Portland me mata

Lavender farm near Hood River, Oregon, with Mount Hood in the distance

Lavender farm near Hood River, Oregon, with Mount Hood in the distance

The only way I can adequately describe how Portlanders squeeze twelve months into four is to steal one of the traditional sayings about another city: “Madrid me mata.” A little bit exhausting and a lot completely awesome, when the seasons turn and there are more sunny days than rainy ones in June, PDX goes nuts.

By the time you roll out of bed on a Saturday or Sunday at noon, your friends have already deserted you for the coast or the mountains. Life continues on fast forward until Halloween, when the air begins to cool and the leaves flame up. But especially now, in the thrall of August, there is always the uneasy knowledge that there is some festival going on without you.

Towering gladiolas at The Gorge White House

Towering gladiolas at The Gorge White House

When I can plan ahead, one of my favorite day trips is doing the fruit loop out by Hood River. Picking my own berries and flowers with snow-capped Mound Hood in the distance is an amazing experience.

Presenting pale ale and dark ale.

Presenting pale ale and dark ale at Cascade Barrel House

If it’s a lazy day in town, Portlanders seem to believe sunshine is a taste enhancer for all foods and beverages. Everyone lines up for a chance to sit on patios, even if they only face a parking lot. This is, after all, a town with more breweries than Munich and where mixologists roam free. They make things like goji berry and kohlrabi-infused gin. Actually, I’ve never seen kohlrabi gin but I would certainly give it a taste.

Polynesian dance troupe at a tiki party

Polynesian dance troupe at a tiki party

One of the best parties I went to was a tiki party replete with a professional Polynesian dance troupe and homemade rum punch.

Tryon Creek State Park

Tryon Creek State Park

But besides catching a buzz, the best thing is an impromptu hike in place of the gym. One of my favorite city hikes is Tryon Creek State Park. It’s the only state park in Oregon within the limits of a big city. The hiking trails are easily accessible and you can design your own day, whether you feel like walking twenty minutes or two hours.

Portland, you are killing me! By the time November rolls around and we all settle in for the big chill, I’m ready for the pace to slow down. I appreciate moving through the seasons, letting Nature pull me through her. In summer, she lightens my hair and darkens my skin. In winter, she covers me with clouds and sings me to sleep with the rain.

5 responses to “Portland me mata

  1. Great post! My challenge each year is to try to appreciate July and August, as it’s not profitable to spend two months wishing them away, but I always long for fall. I feel my most alive in October. Regarding Tryon Creek State Park, I enjoyed visiting there when I lived on the west side of town, as it was very convenient. Really nice trails for any length of walk, yes! 🙂

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    • I completely feel you – September is my favorite month, and October my second favorite! Having grown up in hot desert environments, every fall still feels miraculous. I love the touch of cold and the brilliant leaves and making hot spiced wine. Touring wine country is best when it’s not sweltering. Thanks for reading, Patricia!

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