Portland Scenic

My Portland Ride was a lot of fun. I pinged some friends to see if they could recommend a trial to me. One guy I know in Vancouver who does a lot of road trips, had never ridden in Portland, but strangely enough was there the same weekend I was, so I ended up riding with them for the day.

The drive from Portland was a little over an hour long, but it was more than worth it. The trails were a lot of fun, and completely different from what I am used to. Very open, very skinny, very smooth. Oh, and lots of fun.

We started off with a climb through a field. It zigged and zagged a long way up from the river. By the time we topped out, the cars below looked very tiny.

It was a perfect blue sky as well.

Just before the main descent we stopped for a break. We had a little visitor.

It was quite the scenic place.

There were even some technical bits to keep everyone on their toes.

The trail took us right next to the cliff edge.

In all it was a great ride, with some very fun people. Back at the car I quickly changed, stowed my bike and gear in the car and booted back to Portland. Great ride!

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Portland Sample

Last weekend my mom looked after the kids while Sue and I got away to Portland with some friends. The Portland trip was organized by a friend who was turning 40, and who was also running the Portland Rock N Roll Half Marathon. Sue also did the run, while I chose to go mountain biking while they ran 🙂

We started off on the Coho on a dreary Friday morning, then drove down the 101 to get on the I5. Beautiful drive, and it was a chance for Sue and I to spend some time together in a way that we haven’t been able to for a quite a while. Along the way I spotted a plane, and several sky divers.

Arriving in Portland in the early evening we didn’t have time to do much so we grabbed a drink at the hotel bar, then called it an evening.

The next day we ate breakfast at Tasty N Alder. Wow, excellent breakfast place. Likely the best restaurant breakfast I have ever had. After that it was off to the race expo to get race packages and explore a bit. I found the Powerbar tent and they had energy chews that tasted just like the coke bottle candies I used to get as a child. Mmmm. The Clif Bar tent was sampling some bars, and I tried their coconut chocolate chop one. Yummy! I talked to the guy a bit, and mentioned that we can’t get that flavour in Canada, so he slid me a sample bar to take riding with me!

After the expo we headed back to the hotel, then on to outlet mall shopping! At first I was not doing so well, but by the end of the day I had got a couple work shirts, two pairs of work pants, and a new watch. It ended well.

Sunday was the race and my ride. Everyone in our group did well on their run, and Sue set a personal best for a half marathon.

Sunday evening we had a group dinner at the Portland City Grill. This restaurant was on the 30th floor of a building, and had an amazing view of the city. The service was excellent, and I thoroughly enjoyed my dinner.

Monday the organizer, his wife and I headed over to Voodoo Donuts to stock up on some homeward bound treats. Then it was over to Tasty N Alder for our last meal.

After breakfast we packed up, jumped back in the car and headed home. I did enjoy our getaway weekend, but I do wish we had one more day in the city to just wander around and look, or shop. From what we have heard, Portland has some amazing eateries, and some really good food trucks. We were about 50/50 on the restaurants, and didn’t get any food trucks. The coffee I had was excellent though!

I’d love to come back again some time and have more free time to explore.

Highway Superstar

On the 30th the Fox family set off for a family reunion trip to Nelson. One of Sox’s brothers lives there and he was hosting us all for the weekend. That morning we discovered our cat Aphro had escaped outside and was missing.

Sox and the kids headed to Vancouver early on Thursday, but I had to work. After working most of the day I zipped home, packed up, tried to locate the cat, secured the house then headed to the ferry.

You see some crazy things on the highway, but this one was pretty scary. A motorized scooter doing about 50 KM/H riding on the side of the highway. That was bad enough, but this one had two people on it, and only one of them was wearing a helmet. Think people. Take the backroads.

As I got to the ferry terminal I learned there was a possible wait. When I paid to get on the lady told me my lane number and mentioned I might be lucky. Luck was on my side. I was the absolute last vehicle let on the 8pm sailing.

I hadn’t eaten dinner yet so I grabbed a magazine and headed up to the cafeteria. I ordered a bacon cheeseburger, fries, and got a chocolate milk. At my seat I took one bite of the burder and knew something was wrong with it. There was no patty. I took the burger back in, they all had a good laugh (I didn’t think it was funny at all), then they made me a new one.

As I approaced my seat someone else was sitting there and my tray of uneaten food was gone! I asked them about it and nobody knew anything. Taking a hungry man’s food is not a good idea. I asked one of the table cleaners if he had taken my tray but he hadn’t. He did go and get replacements for my lost food though.

Interesting start to the trip.

The next day was the drive up to Nelson. I was in a car with Beet, Sox’s Mum, and Sox’s other brother. I sat in the back with Beet the whole way and we kept each other company. It was actually a lot of fun and Beet certainly was entertained by having her dad next to her.

Near Grand Forks there was a long, long line of traffic. I figured it was construction until I saw two different police cars, and a couple fire engines. Sure enough some fire crews were just mopping up a small brush fire that had started next to the highway and train tracks. I saw flames from a few fence posts, but the fire was definitely out besides that. Yikes.

The rest of the trip flew by, but the weird thing was while we were in Castlegar I could see a column of smoke. Knowing that a fire ban was in effect I thought this was odd. As we got closer realized that it was another brush fire right underneath some power lines. Thankfully there was a fire chief’s truck there checking out the situation. There was also another small fire on the opposite side of the highway. This was getting a little weird.

While in Nelson it was hot. Mid 30’s almost the entire time. We spent quite a bit of time lazing in the shade, and going to the beach. It was very relaxing and totally enjoyable. The Nelson area sure is gorgeous.

Saturday night, after the kids were in bed, the adults were sitting out on the deck talking. Down the valley a little ways we could see a storm. Lots of lightning but we heard no thunder. The next morning the town was very smoky. We could barely see the mountains across the lake and everywhere you went it smelled like a campfire.

Monday Sue’s brothers and I went for a mountain bike ride. More on that later.

Tuesday we piled into our cars and headed home. Gran, myself and Beet in her car, Sox, her sister and the boys in Sox’s car. There was one moment while I was driving when I caught up to Sox and passed her, only to learn that she was very low on gas and we were far from a gas station. I pulled in behind here and followed along until Christina lake. Thankfully we all made it there without any problems.

Beet was a superstar again. Without Sox’s brother in the car I got to drive while Beet napped. This helped break up my trip a bit, and forced us to get out and stretch out legs once in a while. We grabbed lunch supplies in Osoyoos then continued on our way.

The drive went by quickly and before I knew it we were in Langley. There I saw a spectacular sight. A gorgeous orange and black viper was turning onto the road in front of us. On top, secured in what must be a custom rack, was a kayak almost as long as the car. It was quite the sight.

We met up with Sox at her Mum’s house, ordered some pizza, then tried to get the 7 ferry. We missed it by a little, waited for the next one, then headed home. Another successful summer road trip.