October 18 – Portland, Oregon

Foggy and rainy start to the day but it changed to just overcast. Trip north to Portland was uneventful and easy – only 44 miles.

Arrived at Jentzen Beach RV Park which is one of the nicer parks in a long time. Paved roads and decent size paved lots. Quite a few people live here full time but it is well kept and clean. We are on an island in the Columbia River within the city limits of Portland – this is the closest RV park to the city.

We are here 7 days so we will relax and see what we can and catch up with things we haven’t done for a while.

Did take off and went looking for a meat probe for our GMG grill but they will have to order it. Tried the VC but our GPS didn’t lead us to the right spot and the city traffic was so busy I decided to head out of town and find a brewery – especially with the bus honking its horn because I was in the wrong lane.

Found the Stormbreaker Brewery and enjoyed the typical IPA.

Thursday was rain and rain – no sense going too far. Brenda did get her hair cut – been a while.

Just as you would expect we headed out in the afternoon – still raining – and we found the Widmer Brothers Brewery. Quite the setup and its huge!

Then since we had passed it on the way we went to Ecliptic Brewing Company.

Need to do those that are nearby – both afternoons the traffic on I-5 have been backed up for 20 minutes or so.

Did see a part of Old China Town.

Friday no rain and breaks of sunshine – not much, but a break from tomorrow – heavy rain predicted.

Went back over to Washington to Fort Vancouver NHS. Hudson Bay Company set up a trading post on the shores of the Columbia River, never had a battle fought here. They have reconstructed the fort from the 1840s. It also served as the nation’s first NW Army post in 1849.

They also had the Pearson Air Museum.

And we saw the Marshall House where General George Marshall (Marshall Plan) lived for two years. Called Officers Row.

Not to be outdone we found the Beerded Brewery – new brewery only opened for the third weekend and nice set up but only had one of their beers. Brenda was all excited as they had a sweet potato beer in the fermenting barrel.

After that we found Old Ivy Brewery and had another cold one. It’s amazing how close these breweries are to each other.

Saturday rain all day today – so we will smoke ribs.

It rained all day but pull out the awnings and we can smoke in the dry – ribs turned out great!

Sunday the rain stopped and we did find a church with a small congregation on the north end of Portland.

After church we headed over to Voodoo Donuts – got there and we had to wait 20 minutes in line to place our order – quite the unique place.

portland (25)Then we went winery visiting in the Williamette Valley wine region – there are hundreds of wineries in the area.portland (37)

First stop was Hamacher Winery at the Ponzi Historic Estate. Tasting and a bottle – okay winery.

Second stop was Hawk’s View winery – glass and food – great wine.

Third stop was Alloro Winery – glass and sit down.portland (35)

Fourth and final stop was Cooper Mountain Winery – who remembers the wine at this point.portland (36)

Monday no rain outside – lets go out and play.

We took the gang on a trip to Columbia Gorge Scenic Area. We planned on visiting the 8 waterfalls along the Columbia Historic River Highway to see Multnomah Falls (620 feet).

This was also part of the Lewis and Clark Trail. And in 1986 the river gorge became the nation’s first bi-state National Scenic Area.

Good news – bad news? Bad news – the Scenic road is closed due to the Eagle Creek Fire (now out) but there is the threat of mud slides – especially with all this rain. Ranger suggested we go on to Hood River – a city – and then drive around Mount Hood – highest point in Oregon.

Did see the Vista House in the distance, 693 feet above the Columbia River.portland (38)

Notice how one side of the tree is smaller – due to the 60-100 MPH winds that blow in the canyon.portland (39)

We continued our drive down Interstate 84 along the river – did get to see some waterfalls along the highway. Kind of scary stopping along the interstate and taking pictures.

Stopped at the Cascade Locks and Bonneville Dam.

Now the Good News – after getting to Hood River we really liked the city – highest number of microbreweries per capita for any city in America with more than one brewery – plus the town was clean, nice, on the river, scenic, mountains all around, lots of people walking dogs, etc. etc. We would like to stay here for the summer – check it out!

Did stop at Double Mountain Brewery for a cold one – had tables outside so the dogs could stay.

Continued our trip south and made it to the other side of Mount Hood at an elevation of 11,245, highest point in Oregon. Wow!

Even had snow on the ground.

Made it back to home at 5:30 PM – long day.

Tuesday another day without rain. I even washed the car today to make Brenda happy.

We went and did some errands – bought pellets for the grill and dog food for the dogs.

Headed downtown Portland to the Pearl District – they have numerous neighborhoods that would be interesting to visit. Saw the world’s largest used and new bookstore – so many books and not enough time to read.

Then walked around the area and saw the Keen’s Garage (shoes) and numerous breweries and did not stop.  You can even buy shoes out of a vending machine.

They have an impressive public transportation system with buses, trolleys, bike paths etc. It was scary at times trying to find a place to drive the car.

Headed over to the Hair of the Dogs Brewery and took some time out to enjoy each other’s company.

Tonight finished the 5 movies on the Twilight series – know everything about Forks, WA and vampires and werewolves that I need to know – good movies!

Will say that Portland was a great trip though it rained most of the time. Note to self; come again earlier in the season.  Not sure if this is everyone’s theme – but it sure seemed like it.portland (24)

What was a highlight was while getting around Portland, there were times depending on the weather that you could see Mount St. Helens and Mount Hood – snow covered and what a sight!

Wednesday is off to Newport, Oregon on the Pacific Ocean.

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