Sunday, August 08, 2010

Road Trip 2010: Day 61: Portland, OR

A shorter day than anticipated...

Rick picked Terry and me up at 10 AM and whisked us across town to the World Forestry Center/Discovery Museum. On the way over, we got to see some of the famed Portland weirdness. Portions of the interstate highways were completely closed so as to accommodate a bike ride--Ride the Bridges, I believe it was called. Thousands of men, women and children of all ages were out riding their bikes around the highways intending to make a complete tour of the city and pass over five of the six major bridges crossing the Willamette and Columbia Rivers. Those who were still traveling by car were pretty much out of luck.

We spent two plus hours at the Forestry Center before deciding it might be safe to head back to town. We managed to avoid (most of) the congestion the bicycle madness produced and found a parking spot just outside Chinatown and within walking distance of Old Town Pizza which was to be our lunch stop and stepping off point for a walking tour of old Portland.

Refreshed by pizza and soda, we began what is billed as a tour of underground Portland with a guide who started right out stating (and I'm paraphrasing), "There is no underground any more. All the tunnels have collapsed or been filled in." He then proceeded to give us a nice little 2 1/2 hour walking tour of the historic section of Portland while providing a history of the city and its foibles.

By the time the walking tour was completed, my knee was letting me know it had had enough. The planned concert for this evening's entertainment would have to wait. So instead of music, Rick called up Sandy (who was at work--on a Sunday) and we went to dinner at Jake's Famous Crayfish Restaurant which was just three blocks from their apartment.

Feeling completely stuffed, we walked back to the apartment so we could get their car to drive us back to the campground. As we made the turn onto I-405 to get to I-84, there in the distance was Mount Hood standing tall and proud with just a little pinkish glow of the setting sun on the upper reaches of its snow capped peak. While off to the north, now flat-topped Mount St. Helens was visible. We had been in Portland for two days during which it had been mostly cloudy and now suddenly and unexpectedly, these two mountains decide to appear. "Holy, crap! Where were they hiding?"

I'll post pictures of our day once I get a chance to edit them.

Tomorrow, Terry and I are striking out east bound on I-84. We'll be leaving Portland in our rear view mirror as we hope to get as far as Fruitland, Idaho, which is j-u-s-t across the border. Mapquest says about 6 hours of driving time with two or three 15-minute breaks. Unfortunately, we will also lose one hour due to crossing a time zone at the border. Still, we should be able to get to a campground by 4 PM Mountain Time.

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