Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Two Weeks in Portland

We spent the last two weeks of August in Portland having a blast with local friends, RV friends and a San Diego friend passing through. We even had to replace a bolt that holds the leafspring to the frame on the 5th wheel...talk about a harrowing project for the two of us to tackle! But it all worked out in the end.

We love the McMenamins "chain"; it's a company that buys up historic buildings and revamps them into bars and restaurants, some with hotel rooms and spas and movie theaters. They fill these venues with art created by local artists that represents the history of the property. A walk through any of their historical buildings is a treat, add in a delicious meal and some of their own brews or wine, or even spirits and you've got a great afternoon. Our friend Kathryn from San Diego joined us at McMenamins Kennedy School (a former elementary school).





Boiler Room Bar, much of the decor is made from old plumbing pieces.



Kathryn joined us on a day trip up the Columbia River Gorge. Although we only drove about half of one side of the Gorge, we easily saw half a dozen waterfalls, and ended the tour with a tasty brew along the Columbia River at Thunder Island Brewing, and then dinner at McMenamins Edgefield (a former county poor farm).

View of the Columbia River from Vista House.

Latourell Falls, 249 ft.

Columnar basalt.





Latourell Falls, with crazy people at the top...

Looked like a scary descent to their resting spot!




Multnomah Falls upper level.

Hans, Lisa and Kathryn!

Bridge of the Gods with stern wheeler.

Veggie garden at McMenamins Edgefield.

Another day we toured Pittock Mansion. Built in 1914, the mansion was home to one of Portland's influential families. The last of the Pittock family moved out in 1958 and the house was heavily damaged by a major storm in 1962. When developers proposed demolishing the building (the last historic mansion still standing in Portland) to build a subdivision, a grassroots effort was successful in helping the city buy the property and refurbish it for the public to enjoy in 1964.

Pittock Mansion

City view from Pittock Mansion. On a clear day Mt Hood would hold center stage in the distance.

St. Johns Bridge

We enjoyed many other outings during our stay in Portland such as the Organic Beer Festival (52 organic brews to choose from!), several evenings of live music, and a visit with a surprise RV neighbor, Suzanne of Take to the Highway fame and her brother Don. We always enjoy a stay in this vibrant city, even though the traffic can be annoying.  ;-)

We've now moved on to Bend...a happy place for us! We'll see what kind of shenanigans we can get up to during our month in beautiful Bend!



21 comments:

  1. I too love Mcmenamins! Glad you had a good time in the Gorge. Those folks on top of Latourell Falls are crazy! (These are the people you hear about in the news when a tragic accident happens) And I see you liked Thunder Island Brewery enough for a return trip. :) Hope you're having fun in Bend - my daughter just accepted a job there and will be moving at the end of the month.

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    1. I had my heart in my throat watching them make their way to the top of the falls!

      Yeah, Thunder Island is such a perfect location for a post tour stop!

      Lucky you, soon you'll have a great reason to visit Bend regularly!

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  2. I'll never forget that feeling of surprise when I stepped out of the rig to grab the leveling blocks and heard my next door neighbor say, "Suzanne??"

    Thanks for the tip on McMenimans Kennedy School. We both had so much fun exploring the hallways. I would not have thought of it were it not for your suggestion. My only regret is that timing was not good to visit at the same time. Since this is the second time I we have been in this same park at the same time, I trust there will be another McMenamins opportunity one day!

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    1. Yes! It is funny that we've met up here twice unexpectedly, surely the next time we'll manage to actually spend some time together! Regardless, it was GREAT seeing you again!

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  3. Latourell Falls is now on our list to see next time we are in this area! Thought we'd seen most of the falls around here:) Love going to McMenimans Kennedy School. We took Sephira there before her heart operation to see "Dory" in the theater. (Of course we've been there for the beer and food):)

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    1. There is a nice 2 mile loop at Latourell and I believe it connects to other trails around there.

      We've seen a movie there years ago also. They are such fun sites!

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  4. We had a lot of fun during our two weeks in Portland this summer, too. Enjoy your month in Bend, and be sure to check out Bridge 99 Brewery. It turned out to be our favorite, and I think they have food trucks now.

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    1. Some time ago I starred Bridge 99 on my map, and now I remember it was on your recommendation! I think we are going there tomorrow!

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  5. The McMenamin's properties are so cool! We'll be in Portland in late September and you've inspired me to check out more of them. Looks like you had a blast in Portland. We're looking forward to meeting up with you guys in Bend in a couple of weeks. :-))

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    1. The McMenamins in Forest Grove is another good one.

      See you soon!

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  6. Great Portland visit! Love all the waterfalls! Gorgeous view from the mansion, too bad Mt Hood wasn't showing itself. How cool to have an unexpected meet up with Suzanne and her brother! Lucky you:) Looking forward to hearing all about your time in Bend.

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    1. We were fortunate to see the big mountains all the rest of our stay.

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  7. Don't know where to start...one of these days we have to get there! The art is amazing! The waterfalls are spectacular ! The greenery is to die for ! And local brews are the best ! What an awesome two weeks Lisa and Hans...

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    1. Portland is a pretty darn great for a big city!

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  8. That waterfall is amazing. What a fun and beautiful place. We had to bypass Portland, but I would sure like to go there and visit.

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    1. I think you two would love the Columbia River Gorge...but the city might drive you nuts! Memaloose State Park is supposed to be a nice place to stay along the Columbia Gorge, as well as Deschutes River State Park.

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  9. Great to learn about McMenamins. Doing good while doing well is my criteria for every company. They are on my list now. Are they strictly Portland? Half a dozen waterfalls in an afternoon would be fabulous. Those guys at the top must be the ones to whom nothing bad is ever going to happen. Either that or you can't cure stupid. Nice picture of the three of you. Glad Portland saved the Mansion. Too bad they let all the other ones go. Very informative and interesting post. thanks!!

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    1. McMenamins is all over the Pacific Northwest, but mostly in Oregon.

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  10. McMenamins sounds great, love all the art and fun structures. Will have to check them out when we make our way to Portland next year! Wonderful waterfall pics - did it take long to fill up your hand?? Nice catch of the stern wheeler at the bridge!

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  11. We will have to check out McMenamins. Maybe they should give you some kickbacks for the publicity. Once again you have shown us some great pictures.

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