The Twilight Zone?


What started out as a Sunday morning drive to a small Oregon town on our way to touring the wine country turned out to be a trip to the Twilight Zone. The signature music of the 1960s television program and the creepy voice of Rod Serling looped through my head as Lisa and I walked up and down the streets of a deserted town searching for a place for breakfast.

We stopped in Forest Grove looking for Maggie’s Buns, a bakery recommended by a tourist guide we’d picked up at a Visitor Center. Of course the guide failed to mention that Maggie’s is closed on Sunday, and apparently the entire town of Forest Grove is closed on Sunday. No bakeries, no cafés, no restaurants, not even a coffee shop could be found, this in a part of the country where coffee is king.

The dead streets were only the first of many strange events that day. Seeing many cars at the end of one street led us to what turned out to be a church, but on the corner of the church we found a mattress leaning against a power pole labeled for sale $100 then marked down to free.

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As we walked on we saw a truck driving down the street, the first vehicle we’d encountered. But in the truck bed…a raft with a ladder tied on top of it. Strange.

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We even found a pay phone with a phone book. Surely a sign we’d been transported back to the ’60s.

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Then turning to the sound of a barking dog, we looked up to see the sound coming from the roof of a warehouse. Yes, a dog stood on the roof 25 feet above the street barking at nothing.

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Curiosity led us to take a closer look at this strange sight only to find it stranger still, for this dog was barking on the roof of a warehouse that had its picture painted on the side of the building. After taking a few pictures, it was time to leave Forest Grove before we became part of some unexpected twist like those that occurred in the Twilight Zone.

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Off to find one of the wineries. Wine tasting would put this creepy place out of mind.

 

As Bare As You Dare

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If you think you’re going to an orgy, you’re going to be very disappointed. Instead, expect good, goofy fun! 

That’s how Portland’s version of the World Naked Bike Ride is described on their website. The organizers’ mantra is “Good, Safe, Fun,” a major reason no alcohol is permitted and riders are warned of the dangers of drunk riding.

Guess who was in Portland for this year’s ride? So how could Lisa and I pass up the opportunity to witness this unique event? It would like being in New Orleans during Mardi Gras and not watching the parades.

We saw some pretty unique bikes at the event:

 

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As well as some unusual bike helmets:

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And a variety of seat covers for the comfort of the riders:

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But most of all, we saw people of all ages having fun:

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And yes, thousands of them were naked:

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But have no fear, the slogan “As Bare as You Dare” applied to all…and Lisa and I didn’t dare to bare.

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Hiking the PCT

When we decided to go to Oregon, Lisa and I decided that hiking a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail should be on our agenda since both of us had either seen the movie or read the book Wild, which chronicled the hiking experience of Cheryl Strayed on the PCT. Our plans only included hiking a short portion of the trail. No heavy backpacks. No overnight stays. Just a couple of hours on the trail.

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Not only am I not in shape for an extended hike, on the day we arrived in Portland, I broke out in hives and was not feeling anywhere close to 100%, so hiking on the PCT seemed unlikely. However, we were pleasantly surprised to discover that the portion of the trail in the Mt. Hood National Forest crosses only a half mile from Timberline Lodge and connects to the Mountaineer Trail to provide a two mile trek on a trail identified as easy.

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Of course, we also had the misfortune of planning our trip during a time of record breaking temperatures in Portland and the surrounding area. Temperatures in excess of 100º were expected in Portland and even on the ski slopes (which are open for summer skiing) on Mt. Hood, the temperature was in the mid-eighties, so after getting a map and water bottles we left the lodge for a trek on the Pacific Crest Trail.

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Mission accomplished. And then it was time to partake in the spectacular buffet in the Cascade Dining Room in Timberline Lodge.

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Beautiful scenery. Hiking. Lunch with three desserts. A great way to start the day.

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Waterfall Walks

Have you ever noticed water makes everything more beautiful? These are the words of hiker on Chain of Lakes Trail in British Columbia. Guess that explains why many days in the Pacific Northwest included hikes to waterfalls.

First with Lisa in the Columbia Gorge at Wahkeena Falls.

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Then Multanoah Falls.

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And finally, Latourell Falls.

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A return trip with John to Bridal Veil Falls.

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In British Columbia, a waterfall on the Chain of Lakes Trail where I overheard the hiker make the comment about water.

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Still finding waterfalls in Washington as we headed back to Seattle at the end of the trip.

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I agree. Water does make everything more beautiful.