another go at Gigi’s Cage which was actually open this time (hoorah!). It was really, really good. I had the waffles with veggie patties and scrambled eggs, and a coffee. Lily had a veggie hash and a hot chocolate. The coffee still had that slightly burnt taste that all american coffee seems to have but it was still a really good coffee especially compared to what I’d been drinking so far. Lily’s hot chocolate was ginormous but she said it was really good.
After breakfast we went to Forest Park - which is an urban forest reserve. It was basically a forest in a city (although it was technically on the outskirts) and was really weird to hike through it and listen to natural sounds whilst also still being able to hear the trams and buses and cars. Was still a really nice walk though and long enough to feel like a good bit of exercise without feeling over the top. Started to rain as we were heading back to the car, too, so timed it well.
An easy drive on to Mt St Helens, where we got groceries on the way and stopped to get some petrol. When we checked in there was some things we had to sign and they made us put on these wrist bands but we didn’t really look at it/pay attention to what we were signing. Later found out we had been saying we understood we were within the blast zone of an active volcano and knew the risks and basically wouldn’t sue or try to recover any damages if it did explode whilst we were there.
Wifi didn’t really work but it was reasonably late when we arrived so we mostly just had showers/cooked dinner/set ourselves up and then went to bed.
(most of the photos are on my phone so I've uploaded two of our beautiful faces and will add more when I've had a chance to load all my photos to my laptop)Read more
Jet Boat pour finir la journée
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