Gig Harbor and Tacoma
One of my Dad’s best friends lives in Gig Harbor, and although he and his family were out of town, he offered their home as a landing spot for Sam and me for a couple days to recoup and work. It was nice to have nothing on our agenda for a change and to cook dinner in a nice kitchen!
On August 13, we continued to get caught up on work, photo editing and job applications. In the morning, I fit in a hilly run to Sunset Beach, and in the evening we met our friend Bre in Tacoma at the Odd Otter brewery and proceeded to the Chihuly Glass Bridge, Wright Park and Viva Tacoma (plus, we stopped by this famous stadium).
Olympic National Park
Following our days of rest, we continued on to Olympic National Park, first stopping to hike Mt. Townsend. The hike itself was steep and offered sweeping views...regrettably clouds and fog moved in right as we were arriving at the top, but overall it was beautiful. We camped that night in national forest and drove to the coast in the morning to hike along Rialto Beach. Originally we planned on doing a backpacking trip along the beach, but changed our minds...for the best because 1. hiking in sand and 2. there were quite a few large rocks we had to hike over that would have greatly slowed us down with packs. Instead we camped inside national forest land again that night and then did the Quinault Loop hike in the morning.
Our Portland Airbnb check-in time was 3 p.m. in the Pearl District. After a quick shower, we went out to explore the town. We walked to Von Eber Brewing and then rented bikes using the city’s bikeshare (which, for the record, is awesome) to migrate to the Alberta Art District area. We stopped in for another beer at Ecliptic Brewing (lots of IPAs) and chose Bye and Bye for dinner. The Alberta area was fun to see on a Friday night. One thing that stood out to me was a grilled cheese stand that utilized an old school bus for a sit down dining area. Another thing that stood out about the area was how many houses had ornate hanging lights on their front porches.
We realized we weren’t the only ones heading to Portland before we arrived after seeing news of a Proud Boy rally scheduled for August 17. Sure enough, on my run along the Willamette River Saturday morning, there were various media crews assembling, some in bullet proof vests, in anticipation of the day and the confrontation of the white supremacists and Antifa. Sam and I went about our day relatively normally but unintentionally came into the center of the action twice. On the first occasion, we rode bikes to the Hawthorne area and on our way back we crossed Antifa protesters crossing the Burnside Bride and blocking the roadway to cars. We were heading back to the Airbnb to move my car and planned on stopping at the Saturday Market before returning to the Hawthorne area when again we ran into the action as a Proud Boy leader sped away in his car.
We continued on to check out a few breweries and then biked to Nob Hill for Bamboo Sushi for dinner. In the morning, we stopped at Powell’s City of Books and Sisters Coffee before heading to Mt. Hood National Forest for camping. This was one of Portland’s greatest appeals to me; you have city and then you have mountains or ocean within a few hours to either side of you. Once we were in our mountain campsite for the night, we set up hammocks and took to our new books. Our campsite was great for a couple reasons (i.e. it was free), one being it was close to hiking trails which made for an easy morning hike on a section of the Pioneer Bridle Trail. Then, we were just a few hours from Eugene, our next destination.