The time flies when hanging out with family you don’t get to see on the regular, and the past four days were no exception. I must first address the fact that both times I’ve been to Portland it has been sunny and upper 80’s, so I’m not sure what everyone is talking about when they say it’s always cloudy and rainy… The first full day there my brother had to work, so my dad, the boys, and I planned to spend the day in Hood River which is located a few miles west of Portland along the Colombia River. The drive along the giant river was awesome, this desert boy doesn’t see lakes that big let alone a river. The first stop of the day was at the Multhomah Falls an amazing set of 2 tiered water falls nestled in the woods coming off a shear faced cliff. The place was magically, I know why bigfoot lives here….
After a bit of hiking and exploring we got back on the road and winded our way to Hood River and met up with some family. The first order of business was to locate some fresh berries that my dad could take back to Phoenix with him, it was a little early in the season but we were able to find some across the river. We crossed the river to Washington on a slightly sketchy draw bridge and found the shop with the strawberries and we weren’t disappointed. One more time back across the bridge to return to the Oregon side of the river and headed to a park so the boys could move their bodies after being in the car for most of the past 2 days, the park was down on the bank of the river and some very cool things for the boys to climb and play on along with a beach to play in the water. Again its sunny and mid to upper 80 the water was only a bit chilly for the boys to get their feet wet in and splash around. After a bite to eat we made our way back to Portland…
Before we got back into the city I had to make one more stop, if you have read the book or watched the movie Wild the main character ends her time on the PCT on the Bridge of the Gods. With my wife and I being fans I had to stop and check it out, I always love going to places that I’ve read about, sometimes its a let down, this time was not one of those times.
After some afternoon traffic we finally made it back to my brother’s house, we got ready for a “guys night out” with my dad and brother. The first time I had been to Portland a couple of years ago were under much different circumstances, a tumor had been found in my brothers brain and things were a little intense. Fast forward to today and the tumor was removed and he is doing awesome! I’m not really sure if I can remember a time were just the three of us had hung out socially, the night would not be a disappointment. The evening began at a place called The Kennedy School one of he properties owned by the McMenamins, now this place was an actual school at one time in history and now was a hotel (the classrooms are the rooms) with a couple of bars and restaurants in it now. What I thought was going to be dinner and some drinks became an adventure/scavenger hunt, the McMenamins own several properties and have created a passport were you get stamps and prizes. A good time was had by all stamps were earned and prizes were won, beers were drunk and a lot of tater tots were eaten.
With a good buzz going by the end of the night there is only one place to go in and that’s the world-famous Voodoo Doughnuts, now its hard enough for me to turn down a doughnut when I’m stone cold sober so when I’ve had some beers, watch out!
The morning Uncle Zach (my brother) made the boys some most amazing pancakes to start the day off right. The plan for today was to go explore another one the McMenamins properties the Edgefield an old poor farm, with the whole crew of 7 of us for more stamps, prizes, and tots. This I know for a fact was the first time all 3 generations from my dad to my brother and I’s sons all hung out, and great day had and many memories were made for sure. My oldest was fascinated by the glass blower and I think would have hung out in front of the tiny shop for hours if I would have let him. One of the many cool things is that they make all their own wine, liquor, and beers on property and you can only get them from one of the bars they own. This was the day my dad had to fly home and end his part of the adventure, and I think he was sad to go.
The final day before we left was a day of recovery and recharging before the boys headed east to Denver, the past 4 days had been non stop and the chance to do nothing but lounge was fully embraced. Our time in Portland flew by, but to say it was awesome would be an understatement.
Until next time, stay weird Portland!!