Portland and home

Still drizzling as we return to the trail this morning, don’t see the long haired assailant but do encounter another forest person, this one less threatening.

By the time we leave to spend the day touring Portland the rain has ceased and the sun slowly coming out. We park in one of the city parks and walk some of the blocks looking for touristy things to do, we even stop locals and ask them, not much apparently goes on in Portland. In 2009 38,000 new people moved to the city because they thought that it was cool, unfortunately the economy was also cool so jobs non existent, the Governor had to issue a statement pleading with people not to come. The remnants of this influx can still be seen on the streets and evidently on the trail that we used last night. It is though a pleasant city centre to walk around, not subsumed by traffic noise, or any noise for that matter. We get the feeling that like their former home of Toronto it is a city of neighbourhoods and that life occurs in the burbs rather than the centre.

We sit outside and have lunch at Fish, a nice restaurant on SW Park Avenue, before heading to the Rose and Japanese Gardens, I am allowed in the former but not the latter so we tour a few home shops before departing the city and heading homeward, aiming to beat the Friday rush hours in Portland and Seattle.

We cross the river into Vancouver Washington with 260 miles to go to home. The sun has now come out and the scenery of southern Washington is reminiscent of parts of England, rolling mixed wooded hills and rivers.

Apart from a quick therapy stop at the outlet mall we are in the fast lane, with other cars that should really move over, the entIre way interrupted only briefly by traffic delays around Seattle.

We arrive home at 8pm in daylight and I am glad to be reunited with my toys in the garden, still off my food though and I haven’t eaten a proper meal for four days. Perhaps familiar surroundings will settle me down. My car towels are the first things to be washed, even I thought that things were becoming a bit pongy towards the end.

It’s been a fun trip covering over 3,000 miles, taking in 5 states experiencing different geographies, micro climates and varied cultures. We seem to have been constantly on the move and doing different things for the entire time, whether it be wine tasting, hiking, racing, eating, visiting national and state parks.

Of course the highlight, and main purpose, of the trip was to hook up with old friend. However it was also nice to experience new places and visit landmarks like Crater Lake that we didn’t see the first time around. Although the desert landscape of the interior can be stunning you cannot beat the greenery of the coastal hills and mountains, so it was nice to at last head home.

We thank our generous hosts Rex, Janie and Salsa in Vegas for inviting us to their lovely home.

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How much is that kitty in the window?

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Farewell from Portland

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