Weird and Rainy Portland

Portland still in bloom
Finally sitting down to post and you would think with all the rain here I would have done this sooner. Portland is weird and they embrace it; as far as I can see, it's a compliment. It's much different than I envisioned. It has that older city vibe to it and I think I was expecting something more modern. I like old, so I can say for the most part I like Portland. There's only one downside: the rain. I feel like we have had way too much rain ever since leaving Iowa and frankly I need more sun. Intellectually I knew it rained here but day after day of rain and gray skies, well that's enough for me. Part of it is we are pushing the season being here in October and I knew that too so I will plan our next visit here better. I don't think I understood until the last few years how much I am affected by the sun and getting outside. I really don't have even have to do much outside if I can just sit in the sun for awhile. So tomorrow we are heading south and east to find the sun and warmer temperatures. A short stop in Bend and then across Nevada all the way to Utah and then back to Nevada to the Vegas area to see my friend Nancy and her family. That's the plan but we will see how many times it changes between here and there.

One of the stairs in Alameda neighborhood

View from the top of the stairs

Cool landscaping

favorite house 1
The first week we were here our friends John and Sharon Hinton were also here. This was their fourth trip here so they are veterans of the city. They knew their way around and were nice enough to do the driving. They are Class A travelers so they have a car they tow and in this city that is an advantage because the streets are narrow and parking is a challenge. John planned several Urban hikes for us and it was fun to get a feel for this city. We hiked in the Irvington and Alameda Ridge neighborhoods that have beautiful Victorian, Tudor and Arts and Crafts style houses. Alameda Ridge has all these crazy staircases so we also got a good workout that day. The other hikes were in the Hollywood district, but the only real thing to see there is the Hollywood theater, which is pretty cool. Then a day of hiking through downtown. Sharon was on a mission to find the Portlandia statue. The GPS kept taking us in circles insisting we were right by it. Then for some reason she looked up and there it was about 3 stories above us. We probably walked past it several times. Mission accomplished! I also found a wonderful yarn shop downtown, which made my day. One other place that is iconic Portland is VooDoo Doughnuts. It is notorious for long lines but luckily our timing was fairly good and our wait in line was only about 15 minutes. We usually don't do the sugar thing but sometimes it's part of the journey. Our time with the Hintons is always fun and we always find stuff to laugh about. This time was no exception.

Hollywood Theater

Voodoo doughnuts

Sharon finds Portlandia

Each of the days we hiked we finished off the day at a microbrewery. The Portland metro area has 84 microbreweries. John Hinton took us to the ones with best ratings. I think Breakside is our favorite and we actually returned there after they left and may visit again tonight for one last brew before we leave. Oregon is the land of microbreweries, when we go to Bend (they have 23) we will check out a couple more.
John and Sharon Hinton

This second week has been a challenge with the rain. The first week we only had 2 days of hard rain but since then most of the days have had steady and sometimes hard rain. One of the days that was only a little rainy we visited the Oregon Zoo. A fun way to spend a day even if even the animals were hiding away from the rain at times too. Then on Saturday (bad choice but better for the rain) we decided to drive to Multnoma Falls.

This guy was reading a book

The GPS suggested the scenic highway instead of the parking lot by the interstate. Since we weren't towing and it was getting nicer, we took it. There were weight limits for this road but no width limits. There should definitely be width limits. Near the falls is a narrow bridge with a rock wall on side and a guard rail on the other. I pulled in the mirror because it was going to brush the wall and John stayed with one tire on the line with inches between us and that wall.  So if you don't have a car, the smaller the better, don't take that route. Compounding our frustration was the traffic. Should not have been a surprise since it was Saturday. We could find nowhere to park. The falls were right off the road so we viewed it and took photos from the truck. Same with Horseshoe Fall a little further down.
Multnomah Falls

Horseshoe Falls

So since it was still early we decided to go on to Hood River. Full Sail Brewery is there and we wanted to get a bite to eat. Its about 30 miles further down the road. All was well until my GPS alerted us to an accident ahead and really there was no going around it. It estimated the time to wait at an hour. That was about right. The accident occurred right where a construction zone started and the right lane was closed down. In our 6 years on the road this is the longest we have ever been sitting and waiting so I actually think that's pretty good. We finally get to Hood River and found a great place to park on the street not far from the brewery. There is a lot of metered parking in this city but we nabbed a free one. Yipee!! Full Sail is a larger brewery; we even drink their beers in Iowa. They also have a nice pub attached to the brewery. The food was ok, the beer was good and the view was wonderful.
View from Full Sail Brewery

After eating we walked through the downtown. It's really a pretty little town and I would love to spend a little more time there. An added plus was... yes, another yarn shop. My yarn stash is growing. When we left Portland it was rainy but in Hood River the weather was much better so it made for a great day.

Since then it has rained steady and hard until today. It is now cool but sunny. Ahhhh, I feel so much better already. Tomorrow we should have some good weather for travel. :) So I wish you sunshine and fun times.

Happy Trails.............................................


  1. Glad you got to enjoy the Portland area even with the rain. I know it has been on your list for a while. My mood is also very affected by the sun. I think that's why Arizona appeals to us so much! Good luck in your search for the sun and safe travels!

  2. yes unfortunately we were there in the rainy season... September is the best month fr Portland!


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