December 25th, 2005


day two // roadtrip

today was nice. I didn't get to hang out with anyone here in Portland (I need contact info for y'all), but I still had a good time wandering around downtown Portland looking at all the keen shops and parks and art and . . . Yeah, lovely city indeed. And it's in the little details. The fountains that are just on. No handle to turn or button to push, just walk up and take a drink. It's like the city is inviting you to stop a while and rest. Bus stops that are well lit, covered, full of useful info, and have ample bench space. Brick walkways and crosswalks that are made from REAL BRICK! Not just coloured cement with lines set in it to look like brick. This is the real deal, you can tell from the ones that are cracking. :)
So yeah, nice town, this. I got some pictures, but not enough. I'm hoping to take a few more tomorrow.

After wandering around Portland for 5 hours, I decided to head to the coast. I chose to take route 6. Those of you who have driven it are likely now snickering at my folly, I'll enlighten the others in the audience why. Route 6 is a beautiful scenic road. It cuts right through Tillamook Forest, beautiful large trees flank either side of the road as it winds roller-coaster style over and around the mountains. It is in a minor state of disrepair, sometimes being a little bumpy and often with markings that have all but faded away to nothing, but overall it makes for a most breathtaking drive. There are turnouts where you can stop to look at the scenery, which at one point includes a little waterfall (yes, pictures were taken).
This is what I thought on the way there. Comming back, add on the fact that it was pitch black (no road lights, and no moon/stars because of cloud cover), raining something fierece, and foggy (visibility reduced to 50' during the good parts). So comming back, I'm straining to find some indicator that I'm still in my lane, trying not to go flying off the road down some cliff, and doing my best to avoid hitting oncomming traffic. It gets better, I was passed by some locals at one point, and I decided that my best bet was just to follow their taillights. So now, on top of all the above joy, I'm doing 65 or in some places 70! This road has a speed limit of about 45-50 for most of it, 30 for a few turns that are particularly interesting, and here I am doing 70 when all I can really see with any certainty is the pair of red lights bouncing merrilly along in front of me.
Quite the experiance, that.

But that was all on the way back, while I was at Tillamook I decided that this little town had nothing for me today (*everything* was closed today), so I went a little further towards the coast and stumbled upon the Three Capes Scenic Drive. This is a most amazingly beautiful drive that I think everyone must take. You go past some breathtaking vistas that I simply have not the words to describe. The overwhelming beauty of it all makes the trip all worth it. I stopped at one point and walked down a little path to a cliff and found myself looking out over miles and miles of shoreline. Waves comming in beating the sandy coast, huge rocks jutting magnificantly out from the ocean off the shore, cliffs rising from the beach to stand triumphant against the ocean. It really is something else out there. Again, highly recommended (though I expect the locals have already seen it).

And that was my day. Now I'm back here in Salem for the night. I'll be stopping in Portland for a few hours again tomorrow. I plan to hit Powell's in the morning, but my lunch plans are open if anyone wants to recommend somewhere or perhaps join me for a bite to eat. I'm leaving Portland 'round 3ish in the afternoon, I'm expecting, so that's my timeframe. dotarvi, I think you said it was a three hour trip from Portland to your place? This should put me in your neck of the woods at about 6ish. Is that a good time or should I aim for a little later or earlier? My time is totally flexible and you are being kind enough to let me under you roof, so whenever would be best for you is what I want to aim for.

oh, and a note // roadtrip

Just so y'all know, I'm not checking my friends page while on the road. If there's anything that I should know about, or should involve me, just let me know and I can check it out. Comments here will be sufficient to alert me, or you can email me a link, or whatever (comments get emailed, so it all ends up at the same place).