I’m trying to pack in as much of Portland and Oregon as I can as my time here dwindles. Last Thursday was probably our last day of summer with the forecast going up to 27C (95F I think). I debated between going to the coast or to the mountains. I opted for Trillium Lake by Mt. Hood. There was an easy 2-mile hike around the lake. Oregon is so beautiful, I will miss it a lot. Hopefully I’ll get in a trip to the coast, too.
I wonder if Portlandia has reached Europe? I’ll tell them it’s a documentary.
I’ve become quite the Oregonian and Portlander in the last ten years. I’m a strict recycler, use my compost bin, shop at Whole Foods, drink Stumptown coffee, etc. I love farmer’s markets and picking fruit on Sauvie Island. I’m accustomed to seeing people riding unicycles, panhandlers with cell phones, pet goats, and waxed handlebar mustaches. However I still love shopping at Target and Costco. I don’t physically do the composting, I just put the scraps in the bucket and leave that yucky stuff to the city to make into nutrient-rich soil. Oh, and I don’t own a bike or dog and I don’t drink much beer.
That said, as of September 9, 2013, I signed up for a Portland Juice Press juice cleanse. Re: All juice meals. I did the Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead 15-day juice cleanse last year. That was a lot of work and required a lot of discipline. I made all the juices and meals myself. As a result, I lost 9.5 lbs and felt energized and refreshed. No mid-afternoon sluggishness. PJP offers cleanses from 3-6 days and delivers a box of 6 juices to your doorstep bright and early every morning. Right now I’m on Day 2 of a 4 day cleanse. I would not describe any of the juices as being “delicious” except for the hazelnut-date-vanilla juice which you drink before going to bed. Beets and kale are the heart of a lot of juice cleanses and I’m not a fan of them. I’m not hungry and aside from a sweet and sour food craving, probably from the smell of Panda Express at the mall today, I’m feeling good. Portland experience: check!
*note: photo taken by Andrew Hall for PortlandBridges.com
Is it possible to miss a place you haven’t left yet? It must be, because that’s how I’m feeling these days. Ever since I knew I was leaving my job and Portland, I started feeling nostalgic and more appreciative of things this town and the Pacific Northwest has to offer. I’ll leave Nike for another post so I can gather up some photos.
While I was on sabbatical in May/June, I visited a lot of local attractions I hadn’t seen or fully explored. I went to the Chinese Gardens, hiked up Multnomah Falls, and drove up to Seattle. There’s still so much more to do–Mt. St. Helens, the coast, Trillium Lake etc. Portland is a small city and it’s so easy to live here. Parking is cheap, gorgeous summers, and Pacific ocean and mountains closeby. Yes, there’s the rain and plenty of it. I can’t say I’ll miss the gray dreariness of winter when it can rain every. single. day.
Then there’s the FOOD!! Portland’s food scene is incredible. I wholly support the farm-to-table, locally sourced thing going on here. Any diet you can be on–gluten free, vegan, vegan with meat, all juice (more on this later), etc you can find without the bat of eye.
Last week after I got my hair cut at Gold & Arrow, I was going to grab lunch from one of the food carts on SW Alder. Specifically, Nong’s Khao Man Gai but I was stopped by Tasty and Alder first. It was on my short list of places to try so I walked in and grabbed a stool at the counter. An older woman and her husband came by but only she stayed to eat. I ordered the Korean Fried Chicken (so-so) and she got the Radicchio Salad with Bacon Lardons (very good). I know this because she offered me some. We did a little food trade and got to talking. Her name is Janet and she looked to be about 60+ years old. We talked about our favorite restaurants in Portland and I told her about my move to France. She told me about her husband who was waiting for her to finish eating and she was eating very fast. He had a portion of his throat removed and is unable to swallow food. The things you learn from strangers! As she paid up and rushed out the door, she exclaimed loudly, “Have fun now!”.
On August 23-24 I ran my 7th Hood to Coast with the Nike Design Team. I was originally a co-captain but backed out once I knew I was leaving Nike. Two days before the race, someone had to withdraw and I was called upon to join the team. I figured, why not? A last hurrah of sorts with Nike and Oregon. Plus I got a really rad t-shirt.
For those of you who don’t know, Hood to Coast is an annual running relay race just under 200 miles. 12 people per team running continuously 3x each from Mt. Hood to the Pacific Ocean in Seaside, OR. 1000 teams, two vans per team, 6 runners per van. That’s a lot of runners on the course!! For me it’s a love-hate relationship with H2C. I love the feeling of accomplishment, camaraderie (shared misery), and eating lots of snacks I’d never otherwise eat. I hate using the Honey Buckets, lack of sleep, and anxiety of traffic jams at the exchange points. Somewhere along the way, everyone thinks, “why am I doing this??”. Then there’s the pain–oh, the pain. Your legs will cramp up and be incredibly sore. This year wasn’t too bad for me but in past years, I could barely get out of the van when we returned to Nike WHQ.