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The Portland Experience

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999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me

Years ago when I worked at Kirkwood in California my randomly assigned room mate was Jeff, who is now one of my closest friends. In the years since we’ve seen each other a couple of times in Portland and are long overdue another visit. My lack of cell phone made the rendezvous a little painful, but we both knew it was always going to happen.

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Dan & Jeff too early in the morning...

I catch up to Jeff, Randy and Paul halfway through floating the Clackamas River on an amazing 90 degree day. I appear very briefly in the following video, taken by Paul while floating that afternoon. I think it gives a pretty clear picture of how much fun we are having – tons!

I stay with Jeff, his girlfriend Andee and cousin Mikey for about ten days, during which time we get into all sorts of trouble and have any number of adventures. I was very remiss with my camera and have photos of next to nothing. My memories are also slightly foggy just for fun.

I’ll do by best to recount the highlights:

  • Mikey inviting us to party on a boat moored in the marina. Mikey passed out before we arrived, leaving us to endlessly sing the hilarious lines from “I’m on a boat” and generally cause trouble in downtown Portland.(If you haven’t seen the video for that song, go watch it now)
  • Our traditional Bagby Hot Springs trip – Jeff ended up fighting the forest, I walked into camp long after the sun had come up minus one flip-flop, Jeff lost his cell phone and we all laugh hysterically and shake our heads whenever we mention the trip.
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Bagby hot springs

  • Many, many rounds of disc golf on practically every nearby course. We played multiple rounds at Pier Park, Lunchtime, Timber Park, Rooster Rock and the incredibly long McIver Park. One hole at McIver is a 1,186 feet par 5! I played a minimum of 18 holes every single day, which improved my game a lot.
  • Games of pool with Spencer – at one time winning competitions was his full time job and I’ve never seen anyone that can play like him. In our first game he ran the table off the break, never once looking like he was even trying. Everything he does is very well thought out and he’s very happy to share and answer the ten thousand questions I throw at him.
  • Driving everyone to work then having to find my own way home through downtown Portland. I got lost twice, but having nowhere else to be meant I enjoyed the drive all the more simple smile
  • Going fishing in a stocked pond and paying for the fish we caught. Three extremely fresh fish for $11 is a pretty good deal if you ask me.
  • Randy and I took a drive down to hike the Silver Falls loop trail – a trail that boasts ten waterfalls in only eight miles. The hike was fantastic and we decided the two dry falls should just be called cliffs.
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Randy admiring a waterfall

Once again I had an awesome time in Portland and can’t wait to see the crew again sometime.

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The afternoon sun was brilliant

-Dan

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16 Responses

  1. Judd says:

    Hey Dan,

    I found your site shortly after you left the fairbanks bus 142 and my girlfriend, her friend and I all headed out there the next day from anchorage. it was a bit of a long trip but we had so much fun! i’ve been following your adventure and am over-all slightly envious that you get to take your jeep everywhere you want. i quit my job to leave (from kansas city missouri) to go with my GF and her friend all the way to alaska. We drove the whole way in a Mini-cooper. We cut across 80 all the way out to sun-river oregon and headed up through portland and seattle then vancouver. we got to see the northern lights in Dawson Creek on our way back. Our whole trip was about a month and a half and i’ve kinda been floating around the states a little bit since my return. I love your pictures, enjoy all the detail you account in your writings and wish you only the best of luck man! Thanks for living your dreams and being an example!

    Judd (btw, the link on my name is my gf’s blog)

    • Dan says:

      Judd – great to hear from you man! I’m really glad to hear you made it to the bus and back safely.
      It sounds like you guys had quite the adventure! in a mini-cooper too!
      You have no reason to be envious of me though, you’ve just proven to yourself you could be doing exactly the same thing if you wanted to…. there are no limits here :)
      It would be cool to hear what you end up doing…

  2. Hey ~

    If you’re still in Portland, come out for First Friday [Oct. 2nd] – the SE’s version of the 1st Thursday art extravaganza. I’ve a piece in a group show @ the Launchpad Gallery, 534 SE Oak – half of a dyptich I created with my new best friend Vicky. This is the URL to LAunchpad and the show: http://launchpadgallery.org/family/

    My half of the dyptich is in honor of my Mom and her two sisters, both of whom are in the last stages of an aggressive cancer. All three are beautiful, fiesty old gals, and a delight to be around. Vicky’s is related to her father…an influential man in her life… And together we celebrate the random, eclectic wondermint of our chosen family in Portland, sprinkled with a whole slew of artists and creatives with a slightly askew peek at the world…

    Glad I stumbled on your blog, and look forward to reading about your many adventures…

    Best,
    A.

    • Dan says:

      Hey Adrienne – thanks for the comment. I tried to make it to last Thursday in some neighborhood or other (on Alberta St. I think) but didn’t quite get there. I’ve moved on from Portland now, but it feels like a place I’ll come back to, sooner or later.
      All the best to you and your family with their battles with cancer.

  3. Liz says:

    Well the video certainly explains why your blog wouldn’t load at work. Overweight or something! Lets hope the next ones do. Looks like you are having a ball. We are heading very quickly into winter over hear, the sun might be out but it’s certainly getting to cold to be playing in the water like that. Can’t wait for the next post. Heaps of love!

    • Dan says:

      haha – I didn’t say the water was warm. Only a couple of degrees above freezing meaning when you jump in, you jump out just as fast.

  4. Rhieanon says:

    Well certainly looks like you guys were having a whale of a time!Jacob loves the film footage,he’s watched it like 8 or 9 times already I think,only problem is he wants to find the nearest lake or stream now and chuck himself in.Tried to explain to him that a) its way to cold here to even think about it and b) it might be wise for him to actually learn to swim first because mummy really doesn’t want to have to wade in after him but as usual I got the response “mummy don’t be so silly,it’ll be fine,I know what I’m doing!!”Oh to be five again and be so certain of everything huh.Mind you we haven’t had a trip to casualty in nearly 6 months now,and so far neither attempted drowning or exposure to cold have been on our ever growing list of mishaps so maybe my powers of persuasion are getting better.Anyways as always thanks for sharing this with us,looking forward to the next installmentsxxRhi and Jakes

    • Dan says:

      Thanks again for the feedback. Jacob doesn’t know how to swim yet? You should enroll him in lessons ASAP – I love swimming so much I couldn’t imagine my life without it.

      • Liz says:

        Learning to swim over here is not what we had growing up in OZ. As a trained swimming teacher going to watch lessons here is a very interesting experience! There are some fantastic swim schools and teachers though, just not that easy to find.

        • Dan says:

          With the abundance of ocean and hot weather in Oz I kind of take it for granted that swimming is a way of life.
          Not so in other places I guess.

  5. Catherine says:

    Loved the video! Glad to see you’re having a great time and having safe travels.
    BTW – love Modest Mouse. :)
    Happy adventures,
    Catherine

  6. Hello! Ive been coming to your website for a while now and always like what you have to write. Ive added you to my Feed Reader and I will be back around when you post something else. Ciao!

  7. Your Website looks great! I will most likely visit again soon. Bookmarked it since I found it on Google. Just an FYI your Site wasnt showing up properly when I was using the Opera browser :)

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