Monday, July 4, 2011

Road Trip: Oregon Coast, Portland, and Mt. Hood

From Long Beach, Washington we continued south, hugging the coastline and shortly crossing into Oregon. Our first stop was Cannon Beach. We arrived nearing low tide, greeted by the stunning expanse of glistening, wet sand. The towering Haystack Rock dominated the landscape at one end, with gulls loudly circling its steep green slopes, which are also home to puffins and cormorants. Cannon was another salty wonderland for Parker. He romped up and down this beach with dogs of all breeds and sizes, excusing himself from the play sessions for brief swims in the chilly Pacific.

A new friend at Sellwood Riverfront Park
The next stop was Portland. We had a late lunch with Cynthia, a friend from Bates, and Parker enjoyed the company of her two dogs: Angus, the standard poodle and Kicks, a cute, little gremlin-terrier mutt. Cynthia, a baker, was off to bed early so we left to explore some more of the city (Southeast section) before meeting up with another friend, Eliza, for dinner. Parker indulged in yet another swim in this dog-friendly state, this time in the Willamette River at Sellwood Riverfront Park.

We are incredibly grateful to the Haas family for treating us to another wonderful dining experience, this time across the country at Bamboo Sushi. We couldn't have been happier with Eliza's selection. The restaurant is committed to serving only sustainable seafood, which made us savor every bite with additional appreciation. It's a good thing that Bamboo is over 3,000 miles from home because we'd be tempted to eat there far too often.

Mt. Hood in the distance, from the Ranger Station.
While I performed the second oil change of the trip in downtown Portland (Old Town), Amanda ventured to the Saturday Market on the waterfront (which runs on Sundays too). 

With the van freshly lubed, we set out in search of snow and had to look no further than Mt. Hood. Our launching point was the historic Timberline Lodge. The ski resort is still in full operation, with two lifts running and a number of trails and terrain parks open. There's more of a base there right now than east coast resorts had at peak winter season. 

Everything is above treeline at this elevation, so we simply headed up from the lodge on what may or may not have been the Mountaineer Trail, while Parker sprinted, bounded, and rolled his way across the deep snowpack. When we finally sought relief from the punishing sun of that shadeless, reflective glacial terrain, we returned to Timberline where I enjoyed a refreshing Mt. Hood Cloudcap Ale at the Ram's Head Bar while Amanda tried the local Rogue Root Beer on draft. I definitely look forward to returning to Mt. Hood with the gear and time to summit. Satisfied with this snowy July adventure, we again hit the road for a few more hours of evening driving.

A snowboarder dropping a large gap in the soft Hood snow.


  1. You're on your trip! Congratulations. It looks like the van is doing great. Glad you are enjoying the coast and mountains out here. Enjoy the sun for sure -- it doesn't usually shine like this a lot. We are still working on our van but hope to be able to do some trips by late this summer.

    Safe travels back.

    Joe and Dana

  2. That first picture looks like a scene from Goonies!

    See you soon!

  3. It very well MAY be the Goonies!

  4. Sounds like a great trip! I love your writing style :) I'd love to get this post featured in the blog section of the Mt. Hood (or Oregon Coast or Portland) page on Dwellable. If you're interested, please check out the "Add your post to this page" section of the preferred location page, or shoot me [inna at dwellable dot com] an email. Thanks!