Oakland to Portland, OR: Coast Starlight

Aboard the Coast Starlight again, we are less comfortable. Perhaps because the trips are shorter, the seats appear to have shorter leg rests, thus causing our feet to be swollen. The view, however, was spectacular. We see Mt. Shasta in the distance.

Below is Lookout Point, OR.


The rest of Oregon is exactly how I’d imagine it: lush, tall trees, mountains, rivers. I want to visit Klamath Falls one day.

We arrive in Portland in the afternoon. It’s suburban, clean, but diverse. There are bicyclists all over. It’s cloudy but warmer than I expected. Below is a view of Willamette River near Union Station, which has a nice bike/jog trail around it.

It is a long walk from Union Station to the red line, but we figure out a shortcut the next day, via the green/yellow.


After settling in at a much better budget hotel, Econolodge, we head over to Laurelwood Brewery via the metro bus.

The food hit the spot. Parmesan Fries, Roasted Chicken over vegetables. The beer is superb.

We watch some baseball–our hometeam, the St. Louis Cardinals are playing. Over at the next table, we are a little disturbed by the trio raucously playing a “White Trash” board game. We suppose. Afterward, we walk to another bar to play billiards. The crowd was small, but the music was good.

The next day, we take the metro train to the Oregon Zoo on a very cold morning (55 degrees). We discover that the zoo is located 453 feet above the city’s center. The sun appears around noon, and we enjoy the rest of the day. We head downtown and walk. We get Mexican food from a truck and converse with a male, Filipino flight attendant, who asks if we are students here.

Later in the afternoon, we try Bailey’s taproom. The vibe is chill, and the beer selection was plentiful.

We meant to go to saucebox across the street, but it looks a bit too bourgeois for us. We discover a gay pub nearby called Embers. I was hesitant. There were American Flags on the windows. What finally convinced me were the drag queens standing outside smoking. The place was friendly, and the music was neosoul, underground hip-hop. We were pleased. Because it was cash only, we had to leave to find an ATM.

A young, heterosexual, couple stops us to ask if there was a Subway around. (Perhaps we looked like locals.) We thought they meant, subway, the underground trail system, but they were hungry. We point them to a diner we saw near Bailey’s taproom. They are thankful.

We walk around some more and discover Someday lounge, which had amazing djs playing underground hip-hop. The locals were friendly and open. The vibe felt exactly right. We are officially sold on Portland.


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