Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe

Completing our alphabet of Oregon

Portland is all b's and c's

That's b for books; we spent (er, really, that much? I mean lots of time in several Powells), bridges (about every other street). And beer (though we didn't make it to Deschutes we had a couple of local brews. C for coffee, obviously, (food)carts and climate; we fitted in Stumptown coffee with raspberry scones and orange fluffy pannettone style things, book browsing and dinner at the foodcarts around our meetings and it actually got quite bright and sunny - I may have the power to manifest sunshine in the whole of the Pacific North Wet, as the downpour started as we were ready to leave. The poutine truck was closed (boo) so we started with sweet potato fries from Burgerville, which was just as well as Etta (the Violetta truck) had decided there weren't enough customers to keep the fries frying. Even without the white truffle fries, the bacon cheese burgers were excellent - meltingly tender and perfectly medium rare, with micuit sunblush style tomatoes and good bun. Local fruit sodas (raspberry, pear and, by alternating mouthfuls, raspberry pear :).

Then off into the driving rain as far as McMinnville where we made inroads into the Fremont abominable and started the next day with grilled tillamook sandwiches as the local bakery; excellent bread and a very good macaroon. We only made it to one winery, Maysara, where we had a good long chat about the winery and the terroir and the neighbourhood (the fields of baby alpaca - alpaca lambs? Alpaca cubs? - the fact that the moss draped over the trees is a symbiote that produces nutrients for the tree, and the wild turkeys in the vines). They're biodynamic and they have a nifty mutilevel system for steeping and draining tinctures to use on the vines. And the wines are excellent: we had their pinot blanc at the Green Goddess in New Orleans in the summer and their pinot noirs go from dark and smoky to fruity and jammy.

From there we raced ahead of the storm to drive down the coast while we could still see it; the waves were dramatic and the rocks in the water were humps and haystacks and the bridges were deco. We found the same ice cream shop as last trip; mountain blackberry from Tillamook for lunch. We couldn't find a reason to stop in Bend but Coos Bay had a Best Western with a huge tiled spa pool that felt like a turkish bath, a fantastic neon deco sign that must keep you awake if you live in the Tioga apartment block, a fascinating but closed yarn shop and an Italian restaurant that made us feel we should order the shared spaghetti meatballs from Lady & The Tramp. The food was excellent and the pasta was perefctly al dente so we didn't mind that they kept running out of the thing we just ordered. Forgot to note down the source of the very tasty winter warmer ale...

The yarn shop was still closed in the morning so we detoured out to a cape with sight and sound of sea lions then picked up coffee and an awesome orange cookie in Brandon (or Braden or something else beginning with B and having a lovely driftwood beach). Down more coast with more views, bridges etc; tuna and crab melt in Gold River where the Porthole Cafe makes the best pie of the trip and quite possibly the year (inches of blackberries with not too much perfectly short crust). We made it across the state line in daylight and watched the colour of the grass change; still headlands and bays and waves and the most stunning red orange sunset over the line of the oncoming storm.

We haven't stopped in Eureka before but we'll go back; the Best Western has a heated outdoor indoor pool and spa and pool table and pool basketball - and a limo to take you into town and back (a motel with a stretch limo!). We took the limo to the Lost Coast brewery and confirmed that we like the raspberry brown and found that we like the tangerine wheat and the apricot wheat and in fact all ten beers on the tasting menu (decent food too). I want to have the local co-op wrapped and shipped to Putney complete with suppply chain; I have never seen so huge a choice of bulk goods.

This morning we did most of the Avenue of the Giants; majestic redwoods dripping in the mist, scary burl carvings and drive through trees. Along the twisty 1 to the coast and lunch at the North Coast Brewing Company (just the four beer tasting and the beer-battered fish and some of Simon's catfish blt, which meant we were too full for the handmade Cowlick ice cream). Stopped at the glass gallery just outside Fort Bragg to covet the $700 rainbow glass necklace again (by the same artist that made my red heart necklace) and then down the coast. A short pink sunset with much calmer waves, and a fairly speedy run down to San Jose where we should arrive - well, in minutes!
Tags: beer, food, portland, shopping, travel, wine

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