Thursday, September 10, 2015
Packwood to Portland
Goodbye, nature. Hello, city life. We drove U.S. 12, I-5, and I-205
from Packwood to Portland and arrived in the city around 1:00 p.m.
Since it was early, we decided to visit a couple of parks before
checking into our hotel and switching to public transportation.
First we went to Powell Butte Nature Park on the east side of
Portland. Visible from this vantage were Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, and
Mount St. Helens, though the views were pretty hazy. I bet it's
pretty hazy here most days. Then we drove to Mount Tabor Park, closer to downtown. From there
we could see downtown Portland, the Willamette River, and an even
hazier view of Mt. Hood and Mount St. Helens. Both of these parks
are situated on extinct volcanoes.
Hazy Mt. Hood from Powell Butte Nature Park, Portland, Oregon
Portland from Mount Tabor Park
Between Mount Tabor Park and our hotel, we stopped by the Alberta
Arts District, one of the quirky neighborhoods Portland is known
for. Here we found the Caravan Tiny House Hotel, recently featured on Fred
Armisen's sketch comedy show “Portlandia.” It's even more
ridiculous in person. The “hotel” consists of six portable
buildings about the size of a shed, positioned in a circular
fashion around a very small, fenced-in, paved courtyard. The cost
is $145 per night to stay here, but that price does include
marshmallows and chocolate for all-you-can-eat s'mores. I promise
you I am not making this up.
Alberta Arts District, Portland
Caravan Tiny House Hotel
Seating inside the bus for The Grilled Cheese Grill
Leaving the Alberta Arts District for the hipsters, we proceeded to
our hotel, the Hyatt Place Cascade Station, very near the Portland
airport. We stayed here one night at the beginning of our trip and
booked the same place for the last two nights. Out of three nights,
I got two of them free with my Hyatt credit card awards. It was a
good time to use the freebies, because Portland hotels are
expensive! Plus, this is a nice hotel and a good way to begin
and end our trip. Score!
Around 6:00 we walked over to Cascade Station, a quarter mile form
our hotel, to catch the light rail. I bought tix from a machine, $5
each for all day. We should have started earlier! The ride to
Pioneer Courthouse Square, in the city center, took about 45
minutes. I took the requisite photos of the courthouse and the
“Allow Me” statue, and then we wandered north on Broadway.
"Allow Me" a/k/a Umbrella Man
We wound up at Bailey's Taproom, a laid-back little bar with 25 killer
craft beers on tap. We had the AleSmith Decadence, a Belgian amber
from San Diego, and the Fat Head's Blitzkrieg Bock, a bock with rye
from Portland, both exceptional. Bailey's is an awesome place, and
I could have stayed there all night, but since my first beer had an
ABV of 10 percent, I thought we'd better move on after one, or we really would
be there all night.
Tom wanted to check out Chinatown, so we walked over and admired
the cool arch, but once we crossed through the arch, we were in the
middle of what seemed to be a bum convention. Nothing seemed to be going on in Chinatown
otherwise, so we got the heck out of there ASAP.
We passed by a couple more Portland landmarks, namely, the Dan
& Louis Oyster Bar, decorated inside like an old sailing ship,
and the world-famous Voodoo Doughnut, which had a huge line, as
expected. We stopped for dinner at Kells Irish Pub, at
112 Southwest 2nd Avenue, where we had some of the best food of our
lives. Tom had corned beef and cabbage with a mustard sauce, and I
had potato farl (a potato flatbread) filled with basically beef
stew. Delicious! And of course we had beer, Ninkasi Oktoberfest,
Kells Seasonal, and Kells Red. The beer was fine. The food was
better! There was also live music, one guy with a guitar. Very
Voodoo Doughnut - The Magic is in the Hole!
After dinner we waddled over to the light rail and took the last
train back to Cascade Station and our hotel, where we stayed up
late watching crappy movies. Fun night!
Sign our guestbook