Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Oregon Trail, Day 2: May 28, 2011

New to this? Start with the prologue and Day 1!

Roughly 10 am, Redmond OR: On the road again.  After a break to grab some Livewire, of course.

11:24 am, US 26 north of Madras OR: I'm not sure I'd stay at something called "Bear Springs Campground".

11:41 am, US 26 near Mount Hood: It's snowing.  I know we're up some elevation and some latitude, but it's May 28, and there's snow.

1:52 pm, Portland OR: In a region of the country renowned for fresh fish, sushi seems an obvious choice for lunch.  Josh has his first sushi experience, and Sonia doesn't miss the opportunity to act the Asian tourist.

2:34 pm: Walking near the Wilammette River, we run into our buddy Tony Ferrese!  It's an unexpected stop-and-chat with one of our colleagues from Berkeley. 

Also, this guy is blowing bubbles.

3:30-5:00 pm: Portland doesn't disappoint.

4:17 pm: Somehow, we get on the topic of what "beer house" translates to in German.  Josh took a lot of German back in high school, and he tells us it's just "bierhaus," pronounced the exact same way.  Sonia thinks it may have been "bierhosen," and we agree that pretty much all hosen are bierhosen.

4:29 pm: Sonia wants to go into a Sanrio store in a downtown mall.  Josh offers a side bet to the day's "spot that hipster" main action: clearly the Sanrio is going to be full of Asians, but will they be hipster Asians or fobby Asians?  In any other city in America, the choice is an easy one; in Portland, I still opt for "fobby".  Josh is perfectly happy to take "hipster".  The rules: every Asian in the store must be assigned to exactly one of the two categories.  Some discussion and/or observation time is permitted, but we must come to a consensus.

4:35 pm: There are no Asians in the Sanrio store!  Instant death rules: the next Asian to walk in the store settles it.

4:38 pm: Green flannel shirt and thick-rimmed black glasses.  I admit defeat.

5:15 pm: Dinner is at Rock Bottom, a brewpub in downtown Portland.  In what will become a theme over the next two days, we sample some of the Pacific Northwest's various beer offerings.  The red ale is not quite as good as Jupiter's Red Spot but tasty nonetheless.

7:22 pm: In our effort to find the Most Hipster Coffeehouse in Portland, Stumptown Coffee Roasters has lived up to our expectations.  Note 1) the wall of pretentious magazines and 2) the actual hipster.  What you don't see is 3) the girl on her Macbook writing poetry, 4) printed on the cup: "These cups are 100% compostable because we care," and 5) the incredibly vulgar rap, presumably played ironically, that all the baristas danced to.

7:52 pm: I didn't know there was such a thing as a hipster donut shop, but man, Voodoo Doughnut gets there.  We get the "Voodoo Dozen," which is slightly cheaper than ordering a dozen doughnuts of your choosing, but (in an especially hipster twist) you get no say in what you order.  The line is out the door and halfway around the building, but these are doughnuts we're talking about.

8:55 pm, I-84 east of Portland, OR: There are a whole, whole lot of Subarus at this part in the country.

9:30 pm, US 26 east of Portland, OR: Absolutely amazing sunset in the rear view mirror.

11:41 pm, Redmond OR: These doughnuts are incredible.

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