My Portland disguise (beard, bicycle, under-/un-employed status, old clothes and varying levels of hygiene) has given me the ability to move through the city without getting accosted by buskers and homeless while avoiding the condescending attitude of hipster waitstaff and baristas. My camouflage only lacks ink.
Actually, we have not met anyone with a condescending attitude. In fact, all along the Columbia River on the Washington side and into the city of Portland, people have been extremely friendly. Two days ago were offered a ride to Portland by two girls in an old Subaru station wagon that had broken down in the same gas station / mini-mart where the owner offered us a place to camp and told us about a fabulous camping spot further down the road.
Additionally, on the way to the Leatherman store, a couple on bicycles offered us their yard to camp. We would have jumped on the offer in a minute if Michael had not bribed us to get to Portland sooner with the promise of a hotel room.
A hot shower and a nice soft bed produce euphoric sleep. We awoke refreshed and ready for our first breakfast at the hotel’s complimentary breakfast buffet. I noticed glances from other guests as Sarah and I systematically worked our way through multiple plates of breakfast that included waffles, fruit, eggs, sausage, yogurt, and bagels. Mike was smiling as he ate, recalling the ravenous hunger produced from bicycle touring.
After breakfast, Michael set out the agenda for the next several days. It seems that Portland is at the confluence of several powerful forces that suck people in, making it difficult to ever leave. His Venn diagram explains the factors that allow Portland to exert its special type of gravity.
To begin to test this Set Theory, we pedaled to our first stop at ¿Por Qué No? Tacqueria for lunch. The tacos and horchata were gone before we remembered to take a picture. The consensus of WanderWheels and Michael (a lifetime member of the WanderWheelies Junior Auxiliary) was that the Pescado, Al Pastor, and Carnitas tacos were remarkable.
Sarah was debuting her Dora The Explorer purse that I found on the side of the road earlier in the week. Not only was she excited to use it but it matched a tiny house she fell in love with. Sarah’s dream is to live in a one room cabin (or tiny house). I fully support her big dreams of small spaces but we have a tacit agreement that it will be next to my three bay garage with a man cave apartment on top.
Later in the afternoon we made our way to Burnside Brewing Company for suds and grub.
We shared several excellent beers including Burnside Lime Kolsch, Smoked Rye IPA, and Marionberry Berliner-Weisse. The Sweet Heat was a different story and was notable for spiciness and heat imparted by the Jamaican Scotch Bonnet peppers. It was a bit overpowering and limited its drinkability.
Wash it down with a Christmas in July Ale? ¿Por qué no?
Our final stop for the evening was the Base Camp Brewing Company where the excellent S’more Stout and Rauch the Boat rounded out the excursion.