Recently, my boss asked myself and the other team lead for our group about having a leadership summit, where we could spend a few days seriously focused on team improvements. As she works from home in Seattle and it’s tricky for her to travel more than she already does, she also asked if we would be willing to come out to Washington state. As I had never been to Seattle, and barely to Washington, I immediately said yes. I decided to spend a few extra days to see the city and surroundings. It was a great visit, both as a tourist and for work.
As part of starting a new project, I had to head for most of a week at my company’s Portland office (the official headquarters though we have far more people in NYC). This was great as I had never been to the area before, though Suzanne and I spent some time in Vancouver, BC way back in 1999. I flew out Monday, arriving around lunchtime Portland time. After spending some time working, I walked along the Willamette River, across and up to a couple of breweries I wanted to check out (where I ran into a former colleague out of the blue). Portland is known for being quirky and good beer, so I wanted to check out some of the latter. Tuesday through Thursday was all work, though I ended up at the wonderful Tasty and Alder with my colleague on Tuesday night.
I took Friday off, spending the morning wandering the Pearl District, visiting Pittock Mansion, and hiking some of the Wildwood Trail in Forest Park. It was raining as I was finishing my hike so I ended up spending most of the afternoon visiting a few more breweries. Saturday morning, I picked up a rental car and headed out of town to visit the Columbia River Gorge. I drove out the Washington side, stopping to do some hiking at Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge and Fort Cascades Historic Site before having lunch across the Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks, OR. Back to the Washington side, I drove further out, stopping at Everybody’s Brewing in White Salmon, WA, before crossing back into Oregon for my night in Hood River (at the fairly nice Best Western Hood River Inn).
I spent the evening visiting town, including having some good (though not as good as in Vancouver back in 1999) Salmon fish and chips at Full Sail Brewery. On Sunday, I drove back to Portland for my late evening, red eye flight back to NJ. On the way, I stopped for hikes at Horsetail and Ponytail Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Upper and Lower Latourell Falls. I did not get to visit the famous Multnomah Falls as it was so busy they weren’t allowing anyone to even pull into the parking lot (despite driving by three times). Also in there was a stop at the Bonneville Dam visitors’ center which was kind of interesting. I hit one more brewery (Level Beer) on the way to the airport. It was a really good trip, both in terms of work and seeing some new places.
In case you’re curious, I did hit quite a few breweries (and owing to lots of flights, tried 96 new beers):
- Ex Novo
- Von Elbert
- 10 Barrel
- Breakside (NW Slabtown)
- Great Notion
- Everybody’s Brewing (White Salmon, WA)
- Full Sail (Hood River, OR)
- Double Mountain (Hood River, OR)
- Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB, at the airport)