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