July 18, 2019
Portland calls itself the bike capitol of the States, and I found myself incredibly at home in the various bike lanes, clusters of cyclists, historic homes, and artsy murals. The food, beer, and coffee scene are incredible here.
I woke up on Young’s couch, completely blissed out to be warm and dry. She and her boyfriend were off at work already, which meant I had the place to myself. Let me tell ya, it felt amazing having a space to lounge, do laundry, and have a lazy morning.
I made my way to a coffee shop with a cycling theme and ended up chatting with everyone inside. The Portland bike scene is incredibly welcoming! I left feeling giddy from human connection and made my way to a hip torta joint for lunch, and then a Korean coffee shop for more delicious coffee. Later, I grabbed dinner with Young at a deep dish pizza joint and we hit the climbing gym. I’m very excited to eat more food and drink more coffee tomorrow.
July 19, 2019
Today I ate my way through Portland… again. I stopped at Loretta G’s, a local pie shop, and ended up eating two slices of pie because it was so damn tasty. I cycled around town and popped into a few thrift shops and found a fun Hawaiian shirt. I got hungry again and went to a local joint called Pok Pok for their famous fish sauce chicken wings. So. Good.
Appetite finally satisfied, I cycled up a hill to Mt Tabor park and enjoyed the big trees and skateboarders bombing downhill, then down to Laurelhurst Park. The pace of life here was slow and enjoyable.
Back at Young’s, we decided to try out an Indian joint for dinner and made our way to a Jazz festival afterwards. Young and I ran to the front and danced until the end of the show, then drank milkshakes from Burgerville. We topped off the night by watching an episode of Ali Wong on Netflix and couldn’t stop giggling for an hour. It felt amazing being in a city where life is easy, people are friendly, and good food was in abundance. A huge contrast to being wet and alone just a few days prior.
July 20, 2019
Saturday! Young made me breakfast and we drove to a basalt crag near town. We walked uphill for fifteen minutes and strapped on our climbing harnesses. Young had me lead a lovely 5.10c as my warm up, and it was tons of fun! Her friend Evelyn joined us at the wall. Two other climbers came by to chat and we ended up doing more talking than climbing, which I didn’t mind at all. I have such a lovely time meeting new people, and this was no exception.
Back at Young’s place, we were exhausted from the sun and took a nap. I met up with the two climbers from earlier, Dan and Emmett, for margaritas and Cuban food. We ate sautéed plantains, cheesy aerepas, and swapped stories. No one wanted to go home yet, so we made our way to a club and danced the night away! Leave it up to Portland to show me a fun time. As I’m writing this, I can’t stop smiling at the memories. Big thank you to Young for letting me crash her space for several days and being an amazing host! Portland was a great recharge after the intensity of Washington.