America: Day 30 – The beginning of Portland

Today I drove from Portland out to Eagle Creek, in the Mt Hood National Forest. It was really gorgeous, with well-maintained trails that rose above the creek until there were sheer cliffs going up on one side and down to the creek on the other. At one point there was a sprinkle coming off an overhanging rock that you could stand under and look up at, only occasionally getting wet. Near the start of the hike there was also a suspension bridge that was fun to walk on. I was hiking with my hosts’ housemate, a late-20s PCA in massage school. We paused and turned around at Metlako Falls, a little stream tumbling down across the path and down a ravine. I commented that the middle of running water feels like a magical place, where evil spirits can’t get to you or something. The drive to the creek took us past Multnomah Falls, and gave us good views of both Mt Hood and Mt Saint Helens. It was a great way to spend my first afternoon in Portland.

Speaking of spending time in Portland, there’s an observation I’ve had about the Northwest that I would like to share with you. In both Seattle and Portland, there is an astoundingly higher number of VW Buses than there is on the east coast. I am curious to see whether the trend continues in San Francisco.

After we got back from the hike, I walked from where I’m staying near Mt Tabor to Belmont, a cute little neighborhood where I found a cafe and dinner. Goals for the remainder of my stay here (until Friday): hang out in Powell’s Books, explore downtown, and hang out with a good contradancing friend who I recently discovered lives here.

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