I flew into Portland for a little vacation on my way to Seattle this time to see if it lived up to the show’s hype, and it more or less did. Hipster, but not as comically so of course. But it’s the land of craft beers and not real jobs and tattoos, as far as I can tell.
My first couple days I spent in the city, although there really isn’t much to do in terms of museums or sights. Strangely few, actually. So I just wandered around the downtown for a while.
Powell’s Books – I wandered around Powell’s, which is a gigantic bookstore based in Portland. It made me sad to see so many books full of so many words that I’d never be able to leave, so I didn’t buy any and just left.
Stumptown Coffee – I worked here a couple times. It’s Portland-based and was a good space to work in and surprisingly not all that busy. But the baristas were very “Portland”.
Case Study Coffee Roasters – I actually like the inside of this one a bit more. Less open, but modern looking, busy, and plenty of spots to work with good wifi.
Portland Central Library – Decided to check out the homeless bathroom of Portland to work for a while. Not too busy, good work spaces, good wifi, power outlets. No complaints here, and a good place to work if you don’t want to sit around and drink $4 coffees all day.
My friend was in town for work, so we met up and went to a couple of the local brewery places for drinks. Both breweries were based in Bend, but they had their flagship stores in Portland.
10 Barrels – We started at this rooftop bar, which provided a nice view of the cityscape, sunset, and people with mustaches and tattoos. I was in the minority as a “normal” looking person there, it seemed.
Deschutes Brewery – Checked this one out as well, which had a gigantic interior. Good place to grab a beer and catch up, so that’s what we did. The beers were good too, but I’m no connoisseur.
Here are a couple pictures from Portland:
After a couple nights in Portland, I decided to road trip it. 4 days and 855 miles later, I had done a pretty solid circle of Oregon. I started by going North to Astoria, a nice small town in the NW of Oregon.
Stayed at a great little hostel/hotel place right next to Fort George Brewery, so I had a beer there and walked along the coastline for a while. It’s a pretty quiet town, some tourists, but a nice size and vibe for the beginning of a weekend escape.
Fort George Brewery is two stories, the upper one providing a nice view of the ocean or bay or whatever it is. The vegetarian menu left a little to be desired (a surprise for PNW), but overall it was a good experience.
Here was the view from the walk along the docks.
The next day, I took a lovely seaside drive down the coast. I stopped at a few towns along the way, but I found them rather touristy. That aside, there’s a ton of nice viewpoints along the way. The first one was a shipwreck on a beach in a park just next to Astoria.
Here are a couple more random viewpoints:
After stopping a couple times in popular places like Cannon Beach, I grabbed the last campsite at some campground for the night. Went for a hike/jog down to the beach after setting up my tent (flawlessly), which I had bought at a discount store along the way.
The next morning I grabbed a mediocre breakfast in town and then took the scenic drive to Crater Lake. Another entry for my “overpriced tourist town scrambles” blog.
Unfortunately, my phone died (no charge camping), so I wasn’t able to take any pictures of it. Bad, right? But I went for a hike to Garfield’s Peak which was pretty easy. And the drive along the way was really nice too. I think I actually prefer the mountain/lakes/trees drives to the coastline ones, here at least. Anyways, the weather was absolutely perfect, so it was a great day to go.
The next day I did a 12-mile hike to Paradise Park around Mt Hood. Walked with your typical Oregonian for a few miles who was taking a long weekend to do a 3-day hike through the park. Here are some views from along that walk.
And then I found a place to camp between Mt Hood and Portland so the drive would be easy back into the city the next day. I had a nice campsite by a river, and got pizza for dinner since there was a town right nearby.
My train from Portland to Seattle was delayed by 2 hours, which was annoying. But other than that, the trip went fine and provided some nice viewed of Puget Sound and the mountains throughout the trip. And now, I’m back in good old Seattle.