A week in Portland, Oregon, USA
A week in Portland, Oregon, USA

A week in Portland, Oregon, USA

The trip to Portland had been in the waiting for at least 8 months. Ever since my close friend Swatchith or Swat in short as we call him, mentioned that he might be posted in the USA for temporary assignment, I have been waiting for that day I get to visit him. Things fell into place and finally in July of this year I travelled to Portland on a Friday planning to spend the entire next week there. Notably, I took the Greyhound bus from Vancouver to Portland. A Greyhound journey was also on my wish list for a while now and it was a disappointment. I arrived in Portland on a Saturday morning where Swat received me at the bus stop. We were meeting after almost 4 years. The circumstances for our last meeting weren’t good so this trip meant a lot. Over the next few days we visited a lot of places in and around Portland. But for me this trip was purely for meeting my friend Swat. Everything else was a bonus.

Cannon Beach
The day I arrived was also Eid day. So first order of the day was the Eid prayers. After which we decided to go to Cannon Beach. We ordered some food from an Indian restaurant (which was also another highlight of my trip as Portland has some good Hyderabadi Restaurants) and drove over to the coast. It was a sunny day and the parking lot was packed. After countless rounds of driving around looking for a spot we finally found one and parked. We walked over to a nice spot near a log, settled down comfortably against it, and opened our lunch. With the waves in front of us, the log behind us and the delicious chicken 65 for lunch we had a good time. The beach was packed with people. The most recognizable landmark of the beach was the huge chunk of rock near the beach. It looked massive but with the sun blazing away above I couldn’t get any good shots of it. We strolled around on the beach sometime before heading back.

From the Cannon beach we headed to a nearby town called Astoria. Its a town seeped in history as it was the first American settlement west of the Rockies. Its named after the business magnate John Jacob Astor. We drove to the Columbia Maritime Museum. Unfortunately, it was closed and many other sightseeing options were closed as well so we just strolled around here for a while before heading back. We did see some ships which were anchored nearby. Had I more time I would have loved to explore the town more simply for its rich history as a trading post back in the intense time of trade during the 1850s.

Multnomah Falls
Next day, Swat took me to another icon of Oregon, Multnomah Falls. As it was with Canon Falls, this was also pretty crowded. The falls are indeed beautiful. The small foot bridge on the trail frames perfectly against the falls giving it perfect postcard worthy looks. We only walked to the first section and took in the views. There is a trail which goes to the top of the falls but we did take that. We did walk over the bridge but had very little time to stand in the middle and take a pic as it was packed with visitors.

Pittock Mansion
Pittock Mansion used to be the home of the owner of the newspaper ‘Oregonian’ back in the 1915s. It was built in 1914 in the French Renaissance style and houses 46 rooms. Its now owned by the city. Its on the National Registry of Historic Places and is open to visitors. We walked around the entire house and it was lovely. Most interesting part of the building for me was the study room which was exquisite in its beauty. Also, the washroom has splendid views of the surroundings. It was truly a rich person’s home.

Cascade Locks
Cascade locks is small town near the Washington and Oregon border. It takes its name from a set of locks which were installed nearby to improve the navigation of ships past the Cascades rapids of the Columbia river. We went to the Cascade Locks Marine Park and spent some time there. We walked around leisurely taking in the beautiful views of the river. There was pretty ship anchored off the coast and people were boarding for a dinner package that is offered on board.

Powell’s City of Books
After intense negotiation with Swat we decided to visit the largest book store in the world, Powell’s City of Books located in downtown Portland. This store covers around 6300 Sq metres and has 4 floors. They even have a map for the place. We had an hour here and the first thing I did was head over to the Horror section. It had some good books. I liked the fact that it had some Sheridan Le Fanu’s books too. From here we explored the other sections. Just tons and tons of books everywhere. It was heaven! There was also a author reading event going on. in 2016 CNN rated it as one of the coolest book stores in the World and it definitely looked the part.

Henry Hagg Lake
During the penultimate day of my Portland trip we went to Henry Hagg Lake. Again we packed some lunch which included chicken biryani. Having settled down on one of the picnic tables with some nice views of the lake we had our lunch. After lunch we hike around the lake completing one loop and then calling it a day. It was nice pleasant walk.

Bald Peak
On the last day we visited Bald Peak Park. We did the same routine as before. Pack some lunch. Find a good spot. Have lunch. This time we had some delicious chicken 65 with us and it was the most memorable part of my whole trip. The views, the food and a good friend beside me. Bliss!

I returned home that Sunday taking the Greyhound again to Vancouver and then hitching a ride with a friend who was going to Kelowna. Overall, it was a very good trip. Definitely the highlight of 2022 so far.

Me and my friend Swat (July 2022)

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