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A Night in Portland

Written on: Thursday November 8th, 2007

A journal entry from: Camping Mexico


Colin and I had our first run-in with the law today!

While we crossed the boarder into the US with no qualms, we seem to have caught the eye (or radar gun) of a State Trooper. Colin and Alayna: 72 mph, Speed limit: 60 mph. Yup, one hour into the US and we (well, actually, Colin) have broken the law and have subsequently been slapped with a $138 speeding ticket. Good thing our Canadian dollar is strong and X is a baller ( C: does not mean I like wasting my money on this Alayna!!).

We arrive in Portland Oregon and find our hostel no problem. It?s a neat old house in the North West district. After spending a few minutes walking down to the grocery store (Trader Joe?s ? for those who don?t already know it, it?s awesome) we realize this is the neighborhood to be in. There are young people everywhere, and no shortage of shops, bars, restaurants, art galleries, etc. Think Kitsilano, Vancouver.

We are advised to check out the ?world?s largest bookstore? just a few blocks down. This place is a dream. I love bookstores, and this one is absolutely gigantic, open till 11pm, and it CHEAP. Like, really cheap. It?s called Powell?s Books and I would advise anyone who ends up in Portland to see it for themselves.

Tomorrow we head South (at the speed limit) to Northern California and the giant redwood forests.


Moments before the State Trooper flagged us down I had asked Alayna if the speed limit had changed. Apparently, one mile prior to my run in with the law it had in fact gone to 60 from 70.

A word of advice for anyone crossing into the US at the Peace Arch: The left lane merges into more booths than the right lane does and therefore has more customs agents serving it, hence moves at least twice as fast. If you get on a cargo train however, you seem to be able to bypass the process all together. There was a 1.5 hour wait going south and about a 10 minute wait heading north.

Alayna has described the highlights of our visit to Portland well. There are a lot of interesting restraints, shops, streets, buildings, and people here. Portland is a city definitely worth spending some time in, and its proximity to the coast makes it a very attractive place to live. You do not get the sense that you are in America while walking in the streets. I cannot help to think of the numerous contrasts we will be witnessing over the coming months.

We are staying at the hostel at 425 NW 18th Ave, I highly recommend it.

Tomorrow we plan on getting an early start, walking the streets for the first half of the day and then proceeding south to the coast of California. It is approximately a five hour drive to the Redwood Forest from Portland.


From Sam on Nov 9th, 2007

Hey guys, need a place to camp for a night or two (free) in Santa Barbara? I could probably hook you up with a beautiful coast-front view. Enjoy.... Sam, Tem and Calala

From Sean Bourquin on Nov 9th, 2007

Hi Guys, Mike just told me about your trip last weekend. It sounds awesome and I hope you have an great time! Heads up for Eureka CA, it's like some weird hick town transplanted on the west coast. Lots of trucks with guns racks and some such... Hey Green, Mike is afraid to go to Sombrio on Tuesday... can you belive that! Cheers, Sean