Back in Portland

It has been a little while since I have been back to Portland for a long enough overnight to go out and explore. Over the course years ago I had moved to Portland and I had gotten to do a lot of exploring in the PNW but its always nice to go back and revisit a place when its been awhile.

It was honestly really nice to be able to go back and to create new memories. I left Portland in a rush and a whole lot of pain and so for some time flying around the PNW and Portland would pull at my heart. With time, moving on and with some money I decided with my long overnight in Portland that I was going to rent a car and go back along the Columbia Gorge. This time I got to visit the Gorge in all of its Autumnal Glory. Portland on Saturday put on a lovely show with blue skies, temperatures that were moderate…a slight bit of wind but we worked with it.

I invited the whole crew to come with me in the end it ended up just being the other flight attendant Raegan and I. We had ourselves a blast. Raegan is a newer flight attendant so hasn’t had much opportunity to get out and explore on the overnights. I remember those times being on reserve rushing from one flight to the next with change of crews and then wanting to get out and explore and it coming down to money. That and half the time the crews not really wanting to go out at all or everyone just agrees to go to the pub for drinks. Which don’t get me wrong can and is fun but not all the time.

I picked up the rental when we had landed and in true form for myself I had made a reservation with Avis and completely booked it for the wrong dates. Thankfully the employee at Avis told helped me out and was able to get me a van for the day. So I totally rolling the whole soccer van thing down. It also had heated seats and a heated wheel and the heated wheel came in handy. I had to get used to that push start that they have in all the new cars these days.

So I had the whole day pretty much planned out. Grab Coffee and breakfast at Bipartisan, then head to the Gorge. Stop at many of the waterfalls as possible and get to Multnomah Falls, possibly do a hike, then for lunch stop off at my favorite food truck Saint Burrito. The plan pretty much went as follows but the night we were flying into Portland on one of the turns we had a couple on the flight who own a coffee shop in Portland. We had a great conversation, they told me where their coffee shop was at and then added that they had Avocado Toast and well I said I am going to your place and so I changed our coffee spot. I am really glad we did.

So for breakfast Raegan and I went to Presso Coffee Co. in North Portland. So something I will say and I think this very much says a lot about the owners their Barrista’s are friendly and very welcoming and this is not always what you get in Portland. The coffee was delicious and there was something about that Avocado Toast that made it different enough that I would get it again. The shop is bright as well and colorful. For a city that is rainy and dreary most of the year a place with lots of light, color and plants in the place made it very welcoming.

Once we had our fill we set on our way up the Columbia Gorge. Our first stop along the Gorge was the Scenic views at The Women’s Forum State Scenic Overlook. We had gusts of wind to greet us and a few others who where getting started with exploring along the Columbia as well.

We also stopped at the Vista House. The Observation house has some fun history if you go ahead and click on the link for it. The building was closed as we were there a little early. The Vista House was built so the new motorist of the age could drive along the Columbia River Highway and from the views of the house you could look up and down the river with, well you guessed it scenic views up and down the Columbia Gorge.

The Old Columbia Gorge Highway was built in a time when cars where new and roads were built to follow along with the curves and shape of the land. When motorists took their time and it was all about the experience. There was a whole new emergence of conservationist with National Parks and State Parks becoming the rage during those years. Getting out and experiencing nature after years and the explosion of the Industrial Revolution and the money that brought to many during those times. You see it in the buildings that where built during those early years in the 1900’s, or at least I can see it.

We also had a pretty good laugh at the view points with all the big gusts of wind coming in all the directions on us. I think one of the best parts of the day was exploring the day with someone who had never been herself. Her enjoyment of seeing the Columbia Gorge, of all the waterfalls we stopped at and all the other little things we’d pull over at to take pictures and to get a good look at really made it almost as if I was seeing for the first time myself.

What else was nice about this whole day was being able to just have girl talk. I have been working with all the guys lately and as much as I enjoy working and hanging out with the all guy crew minus 1 its just nice to be able to talk with another women and to be able to joke about dating and guys, travel and all of our aspirations. We pretty much just goofed around all morning and afternoon long. I only felt really old for a moment when she had mentioned that she liked listening to older music. It was my Foster the People channel on Pandora sooooo…… there’s that. It’s okay we sang along to the Bahamas anyway so besides her going through all of the flight attendant training, I’d trust her with my life.

A good tip for driving along the Historic Columbia Gorge Highway, drive slow and take your time. 1- there are bicyclists who are out for their rides. 2- there are hikers coming out or heading to a trail and 3- there are a crap load of waterfalls, you will miss them if you are driving too fast and not paying attention.

I missed a few stops at the beginning mostly because we were just chatting it up and I forgot to slow it down just a bit and to keep a look out. Though we did manage to stop at many of the falls and to get out and walk out to many of the falls. The sights we saw along the way to the Big Falls was:

Sheppards Dell

Bridal Veil Falls

Oneonta Gorge and Bridge

By noon we had finally made it up to Multnomah Falls after taking a bit of find a parking spot. There is a restaurant, gift shop, bathrooms and a coffee stand so we got in line to get coffee and hot cider before taking our pictures of the waterfall.

I don’t think there is ever a time of day when Multnomah Falls isn’t busy so be prepared to be clustered with a bunch of others at all times. We walked up to the bridge snapped some pictures there and then kept on the trail along the switchbacks. We were going to try and make it up to the top of the Falls on the trail. There’s a few more waterfalls as well but our time was slowly dwindling down. I think we made it to 7 of the 11 switchbacks.

We then made it into Portland for some lunch at Saint Burrito. Saint Burrito is in a Food Truck pod near Laurelhurst Park in- between SE Ankeny and E Burnside. I had forgotten how difficult it was to find parking in Portland, which is why when had lived in Portland I had always road a bike. I was so happy that Saint Burrito was open and a busy day at the truck pod as well. I said hello to the owner, chatting with him about the good old days when I would go there three days a week. we ordered and sat down and enjoyed our filling Vegetarian Burritos. Those suckers are filled and kept both of us filled for two very long flights. And that’s is why I would go there three days a week.

We obviously had to get ice cream after at Fifty Licks next door as well. I mean who would I even be if a day of sightseeing didn’t end with ice cream.

We made it with just enough time to change into our uniforms cram everything back into our suitcases and head back to the airport.

What can you do with 17 hours in a place?

With love,

jess

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