Portland Day 3

Another busy day.  Started out with a stop at the bakery to grab breakfast, then headed for Forest Park, a giant forested area at the north end of the city.  Hiked for a long way to see a few old growth trees (which do a really good job of blending in with new growth trees).  Hiking here is such a treat:  huge trees, ferns all over the forest floor, and lots of moss.

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Had a sliver of a view of Mt. St. Helen’s at the end of the hike.

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Drove into North Portland and went crazy buying fruit at their tiny farmers market.

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Stopped the car to look at someone’s garden — I’ve never seen poppies growing like this!

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Then I drove down to Mississippi Ave for lunch at a food truck and a little shopping at the too-cute boutiques (they seem to specialize in those here — it’s like Northampton, but a little more twee).

At this point, I felt like I had a pretty good sense of the city, so I drove west to see the coast.  Beautiful drive along the way, first straight through an area of rolling farms and then winding through tall evergreens.  I headed to Ecola State Park in Cannon Beach.  What a stunning beach experience!  First of all, it’s amazing to see the forest tumble down straight to the beach (or to see the sheer cliff-sides where the forest clearly couldn’t hold on anymore).

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The sand is soft and white, and the water is COLD (I abandoned all thoughts of swimming the minute my toes hit the sea).  And the tide pools include sea anemones like I’ve never seen them before.

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This beach is also famous for its “sea stacks,” including the Haystack, which you can see below.

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Had dinner at Sweet Basil, a cute bistro in Cannon Beach (yummy shrimp and artichoke hearts).  Wondered how it can be fifteen degrees colder at the beach than it is in Portland proper — I was definitely underdressed for the occasion.  Both for that reason and because I really didn’t want to drive all the way home in the dark, I reluctantly left before the real sunset.

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Now I’m at Box Social, a great neighborhood bar (Portland is the kind of place where every bar makes its own raspberry shrub and sage syrup).

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