Portland Oregon is a historic city with a modern vibrant feel, awash with hip bars, full of quality beers from dozens of microbreweries.
Trendy restaurants are everywhere, from neighbourhood strip malls to the bustling city centre, with every type of food cooked in every conceivable way.
It also has the biggest book store (Powell’s Books) in the world, spanning several floors and takes up an entire city block.
People friendly. Dog friendly. Weather with four seasons, and miles upon miles of hiking trails within the city limits. Outwith Portland, Oregon has some of the greatest outdoors in the USA.
Also known as The City of Roses, or Bridge Town, we stayed in Portland for seven nights. A basement apartment in the Southwest hills of the city, close to Council Crest Park and within walking distance (if you’re a keen walker) to Oregon Zoo, Washington Park and the local neighbourhood of Hillsdale.
After a couple of days we returned the car to the rental company and enjoyed our proximity by foot, and for the next few days, hiked the trails closeby, with Hamish running free until his heart’s content – though technically the law stated dogs must be leashed.
We walked to the Zoo and took the free trolley round Washington Park, relaxing in the Rose Garden (sadly, the Japanese Garden was under construction) before returning home the same way.
During our visit we met up with some new family members, Larry, Emily and their two cracking huskies (Jada & Nakee). We enjoyed breakfast (at the Tin Shed Garden Café) Hamish sampling their dog menu, before setting out to discover some of the awesome sights along the Columbia River, including the amazing Multnomah Falls, cascading off steep cliffs at over 600ft.
We also stopped off at the beautiful Vista House at Crown Point, posing for photographs with the dogs and taking in aerial views of the colossal Columbia River, flanked by stunning forest covered hillsides and not so distant mountains.
After a long day of sightseeing, we enjoyed supper, and gorged ourselves on ice cream from the popular Salt & Straw Ice Cream shop, where customers queued around the block to sample the many different and delicious flavours.
With daylight fading, there was just one last opportunity to drive up to Pittock Mansion, sitting at 1000ft, to enjoy the sunset and panoramic views of the city.
A brilliant but tiring day, one we most probably wouldn’t have been able to achieve without the local knowledge of two wonderful people.
We would meet again later in the week, dining at the Lucky Labrador bar/restaurant to say au-revoir, until we meet again. Larry and Emily giving us one last tour of downtown Portland.
With a memorable trip to Portland almost complete, we decided to travel south to California rather than north towards Seattle and Canada. The impending autumn and winter making our decision a little easier.
And with that, another car journey would ensue, and the culmination of our US tour being San Francisco.
Once more, the road beckoned.