Blogs from Portland, Oregon, United States, North America

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North America » United States » Oregon » Portland March 22nd 2015

Long perceived as a "hipster" city, this preconception of Portland is in reality, not too far-fetched. That is, if hipster entails liberal politics, environmental consciousness, temperate climate, food carts, and fervor for beer and coffee. This city prides itself on being different, as evidenced by their slogan, "Keep Portland Weird," and if strange is good, then Portland is great. But as unique as this town is, other city governments around the country are taking note and following suit; renown for their dedication to public transportation, high walkability, and large bike-share program, Portland's city council is setting an example for running a sustainable town. Sustainability is also dependent on natural resources, which is quite abundant in the Pacific Northwest. As Seattle is flanked by Puget Sound and Lake Washington, Portland is also surrounded by water; the Willamette ... read more
Multnomah Falls
Blue Star Donut
Salt n' Straw

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland March 13th 2015

Hello all! Various persons have asked me why in the world I'm going to China, and the answer is: Because I am. I was planning on flying "home" to Vegas/Henderson to visit my parents and brother, but it's Spring Break. Tickets would've cost me over $600 because of timing (all the frat boys and sorority girls will flood the area, as well), and we probably would've driven to San Diego anyway. I originally wanted to go to Thailand, but plane tickets doubled in price just during one day. That'll be for another trip at another time. So I started looking at other places I've always wanted to visit for one reason or another (history, nature, culture, etc). Tickets to China were the same price as Vegas! Hotels are cheap, food is cheap, transportation is cheap, and ... read more

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland February 18th 2015

Back in Portland for the second time and about to head south. We are hiring a car in a few hours and spending two days slowly winding our way down I-5 and 101 towards the Bay Area, California. The time we've spent in the Pacific NW has been varied but wonderful, matching easily the expectations in my mind built on a month-long visit here in 2006. Portland has changed a lot in the ensuing nine years, or so most people we have met here have said. The city is bigger, busier, more corporate. Its unofficial motto, "Keep Portland Weird", bares less relevance now than it did a decade ago or twenty or thirty years ago. Honestly I can't be 100% sure as my memories are hazy but certainly the skyline is a lot more jagged with ... read more
Massive bedroom at Manida's.
Mt Rainier.
Mt Rainier again but with the excellent view blocked by us.

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland February 7th 2015

We are in a treehouse. There is a wide panoramic window in front of me and outside is thick with the Western hemlocks and Douglas firs that define the Pacific Northwest treeline. Below is a cluster of buildings including a canvas yurt and garage that serves as a sculptor's studio. It is quiet except for Tupac playing from speakers on the desk next to me. This place is an artists' commune set into the edge of Oregon's Tryon Creek State Park and we arrived here by complete chance. Expecting to hitchike from Seattle this morning, I received a last minute email from an ad I'd put up on Craigslist last night. Paul said he was travelling down to Portland and could pick us up. Three emails later we'd arranged to meet outside Pike Place Market in ... read more
Pretty amazed.
View from the window as I type.

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland August 5th 2014

By the time we reach Portland we are tired and stressed from our battle to get the damaged tire repaired. The satnav is a saving grace to get us safely to our next airbnb house, which is a turn of the century wooden house in a street full of similarly bohemian homes. Every garden (and every stretch of what would be grass verge in a UK road) is full of mixed flowers and vegetables, and maybe the odd pot plant thrown in for good measure. Portland feels a bit like San Francisco in the 60s, mixed with 2014 eco-consciousness. Sandals, bikes, recycling, organic food, an outdoor lifestyle and a lot of weird people. Our home for the next 5 nights is quirky but homely - bare wooden floors, sash windows that mostly don't open and lots ... read more
James wearing his new purchases
too much choice at Voodoo Donut
donuts for 4

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland August 2nd 2014

Day 26- Hiked a few miles on the south west side of Crater Lake. The view was amazing, the water so blue and clear. Drove a few hours to Portland and crashed with some of Sven's mt biking buddies from Chico, Kevin and Cory. Day 27- Cleared out our cooler and made some breakfast for our hosts. We headed downtown to meet up with one of my nutrition girls, Megan. She introduced us to a few other Chico State alum. and we all went to Deschutes brewery for lunch. After, we parted ways with that fun bunch, I dragged the boys to the Nordstrom Rack... For some internship clothes. Duh ;) We were so exhausted from exploring and having some beers in the heat of the day, that we headed back to ... read more
Oregon roadside
Crater Lake
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North America » United States » Oregon » Portland July 25th 2014

We took the Amtrak Coast Starlight train from Seattle to Portland, OR today. This train goes from Vancouver, B.C. to California which includes bi-level coaches and sleeping cars if you are making the journey to CA. Travel speeds are slow compared to the Northeast Corridor. The scenery along the coast was beautiful and we crossed over the Columbia River along the way. Both Union Stations were quite pretty and very clean as compared to what we are used to on the East Coast. We've not been to Portland before and we were pleasantly surprised at the vibrance of the town. We took one of those hop on hop off trolleys for a 2 hour tour of the town, the expansive parks, and the waterfront area where there was a Brewfest event. On the way back to ... read more
Union Station Seattle
Pioneer Courthouse
Statue of Sacagawea

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland July 1st 2014

Today we head for Portland. I got up early to go for a walk down by the river. Interestingly, the river was calm with no wind, not at all like yesterday. Many of the locals get their morning exercise by paddle boarding. Back at the B&B, we continued our conversation from the night before, with another couple about windsurfing and kite boarding. We really enjoy B&Bs because of the people you meet. They had become amateur meteorologists, and assured us that 30 minutes down the road, Rooster Rock would have great windsurfing conditions. Unfortunately, we took too much time hiking, etc and missed seeing them windsurfing at Rooster Rock. It's only an hour away by interstate, but there are any number of waterfalls and overlooks to visit. Benson Bridge at Multnomah Falls is a very popular ... read more
Paddle boarding on Columbia River
Benson Bridge at Multnomah Falls
IMG_7349

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland June 30th 2014

Portland – The ‘Foodie’ City We leave at 8am from Spokane as we have a long drive to Portland (350 + miles). As we head through Washington State the landscape is quite gentle, not so hilly and mainly grasslands – large ranches and not many settlements. Once we hit Oregon, we are following the Columbia River (the State Line between Oregon & Washington runs down the middle of it) and we see the biggest wind farms we’ve seen in the US to date – mostly on the Oregon side but also some on the Washington side. As we get closer to Portland, vineyards start to appear together with lots of fruit orchards and we also get sight of a snow covered Mount Hood in the distance – it looks a bit like Mt Fuji in Japan. ... read more
Famous Mo's for Clam Chowder
Food Trucks - Portland
Overlooking Yaquina Bay - Newport

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland April 17th 2014

I didn't want to spend my last morning in Hong Kong sitting around the hotel room, so I packed my bags and then went out for a walk. I strolled along past little shops selling everything you can thing of: a tiny hardware store, a large number of shops selling dried seafood products (anchovies (I think), slices of fish, seaweed, and several items I couldn't identify), a money exchange office, a 7-11, a Starbucks, a shop that appeared to be selling 4x8 pieces of plywood, and others. After a while I hopped on a tram that runs along one of the main streets and rode it to the Bank of China building. I had my passport with me, so I was able to go up to the observation floor. Clearly the view was more impressive back ... read more




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