We took a break in Portland, Oregon, and stayed at a hotel on the banks of the Williamette River for two days. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the city but could never help but feel it was the “other” Portland, and somehow lesser than Portland, Maine. I now think they are roughly equal.
Portland is a bustling city (much larger than its Maine counterpart, btw) and we explored it using our favorite mode of transportation: our feet.
Our first stop was Powell’s Bookstore, billed as the largest bookstore in the world. Although I am reluctant to buy books given our limited storage space in the RV, I walked away with four small volumes of early American history that you couldn’t find easily anywhere else.
Portlandia people love books and even paste photos of books along the sidewalks where in other cities you might see ads for Broadway shows or graffiti. On the Northeast side of town, we found this mural with a moral.
People here also love food and we soon discovered why. We dined at two restaurants inspired by young chefs where all the flavors were delicate and the ingredients were extra fresh and local (of course).
The food truck culture is highly developed on the streets of downtown Portland. I had a classic grilled cheese with cauliflower soup and sampled some delicious Thai food.
After climbing up the tallest hill in town to visit the Rose Garden at Washington Park, we went to the Portland Art Museum, which has an eclectic collection of mid-20th century art that was on exhibit.
The city revolves around the river, from crews that race by to a cruise boat that takes tourists out for a spin.
We looked up an old acquaintances from CNN, Andrew Holtz, and his wife Kelly, who live on a beautiful new energy-efficient houseboat on the river (sorry, no photos). We later visited their daughter, Judy, who lives with my nephew, Thomas, in Eugene. Here's their photo.
Next stop: Silver Falls State Park outside Silverton, Oregon and a visit from my sister.
Listen as Johnny Cash & Lynn Anderson tear it up.
Where we are today.