Starting a Journey from Portland

Portland, Oregon is one of my very favourite cities. It suits me perfectly. It has a wonderful vibe, it’s easy to walk around, it’s got mountains nearby, excellent coffee, places it’s actually easy to find vegetarian and vegan food. Showing someone else around a place I love is always slightly awkward though. What if they don’t love it as much as I do? Thankfully Alkis had an excellent response and is now hooked on Portland too.

I only had two days there, mostly to accomplish preparatory errands before heading to the mountains.I had the very best of intentions (I even made a list, which may be shocking to some!) and went straight to the shop for the additional items I needed to pick up for the trip to the backcountry. It all went downhill when I reached the airbnb and looked up acro classes. There was a jam in a park a few miles across town, and it was a beautiful sunny day. I set out on a walk… I made sure that I went via the Goodwill to pick up a $5 dress so that I could do laundry the next day, and reached Laurelhurst just as Alkis called to say he’d arrived. No acro today! I started running. 3 miles later, I arrived at the MAX stop to take me back to the airbnb. It had seemed like such a good idea at the time. What a welcome for my friend, arriving a good 20 minutes after him, sweaty after running in the 90 degree heat. Still, after sharing journey stories and shopping lists we wandered into Mississippi for some dinner. The beach bar hadn’t seemed appealing until we learned (whilst perusing the cocktail menu – priorities!) that the whole menu was vegan. Jackfruit nachos and avocado tacos and coconut mojitos all around. It made a wonderful change from Houston where even the tofu dishes come with either beef or pork!

The second day wasn’t amazing for following intentions either, though we did somehow get all of the errands done. We got sidetracked by Portland! Food carts between Alder and Washington. Coffee. Fountains!

Portland is such a joy in summer. It’s possible to walk around the whole day and never see anything remotely resembling a tourist attraction, but see a thousand things that interest me. I’ll be back.

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