Saturday 11 September 2010

Day 15 – In The Battle Of Joe Vs Food, Who Really Won?

We practically ran from the boat this morning, ready to get Grifter back on the road where he (and we) belong! I’d felt that our week on the cruise had seemed really long, almost excruciatingly so the last two days, but walking across the parking lot to our abandoned car it was as if no time had passed at all. The reunion was short-lived as we bid a quick adieu to Seattle and got straight on the freeway to Portland, and state number nine: Oregon.
Back home we had started to watch a show called ‘Man Vs Food’ manly because Joe’s work colleagues seemed to think there was some resemblance between him and the host, Adam – who’s main goal is to travel America in search of the biggest food challenges. It’s a testament to USA’s addiction to overindulgence and partly an explanation to their obesity problem.

After watching an episode set at The Stepping Stone Café just before we left England, we added it in as a last minute detour for breakfast. We were passing so close to Portland anyway and Joe just had to take a crack at the Man Cakes – A stack of 3 pancakes, each about as big as a medium sized pizza. If you eat all 3 without any help you get your picture up on the café’s wall of shame. Joe started well and about 5 minutes in proclaimed ‘I think I have a shot at this’, but pretty soon his eyes were bigger than his belly and he had to throw in the towel. I just enjoyed my avocado, bacon & swiss omelette while shaking my head at Joe’s arrogance. It’s not really a question of can you eat that much pancake, but more should you?
Needing to digest, we started our drive along the gorgeous scenery of the Columbia River. Separating the states of Washington and Oregon its home to some of the largest waterfalls in the country; there’s eleven over 100ft tall. We made our way to the most famous and probably the most spectacular of them all: Multnomah Falls.
Joe had wanted to skip this stop - apparently boys don’t care much for waterfalls - but I’m glad I convinced him to wait out a parking spot in the grossly inefficient lot. It’s only day 15 and there have already been so many amazing things I’ve seen, but this truly was breathtaking. If it wasn’t for all the tourist the word tranquil would have come to mind.
A little further down the road we made a quick detour to Bonneville Dam. They had a vistors center, but we just snapped a quick picture and moved on. We have a far more impressive and famous dam coming up on this trip and felt our education of hydrodynamics could wait until then.
Our final stop along the Columbia River was the Bridge of the Gods. A great old-fashioned bridge. We didn’t cross it though, there was a toll and we were already on the side of the river we needed to be on!
Moving away from the river we headed towards Mt. Hood. The largest mountain in Oregon had been dominating the skyline for quite sometime, but the sight at the bottom was nothing compared to the sights near the top. Yep, we were headed up that volcano, good job it’s dormant and hasn’t blown its lid since 1866.
Up Mt. Hood sits the Timberline Lodge and the only reason for going that high on hairpin curves, if you’re not a skier, is because it was used as the exterior for the hotel in the film ‘The Shining’. Movie Nerds strike again! No spooky goings on during our trip, but there were some pretty stunning views over Oregon to enjoy.
Top of the world, Ma. Top of the world.

So, until tomorrow…

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