Portland Schmortland – Beaches Save The Day

I really enjoyed my couple of days in Seattle. It was entertaining, exciting, electric. If you wanted to look at the Washington-Oregon configuration as a body, I would think of the Seattle, WA part as the head: Cerebral, evocative, interesting. Portland, Oregon would be, ummm, like an impacted colon: Crowded, dirty, with very little movement.

Sorry for that visual, but I had the misfortune of trying to negotiate that painful tract for all of Monday with no success. Where Seattle’s crowds were part of a vibrancy that made the city seem alive, Portland’s traffic and crowds just ground everything to a halt and left me feeling bruised and spent at the end of the day.

There aren’t any pictures to show you BECAUSE I COULDN’T FIND ANYTHING WORTH TAKING A PICTURE OF! I spent about three hours downtown trying to find a couple of interesting spots but finally just gave up. Portland makes it clear that they don’t want any vehicles downtown. All two-way streets have been made into three lanes – two of which are used by trolleys and buses which only leaves the one skinny lane for cars. There’s construction on about every third street which forces you (since everything is now one-way) to turn. And then turn again. And again. I truly felt like I went around the same four blocks five times before finally making an illegal right turn to escape.

I tried to head south to McMinnville where they have an Air & Space Museum that houses Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose. But all the roads leading OUT of Portland were clogged with traffic. It took me an hour to go 10 miles south of town and this is even before rush hour traffic. I gave up on that also since I wasn’t going to make it to the museum before it closed. Good grief!

So, I went to a movie. In Vancouver, Washington – across the state line from Portland. No way was I going back into that town.

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On Tuesday, I had a reunion with a cousin (Dennis) who I hadn’t seen in over forty years. He and his lovely wife, Deborah, live in Nehalem, on Oregon’s Pacific Coast. It was a fine scenic drive out to their town and, on the way, I stopped in Cannon Beach to take some pics of some outstanding shoreline:

Awesome, huh?

There were a lot of these behemoths around every bend.

The distant shoreline wasn't bad either.

Some really breathtaking views

I had a very enjoyable visit – catching up on family that I haven’t seen in many years. I even got to meet their backyard buddy:

So, the nice day I had on Tuesday rescued me from the painful Monday. I’m heading toward Idaho tonight – starting the trek back east. Glad to be getting out of the cities and onto the backroads again. I think Alaska got to me – man, do I hate those crowds!

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Today’s Travel: 256 miles

Total Travel To Date:  9,542 miles

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