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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

PNW Trip: Day 4 - Portland, Here We Come!

We woke up at 5am to a horrible buzzing sound. I thought it was the air conditioner, and I guess L did, too, because I noticed him get up and check it. He pulled back the curtain and peeked outside, then walked over the door. When he opened it, the buzzing became shrieking and flashing lights entered our room. It was the fire alarm! We put on shoes and jackets, I grabbed my purse and he grabbed his camera bag, and we headed outside with the other guests. Luckily, there was no fire and we only had to wait outside for about 15-20 minutes.

At 8:30, we woke up (again) to start driving toward Portland. Back on I-84 West. Just before we crossed the border, we stopped at a produce stand on the Idaho side.

We picked up some peaches and plums to add to our cooler stash.

We stopped in Baker City, OR at a Taco Time for lunch, which is L's favorite fast-food restaurant. This is something that he really misses from when he briefly lived in Washington and I knew how eager he was to eat there again. I was a little hesitant, for obvious vegan reasons, but after asking a few questions of the cashier, I was able to order a veggie burrito, no cheese, no sour cream.

It sucked. I mean, accidentally-vegan burritos at places like this (Taco Bell, Taco John's) are never good. They're greasy, they're salty, they're missing something. I did not feel good nor satisfied from this burrito. One good thing I can say is that their salsa verde is good and made it easier for me to eat this burrito. Meanwhile, L was having an emotional experience with his definitely not-vegan burritos. There may or may not have been tears.

On the road again.

I hope they made it!

Right outside of Portland is Multnomah Falls. Even though it was raining, I am SO GLAD that we stopped here. I LOVE waterfalls and have seen many in my day, but Multnomah is now my favorite. I don't have very many pictures (due to the rain), but they wouldn't do this place justice, anyway. You just need to go here because it's beautiful.

The Legend of the Multnomah Falls (not to be confused with Legend of the Fall, starring Brad Pitt)
There are reportedly various Native American legends that explain the creation of Multnomah Falls, but one in particular is the most often related. The story concerns the union of a beautiful, young maiden from the Multnomah tribe with a young chief of the nearby Clatsop tribe. After their marriage was complete, the two tribes were joined in harmony and celebration, but the Great Spirit suddenly became angry and decided to unleash a vicious disease that quickly spread throughout the population.

As the tribe elders gathered to try and understand the Great Spirit's anger, an old medicine man stepped forward and spoke of a prophecy that he had been told as a young man. He had been told that the day would come when the people would become sick due to the anger of the Great Spirit. The only way to appease his anger was for a young maiden to climb to the high cliff and throw herself upon the rocks below as a sacrifice. The tribe was consulted and informed of the prophecy, but they decided to die honorably rather than sacrifice one of their own.

The recently married maiden considered saving her people, but given her happiness over her recent marriage, she wanted to live. However, the young Clatsop chief too became ill and she realized that the only way for him to live was for her to offer herself in sacrifice to the Great Spirit. At night, she snuck away from the village and climbed to the high cliff that overlooked the rocks. Fearing her sacrifice would be in vain, she pleaded for a sign from the Great Spirit, which was quickly granted when the moon rose into the night sky. The young maiden then jumped and sacrificed her life for her people.

When the village awoke the next day, they were stunned to find that the sickness had passed and those that had been ill were suddenly healthy again. They immediately suspected that a sacrifice had been made and discovered the young maiden missing. The people then traveled to the rocks below the high cliff where they found the young maiden's body. The grief stricken father quickly prayed to the Great Spirit for a sign that his daughter had been welcomed into the land of the spirits and just then, water began flowing off the high cliff in a spectacular waterfall. Today, the water continues to fall in honor of the young maiden's sacrifice.

(Click the link above to read about hauntings, Big Foot sightings, and Twilight at the Falls, too! Oh my!)

We made it to my Florida expatriat friend, Joe's apartment in Portland at about 6:15pm. We unloaded our stuff, then headed out to Vita Cafe, picking up my friends Marcy and Jon (Missouri expatriats) on the way. Hooray for reunions!

It was oh-so-hard to choose what to eat for dinner. Everything looked so good! Luckily, Marcy and Jon both ordered vegan meals, so I was able to sample from their plates. Because it was a dreary, rainy day, I went ahead and ordered the "Savory Seitan Stew," which was delicious! If you like Tofurky, you'll love this stew. It was the perfect amount of savory, definitely hearty with chunks of carrot and celery, and the blob of mashed potatoes were awesome for soaking up every last bit of the broth.

Oh my gosh, my mouth is watering just looking at this.

Marcy ordered the "Flamin' Tempeh," which is not spicy, like the name would suggest. I'm still on the fence about tempeh, but the sauce on this dish was awesome! Sweet, savory, and a little smoky.

Her hubby, Jon ordered the "Chicken Fried Steak," which contained neither chicken nor steak. If I hadn't ordered the stew, I would have gotten this, so I was happy to nab a bite from Jon's plate.

This was AWESOME! A perfectly breaded and fried tofu "steak," totally smothered in almond gravy. The tofu had a fantastic crispness to it, and the gravy was amazing!

Vita Cafe is not 100% vegan. They do offer free-range, grass fed beef and local seafood. This is a good place to go for a meal if you're in "mixed company."

We all split desserts, which sadly weren't as great as our meals. The cake slices were all pretty dry, but the icings were good.

chocolate mocha (couldn't actually detect any mocha flavor, though)

chocolate-mint (outrageously rich)

After dinner, we did lots of walking and ended up at the Avalon theater, which is an old movie theater-turned-arcade, where we romped around, played skee-ball and air hockey, and basically pissed away several dollars a piece. But it was fun!

Marcy wasn't so good at driving a semi-truck. Better stick to teaching, Marcy!

Our evening concluded around midnight Pacific time, which would be 2am back home. I don't feel like the time change has affected me much, maybe because we've been making such a gradual progression through the time zones, from Central to Mountain to Pacific. I'm having a harder time remembering what day it is!

1 comment:

  1. Haha, my boyfriend had a "reliving childhood memories of gross fast food while on a road trip" experience when he made us stop at a Taco Tico in Wichita was ew.

    The falls look beautiful.

    Amber Shea