Portland, Oregon

Discussion in 'West, Alaska and Hawaii' started by June the Coach Rider, Aug 12, 2013.

Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

  1. Jan 18, 2015 #26

    oregon pioneer

    oregon pioneer

    oregon pioneer

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2,100
    Location:
    near Seneca, Oregon
    I went there last August with my sister, and it was magnificent! Here's my sis with her nose in a rose:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Jan 30, 2016 #27

    George K

    George K

    George K

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2014
    Messages:
    1,183
    Location:
    The Chicago Burbs
    Another comment about where to stay. Last time, we stayed at the Residence Inn Marriott Pearl District.

    http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/pdxpd-residence-inn-portland-downtown-pearl-district/

    Great place, and it's a short walk from Union Station in a good neighborhood. It includes a nice breakfast buffet, and WiFi is available as well. Free if you join their rewards program.

    We're staying there again this coming May. I got a 2 bedroom suite with a kitchen, living room. Applying the Senior Citizen rate, it's $288 a night for four of us.

    Highly recommended.
     
  3. Jan 31, 2016 #28

    Eric308

    Eric308

    Eric308

    Lead Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    441
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    There are a lot of good hotel choices in Portland. My daughter went to Lewis&Clark for four years and I rode the EB out to visit three or four times a year. I have stayed at several downtown hotels, but really prefer The Monaco over all of them. Great rooms and amenities with a free wine tasting hour with entertainment each evening. They now give me a really low "frequent guest" rate which is way below listed best prices. Heading out again on the EB in early April even though my daughter is long gone.http://www.monaco-portland.com/
     
  4. Mar 24, 2017 #29

    parmesan45

    parmesan45

    parmesan45

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    I'll have a 9 hr layover in Portland before my connection to Seattle this May, after riding the Empire Builder in coach for three days. Any suggestions on where to get a quick shower within walking or transit distance of the Amtrak station - truck stops maybe? I just know it'll make a world of difference for that day if I can rinse off, lol. Thanks!
     
  5. Mar 24, 2017 #30

    trainman74

    trainman74

    trainman74

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,529
    Location:
    Sherman Oaks, CA
    No truck stops anywhere nearby (the station is right in downtown Portland). I would do a Google Maps search for nearby health clubs/gyms, or hotels with health club facilities -- they likely offer day passes that would include access to their shower facilities. (You'll probably have to call and ask to make sure; not sure how many would have that info right on their websites.) My guess is that the cost would be about $20.
     
  6. Aug 25, 2019 #31

    velotrain

    velotrain

    velotrain

    Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2019
    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Boston
    I spent four nights in Portland during late March 2012, before going to NCECA (national ceramic education conference) in Seattle - MassArt pays the conference fees for majors, but you need to arrange your own transport and lodging. Naturally I took the Empire Builder and was rather bored in North Dakota, but things picked up near the end of the run. I'm including one photo on the way to Portland, and another (Amtrak image) eastbound from Seattle to bracket my experience in Portland.


    I'm uncertain of the location of this, but I labeled the photo Approaching Portland along the Columbia River in 2012 - if I'm wrong, please correct me. It was taken from the west end of the platform during a station stop. I enjoy industrial structures and particularly complex ones such as this.


    [​IMG]


    I stayed at University Place Hotel in the southern end of the downtown area, as it was inexpensive and importantly had a Budget car rental office on site - a MAX station is adjacent, but I recall walking to another one to get into the downtown proper, passing food carts on SW 4th between College and Hall. The first day I just used MAX and walked a lot.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    The Portland (Municipal Services) Building was controversial when built in 1982, and feelings are still strong almost 40 years later - partly due to the major structural problems that have plagued it, being currently closed for a three-year rebuild.


    [​IMG]


    I wandered around on foot and then went to the large and well-stocked Portland Art Museum.


    [​IMG]


    The next morning I headed to the riverfront and rented a bicycle at Salmon Street Springs, where there's a large fountain and plaza as part of the continuous Tom McCall Waterfront Park, which runs for perhaps a mile. BOVAS Bear was a gift from a group of women in a Meetup group I ran for a couple of years, being Boston Outdoors & Visual Arts for Seniors. My bears like to travel, and one has been to 10 countries on the back of my bike. The bike I didn't rent, and the one I did. I brought the mirror with me - never leave home without one.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Riding northward I soon saw a sizeable rail to water grain transfer facility fairly close to downtown, almost exactly across the Williamette from Union Station. I crossed the Steel Bridge, which has heavy rail on the bottom and MAX tracks and roadway on the upper level. There were a lot of other bridges nearby, many of them highway access ramps.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    I was a bit surprised at how easy public access was, spending at least half an hour there and no one even questioning me, although it may have been a weekend. You need to realize just how exciting something like this is to a rail/industry fan who lives in New England. I wandered around taking lots of photos and inspecting everything - including their small plant switcher in its own little maintenance shed - a Trackmobile as I recall.


