Portland and Hood River, OR: June 27-July 1, 2013

Kurt and I recently returned from a 4-day trip to Portland, Oregon. Neither of us had been there before, and we were surprised to find that our visit coincided with an unusual heat wave in the Pacific Northwest (the average temperature for all 4 days was 90 degrees). I had been looking forward to some temperate weather but Kurt deals with the heat much better than I do, and we of course had a great trip regardless.

crossing the Burnside Bridge over the Willamette River

crossing the Burnside Bridge over the Willamette River

We arrived on Thursday and checked in at the Jupiter Hotel, a centrally located boutique hotel near the river. The hotel had chalkboard doors so I created a new mural for us every morning. After checking in, we crossed the river into downtown Portland and went to DeSchutes Brewery for food and drinks. It just so happened to be their 25th anniversary so we tried their special anniversary flight.

Once the drinking began, it did not stop. We drunk-shopped at Powell’s City of Books, visited the Tugboat Tavern, and sampled a Voodoo Donut as we stumbled our way back to the hotel. Our last stop was Burnside Brewery, where my favorite beer was the Rhubarbarian.

On Friday, we woke up ready for a good breakfast. I wasn’t up for walking very far in the heat before getting any food in my belly, so we went to the Doug Fir Lounge at our hotel. We spent the rest of the day walking around shopping, stopping at Rogue for some drinks, and grabbing tacos for dinner. Our last stop of the evening was Green Dragon, a bar noted for its 62 taps and extensive list of craft beers.

For Saturday, we rented a car to head out to Hood River after an insanely delicious breakfast at Pine State Biscuits (buttermilk friend chicken with cheese, bacon, and egg on biscuits with gravy, hashbrowns, and a spicy bloody mary). There were many scenic stops along the way, including a visit to the Vista Station overlooking Columbia River Gorge.

Columbia River Gorge

Columbia River Gorge

We went on some hiking trails near Lauterall Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and the gigantic Multnomah Falls.  The hike was very memorable and special for reasons I won’t get into here, but it was the highlight of the trip and a day I will never forget.

Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls

After we finished up hiking, we drove into the town of Hood River to visit Double Mountain Brewery, then took the scenic way back to Portland with amazing views of Mt. Hood. We stopped for dinner in Government Camp, a gateway to many ski resort towns. Back in Portland, we ended the night at Cascade Brewing Barrel House and tried their sour beers which are my new favorite thing ever.

Our Sunday breakfast was at Genie’s Cafe where I had a jalapeno bloody mary to go with my meal. Then we checked out the Saturday Portland Market (which is also open on Sundays) before driving about 15 outside of town to Edgefield Winery & Distillery. We had a nice time strolling the grounds, visiting the assorted pubs, ice houses, and tucked-away bars on the property. I would love to return there someday and spend a night or two at their resort so we could fully partake in everything there was to offer. After leaving Edgefield, we had our best dinner of the trip at Apizza Scholl’s before passing out in the hotel, blissfully worn out from several days’ worth of beer and delicious food.

enjoying a beverage at Edgefield's

enjoying a beverage at Edgefield’s

All good things must come to an end, so Monday morning we packed up our things, drew one last chalkboard mural, and had one last bloody mary at breakfast before flying back home to Chicago.


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