Day 1O and it was time to drive to Portland to visit with friends Ruth and Jeff Rogers, who graciously offered to be my afternoon tour guides and dinner buddies.
First stop was their house to see the twenty two aquariums, multitudes of fish and other creatures in the tanks. Then it was into town to Vivace Coffee House and Creperie for some smooth Stumptown brew and wonderful lunch crepes with veggies and cheese.
We went downtown to the Saturday Market (which happened to be going strong on Sunday, thank goodness) and browsed the work of the many wonderful local artists represented there. Everything from wood to metals to paintings to spoon jewelry was readily available.
We walked over to the Steel Bridge, sharing it with other walkers, bikes and a freight train or two. Much as the famous Love Lock bridge in Paris with locks attached by the hundreds, several small locks could be seen on the side railings of this Portland bridge as well.
After enjoying the park area beside the Willamette River, we went back downtown to join up with a walking tour of Portland, lead by our guide Devan. I learned about all sorts of interesting Portland history, from the real meaning of showing up at the Nine Bars Saloon and asking for a lady that might “sew a button on some trousers for me” to the history of flooding in the city to the modern day historical tribute to the time of Japanese internment during the World War II era. This was a very interesting tour and well worth a couple hours of your time if you’re ever in the city.
Dinner that afternoon was at the Firehouse restaurant. The meatballs were tasty, the conversation lively and the company excellent. I really enjoyed my brief time in the city of Portland!
Day 11 was today. Yay! I’m caught up!
Almost at the halfway point of this trip that has been a blast so far.
This morning I wrote the Day Day 8 and 9 posts at a little coffee shop called Ristretto Roasters.
A quaint place full of high ceilings and huge wooden posts and exposed beams, it was warm and sunny and bright with a staff that was the same.
I enjoyed a fig scone and Americano and wrote and people watched much later than I had anticipated hanging around. It was worth the visit.
Much of the first half of the drive from Portland to Boise today was through the Columbia River Gorge, an absolutely beautiful stretch of river and road that lived up to its billing as given me by Ruth, who said that I had to drive that way. The road dipped down to the level of the river and then would runback up towards high hills topped by dozens of spinning white windmills like those I had seen in Indiana.
One thing I learned today, having been forewarned by Jeff at dinner last evening, was that in Oregon, you must not pump your own gas. Each station throughout the state hires attendants that pump the gas for you, and if you’re lucky they even clean your windshield for you, just like in the days of Gomer and Goober Pyle. Shazaam! I stopped twice for gas today, and this proved to be true at one tiny Mom and Pop station as well as one larger one.
So, tomorrow I head for Salt Lake City, then on to my daughter Chelsea’s house in Denver, where I visited on July Fourth weekend. Hard to believe that it’s been almost four months since I was there. I anticipate going hiking again in the foothills and maybe checking out a coffee house or two in Boulder this time around.
There is still a lot of ground to cover, as I just passed 3500 miles today. Stay tuned for more pictures and stories from the road.
Good night, dear readers, from Boise, Idaho.