Oregon, Southern Washington and 4th of July! June 22-July 5, 2022

Oregon, Southern Washington and 4th of July! June 22-July 5, 2022

Before we could make it to Portland, though, we continued our coastal excursions landing in Newport, Oregon. This was a very commercial town that did have a cute waterfront marina area that was a hustling hub of fishing activity. Adrian got to see more of it than he intended because unfortunately, the wi-fi at the Airbnb wasn’t great. He spent two full days at the Barge Inn Tavern conducting meetings over greasy breakfasts and later in the afternoon some happy hour wine. This went on while the locals had some rowdy fun in the background. He might have raised some eyebrows on Zoom that week!

We then camped at Tillamook Campground (Barview Jetty Camground) which was within listening distance of the ocean waves. This was great for sleeping, but again, very cold for beaching. Next, we were headed to Longview, Washington. Longview was also a pretty commercial town. Fortunately, we had an amazing Airbnb with great Wi-Fi, a deck overlooking the redwoods, and felt like we got some rest and reorganization before the big plans of the coming weekend. Woohoo!

While in Longview, we took an early afternoon to go visit Mount Saint Helens, which made a huge impression on us as kids when it erupted in 1980. We got to see the mounain up close, learn much more about the history and do some fantastic hiking. 

Portland turned out to be one of our favorite cities, which was unexpected. There were signs of previous unrest…boarded up shop windows…and there were signs of a homelessness problem. But, there are signs of a homelessness problem everywhere (including our own city of Knoxville). Overall, Portland was pretty, bikeable, safe and had a lot of charm. One of the best parts of the visit was getting to see my good friend Monica. Monica and I became friends when she was a PhD student in Gainesville. She moved out west after graduation, coupled up and had kids, but I hadn’t met them yet.

The next best part of the visit was a downtown Blues festival! And there were fireworks on the fourth of July! Great fireworks over the Willamet River with a playlist of bluesy versions of American standards in the background. Wow! Wow! We stayed at a very cute above the garage apartment in an historic neighborhood close to public transit. We met Monic and Oscar at the blues festival one night, had Monica to ourselves the next, and even went to dinner at their lovely home. It was great to meet their 3 children and see the family in action. The music at the festival was outstanding, highlighted by War and Treaty bringing the house down! What a fabulous weekend all around!!!

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