On Friday we drove north to Portland to check out “The Bite of Oregon”, a food festival in the park along the Willamette River.
The festival has a variety of food vendors and live music. We sat for a while and watched a cooking competition similar to “Chopped” on the Food Channel. Two firemen cooked sandwiches that were judged by a panel of local food experts.
After checking out the festival and having a little lunch, we road our bikes back into the city to visit one of the must-sees of Portland. Powell’s City of Books is the largest used and new bookstore in the world. Occupying an entire city block, the City stocks more than a million new and used books. Nine color coded rooms house over 3,500 different sections, offering something for every interest, including an incredible selection of out-of-print and hard-to-find titles.
The store buys 3,000 used books over the counter every day. Approximately 3,000 people walk in and buy something every day and another 3,000 just browse and drink coffee. We found the size of the store to be a bit overwhelming. But if you can’t find a book you like here, you probably don’t like to read.
Today (Monday) was clear and warm so we headed north east to visit Mt. Hood. Just as Mt. Rainier dominates the skyline in Seattle, Mt. Hood is clearly visible from high points in Portland on clear days. Also like Mt. Rainier, Mt. Hood suddenly appears as you drive toward it.
We drove up to Timberline Lodge, the highest point you can go in a car on the mountain. Built in the late 1930s, this National Historic Landmark sits at an elevation of 5,960 feet, within the Mount Hood National Forest. It’s a popular tourist attraction, drawing more than a million visitors annually. The Lodge is noted in film for serving as the exterior of the Overlook Hotel in The Shining.
We decided to take the Magic Mile chair lift up the mountain to 7,000 ft. where skiers were enjoying skiing down the Palmer Glacier. The lift was named for its unique location above the tree line and for its original length. When constructed in 1938, it was the longest chairlift in existence, the second in the world to be built as a passenger chairlift, and the first to use metal towers.
At the top of the Magic Mile Lift you can begin your ski journey down the mountain or board another lift to climb higher up the mountain. The upper lift was operating but open to skiers only.
Watching skiers and snowboarders charge down a hill on a very warm day in mid-August is a bit strange. We really enjoyed the sights on the side of the mountain.