My wife M and I managed to have a break at the same time, so at the last minute we decided to put a road trip together. Destinations that we considered include Portland, San Juan Islands, and Vancouver, BC. After looking at various transportation and lodging options, we decided to travel to Portland and the San Juan Islands for this 8-day trip.
|Tram that travels between the two campuses of OHSU;|
After settling into our room and rolling our bikes into the garage. My friend Joseph from high school came by and took us to dinner. Since he is vegetarian also, he is familiar with the many vegetarian/vegan options available in Portland. After a short discussion, we decided to eat at Los Gorditos, which is a greasy-spoon, Mission-style taqueria with a full vegan menu.
|Great Vegan Cal-Mex food at Los Gorditos|
Joseph was kind enough to give us his run down of Portland after moving there from Seattle three years ago for a job. Although he prefers Seattle still, he does like PDX quite a bit. He drove us around and we got out the car and walk around the downtown and waterfront areas in the NW. We saw amazing food cart clusters, the long line at Voodoo Doughnuts, and the many folks out and about in and near the Esplanada and the waterfront park. The Willamette River and the several bridges over it provided great ambiance to the summer late dusk (it was close to 10 and it was still not dark out). By the time Joseph dropped us off it was past 10pm. We fell asleep pretty quickly after a long day of driving.
|riding along the river toward downtown|
|Food Cart Cluster|
We returned to Voodoo Doughnuts yet again after lunch, but after seeing the unrelenting queue, we decided to move on and check out other parts of the city. We rode across the Burnside Bridge, and rode to Hawthorne. We parked our bikes (great parking infrastructure!) and walked and checked out different stores. M. scored some vintage T-shirts at Redlight, and we decided to check out a tea bar where we can sit and read for a while.
The Tea Chai Te Too is located in Sellwood, which is south of the SE Portland. We rode to the river bank and followed a long (4 miles) rail-to-trail Springwater corridor to Sellwood. The trail is extremely well maintained and provide commuters and recreational cyclists a fast, safe, and pleasant way to travel between SE Portland and Sellwood. The front part of Tea Chai Te Too tea bar is housed in a former caboose. It even kept some original setup of the train cart. We ordered several different types of cool tea and read and dozed off for a couple of hours. We decided to eat at Los Gorditos again because it was simply too good.
Afterward, we crossed the Hawthorne Bridge back to the west side. As we exit the bridge (which has separate bike exit ramps) we saw the bike counter, which was showing "6267". Which shows the volume of folks traveling on bikes. We hung out on the Esplanade for a little longer as the sun was setting; folks were out walking and riding around. Portland reminded me of London with its many bridges on the Thames. The ride back to our BnB was very enjoyable, as the temperature has finally dropped to a comfortable level. It was a wonderful day in Portland!