Farewell Oregon

The 500 mile engine check-up went well – no major issues.  Just a valve adjustment and a carb tweak.  Since it took a while, we didn’t quite make it out of Portland and grabbed a cheap hotel for the night.

We stopped at a pub for some grub and they had an old Atari 2600 and a Nintendo system in the corner.  Bode has now been properly introduced to Super Mario Brothers.

The next day we headed towards Mt. Saint Helens for a ‘real’ test of the engine and also helped out a stranded motorist along the way.  This guy had ran out of gas and then drained his battery trying to get it started again.  Not sure what make or model, but it was 70’s and had wood-grain siding stickers.  I pulled over to pay off some car-problem debt and gave him some gas and a jump.  I didn’t realize it until I got close that he also had two small kids in the car.  We kind of know the feeling, but one parent getting stranded with two kids has to really suck.

Once again, it was obvious that NO ONE was even slowing down or changing lanes and cars whooshing by at 70 mph within 3 feet isn’t very cool.  The guy said that he sure was glad he moved to Portland because everyone was just so nice.  He said if he were still in California, there’s no way anyone would stop to help.  I tend to agree.

I had a conversation with someone earlier in the day and he said that everyone in Portland was from somewhere else.  The Bay Area is the same way.  The difference might be that people move here for a certain quality of life.  People often move to the Bay Area to ‘get ahead.’  Two very different communities have evolved.  My opinion.

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Anyway, here are some more random thoughts on Portland before we cross over to the Evergreen State…

Brewpubs everywhere. Good ones.

Portland has more strip clubs per capita than any other city in the U.S.  (Jennifer and Christin verified this factoid.) They’re everywhere and you notice it.  We were given some political explanation, but we think Portland may just be a horny city.  This may be related to the above observation.

Wild berries grow everywhere.

People commute by unicycle.

The crosswalk buttons are reversed compared to everywhere else.

People attempt to fence baseball card collections on the train.  Don’t want baseball cards?  How about some sneakers?  $5?

If you’re a board rider, you can ride Mt. Hood in the morning, skate the Burnside park at lunch, and surf Seaside in the afternoon.  A dude trifecta.

If you drive a VW bus downtown, you might have a well-dressed drunk yell at you and call you a tree-hugger from across the street.  You might also have homeless people have a bottle-throwing fight from opposite sides of the street while you’re driving between them.

There are more old VWs here than anywhere else in the country.  Guaranteed.

It doesn’t always rain.  It can get hot.  Real hot.

Most of the people here seem to be from the Midwest. They’re nice.

Everything is beautiful.

Bartering is alive and well.

If you ask someone to draw you a monster with 6 eyes and 10 arms, you just might get it.

If you break down, people will help.

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6 thoughts on “Farewell Oregon

  • October 1, 2009 at 3:01 PM

    I am so glad you enjoyed our state. I was sorry to hear the bad engine news but happy you enjoyed yourselves so thoroughly and got to see so much of Oregon. It is wonderful to see the beach on a nice day. My wife and I just purchased a 75 Bus of our own! We are restoring it over the winter and will camp and road trip with it next summer. Thanks for all the inspiration and bon voyage!

  • October 1, 2009 at 3:56 PM

    RU coming to Victoria? We travel next year and would love to chat.

  • October 2, 2009 at 9:04 AM

    Having lived my whole life in the Bay Area, I think you’re spot on with that comment. People come here to get ahead. I’m definitely at a point in my life and in my own mentality where I’d rather be somewhere with just nice people and a simpler life.

    As for the strip club factoid…surprised! I’d have figured it’d either be somewhere in Nevada or Florida. Go fig!

    Best travels in Washington! There are lots of good VW folk up there and in Idaho!

  • October 2, 2009 at 5:03 PM

    Each time I’ve been to Portland I’ve come away with the realization that people there are just plain nice, which, I can attest given my own Midwestern roots, has as much to do with where they’re from – originally – as with their environment. I’ve long said if I leave the Bay Area, “Portland, here I come!”

  • October 6, 2009 at 9:40 AM

    Hey Angela how are the eyebrows? I am glad to hear the 500 check went well and you are back on the road of adventure. Your comments of Portland are spot on (shhh don’t tell the world it doesn’t always rain), former midwester, now Oregonian of 26 yrs with a ’73 VW type 3.

    Enjoy and good travels to you all

  • February 13, 2010 at 7:27 PM

    Re: more VW buses than anywhere…ain’t that the truth. I felt that way about Datsun trucks. You can buy an old 320, 521 or a 620–drive it back East, and if someone knows you drove it three-thousand miles cross country, they’ll buy it from you for twice what you paid for it. Maybe not for an early baywindow or a splitty bus, but anyway–when you buy a 50-year old VW bus and drive it around town, you’ll meet everyone else that has one–running or not. A yaer ago…I knew of only 3 pre ’67 buses in La Grande/Union County. Suddenly there’s about a dozen of them. And the comraderie is genuine and embracing amongst type two owners. Valve adjustments, mechanical expertise, coffee runs, late nite parties…too much fun.

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