Archive for the Portland Category

People watching

Posted in Hess, Mary Margaret, Matthews, Portland on June 4, 2007 by lenscapremoved

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            We stayed in Portland because it’s close to several Volvo dealers. I wouldn’t mind if we had to wait to get the car fixed just so we could hang out downtown again tonight. This place is loaded with characters. I haven’t seen odd people like this since I was in Barcelona.
Portland is the Barcelona of the United States, minus the feeling that you’ll get robbed around each corner.

            After only being downtown for about half an hour we were being harassed by the Portland Police. We were walking under a bridge and about 70 yards to the right there was about 30 or 40 homeless. A cop drove by and was looking over there as if he had gotten a call, and Ed side-armed a picture of the cop and just kept walking and laughed about it. We didn’t even think about it.

            I look back and the cop is pulling a u-turn. He starts following us and followed us for about a block and a half before asking Ed if he got all the pictures he needed. Ed tells him yeah he got everything. The cop followed us for another two blocks.

             I would have thought the police here would be used to stuff like that. Even LPD wouldn’t have pulled something like that. It’s a perfectly legal shot. You can take any photo you want from a sidewalk and not be questioned. I think the cop was just a young gun trying to prove something.             After eating Chipotle (we’ve had them all across America now and I’m still convinced Lexington has the best) we explored a bit. There is a lot going on right now downtown. A good size carnival is set up along the waterfront and there is just tons of people walking around downtown.             We found a goldmine last night though. We walked up onto a block that was really like a courtyard. I’m not sure how else to explain it. There were stairs leading down to the middle. On one side a waterfall ran over each side of a bridge that led to a business of some sort. A Starbucks sat on the upper corner near another theater area. That’s where we hung out for about an hour and a half or so.

            I’m not sure we meant to. We noticed how cool the area was, but it may have been overlooked were it not for one man.   

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            Meet the philosopher. I’m not sure what his name was, but he probably wouldn’t have told us the truth anyways. I was on the phone with Mary Margaret when he first came up to Ed and Elliott. I thought he was trying to show them magic tricks because he pulled out two small cups and some string. I just figured he was a bum.

              But that’s what made the guy cool. Ed said he never asked for anything. He just started talking. After I got off the phone I talked to him a bit and he was a pretty intelligent guy, just a bit too inquisitive for his own good. He could almost be considered a conspiracy theorist.              The guy would be talking to us about what he had done or how he didn’t know if he wanted coffee or a cigarette then he would say something to cut himself off.             “So I did a lot of thinking down on the waterfront and now I wish I had taken advantage of the opportunity I had. I dropped, well, I’ve not liked that word lately. Dropped. It’s very negative. I don’t like to say it.”

            The guy had a lot to say, and most of it didn’t really click that well. Don’t be confused, we’re certain he was trying to get us to buy him something to eat or coffee. But he never came out and said it. It was always subtle. At least for food. He was pretty up front that he wanted “a glass pipe or one hitter” to counteract his coffee and mellow a bit.

             The guy made our night a little more interesting and possibly gave us a reason to stay out and enjoy the theater area. There were plenty of crazies out.

            Right next to this guy was another kid our age who was playing harmonica and preaching. But the strange part was he wasn’t speaking loud enough for anyone to see him, and when he played harmonica he would run and skip in circles around the theater.

            Portland is crawling with what you would call artsy kids I guess. Their style is amazing. I love how bold everyone is. Hopefully we’ll be able to get in and see some more of what this city has to offer.

            Who knows, maybe we’ll find the philosopher and be able to get some advice on places we should see.

What actually happened?

Posted in camping, Hess, oregon, Portland, Ventura on June 3, 2007 by lenscapremoved

                      So that first part was a bit rushed, and I’m not into editing and revising to fit the now. So here it goes again. 

           Right now we’re in Portland. We drove 350 miles from last night, when I typed that first part on a picnic table in Farewell Bend State Park. We met a guy, Rick, who started talking to us when he saw that we were about to play some Frisbee. He said he had a fun game. We played his game, which was made up of string, PVC pipe and golf balls. After about 10 minutes he was throwing a sales pitch to us. “I got an extra one of these in the car only 40 bucks!” Lame.

            Since we’ve had the opportunity to shower I’ve been taking advantage of it just to wash my knee. Sadly enough though I haven’t felt a shower necessary where I went six days without showering at the beginning of this trip. My hygiene has benefited from the knick in my knee just in that I’m having to shower. On top of the bathing I clean my knee three times a day with peroxide, Solarcaine and Neosporin (if you care).

            Elliott spotted us a hotel room (or Becky and Tom rather, I’m sure Elliott’s not paying the bill). Navigating Portland isn’t the most fun part of the trip I’ve had but I’ve driven more confusing cities, I think. When we first got here we parked in search of wireless to check on a Volvo service. That was a blast. This place has some characters. Just in the block where we were sitting we saw a lady in a bikini walk up to a guy and take off his shirt and they both ran across the street in their skin. Later she was walking down the center stripe by herself. Another group of girls where walking around in self fashioned shirts that had been torn and ripped to barely make bras, let alone shirts. Everyone who walked by had their own style. Maybe I can get some of Ed and Elliott’s photos.

            So the plan for the next two days is sketchy. We’re going to a dealer tomorrow, but we’re not sure if it’s going to be in Beaverton, Portland or Salem. I’ll just start calling places tomorrow and telling them what my car is saying and see how soon I can get in. If they say it’s probably not a big deal we’ll be heading south and I’ll stop in Santa Rosa, California.

             We’ve gone 3,500 miles roughly and I’m expecting well over 4,000 by the time we reach Ventura. We should arrive in three or four days if the car maintenance doesn’t throw us off. If that happens we’ll make the most out of it and enjoy the city, whichever one that is.