Sunday, August 18, 2013

When in Oregon ...


... you have to stop and smell the roses, literally and figuratively.

The last couple of days have been splendid. We have been staying at University of Portland's Holy Cross Court, mostly apartments for priests, but we have our connections. UP is a pretty sweet campus, set far enough from the city in that there is quiet, but close enough for access. So we caught up on a lot of "life" things. It's a funny thing about living on the road. Life moves as fast as the cars around you and our schedule is usually jam-packed with going from here to there and fitting it all in. Stopping feels so odd, but so good.

We also took an afternoon to explore Portland. You've heard the motto, "keep Portland weird." Portland is definitely quirky, and we took full advantage of its eccentricities.

We walked 1 of its 11 bridges. That's right, 11 bridges in one city with less than 600,000 people.
The Steel Bridge

The Burnside Bridge in the distance from the Steel Bridge

I don't even really like donuts (cookies, brownies, cake ... that's my poison), but we waited 45 minutes to eat at the famous VooDoo Donuts.


We clearly had leftovers and they come in a big pink box. All day, people were asking where we got our VooDoo donuts. I swear, we could have sold those babies for twice the cost!

Other Portland sites: 

 Powell Books (we could spend our life and our life savings in a book store)

The International Rose Test Garden. Portland has really earned its nickname "city of roses," but especially because this one garden that's been there since World War I. There are over 7,000 plantings and that is nothing to sneeze at. 

Food carts! The food cartopia thing is pretty cool to see in person and the diversity of food is just amazing.  Apparently there is over 500 food carts around the city! 


Before heading to Portland, we explored a speck of the Columbia River Gorge Recreation Area. I say a speck because there are 77 waterfalls within 420 square miles and we saw 10 or so of them on the Eagle Creek Trail. We did a 22-mile loop. You would think that these trails start to look the same, but every area brings something a little different. For this one, it was the moss on the trees, almost jungle-like! We really loved the first part of this trail with all the waterfalls, but the second part a bit of a letdown aside from walking among really old-growth forest (most people just do the first part). It was just really overgrown and we discovered something called "bear grass," which is basically a tripping hazard on the trail. In any case, it's all about discovering new places and we got a sweet view of Mt. Hood (J's next conquest ... it's too late in the season to climb it now).









We are off to Washington for some more backpacking and a presentation this week!

2 comments:

Misti said...

Wow, what a gorgeous area!

Enchantments, enchantments...they are calling your name. ;)

BTW, Austin is also called 'Keep Austin weird'. ;) It is quite funky as you see will soon.

Anonymous said...

Your pics are awesome!

Van