Saturday, October 10, 2015

Portland Day 2; Milos and Miles

A great place for a "cuppa."
 After a great might in Portland, we awoke in our un-air conditioned apartment with the windows open and a cross breeze. It was actually a little cool, but in a welcome way. One neighborhood establishment suggested by the owner was Milo's City Cafe about three blocks away at 1325 NE Broadway . So once we hauled our carcasses out of bed, off we went to find a bit of "brekkie."

Paul studies the menu and contemplates eggs of different ilks.
 The menu was pretty extensive with many breakfast choices served until 11AM for you late risers.  I had scrambled eggs with Dungess crab cakes and Paul went for the breakfast burrito. It was HUGE and delicious and we left knowing we better find a good hike to do.

We always end up renting a car eventually for some excursion outside the city, but in contradistinction, there are also a lot of really great hikes you can get to via public transportation. We have enjoyed a number of urban hikes from a book called Walk There, a book of great in-the-city excursions including Sellwood, the Laurelhurst neighborhood and Mt Tabor. This time we referenced the book, 60 Hikes in 60 Miles. There are many cities that have a book by this name and we are never disappointed by the opportunities in even the most metropolitan of locations.  Our chosen hike for today, Council Crest. This is the highest point in Portland at 1071 feet and gives the most spectacular view. It is part of two bigger trail systems, the Marquam Trail which is a 40 mile loop around the city of Portland and the 4T system which combines tram, train, trolley and trails to give a great overview of Portland.
The Steel Bridge
We started right at our apartment and walked over the Steel Bridge into Portland. The Steel Bridge is a through truss, double-deck vertical lift bridge across the Willamette River, opened in 1912. Its lower deck carries railroad and bicycle/pedestrian traffic, while the upper deck carries road traffic and the light rail and does have a pedestrian lane,  making the bridge one of the most multi-modal in the world. It is the only double-deck bridge with independent lifts in the world and the second oldest vertical lift bridge  in North America, after the nearby Hawthorne bridge. The bridge links the Rose Quarter and Lloyd Center  in the east to Chinatown neighborhood in Portland just west of the River.

A look see up the Willamette River
It was a little disconcerting at times to be on a thin plate of steel right over the water, but also fun. 
Satisfied Steel Bridge customers!

After about three miles of walking and passing through most of downtown Portland, we came to Duniway Park. From here, it's not far to the beginning of the trail up to Council Crest.

The recently retired Paul Parris. Note empty alcohol bottles at his feet at 11am!   :)
It's a little tricky finding the trail head, but we were eventually successful.
This tree was pretty stunning. Lotsa great color changes in the region.

The trail map. Not only did I photograph it to share with you, but to look at if we got lost.
This trail was a steady upward walk with a lot of "east Tennessee switchbacks," but it was all so gentle we really didn't notice the climb all that much.

Lots of tall conifers and ferns everywhere. There was a light breeze and the temperature was perfect.
Part of this hike abutted into a pretty ritzy neighborhood. The architecture of these homes literally built into the forest was pretty amazing in some cases. 

This is a totem in a yard. We noticed underneath the house, the occupant was actually carving the totems!
The guidebook told us to look for a tree house and we found it. 

The tree you see in the middle literally has the balcony built around it. There were similar details in the front.

We saw one house that was a glass triangle and jutted into the forest but I couldn't get a photo that did it justice. Mostly though, we saw woods, and that made the hike even better. 

Nice forest hiking and we never even left town!

We eventually reached the summit and I have to say, the views were even better than those at the Rose Garden. It wasn't the clearest day, so although you could see Mt Hood, the peak was hiding. Also, you could see the city of Portland and the Cascade range. Really spectacular vistas along with  couples making out on park benches and the occasional squirrel begging for our peanuts. 

A view back toward Portland with Mt. Hood and Jefferson in the distance.

The other direction.

Great area for tree huggers like me.

Wild flowers

More fauna. According to Brooke Shields in the Blue Lagoon, these berries are poisonous.
Council Crest was named for a meeting of ministers that took place in 1898. The ministers apparently rode there by wagon for two days. They assumed, incorrectly I am told, that the local Indian leaders held many councils on this point. Streetcar service began to the park in 1949 and at one time there was a ferris wheel and other amusements, but now, thankfully, just some nice scenery. The hike continues along the 4T trail and eventually ends up at the Portland Zoo. (My brother has told me I belong at the zoo for years!) From here we were able to catch the MAX train back to Lloyd Center near the apartment. We had walked about 10 miles so we figured we deserved a prize. And what would that be in Portland?
The Broadway Grill and Brewery
 Yep. Oh beer thirty in Portland. This was really near our abode and had a great sampler tray.

Oh yeah. They had all sorts of beer. Sour plum, IPA, hoppy stuff, porters, raspberry wheat. Need I say more?

A pale ale and some chips makes this man smile a mile.
Beer makes us smile. But our neighborhood has other things that make people mellow! Apparently one ounce or six adult plants are legal. Smoking in public is a $500 fine. We have definitely encountered a number of people who didn't seem overly concerned about the fine.
It's been legal here for about a week. We walked by and there was  a security guard out front, but not that many cars/customers.
So we are "getting used to" sitting near people whose clothes smell like weed or passing someone who is smoking it in a park. 

Another common thing in this neighborhood that is a bit more cheerful and distinctly Portland: Roses. I never get tired of this plant!

We managed to get home and devested of sweat to go to one of our other favorite Portland eating establishments, BEAST. We found this amazing place several years ago, and since that time, Naomi Pomeroy, who cooks it all right in front of you, has won the James Beard award. Not too shabby!

The inside of Naomi Pomeroy's fine dining establishment.
 We never get tired of eating here. She changes the menu pretty much constantly. But be warned. Come hungry or walk about 11 miles, because it is a feast at the Beast.

Lovely candles and tall water carafes.

Great food and service. Note the open kitchen behind the table where you can observe the cooking taking place.
 This meal was so delicious and copious, I hate to tell you what we ate,because you will be SO jealous. But here it is :
Heirloom iceberg wedge with herbed buttermilk vinegar, radishes, sweet corn and seived egg and fried shallot.

This charcuterie is insane: Steak tartare with quail egg, chicken liver mousse, foie gras bon bon with sauterne gelee, veal carpaccio with albacore tonnato, smoked coho mousse, and sage and seizoen pork sausage. 

Totten inlet clam chaudree with house bacon, chive oil and pommes allumettes. Seriously good soup!
 I did not photo these items: Artisanal cheese with venus grapes and high desert honey, hazelnut and almond dacquoise, huckleberry cremeux and chocolate toasted oat ice cream. I mean really, why torture your friends with ALL  your great dining options? I did however do a video of the bubbles rising up in our champagne glasses because it was cool. And even though the sparkling wine and the glasses were theoretically the same, the bubbles came up in different places. Go figure.

This would be even cooler probably if I did smoke maryjane.
This was an amazing day with a great walk in Portland , wonderful beer, a world class dinner and even... A NAP. Wooo hooo!

Paul's Ponderings: A great day out in Portland!   We pretty much did it all today -- walk, eat great, drink beer, drink wine, sun, a bit of rain, and everything in between.   The usual feast at BEAST was hard to beat.    Plenty more to come!

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