On A Wing and A Prayer

Portland Travel Blog

 › entry 22 of 42 › view all entries
Rachel entertaining herself in the Forestry centre

So, its been an exciting few days!


Thursday we tried to rent a car as we wanted to drive down the coast and check out a few places on the way. We visited three different places and got quotes for picking up the car in Portland and dropping it off in San Fran three days later. We decided to go with Budget, it was just shy of three hundred and fifty dollars for the three days, on top of which we would have to factor in food and accomodation costs.

Rainy Portland
We rang up to book the car and found out that the credit card booking the car had to be in the same name as the registered driver *sigh*. Rachel drives but has no credit card with her while I have a credit card with me but no licence. We were just discussing it in our dorm room when the lady that was on the bunk below me offered to ring round more rental places for us. We said it was kind of her and declined but she insisted and virtually dragged us to the phone where she spent a good half hour dialling every rental place she could think of. In the end she admitted defeat and went about her evening.


We then looked at flights straight to San Fran. We could get a flight that would take an hour and forty five minutes but would have to fork out over four hundred and fifty dollars for the privilage, something we wernt really wanting to do.

Mounted Police
We decided to look on Craigslist, a website that has community pages for people who want to find a room mate,, sell stuff and the part we were looking for, rideshares. Each day people post ads, either looking for or offering rides to various places. We found an ad offering a ride to San Fran leaving on the date we needed and would take about ten hours to get there. We emailed and asked if they were willing to take two people and hoped for a response.


We then went out for the evening to a place recommended by one of the staff at the hostel. We had heard that Portland is the best scene for gay women in North America and wanted to see for ourselves so we asked the most gay looking member of staff. Our gaydar was working correctly as she proceeded to write down a whole list of places she hangs out and which days were the best to go.

HUGE Clouds
We decided on a place called Crush which was on the other side of the river and walked to the bus stop Rowen (the member of staff) had written down. Unfortunately we couldnt find the bus stop so got on the Max (a type of tram) instead which took us to the bridge then walked the rest of the way. Our walk involved going under the bridge for part of the way, which turned out to be hobo city. There were tramps lining the road in cardboard boxes and blankets, trolleys full of all their belongings and a few were warming themselves next to a fire in a bin. We walked VERY quickly, didnt make eye contact and tried to blend into the background. Wont be doing that again!


After a long walk in the rain we came to the club, paid our three buck cover charge to the very nice drag queen on the door and entered the club hoping to be wowed by the vibrant gay scene.

Rachel, Sid and Shawn
We wernt wowed. It might be because we are used to such lively scene back home where the clubs are full every night of the week but we were frankly disappointed by the turn out. There was thirty or forty people in the whole place with about seven people on the dance floor. We had a few drinks and enjoyed the atmosphere so it was worth the effort of getting there. Around half twelve we decided to get a cab home, it was raining and chilly so we didnt want to wait for the bus which were only every half hour.


The next day we checked our email and found a reply from the person that posted the ad for a lift to San Fran. He said that he could accommodate us both and gave his number so we could ring and discuss things. I rang and spoke to him (Rachel chickened out), we talked about how much money he wanted fo petrol, how long it would take to get there, where and when to meet etc.

Snow again!
We settled on meeting at the Hilton hotel at 2pm the next day and get this, all he wanted was $15 each for gas, thats a saving of $400+. WHOO HOO!!


Relieved that we had finally found a way of getting to San Fran (we were getting a little worried) we headed out to National Forestry Discovery Centre, which shows you the wonders of the forest any why it is so important to preserve it. Their caring persona was somewhat dented by the fact that the first thing we looked at was a story about a guy who describes himself as a 'enthusiastic forest support' but hunts deer with a bow and arrow then cuts them up so he can carry the meat home with him. A bit in bad taste I thought. The whole thing had a very mixed messge, it had parts about what is being down to preserve forests and the animals, videos about the wonders that the forests contain and why they are important to the world then there was a section on logging and how wood is a valuable commodity and shows all the ways it is used.


On Saturday we made our way down to the Hilton hotel, with a slight detour to Pioneer Square to have a nosey at the peace demonstration meant to be happening. We didnt see anything except some mounted police (not mounties though) and a bunch of Irish dog walkers strolling through the streets with a guy playing the bagpipes. We met up with Shawn (our lift) at 2pm, he was a little.....quirky but seemed harmless enough and the other person getting a lift, a guy called Sid who was going home for spring break. Sid and Rachel very cowardly shot into the back seats, leaving me to ride shotgun in the passenger seat. I didnt mind as I can talk rubbish for hours whenever I need to. It was a very strange journey, we left Portland where it was raining lightly, headed into worse rain, then broke through into beautiful sunshine only to head back into rain again, then about ten miles ouside of the Californian border we went through a series of mountains where the elevation shot up to around 3000 feet and we encountered snow! We managed to drive through every season in a day! The drive took eleven and a half hours in all, with us arriving at our hotel at 1.30 am.

Squeak123 says:
It's going well girls. A really enjoyable and
"As it happens" read. Good luck with the Visa deadline :)
I will be in NY in June......You will love NY.
Posted on: Mar 22, 2008
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Rachel entertaining herself in the…
Rachel entertaining herself in th…
Rainy Portland
Rainy Portland
Mounted Police
Mounted Police
HUGE Clouds
HUGE Clouds
Rachel, Sid and Shawn
Rachel, Sid and Shawn
Snow again!
Snow again!
Portland
photo by: alooides