Le Grand Détour


8 July 2017

When I was in Maine, I did not make it to Portland. I decided not to make the same mistake when I was in Oregon. I know it is bemusing to mock the United States and Canada for having several cities and towns with the same name within their own country. But before you start doing that, may I remind you we do that a lot in Europe as well. There are, for instance, four towns in Denmark called Ejby.


A full moon settling over the Columbia river next to Mount Hood as seen from Sauvie Island.

I did not stay in the city of Portland, but on an island within its city limits, called Sauvie Island, which is the largest fresh water island in the United States. My friend there should me Portland by night. Or at least, some of Portland by night. Friends of hers had recently purchased a tugboat, that they are using as a place to hold parties.


The night as seen from the tugboat near the St. John's Bridge. The bridge is behind the camera.

That first night, however, there was no party, so mostly a dark boat. So we went to White Eagle, a McMenamins saloon in North Portland's industrial neighbourhood. Here a cover band was playing classic songs from a bygone era, resolving in me being among the youngest there.


This is not the engine room, but it is engine room adjacent.

That was a fun experience, I should say. It was a cover band for the Greateful Dead. If you are familiar with their music, you are older than me. Or interested in music from this era. Their music was definintely better than the beer, but I was too young to remember a lot of this music. Or at least remember its significance.


Like proper musicians they are looking down at their instruments and not just pretending they are playing instruments.

It was unfortunate that I was quite exhausted from my travels during most of the day, so we left before midnight. But boy that full moon was pretty. I really enjoyed my first night in Portland.


Capturing the full moon and its rings is hard, but I may have succeeded.

And I would like to send a special thank you to my host for my two nights in Portland. I hope it will not be the last time.