Portland, Oregon – land of gentry – beards, beers and strip clubs!

Posted by on Oct 17, 2014 in Travel | 0 comments

Interiors of the strip clubl...oops! the brewery ;)

Interiors of the brewery

Yes, strip clubs. Let me explain. We see lots of plain buildings out near where we are staying. Mmm..strip clubs?? I purchase a little book on Portland by a local who says:

Portland is home to more strip clubs per capita than any other USA city…this doesn’t make sense…all I can see is coffee shops and record stores…

Anyway, luckily we are not in need of naked women. We just want to catch up with our Australian friends Fiona and Trevor who are staying with us for a week in Sellwood – a sleepy neighborhood about 15 minutes drive to the city. It’s near Antique Row which has vintage, bespoke shops and of course a bar serving beer!

Fiona and Trevor among the tall trees (one of a few in Oregon ;)

Fiona and Trevor among the tall trees (one of a few in Oregon ;)

One of many beers Adam and Trevor 'sample'!!

One of many beers Adam and Trevor ‘sample’!!

The next day we go downtown Portland to discover over a few days that in general, its one big sleepy town. It becomes apparent food, coffee, beards, beer, cupcakes, donuts, books, records, anything vintage, old neon signage, wood, iron, anything industrial are all the necessities that keep its citizens happie chappies. Oh! Did I mention how nice the people are here in Portland? They are all nice, friendly and down to earth. This is the most optimistic city I’ve ever been too.

One of the many signs @ downtown Portland, OR

One of the many signs @ downtown Portland, OR

 

 

Vintage signage in downtown Portland

Vintage signage in downtown Portland

In front of an old theater in the Arts District

In front of an old theater in the Arts District

So apart from hand-crafted beer, bourbon and velvet brioche/donuts, volcano cup-cakes, bearded baristas and “fries or salad with that?” we escape the gourmet hood/city and drive to the mountains of Oregon.

Views of Mount Hood from the winery

Views of Mount Hood from the winery

I later discover the two places we visit on our day road trip – Mt Hood and Columbian Gorge turn out to be two of the seven wonders in Oregon! For me the third wonder is the Mount Hood Winery – how many wineries can boast not one but two volcanoes as the views from the tasting room!

On the Columbia Historic Highway stopping at one of the many viewpoints of the river

On the Columbia Historic Highway stopping at one of the many viewpoints of the river

Our road trip is scenic and staggering – blue skies and still lakes stretch on forever, mountains are as high as they are wide and trees are bathed in warm sunshine lighting up yellow leaves as we zoom along the highway.

We enjoy our mini-stops to see replica steamers ready to go up the Columbia River Gorge and read about the latter

Tranquil waters as old steamer prepares to travel down Columbia Gorge

Columbia Gorge, Portland, Oregon

American history of the Gorge where the locks were installed @1895. However, the river was and continues to be a food/transportation hub for the descendents of various Native American tribes. According to http://www.columbiarivergorge.info/history.html , “…The Sahaptin word for the Columbia was “Nch’i-Wana,” the “Great River..”. We note the token Native American girl with her dog sculpture and the cultural/historical focus is lost among the Disney interpretation.

Native American sculpture

Native American sculpture

Heart attack pulled pork buns

Heart attack pulled pork buns

We continue our road trip and at Hood River pull over at the Big Horse Brewery to have ‘heart attack’ pulled pork sandwiches. Fiona and Trevor are good and stick to the salads (even though they do have their guilty moments – they sure love their cupcakes!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mount Hood - Oregon's tallest peak and active volcano

Mount Hood – Oregon’s tallest peak and active volcano

We arrive at Timber Line Lodge and head up Mt Hood. Adam and I drop out ½ way as our hearts are beating. Well, we were 1 mile up and the oxygen does thin out….either that OR we are just old fobies!! Fiona and Trevor sped their way up with energy abounding.

We head home and as we drive through Sandy, Adam recalls how he once went out with a girl called Cindy from California. We all have a laugh about Adam and his “Californian Dreaming” girl!

After a week in Portland and having a wonderful time with Fiona and Trevor we say farewell as they drive back home to Victoria, BC and Adam and I board our silver plane to head to Los Angeles. We are very excited as we get to catch up with more Australian friends Kim, Pete and the kids who have recently moved to the USA. So, keep watching this space as one more posting to go before we head home to Australia in a few days.

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