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Oregon:The Pacific Coast, Portland, and Mount Hood

I left the little town of Aberdeen this morning under dreary, chilly, foggy, damp, overcast conditions. There were mountains to the east of me, but I couldn't see the tops of them, and as I rode, any increase in elevation brought more dampness. The temperature was 60 degrees, but it felt much cooler. I was very happy to have my nice Indian windbreaker. 

To get away from the fog, I cut inland a bit and before noon the course change had paid off as a combination of the fog burning off with the rise in temperature, and my having ridden out from under the clouds made for a bright, beautiful midday ride along the northern bank of the mighty Columbia River. Just across was Oregon. 

At Vancouver, just before crossing the Columbia into Oregon, I stopped at the Indian motorcycle dealership there. Norm, a great guy there, gave me a free tee to add to my collection. He also gave me some pretty good intel on where to go in Portland.

Portland is right across the river, and it was an easy town to navigate. 

The Crystal Hotel in the Pearl District is one of many older hotels that have been revamped and are thriving. 

Jake's has been in business since the late 1800's.

The Big Legrowlski sells growlers of craft beer...very popular in 

To be honest, there is a lot not to like about downtown Portland. There is a lot of ugliness in the form of folks lying around everywhere...or camping (complete with tents) on the sidewalk and in the parks. They bring a lot of trash with them and seem to care little about much of anything. It's a sad sight. 

But in the middle of all that depressing stuff, there was this young lady playing the piano on the street corner...and playing it very, very well. It was as if she was an oasis of art and beauty in an otherwise culturally ugly desert. 

It wasn't very long after leaving Portland that I could see gigantic Mount Hood looming in the distance. It has an elevation of 11,250. 

I drove right past it as I passed through Hood National Forest. I'm something like 58 miles away and I could see it up until I dropped down off the high plains into the canyons that took me to Madras. 

The canyons had their own beauty as clear rivers teeming with trout run through them. 

Made it to Madras, a farming community, and home to the Black Bear Diner. Tomorrow, Idaho. 

God bless!

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