There’s been a lot of “lasts” lately. The last time seeing this friend and that. Last cooked meal in this kitchen. Last hike from my home in Portland.
They aren’t real lasts, of course. I’ll be back this summer, after all, just not as a resident, and not for terribly long. But knowing that it’s the last time you’ll do something brings a certain awareness and appreciation to it. You know how you look back at things, people and experiences in your life after they’re gone and wish you could relive them one more time? What if, the last time you did something, you knew it was the last time?
Continue reading “Leaving Portland: Last Go-Rounds”
The filing cabinet went away this morning, sold on OfferUp right after I finally organized its contents.
Gave me several laughs, actually. The sightseeing brochure from Norwich, England was still in there from about 2015 because … why, exactly? Same thing for the car insurance documents — from my previous car. And an expired Food Handlers Card.
Continue reading “Leaving Portland: It’s Getting Real”
Not sure I’m gonna make it to Saddle Mountain for the flowers this year. Might have to choose between that and Dog Mountain. I leave two weeks from Monday, and next week is my second Covid shot, and the week after that should be chaos, and pretty soon … yeah, I’m running out of time.
Continue reading “Leaving Portland: Looming Regrets”
In the 24 years I’ve lived in Portland, I have had 12 different addresses. So I know well the application of The Test. And as I prepare to leave for good (ish), I’m about to start applying it in a very real way.
I don’t mean a test of character, or planning, or searching for a place, or any mental acumen. I mean the test that determines whether I keep a thing or not.
Continue reading “Leaving Portland: Applying the Test”
There are very few people who always make me happy. Rick Steves is absolutely one of them. He’s also something a guru to me.
There’s just something impossibly endearing about a guy who is an absolute goofball and makes no attempt to either hide it or change. “In my early days of touring,” he has said, “I used to worry about being a cultural bumpkin — but now I embrace it. After all, I travel to learn.”
Continue reading “I Love Rick Steves”
When I think back on my travel writer days, my breakfast in Baker, California always rises to the top.
It was just one of those pieces I felt good about at the time, like I had really gotten the essence of the experience and the place. And it was, for all its goofiness, a pleasant memory, road-tripping around the desert with my first serious girlfriend.
Continue reading “Travel Story: Breakfast in Baker”
If you’re looking for hikes in the Columbia River Gorge that are packed with scenery but without the crowds, check out Mitchell Point. This is especially true if you want a view like Angels Rest — maybe better — but can’t even find parking there.
Continue reading “Portland Hikes: Mitchell Point is a Less-Crowded Alternative to Angels Rest”
On February 2, 1998, I rode a bus into New York City, then left on a train. I was 31, rambling around the east coast visiting friends, spending money I had made the previous summer working in Alaska.
And I was writing.
Continue reading “Travel Story: Two Hours in the City”
Today I flipped the calendar to May – quite literally a normal event, except that for me, May 2021 will be the last month I live in Portland, Oregon.
It will also be the last month I technically live anywhere. The last month, at least for a year, that I will spend in my home, surrounded by my stuff, hanging out with my friends, going to see my team play, hiking trails that I know, and basically knowing what each day is going to bring.
30 days. Then I’m gone.
Continue reading “Leaving Portland: Am I Excited?”
For years, people hiking the Oregon Coast Trail between Manzanita and Arch Cape via Neahkahnie Mountain and Oswald West State Park had to walk a couple miles on the shoulder of US Highway 101. No more, thanks to local nonprofit, citizen, government and volunteer efforts.
Continue reading “New Section of the Oregon Coast Trail: Manzanita to Neahkahnie Mountain”