Thursday, April 6, 2017

From mountain to coast

My friend Corey flew in from New York City last Wednesday for a weeklong visit. He has been here before and I wrote about it in this post:
Corey is not a beer drinker, but occasionally he will have a pint with me
I met Corey at the airport around noon and we picked up his rental car, a brand new Subaru Crosstrek. After dropping off his luggage at the house, we had lunch at a Montavilla neighborhood spot, Tienda Santa Cruz. Afterward we stopped at a few dispensaries to stock up on supplies for the week. Later, we met Greg for drinks at Vintage Cocktail Lounge and ended up eating dinner there as well.
the wall of booze at Vintage
Since we've had a big winter in terms of snowfall, Corey couldn't resist heading back to Mt. Hood for some skiing. We drove up on a rainy Thursday morning; it started snowing just east of Sandy.
following a snow plow on Hwy 35
Thankfully, shortly after we arrived at Mt. Hood Meadows, the clouds cleared and the sun came out. I spent the afternoon in the lodge while Corey was on the slopes.
view of the Stadium Express lift from the lodge
After checking into our hotel in Government Camp, we had dinner at Charlie's Mountain View, then called it a night pretty early as it was still snowing at that elevation.
driving from Meadows to Government Camp
The next morning we were back at Meadows by 10 a.m. It was cloudy at the hotel, but it was sunny and clear at the lodge. While I resisted the urge to ski due to fear of getting injured (I've had hip and knee surgery since the last time), I did rent snowshoes and spent a total of four hours exploring the trails which I basically had all to myself.
snowshoeing on the Honeysuckle trail
The slopes closed at 4 p.m. so we started the 1.5 hour drive in light traffic back to Portland and were home in time to meet up with Greg for dinner.
this entree is called Three Amigos
I got up early Saturday morning to make a quiche so we wouldn't get hungry on the two hour drive to the coast. It rained most of the way to Cannon Beach but was just overcast and windy for the rest of the day.
Haystack Rock on Cannon Beach
We explored Haystack Rock at low tide, made a loop through Seaside, and stopped in Fort Stevens State Park to check out the wreck of the Peter Iredale.
the wreck of the Peter Iredale c1906
By 3 p.m. we had made it to Astoria and checked into our motel near the Megler Bridge. We walked to Buoy Beer for a late lunch / early dinner and watched the first NCAA semifinal game there. Afterward, we walked to the newest brewery in town, Reach Break, to taste some of their beers. By then the second semifinal (featuring the Oregon Ducks) was on, so we doubled back to Wet Dog Cafe and Brewery to enjoy more beer while we watched the game.
cargo ships at anchor
Breakfast on Sunday morning was at Pig 'N Pancake across the parking lot from our hotel. Even though I've lived in Oregon for almost six years, this was my first time to eat at the local chain. After loading up on chicken-fried steak, eggs, and yes, pancakes, we checked out of the hotel and drove up to the Astoria Column. Of course, it started pouring rain just as we left the hotel, but thankfully cleared up again when we reached the column.
Astoria Column
Greg and Corey climbed the stairs to the top for the 360 degree views, while I stayed down at parking lot level and took pictures. After meandering through the residential area filled with 100+-year-old homes, we stopped at Pier 39 to say hi to the sea lions.
As usual, they were hanging out on the boat dock, barking, fighting, and generally lying around doing nothing. When a big log floated by it caused a huge ruckus; I captured the sea lions' reaction in this video:
We drove east along the Columbia River, and crossed into Longview, Washington on the Lewis and Clark Bridge. Corey likes to play blackjack, so we stopped at The Last Frontier Casino in La Center. Luck was not on his side on this particular day, and soon we were heading south toward Portland.
view of Oregon across the Columbia
We got off at the Vancouver exit and drove down Main Street and around Esther Short Park so Corey could see the downtown area. Then we stopped at McMenamins on the Columbia to have a look at the just-below-flood-stage river.
I spotted this bunny in the parking lot
After crossing back into Oregon, we continued into downtown Portland and found a parking spot near Providence Park. We ate dinner at Thai Bloom, then had a quick pint at the Fred Meyer Stadium bar before walking to the stadium for the Timbers match. They ended up tying 1-1. After the match we drove home to rest and relax before the start of the work week.
Portland Timbers vs New England Revolution
Corey drove up to Mt Hood and skied Timberline on Monday, but I stayed home so I could attend the Beer Party PDX board meeting that night. After Greg and I finished work on Tuesday, we went out for a final meal together with Corey, whose flight departed very early Wednesday morning.

It was a great week and I hope we can do it again soon!