Last Tuesday, I got into Portland just before noon. I had failed to print the directions to Gaile and Doug’s but I managed to get close and then I called Gaile and she guided me the rest of the way there. After I unpacked, we took off for the Corbett Fish House for lunch, then parked down near the waterfront and rode the tram up to OHSU to see the view. It was pretty clear and we could see snow-capped Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helen pretty clearly. We then rode back down and took the trolley around town, getting off once to get some coffee. We met Doug back at the apartment and had dinner there.
Wednesday was supposed to be a nice day, so Gaile and I set out for the beach. We went to Cannon Beach and Ecola State Park. Sadly for Gaile, both places she knew of in Cannon Beach which have gluten-free food are closed on Wednesday, so alas no GF pizza or GF reuben. We went the safe route and packed some tuna salad, cheese, rice crackers, carrots and apples and enjoyed our lunch in a little park. We were lucky enough to see a pair of eagles right over the parking lot when we pulled into Ecola. There were also two elk grazing on a hillside near the parking area. After a beautiful day, we headed home to meet Doug and we went out to Deschutes. I had a Belgian beer there called “Streaking the Quad”. Fortunately, I didn’t drink enough of it to consider streaking the quad. Gaile asked for their GF menu and we ordered a half-dozen buffalo wings to start. I had a pizza with pears, goat cheese, arugula and prosciutto. After dinner we shopped at Powell’s Books for a while. Barely scratched the surface, but I can only carry so much home.
Thursday, Doug had managed to get the day off and we went to the Columbia River Gorge. We had much nicer weather than D. and I did a couple of years ago. On the way out, we noticed quite a few vans from media outlets in a parking lot alongside I-84. We figured something must have happened, but we didn’t find out until then next morning that a hiker was lost out overnight. Fortunately, he was o.k. Unfortunately, there have been a couple of fatal falls lately. We stopped off at Vista House which we knew was closed, but the view from up there was still nice. After that, we headed up the gorge highway and stopped at Latourell Falls and walked the 2.4 mile loop. It was muddy, but nice and the spring flowers were beginning to bloom. After that, we stopped at a short walk in trail to Bridal Veil Falls. The falls was definitely worth the walk down to see it and the walk up and out. On the way out, we passed a couple of people and a woman asked us if that was the way down to the falls. I toyed with telling her that we didn’t notice or didn’t find the falls and Doug thought about telling her that the trail would lead to her doom, but neither of us are really that mean and we answered in the affirmative. As we left that falls, it started raining and it was raining pretty hard when we got to Horsetail Falls where a couple of years ago, D. and I hiked the loop trail and had a very sad lunch of PB&J that we had to make in the car because it was raining so hard. We got out and looked at the falls and then we headed for Hood River for lunch. I had a really nice portabella mushroom sandwich on ciabatta bread and Doug had chili with jalapeno cornbread at the Big Horse Brew Pub which was a favorite place from the trip that D. and I had there a couple of years ago. It wasn’t nice enough to sit outside last week. After lunch, we went to a wine tasting room and tasted some wine. We were sort of amused with the guy doing the tasting because he was having a great deal of difficulty reconciling the fact that we were not a couple. We took a couple of bottles back to Portland and I ordered some to have shipped home. Back at the apartment, Gaile made a wonderful curry of cauliflower, peas and leftover chicken with dosas and a selection of chutneys.
Friday, Gaile and I set off for the Willamette Valley for wine tasting. We went to about three different tasting rooms, but also lucked into a place that had Oregon olive oil and vinegars (including fig!) for tasting. Over wine at one of the wineries, we formulated a dinner to go with the wine we were tasting as summarized in the previous blog entry. Beer with the artichokes because they are wine ruiners and wine with dinner.
Saturday, we got up and had a leisurely breakfast and then headed down to the farmers’ market. Amazing produce, canned goods and bakery items. Probably meat too. After buying parsnips, spinach and rhubarb and leaving them in a cooler in the car, we walked toward the waterfront where the other market with a lot of crafts and art are available for sale. Then we tried to get to the Japanese garden and there wasn’t a good way to do it. We did go to the Forestry Museum and enjoyed the exhibits on chocolate and on forests across the world. Gaile made a great dinner. I’d thought we’d cook together, but there really isn’t room for more than one person in that kitchen.
Sunday after pancakes for breakfast, I was on my way. Happily all my travel was uneventful. Planes took off on time and landed early. Hopefully, I’ll come back and add some photos to this entry, but I’m not going to get to it tonight.