Portland was on my radar for quite sometime, so I had to stay here and do some exploring. While I would have liked to stay a lot longer, I was on a time crunch, so I stayed 6 nights. I really liked Portland with its distinct neighborhoods, pedestrian and bike friendly roads and overall cool feeling. If it wasn’t in the wet Pacific Northwest, I could see myself living there. Except the traffic sucks, like every other big city.
I did my best to explore the city, though, to be honest, the traffic really got to me. Portland does have a great public transit system, but I didn’t partake as I didn’t have the time to ride the rails. Maybe if I stayed longer.
I did take a quick trip just northwest of where I was staying to check out the floating home communities on Hayden Island in the middle of the Columbia River. Living on a floating home has been one of those back of the mind dreams, so I check them out when I have the opportunity.
Columbia River RV Park
I stayed at Columbia River RV Park in northeast Portland, just west of the airport. It’s a commercial RV park, which I am not a huge fan of, but there aren’t any non-commercial options convenient to town, so I sucked it up.
Columbia River RV Park is a generic commercial campground, which means pretty close site spacing, a small patch of grass, and zero privacy. The airport noise can get pretty aggravating when planes are taking off to the west.
You stay here for the location to Portland and no other reason. Apparently I was so inspired by my stay, I took a grand total of one picture at the RV park. A shot out my front window of the rain.
Portland was the latest city I stopped at where I have co-workers. Portland just happens to be the home of four people I work with. I only was able to meet up with two of them – one briefly and a second several times to co-work and socialize.
Instagram is the main way I meet up with fellow nomads on the road. I
stalk follow people and then try to meet up with them when we are in the same area. I had been following Megg for what seemed like months. We always managed to miss each other. I was following her around Washington for a while, but we never connected. Finally we met up in Portland as she was staying there long enough that I was able to catch up. Finally!
I posted a single photo on Instagram showing the RV park I was staying at and I quickly got a response from Brittany and Nick who happened to be staying there also. I had no idea. That’s the magic of social media – things just seem to happen. I walked over to visit them for a bit, then we headed out to grab a bite to eat and a drink at a local brewery.
Portland is a bit of a food town, so I sampled some of the culinary goodness. I finally realized that I am not a donut guy when I visited the famous Blue Star Donuts and had a creme brûlée donut and some lemon donut thingy. Both were very meh, and I have vowed to never buy an overpriced donut again. We shall see if I manage to stick to this.
A better experience was had at Salt & Straw, a delicious ice cream purveyor. Yes, I am much more of an ice cream guy than a donut guy. No question!
I also did some food truck sampling (they call them food cart pods in this here city) and hit a couple of breweries. I have severely tapered off my brewery visiting, and tend to only go when I am with someone else. In this case, I went to one with my co-worker and her husband and visited another with Brittany and Nick.
One great thing about where I was staying was the close proximity to the Marine Drive Bike Path, a paved multi-purpose trail that goes right along the Columbia River for quite a ways. I rode it a couple of times, enjoying the great views of the river and Mount Hood.