    [​IMG]
     
    oregon pioneer likes this.
  7. Aug 25, 2019 #32

    velotrain

    velotrain

    velotrain

    Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2019
    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Boston
    [​IMG]


    There was also a freight double-track main behind it, with a beautiful S-curve sweeping around the plant to the north.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    After that I rode around some on the east bank and then recrossed the river and rode around Union Station, admiring the handsome building, now 123 years young. Is it the oldest still in regular service?


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    I rode over a footbridge spanning the tracks, and caught a UP freight echoing a MAX unit in a small turnaround facility, both rounding very tight curves - while one was much more used to it.


    [​IMG]


    I then rode down NW Naito Parkway, becoming NW Front Ave. perhaps 10-15 miles along an industrial zone adjacent to the river, and found a number of subjects that called for a quick grab-shot. A photography benefit of cycling is that I can stop, compose and take a photo, and be on my way again in less than 10 seconds - with no need to pull over into an authorized parking space, walk back to the scene, etc.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    I turned around at Doane Point where the road became private property after a cross-river bridge, and decided to call it a day. However, I still found some sights calling for a photo in the lessening light, including this colorful and complex industrial interior.


    [​IMG]
     
    oregon pioneer likes this.
  8. Aug 25, 2019 #33

    velotrain

    velotrain

    velotrain

    Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2019
    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Boston
    Late in the day I rode across the river for a quick look at the exterior of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.



    [​IMG]



    Nearby I saw a pair of very tortured-looking weeping trees - apparently willows, but perhaps something exotic.


    [​IMG]


    I forget the exact location, but while on the east side of the river I found this trackside scene, and I always like to have as many receding (perspectival) diagonal lines end at corners as possible.


    [​IMG]


    This was in homage to my industrial photography guru, Charles Sheeler, who often employed strong diagonals - if not exactly ending in corners, which is likely not ideal, but I still like it. I consider this one of his most powerful works.


    https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/1987.1100.1/


    Next up on the west side was Portland Old Town, where the weekend arts and crafts vendors were just closing up shop for the day. One guide wrote about this district, "Several of the 19th-century stone, brick and cast-iron-fronted buildings are lively pubs, but not as many as in the 1870s, when Portland had one saloon for every 40 inhabitants."


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Related to that historical perspective, I enjoyed the billboard painted on the wall of a century-old watering hole called the Lotus Cafe - I'm not quite sure what to call this graphic style. Although a popular nightspot until the end, I've just read that it was closed in 2016 and demolished a year ago. The Hotel Albion above it was closed in 1976 as a result of fire safety violations. I think I can read '99' in the bottom right corner of the sign.


    [​IMG]


    I had decided before the trip that I was going to rent a car one day to see my first and possibly only rain forest. As always I had done a fair amount of research and planning, having a complete route for the day, maps, and a rough timetable to make it work.


    [​IMG]


    I also wanted to visit the fabled Oregon coast and can't recall the actual name of the rain forest or the beach, but they were fairly close together and roughly due west from town, so someone from the area might recognize the locations. I just tried scrolling down the coast zoomed in with satellite mode, but didn't spot anything likely. I recall the beach was right next to a coastal road and far away from any developed areas.


    ==>> I do highly recommend a similar one-day excursion to anyone visiting Portland.


    [​IMG]


    Later I drove down the coast a ways to reach a better road for my return to the city. On the way I saw a young fellow on what looked like his first "loaded touring" bicycle trip. With all that weight on the front wheel and none on the back, that thing must have been a real bear to steer. I call this one "two overloads".


    [​IMG]


    This last image was taken several hours after leaving Seattle on my return trip, so has no real business being in a Portland thread, but OTOH it's the only image here that features Amtrak, so I'm hoping you'll let it slide. It's a favorite image, but came at a price - I felt my newly-purchased orange conference cap fly off in the airstream as I took the shot.


    [​IMG]


    There was an interesting incident some two weeks after I returned from the trip, in the form of a letter from Budget requesting additional funds. Apparently I had parked their car in a hotel space vs. one of their own - due to all of theirs being filled as I recall, and the Portland State University police had issued a ticket. My first reaction was how petty of the school, as Budget obviously leased the space from them so I was amazed they didn't have a better understanding. However, looking at my final receipt from Budget, they had time-stamped the car as returned something like two minutes before the ticket was issued, so I told them the problem was theirs and not mine - and didn't hear from them again.
     
  9. Aug 25, 2019 #34

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

    Conductor

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    Messages:
    18,155
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    Good stuff,:cool: brings back many memories of when I lived in the NW. Thanks for sharing!:)
     

Share This Page

arrow_white