In early spring of 2007 I decided to quit my job, sell my house along with nearly everything else that I owned, and to live out of my car while traveling the country. These are my stories (and pictures) of life on the road.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Domo Arigato

So far things have been going very well in Portland. The weather was a little cool and gloomy the first day or two but the last couple days have been spectacular! Last night Jim and Karen took me out for a drive east of town through the Columbia Gorge and we followed the old highway back which parallels the interstate and runs right past a lot of spectacular waterfalls. You'd think the highway and interstate would be similar drives but they were amazingly different. The interstate was much like any other interstate (except for the Columbia River on one side and cliffs on the other) but the old highway had tons of twists and turns and was in a narrow band of woods that seemed to completely separate if from anything else. It was a really cool drive.

I didn't have to work today do so I had to find something to fill the time. I slept in a little this morning which was nice before heading out to the Japanese gardens in Portland. The gardens were beautiful, lush, and peaceful. It wasn't all that busy and it was easy to find an out of the way bench where I could just sit down, relax, and read for a while. Unfortunately I looked to be a little late for a lot of the flowers but there were still plenty blooming and the plants and flowers weren't the real reason for going anyway. It was more just to find a relaxing place to hang out for a while. In one of the small ponds there was a mother Mallard with her babies. I watched them for a while and they all stuck close except for one that kept swimming way from his family to chase down water striders. He was surprisingly quite and aggressive.

Patrick and John asked if I'd take their picture and we got to talking a little bit. Turns out that Patrick did something similar to what I'm doing now when he was younger but he traveled the whole world! We talked for a bit and after we parted ways I was kicking myself for not asking him more about his trip that he'd taken. I gave them my blog address though so if you're reading this get ahold of me and tell me where you traveled and any advice you've got to offer.

After the gardens I was starving so I headed downtown. Continuing the theme I found a Japanese restaurant where I had some sushi before wandering around downtown for a couple hours. The day was perfect without a cloud in the sky and temperatures in the low 80's. It was fun walking around downtown and just looking around; it's been a long time since I've really spent any time in a city. I stumbled across the Columbia store and treated myself to a new pair of pants and Cool Max socks that I probably didn't really need; but everyone has to spend some money when they go to the city! Just before I got back to my car I came across a See's Candy store so I had to swing in and grab some chocolate.

Jim and Karen were kind enough to take me out for dinner tonight and we had a nice time. When we got back home we put a good sized dent in the chocolate and now it's time for bed. I'm not sure what tomorrow holds yet but I'm sure I'll think of something.


Danny said...


Arigatogozaimashita. Anata no burogu wa totemo tanoshii desu.

Mike said...

Lots to see in and around Portland. I assume you'll being showing some shots of the coast soon too.
Powell's Books is worth a visit.

Alan said...

Danny-Thanks, I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying the blog. I'm hoping to find myself in Southern California somewhere along the line if the trip lasts long enough. If I do I'll be sure to look you up.

Mike-I'm sure I'll have plenty of shots of the coast; I hear it's fantastic around here. Depending on how things work out work wise at the beginning to next week I may head to the coast before going north. I haven't been there yet.

You've reached the end of the page but that's not the end of the stories. If you want to read more (and who wouldn't!?) then click on the archive links to the right hand side of the page. They're listed by month; the adventure starts in May.

The February archives aren't actually from this trip but are previous adventures I've had, which are worth reading as well.