After a great morning hike in Fern Canyon, we packed up, said goodbye to the ocean and headed inland through yet more spectacular stands of redwoods to the interstate. Destination: Portland.
Now, I think it's fair to say at the outset that our impressions of Portland are informed by the hilarious series Portlandia, so of course, we spent our first night wandering the street humming “the dream of the '90s” as we sampled the offerings of seemingly endless “pods” of food carts.
The next day, we made like the locals and grabbed bikes + coffee to explore Portland's neighbourhoods. First up, we pedalled the excellent bike paths over the Steel Bridge to North Williams Avenue where we wandered crafty shops, letterpress workshops, and did a beer tasting at Hopworks Urban Brewery's bike bar. Then, it was onwards further south to House Spirits, a craft distillery that specializes in wicked good gin, for another sample of the local goods. From there we wrapped up our circle with a ride on the arial tram, bikes included, for some spectacular views of the Cascade mountain range. Then it was a quick zip downhill to return the bikes, wander Powell's bookstore, and settle in to a nice dinner at The Common. We capped off the night with a movie at The Living Room Theatre, an ingenious movie theatre/bar/restaurant that delivers drinks and snacks to your seat. All in all, it was a great – if brief – slice of Portland's undeniable cool.
Fuelled on press pot coffee, we headed north to Seattle for lunch at Pike Place market, which was so bustling and full of characters it seemed more like 19th century London than anywhere on this side of the pond.
Finally, late in the day, we crossed the border back into Canada and had a warm welcome at Dave's place. Good to be back!
Portland, here we come.
All the hot girls wear glasses in Portland.
This souvenir seemed to best encapsulate the city.
It's a bus! It's a vintage clothing shop! It's awesome!
Beer tasting at Hopworks.
House spirits – the complete collection.
Kiavash takes in the sights from the top of the tram.
Pike place market in Seattle.
Dave and Faruk gave us a great welcome in Vancouver.