Hey there Trampers! It's been a little overdue, but it's time for me to share with you some of my images and experiences from my summer Pacific Northwest trip. In this post, I'll direct your attention to the wonderful, laid-back town of Portland, Oregon.
I spent the bulk of my three weeks in the Northwest at friend's house in the leafy, southeastern suburb of Woodstock. I ventured out on many day trips from there, either biking around the city's vast network of bike lanes, or going further afield to the Columbia River Gorge or the Oregon coast, each within easy driving distance. I loved this about Portland. There is an overwhelming array of options to explore not just within the city but also outside.
During the course of my time here the weather couldn't have been more perfect. It was a welcome relief from the searing heat in Arizona where I currently live. Portland awaited exploration and I eagerly made the most of my time. The city is just the right size. Large enough to feel like a city, but small enough to explore and not feel overwhelmed by the crush and pace of a larger city like London or New York. The Willamette River intersects the east and west halves of the city and can be crossed at several points by a multitude of bridges. I explored both sides of the city. The downtown area is modern, clean and tree-lined with both old and new styles of architecture. The suburbs I explored each have their own distinct charm and personality.
The highlight of Portland for me is the beer, coffee and great food. Portland boasts the highest number of microbreweries than any other city in the U.S. They are everywhere! In the city centre as well as the suburbs, beer can be found coursing through the hearts and bellies of its residents. I lost count at the number of brewpubs I visited, but it was probably somewhere between 10 - 15. Some offered food, some didn't, but they all provided many styles of their own beer. I'm a sucker for stouts and brown ales, but I tried everything from IPA's, lagers, cream ales, double-barreled ales, porters and many more. Fortunately, all the cycling I did kept the beer belly from creeping on. Portland certainly earns the nickname 'Beervana'.
Coffee is also a staple commodity in Portland and throughout the Pacific Northwest. If one was to default to a Starbucks, they would seriously be missing out on the amazing java being offered by many of the city's independent coffee houses. Coffee quality, like the beer, is taken very seriously in Portland. Then of course, there's the food van. Found throughout the city and its suburbs, the single food van or several vans lined up next to each other known as a 'pod', offer a huge variety of culinary delights. Each van specializes in a particular cuisine, whether it be Thai, Japanese, Moroccan and many, many more. Locals affectionately refer to the vans as 'street meat'. I was never hungry, thirsty or in lack of a caffeine-fueled burst of energy during my time in Portland.
Portland is simply my kind of town. The nature of its residents is laid-back and friendly with a passion for outdoor activities. I love that you can commute everywhere by bicycle. I love that the city's social life revolves around its beer and coffee. There aren't too many cities in the world that I've enjoyed more and would consider living in.
Thanks for stopping by!