And so my west coast trip continues, saving the best for last. I headed from San Francisco to Portland. It wasn’t a place I had as a destination, but since I was passing through, I figured I should at least stay one night to see what it’s like.
One night was all it took. Portland, Oregon caught my attention right away. When I got off the train, I dropped my stuff off at the hotel and grabbed an Uber. I googled hiking trails and found one close by called Forest Park. This was the start of my love for hiking. Let me tell you, there aren’t trees like that in the Midwest! I spent at least 2 hours hiking. That might seem excessive, but once you get going, you just get mesmerized by all of the beautiful nature you’re surrounded by. Being in the middle of sky high trees and lush green earth, has a way of bringing everything into perspective. All your stress, or worries just dissipate. Since I wasn’t on a time crunch, I didn’t pay attention to a specific path. I just walked, and walked, and walked some more. Eventually I ran into a guy and we got to talking. We hiked the rest of the way together meeting and talking to random people along the way. It was an amazing feeling to just let time stop and be completely present in the moment, taking in all of the spontaneity.
After my hike, I went back to the hotel to freshen up before heading out for dinner. I went to Ringside Fish House, because how are you going to go to Oregon and not get seafood? I got the Alaskan crab legs and they were divine. Nothing like fresh seafood from the coast. After my meal I walked around a bit and then headed back to the hotel to get some much needed rest. The next day I decided to check out the Portland Japanese Garden everyone had been raving about. Since it was summer, it was mostly all green when I went. I definitely want to go back during the fall and spring seasons to see the beautiful array of colors. After the garden, I wandered across the street into what happened to be Washington Park. There, I found the HUGE rose garden I heard people talking about. Wow, what a view. There were rows after rows after rows of roses. (check out pictures below)
I heard music playing and a bunch of people crowding around, so I went to see what all the fuss was about. Turns out there was an annual drag show going on in the park. It was a beautiful day. Even though it was late June, because I was in Oregon, it was in the upper 70s. I got some ice cream and found a spot on the grass to read my book in the shade until the show started. This is one of the perks about traveling alone. You can do whatever you want, whenever you want. You don’t have to worry about what the other person wants to do. You have the freedom to go on any adventures you want. I spent the rest of my time watching the show and enjoying the music and environment before heading to the hotel to grab my suitcase for the next destination… Seattle, Washington.