Inspiration: Travel Tales

Not so strange tides: My kayak trip in Portland


There’s nothing quite like being able to step out your front door and hit the trail or set sail. A few weeks ago I had the chance to borrow a couple kayaks for the weekend (thanks sis!) and I spent an enjoyable afternoon paddling around Ross Island, just a short walk (and paddle) from home.

The San Juan Islands: how to hike, bike, and live the island life


A few months ago I had the chance to spend a few days in the middle of the week, in early April, exploring the San Juan Islands in Washington. We went without a set plan in mind and in the middle of the off-season, two things I don’t usually do, and it was fantastic.  I …

The good, the bad, and the red: Portland’s Tomato Battle

Carnage and Ketchup

Carnage and Ketchup

I step out into the fenced parking lot and survey the scene. They’re everywhere. Before I can look for a place to hide, I feel something hit my arm, then another, in the head. I’m hit. Something wet and sticky is dripping down my face. What have I got myself into? I’m hit again, and a faint aroma of marinara rises to my nose. Everything is red.

Low down dirty P-town: Head down to Portland’s Shanghai Tunnels

shanghai tunnel 3

Passageway in the tunnels

You’re feeling pretty good, sipping on a frosty brew in Oldtown Portland, Oregon and suddenly, the floor beneath you disappears and you’re falling. When you wake up, you have no idea what has happened, or where you are. You have just been shanghaied.

There are naked people everywhere: a day at Bagby Hot Springs in Estacada, Oregon

Bagby Hot Springs

Bagby Hot Springs

There are naked people everywhere. As we fill the industrial yellow bucket by plunging it into a deep vat of icy cold water, we both try to keep our heads down so as not to fully engage him in conversation. He is probably in his fifties or sixties, too old to be sexy but far …

Cloudy Daze

The Steel Bridge under almost cloudless skies, by Portland standards.  Attribution: Thad Roan

Attribution: Thad Roan

Enjoy a recycled post from when I was living in Spain, but on a mental rendezvous with my favorite place: the Northwest. If you look closely, you might just see, what I consider to be, a hidden lesson in backyard traveling. FEBRUARY 4, 2012–I  have always been a strong proponent of cloudy days. Here’s why: …

Cowboys & Aliens: My weekend at the Biggest Small Town Rodeo in the West

Spray, Oregon Rodeo

Spray, Oregon Rodeo

“They look like aliens” I say, probably a half dozen times during the drive before I realize I’m repeating myself. My forehead is glued to the window, put there by a mixture of curiosity and fatigue, and I’m watching as the blinking red lights send their secret messages into the night’s sky. “I didn’t realize …

Mystery and a little mischief: My first Midnight Mystery Ride

Midnight Mystery Ride

Midnight Mystery Ride

Its ten minutes to midnight and the corner of 17th and Burnside in Portland, Oregon is swarming with them. Some line the corners of the street, others crowd together overflowing the sidewalks, and many more spill into the street, prompting honking from cars unable to pass and adding to the already growing buzz of energy. …

Beer + Run =Travel Fun: A weekend in Bend, Oregon

Bend, Oregon

Bend, Oregon

3.1 miles, 4 beers, costumes and fun, those were the basic facts I gleaned from the information about the Bend Beer Run before giddily signing up. Let me preface this story with the fact that I wasn’t planning to drink the 4 beers that would be offered to me at various intervals throughout the 5K …

The Unofficial Guide to the Oregon Brewers Festival: Tips from a Portland hophead

OBF, a summertime fave in PDX.

OBF, a summer fave in PDX.

The reigning king of Craft Beer month is the Oregon Brewers Festival, fondly known as OBF or just Brew Fest. This five day symphony of beer brings in people from all around the Northwest, across the country, and frequently a few worldwide beer aficionados as well. On the last full weekend of each July for …

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