We spent so much time in and around you I felt it necessary to formally say goodbye.
The Columbia River Gorge was spectacular. The vistas were as breathtaking as the headwinds that forced us to pedal, just to keep from blowing backwards.
Along the Gorge, I was surprised by the different micro-climates that we experienced. For example, one section of the Gorge could be so dry that nothing was green. A moment later, after rounding an outcrop, water was flowing down a wall of lush greenery, where moss clung to everything not moving.
The people we met along the way were all friendly. We had countless offers of camping space from cyclists we met on the bike lanes into and out of the city.
Speaking of bicycling, the city definitely supports and encourages the activity. It seems that every street has bike lanes and separate bike paths allow a cyclist to traverse the city without worrying about traffic. There are even bicycling specific traffic lights for turns and crossings.
We never had a bad meal while in the city (sushi, tacos, English pub grub, ice cream, etc.) and the beer offerings were as delicious as they were diverse (from coffee infused, to berry flavored, to scotch bonnet pepper additions).
A Voodoo Redo was in order, even after my gag reflex was tested. Before Ron returned home we were inexplicably drawn back to Voodoo doughnuts.
The ink was also impressive. It seems that if you plan on living in the city, having a tattoo is a prerequisite. Finding a person without a tattoo became a game unto itself. It was therefore ironic to find a girl with a full sleeve (ink covering from the wrist to the shoulder), where the design was formed by the absence of ink.
Finally, your panhandlers are a different breed altogether. On our first visit to Voodoo doughnuts we saw a youngish guy, rooting through the trash to retrieve a partially eaten doughnut. Midway into the first bite of his delectable half eaten bacon maple bar he answered his smart phone.
Outside of a grocery store, another guy was asking for change. He also answered a smartphone when it rang, possibly being notified of his doughnut order was filled. Maybe there’s an app to alert the user of prime panhandling site vacancies. I wouldn’t know. I can’t afford a smartphone.
Portlandia, maybe I need to procure a smartphone, panhandle a bit, and get a tattoo to fully appreciate all you have to offer. For now, I’m satisfied to simply say goodbye and promise to return, because you are awesome.