Monthly Archives: October 2015
The Rose City Way of Life
An array of circumstances took me around the country after leaving Florida in 1996, but there are no regrets. While stability and calling one part of the country home would make sense to most, I kept going, knowing there were either more opportunities or other things left to see that I didn’t want to miss out on. In my early 30’s and eager for even more change, I left Montana for Portland, Oregon. Real memories outside of Florida were beginning where making new friends were concerned. Social interaction is my strong suit, and I stumbled upon a gold mine of people who I would go on to still interact with to this day.
The year was 2001, and when I arrived in Portland to see such a lush, green landscape, I knew I was there to stay a while. While the winters tend to be wet, the trade-off is a mild summer full of recreational options. One of my favorites was jet skiing up and down the Willamette River, which runs through downtown. It’s a touch that makes Portland that much more beautiful and colorful.
I actually lived in the suburb of Portland, Hillsboro, Oregon. But getting to Portland took just a few minutes. The metro area of the city has a population of roughly 2.4 million people, while the city itself has a population of around 610,000. Portland, nicknamed The City of Roses due to the ideal climate of growing roses, was incorporated in 1851. And if you’re a beer lover, there are more breweries and micro-breweries in the city limits than any other city in the world.
Archaeologists have only recently pieced together that some of the earliest known humans to inhabit the area in a network of caves was some 14,300 years ago, shortly after the last ice age. This was about 1,000 years before the Clovis era, which was previously suspected to be the earliest known humans in North America. The downtown area was referred to as The Clearing or Stumptown due to the trees being cut to make way for the new settlement in the 1830’s-1840’s. Portland was then renamed after much controversy, and decided by a coin toss. Francis W. Pettygrove of Portland, Maine won the contest, and Portland, Oregon was officially named in 1845.
Mount Hood is also a fixture of the Portland landscape. Towering about 11,250 feet high, and roughly 50 miles east of town, it is considered to be one of the most likely volcanic mountains in the area to erupt. But scientists believe that an eruption is not going to happen any time soon, with only a 3-7% likelihood over the next 3 decades. I never made it over to Mount Hood, but there was a host of other things to do.
The nightlife in Portland is vibrant, and there’s no need to drive. It has one of the best mass transit systems in the west, and boasts hundreds of miles of bicycle trails, which is used by thousands of commuters and explorers every year. There are also nature and hiking trails that make for a spectacular sightseeing tour. Just take a picnic basket, a blanket and good company. There’s much more to Portland than mentioned here, so if you’re considering a visit to this gem city of the northwest, or you’d like to learn more, visit travelportland.com.