Before You Go

Submitted by Mia Kittredge on Mon, 06/04/2018 - 14:13 - 0 Comments
Seniors, you have one last summer in Stumptown before you venture out into the big, wide world. Here’s a list of the classic Portland experiences you really should check out before you head out. These activities are also great for anyone looking for some great ways to spend your summer without breaking the bank or traveling far from home.  
 
1. Get Into the Forest

Portland is famous for having the largest urban forest in the US, but many Portlanders never really explore all that Forest Park has to offer. If you’ve only strolled along Lower MacLeay to the Stone House, a Forest Park mission should be the first step on your summer to-do list. There are tons of different places to experience the zen of evergreens, ivy, and ferns. The Leif Erickson trail is one of my favorites, as it is marked every quarter mile with a white pole. Plus, you can stop at the St. Honoré Boulangerie on NW Thurman to reward yourself for a nice run, bike ride, or hike. If you’re looking for a more isolated hike or run, head out to a section of the Wildwood Trail in NW Portland. The run from mile 9 ¼ of the Wildwood Trail to Firelane 1 is a nice, approximately four-mile out-and-back. 
There are also some great forest hikes that aren’t technically part of Forest Park. Try strolling through the Hoyt Arboretum in SW Portland, which is especially good for a relaxed walk with less hard-core hikers. In the summer, their large variety of native trees and shrubs should be on full display. Finally, you should absolutely spend an evening strolling around Mt. Tabor. Try packing a picnic and watching the sunset over downtown Portland. 
 
2. Berry Picking on Sauvie Island

Throughout my childhood, berry picking has been a day-long family event. We spend the whole morning filling crate after crate with juicy berries, usually eating one for every few we pick. Then, before lunch time, we return home and begin the real work. Almost every person in the family chooses a desert: ice cream, pie, cobbler, souffle, compote, shortcake, and more. We stash a couple cartons to snack on the next day, but berries don’t last long, so we have to work fast. Rotten berries are a terrible waste, a horrible tragedy. 
Strawberries are the first berry of the season, usually coming into season around late May or early June. Hood strawberries are the sweetest (and least transportable), so you must get them while you can. Soon after are raspberries and blueberries, which even my dog eats off the vine in huge clumps. Then, the famed Oregon marionberries arrive, which are a little like a mix between raspberries and blackberries. My favorite summer dessert of all time is marionberry cobbler. Finally, August is the month of blackberries to me. There’s nothing better than leaving the patch with scratched hands, a sticky face, and a full belly. The farmers ask that you wait to weigh and pay for the berries before snacking, but sometimes they’re just so irresistible. 
A few of the most popular farms on Sauvie Island are Columbia Farms, Kruger’s Farm, Bella Organic, and The Pumpkin Patch. Kruger’s hosts concerts on Thursday nights from 6:30 to 9:30 for $20 per car. Go to http://krugersfarm.com/events-programs/summer-concerts/ to see the full schedule for this summer. 
 
3. Providence Bridge Pedal

Portland is famous for being a city full of bridges and bikers. The August 12 Providence Bridge Pedal is a great way to say goodbye to Portland, since it includes both bridges and bikers. There are four different ride options. The most expensive option is the $40 Marquam Express, which includes a sunrise breakfast on the Marquam Bridge before riding along I-405 to the Fremont Bridge. Most riders enjoy the $25 Main Ride, which crosses six different bridges. For the same price, runners and walkers can enjoy the 5-mile Bridge Stride, which crosses the Hawthorne and Steel bridges. Finally, kids can pedal in the 3-mile Kids Pedal across the Hawthorne and Steel Bridges. It’s free, but registration is limited, so you should register early on the website. 
 
4. Glowing Greens

This isn’t just put-put golf. This is a pirate-themed, blacklit, miniature golf adventure, with animated skeletons, props, CGI video, and wall-to-wall 3D sets. On a sweltering hot summer day, the cool basement setting is the perfect place to hang out with friends for a couple hours and get your competitive juices flowing. It’s located in the heart of Portland, underneath The Duniway Portland, a Hilton hotel. There’s also an alien-themed version in Beaverton. Adults pay $11.50 for a round, while youth (aged 4-11), seniors (55+) and military pay $9.00. A second round the same day or a half round is $6.00. Plus, if you bring in your ID on your birthday, they’ll let you play an 18 hole round of golf for free.
 
5. Dinner and a Movie

At home, there’s nothing quite as relaxing at the end of a long week as eating and watching TV at the same time. After a really long four years, you should take this relaxation method to a whole new, uniquely Portland level: go out to the movies and eat dinner at the same time. 
The Living Room Theatre offers a nice (if slightly pricey) option near Lincoln, with a mix of mainstream, independent, and international movies. Regular tickets are $11, matinees (before 5:00) are $9, students, educators, and seniors with ID can get $8 tickets, and mondays and tuesdays are only$6 (except Public Holidays and 3D). Arrive 30 minutes before the movie and choose from their wide range of food options, including salads, foccacia melts, wraps, and grilled goods. Their concessions include the regular popcorn and Red Vines, but they also offer shmancy desserts like key lime pie, creme brulee, and Missionary Truffles. There’s one catch with this theater: after 7:00, they only allow customers over 21, due to the alcoholic beverages. 
Alternatively, you can chow down on McMenamins pub food during a movie at the Baghdad Theater and Pub on Hawthorne Boulevard. It’s an old-fashioned, one-room theater, so you’ve only got one movie option. Stop by to check the current high-profile Disney movie off your list (think Solo: A Star Wars Story or Incredibles 2).If you want to eat during the movie, make sure to sit in the balcony. The hearty, unpretentious food options include pizza, sandwiches, burgers, fries, candy, and popcorn. 
 
6. Pride

We may not be San Francisco, but if you’re heading somewhere where gayness isn’t quite so celebrated, you should get your fill of rainbows at Pride Northwest. This year, the Portland Pride Waterfront Festival is June 16-17. It’s donations based, so they suggest you pay $7 for entry and to “gay it forward.” On Saturday, there are events like the Portland Trans Pride Rally and March, the Portland Dyke March, the women’s and trans’ Portland Pride Inferno Dance, and Portland Pride Gaylabration at the Crystal Ballroom. The parade starts on the Sunday at 11am. Other attractions include food, crafts, goods, and top LGBTQ entertainers, especially on Saturday night. You can get more information, donate, buy VIP tickets, or sign up to volunteer at https://pridenw.org/. 
Additionally, "SuperQueeroes", the 12th Annual PDX Latinx Pride Festival, starts at 4:00 on July 21st at 2305 SE 9th Ave. You can check out food carts, information booths, games, a fashion show, and other entertainment until the real attraction starts at 8:00: a drag show! See http://www.pdxlatinxpride.org/pdx-latinx-pride-2018.html for more information about PDX Latinx Pride, the organization that hosts this cool event. 
 
7. Thorns Game

Even as women fight to minimize the wage gap in the workforce and speak out against sexism with #metoo, equal attention to women’s sports can be seen as a lost cause. There’s simply no way that women’s sports can have nearly as many fans as the men… unless you’re in Portland. The Portland Thorns, our women’s soccer team, has unparalleled support in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). 
The Thorns are the defending champions for the 2018 season which started in March. They’ll play at Providence Park on June 27, July 6, July 15, August 18, August 22, and September 7. Even if you’re not a soccer fan, you should try spending a game behind the far goal, where the Rose City Riveters all sit. The Riveters are loud, rowdy, well-organized fans that don’t stop chanting, singing, jumping, drinking, and swearing for the entire duration of the game. It’s pretty intimidating for visiting teams! 
 
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