Oregon 2018. Portland and overview

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September 21st 2018
Published: September 21st 2018
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Oregon 2018 Portland Resting and overview.

A lie in at last with an 8am breakfast. A route march then to catch the tram into town. After several false turns we managed to catch the tram to Down Town Portland at $2.50 for the geriatrics. A deal. A slope around town into various shops and then a cycling shop where I bought some padded cycling fingerless gloves . These are the first I have found since Jackson Wyoming 4 yrs ago. Then a look around the largest bookshop in the world, Powell’s, and it is massive with a great selection of books in about 8 large rooms. Bill and myself found a sew-on badge here for our saddlebags after trawling the whole of Portland. We called at the Pendleton Woollen shop, since Richard W bought his Pendleton Indian patterned jerkin from the Warm Springs store several days ago. We spoke to the ladyn the shop, whose mother was Navajo Indian, so we had a good natter with her about the native Indians and their fate at the hands of the invading whites etc. Then another long walk to a Mexican Restaurant for dinner after watching another 600 foot long Canadian Pacific Railroad train turn the bend over the Willamette in about 15 minutes at a very steady pace. The Mexican meal was quite good regardless of what Jasper Carrot called it. Then down the road to the White Eagle for a dose of American Country and Western music with two female singers and then ’Stubborn Lovers’ before our return to the Ramada. We set of on our return st 10.10pm and got back at 11.50 after two tram journeys with a 30 minute wait and a 20 minute walk. My feet are worn out.
Friday: Up at 7 to sort out all the useless Emails and deal with the rest before breakfast. Repack my bags and prepare for the journey to a wet UK after three weeks of sunshine and shorts.

This has been an interesting trip to a delightful area of the US. We have seen nice houses and vehicles as we have seen severe poverty out in the country and especially in the Indian Reservations. We have seen fire devastation of both trees and farmland, but luckily no properties damaged. There has been well maintained and fertile farmland alongside abandoned farms with the old deserted machines and
land which looks like it has been allowed to go back to brushland. As though someone just walked out. Because of the dry climate there are old tractors 70 years old where the tin work is still good and looking like a few hours work would get them running again. I need a few containers to ship them home. Herons, Buzzards and several other birds of prey are seen every day and even a Bald Eagle was seen on one occasion. Many of the pickup trucks are monstrous and noisy, especially some of the Dodge Rams. This also applies to many of the trucks which have changed little since the end of WW11. I haven’t seen any curtain sided semi trailers which are loaded using fork trucks, they all use aluminium box trailers where they need to be loaded and unloaded by hand pallet trucks. Very labour intensive and slow. Mind you, the fork lifts I have seen are very antiquated. They need to look at Europe transport and get modern using quiet, clean engines and quiet, plush cabs which are a pleasure to operate. There are a lot of smaller cars on the roads, but tend to be Japanese or Korean, the blunderbusses being made in America. It shows that the US did not keep up with research and development and allowed itself to be left behind and uncompetitive. Tariffs will not change this.
The hotels and the people have been very nice. In fact two of us were waiting for coffee in the bookstore in Portland and a young man in front bought it for us. It transpired he worked for a television company. I wondered if he was following the story of the miscreant cyclists.The scenery has been amazing; from large wooded hills to large arable plains, timber yards and massive ravines and lakes. Massive rivers, large dams and wonderful bridges, quite a few of which are the old wooden covered variety, which are now protected. We have been mesmerised by the long goods trains and the big locomotives pulling them along at a steady pace. No passenger trains, apart from one private heritage one in Hood River City, where I was incidentally stopped by a van driver who shouted that he had been to Clitheroe. Small world. The cycling infrastructure is good with wide margins on the busy roads, although noisy and difficult to cross. There
are quite a few cycle trails, although we were denied using some at the end due to fires and long term repairs.
Good place to visit - do it.

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