© 2011 notworkrelated - David Rutter & Helen Roscoe. All rights reserved. notworkrelated_usa_roadtrip_portland_18

USA – Road Trip – Portland – 15th-16th September

This was our last morning in the Olympic National Park, we really enjoyed our travels through the peninsula and drove onwards towards Astoria. En-route we stopped off at Long Beach for some more foggy beach views. We had been given an Oregon coast guide by a friendly camper and through this found the Astoria Coffee House, we drank chai and wrote blog posts swell as editing the images from Canada. This place is very cool indeed, we felt like we’d stepped into a bit of a retirement spot and yet the coffee house was really funky and quirky. We also enjoyed a good lunch here, if you’re passing through it’s worth a stop.

We decided to head straight to Portland at this point, the weather wasn’t really up to much on the coast and we felt Portland would offer a nice contrast to the coastline we’d been travelling along. In total we were driving for around 6 hours but we weren’t speeding and had a few stops as well as encountered the Portland rush hour traffic. It was tricky to find a camping spot for Portland but managed to locate one around an hours drive heading east from Portland at Oxbow State Park. We arrived pretty late and were confused as to the location of the campground but after reassurance from the park ranger we drove down into the park and set up camp in the dark, ate and got an early night. We did enjoy the showers though – the best yet!

The following morning we were up early and after another shower we set off into Portland deciding to park at the Convention centre as it was considerably cheaper than parking centrally and we were on the right side of town for getting back to Oxbow. We paid $6 for a full day of parking and walked across the Steel Bridge making our way to downtown. The light was pretty dull to start with so we were holding out for better weather later on. We  had a few things on our list of Portland sights and the first was to find a Scrumptown Coffee House, thanks to the Lonely Planet for the insight. This place is very cool indeed, it has a great atmosphere and space, and some good photography on the walls. It’s labelled the best coffee in town and Helen seemed to agree or rather it was the best coffee she’d had for some time! Helen also thought she’d spotted Alan Rickman, she was determined that it was him (we later googled and realised it so wasn’t!).

After coffee we ventured out towards the Pearl Disctrict via downtown and picked up a Portland Art Map from the Art Museum which detailed all of the smaller art galleries in town, of which there are lots! On our way we found Powells Bookstore, which is famous for being the largest independent bookshop in the world, it is huge! After some excellent street cart food costing $5 each, we started our art explorations. The gallery that stood out for us the most was the Blue Sky Gallery host to exhibits by Dana Popa, Laura Poitros and local gary Grenall. All of which were really captivating in the form of photography and video installation. A few other galleries worth mentioning are Blackfish and Laura Russo, the latter gallery had a very helpful lady front of house who wrote down hikes in the Columbia River Gorge area.

On our way back to the car we crossed over the Steel Bridge, this time the light was great and so we snapped away. It took us about 45 minutes to walk back to the car and then it was a further 45 minutes to get back to the campsite. When we did we went for a run, cooked our dinner and settled into out little tent once again.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f/2.0, Leica 90mm f/2.8, Zeiss 18mm f/4 ZM processed in Lightroom 3)

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One Comment

  1. Posted 25 Oct ’11 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    give our love to all US family

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