Day 23 - Portland, OR

Portland is pretty cool. As we drove around, I kept comparing it to a really big Willie Street.  And they legalized weed last week, so toss that in there for good measure.  It seems to be a pretty hip, trendy, and fit town surrounded by a bunch of natural beauty, so its got a lot going for it.

I snuck out a little early to hit up Pip's Orignal Doughnuts.  I grabbed a dozen of these little pieces of wonderfulness and brought them back to the hotel.  I am not crowning anything best-ever, but damn, these were FINE little doughnuts.  The Nutella drizzled, raw honey dipped sea salt sprinkled 'Dirty Wu' was a special fave.  Well done, Pip's.

If Day 19 in Yellowstone was geothermal feature day, then today was waterfall day.  We trekked out of town into the Columbia River Gorge area.  The scenic byway that goes along the river is just a stunning piece of road and every couple of miles you can get out and hike up or down and see a magnificent waterfall.  

As an aside, we have ended up finding out about multiple other families travelling in various ways around the country this summer and we happened upon one of them at the start of our day.  The Wendt's are friends of family from McFarland, and Tana Wendt spied us in the parking lot of our first stop!  We got to meet Tana, her husband and three grown kids.  Great to meet them, great family and totally crazy to come across people from one town away from us when we are 2000 miles away from home.  Nice to meet you, Wendt's - safe travels for the rest of your trip, and keep your Mom in check with that selfie stick!

 Our first hike was Multnomah falls which is the top spot in the area due to its amazing waterfall.  The crowds confirmed its popularity it because it was pretty congested.  As we got higher up towards the top, however, it thinned out.  After a strenuous climb, we ate lunch 600' above the floor below.  Interesting that two days in a row (Space Needle and Multnomah Falls) we were about the same height off the ground.  Today was a lot more strenuous to get to, of course.

We made three more waterfall stops and logged about 9.5 miles today (and over 125 miles on the trip so far according to Kim the Fitbit Master).  Pretty good day, and the hiking went much better than it had last week.  The temps were about the same in the high 80's/low 90's, but we're slowly getting in better shape and we are also at about 80' of elevation vs. 8000' where we were when we struggled in Yellowstone.

We came back to the hotel for a little dinner (chow included at Staybridge Suites - thanks!) and then headed into Portland to get a little more city feel.  We stopped at Salt & Straw in the Northwest District for some ice cream.  I won't be crowning anything best-ever, but damn, that was some good ice cream.  I had the Goat Cheese Marionberry Habenero.  Awesome.  Kim tried their signature Sea Salt Caramel and that was crazy good as well.  If we weren't walking and hiking so much, we would weight 400 pounds by now...

We topped off the day with a Tram ride.  They have a nifty lift that goes up and back over their South Waterfront area.  Cool ride and beautiful view of the city from up-top.

Well done, Portland.  Thank for the good time.  We're continuing our long move south tomorrow with a little more National Park awesomeness.  Cheers.

- Jim

Pip's Original, Portland OR.  Hot out of the fryer.  Doughnut heaven.

Multnomah Falls, Columbia River Gorge Area, OR.  Kim, Mag and MK are on the bridge with their hands raised.

Me and the girls, Bridal Veil Falls, Columbia River Gorge, OR.

I can't remember which falls this was.  But it was pretty.

Menu boards at Salt & Straw, Portland, OR.  Yes, please.

The trams that run above Portland.