Day 431 to 433 Vancouver to Portland and West Linn OR. – 22 Miles


20151114_133845The last evening before heading into Portland, John Nunn from the Seattle area sent me a message that informed me he was in my proximity. He wanted to introduce me to his friends, the Coopers. They lived in the Portland area and were helping me plan a preschool visit. Crystal and I had tossed clothes around the room in a haste while we readied ourselves for socializing. We left the room in disarray as we didn’t want to keep them waiting. Unfortunately someone had decided to wedge a compact car into the tiny sliver of a space in front of our truck and trailer. After a bit of maneuvering we inched out of the space and headed to the Portland Brewery and Taphouse. It was nice to have an evening out in the big city. Lighted bridges decorated the night drive.

20151113_200913John introduced us to Sheryl and Ian Cooper. Sheryl not only worked at a preschool in Portland, she also wrote a blog,, about preschool aged children. It was a brief snacking session with good conversation. It was great timing that John was in our area. He was even staying at his sister’s place in the same city. It just felt as if the stars had aligned for Crystal and me for most of this crazy adventure.

20151114_122102My eyelids struggled to stay open on the way back to the hotel. I crawled into the enormous bed and pulled the sheets over my body. The warmth began to accumulate under the blankets and my body fell into a deep relaxed state. I didn’t open my eyes until breakfast was about to end. I rushed down to fill up on eggs and waffles then rushed up to my room to squeeze out a couple more moments of relaxation.

20151114_122726Crystal and I had to go in two different directions that morning. Crystal planned to drop the trailer at my friend’s house a couple miles outside of Portland. She would meet me at the Westin once she lightened our load. I would navigate my legs over bridges and into downtown Portland. When I took off, a tiny ray of sun broke through the clouds. The forecast had predicted rain but it had not yet begun. I didn’t waste any more time and I took off. The trees and nature were no longer in my field of view. They had been replaced by large architectural marvels. I was once again in a large city. I never knew Portland felt so urban. Despite the concrete and steel setting, the people and adornments were anchored by nature. The run was short. I only had to run nine miles to get to the hotel. The light mileage caused me to arrive at the hotel before check in time. It meant I would explore the area a little bit. At the same moment, Crystal pulled up to the front just in time. She and I decided to drop the truck at a service station while we wandered around.

20151114_162357We had ordered new tires for the truck some time ago. For some reason the price in Oregon was so much cheaper. We realized that the businesses in Oregon didn’t charge sales tax. It made a huge difference. Crystal sighed in relief when we finally replaced our tires with ones made for all weather. It would keep her safe on the home stretch.

20151115_124048The Westin had taken care of us on several occasions. They always had such fantastic accommodations. The location in Portland had a great view and friendly faces. We didn’t have much time to relax in the meantime because we had made plans to have dinner at my friend Dave’s house. He had gone out of his way to get us a bunch of vegetarian food. I could smell the lasagna baking as I approached the house. It was the scent of tomato sauce and cheese. With the meal he had also purchased cheese bread and a very green salad. We were able to catch up on old times. He remarked several times, “I can’t believe you’re here.” He had watched the journey unfold from the get go. It felt like just yesterday that he was saying, “You’re 3000 miles away from me. You’re getting close.” He had sent me messages of encouragement along the way. To be sitting in his home was unreal for sure. We didn’t stay too late and I made plans to see him again the next day. I told him I would run right to the steps since his home was on my route.

We enjoyed the silence of the Westin. Being in the room was like being in a bubble; secluded and far away from the hustle of the city.

20151115_180644I woke up to raindrops on the window. They clung to the smooth surface despite the shining sunlight. It looked like I would have a bright dry day of running. I threw on some dry gear and laced up my shoes. The moment I stepped outside, the scene flipped. The rain began to fall. Homeless folks occupied the nooks where I sought shelter. After a few minutes scrutinizing my route, I took off and threw caution to the wind. I eventually made my way to a route by the river. The pathway was made from concrete that had a jutting pattern. I was fortunate that a real paved route spouted from that. I ended up at a dead end which added a few extra steps. The views of the river were calming and the rain lightened as I pushed forward. I found myself weaving through construction areas and out of commission bridges. At times I couldn’t differentiate my path from the main road. Speeding cars whipped past me on slippery asphalt. It was a couple miles of hazardous trek. When I reached Lake Oswego a sidewalk appeared and my nerves received a respite.

A warmed tray of veggie lasagna greeted me at the steps of Dave’s house. Dave took the time to heat it for me but I didn’t want to leave Crystal hungry at the Radisson. We wrapped the leftover tray and headed to the next hotel.

20151114_122434I stepped into the spacious suite and discovered a little gift basket waiting for me. The royal treatment we had received since we hit the west coast was pleasing. Our room overlooked a little lake and I also had a large sofa for me to prop my feet up and read a book. The adventure never seemed to disappoint.

20151116_154550I didn’t anticipate the rest days in the Portland area could get any better but the next day when we checked into the Hotel Monaco I knew I was wrong. Someone had told me it was the premier hotel in Portland. They had took pride in their hospitality that was for sure. Our room was funky and fun. The décor was hip with artsy paintings and prints on the furnishings. Another spread of treats had been laid out for us. My eyes were wide and my finger itchy to take photos. We had seen an entire block of food trucks the other day and Crystal had not had a bite all day. We decided to follow our noses and discover downtown Portland. Every day was a new adventure and it was time to explore. 20151116_174357

Leave a reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>