I grew up in Bend where it snows often. In my 12 years living in the Portland this recent storm is the most snow I have seen here. As I talk to “old-timers” they have a hard time remembering this much snow accumulating and sticking for so long. I love it! My wife and I along with our dog made the most of it over the last few days.
After shoveling snow a couple of times, we went to Goldrush Coffee Bar for our Saturday morning bagel and coffee. They were open and we were glad. We sat in the window for a while enjoying our warm toasted bagel along with eggnog latte and a candy cane mocha watching the snow fall and cars go by. Enough snow had fallen while we were away I shoveled the sidewalk and stairs again when we returned.
With it being so close to the big holiday, I had some errands to run so I went out and about. On my way back, I stopped at Sparky’s Pizza to pick up a few slices for a late lunch. I have really come to enjoy having Sparky’s in our neighborhood. Frequently, on weekends, my wife or I walk over to pick up a few slices for lunch. The pizza is good and the by-the-slice price is just right!
When the pizza was gone we decided to take a walk through the neighborhood before it got dark. First, of course, I shoveled more snow. Then we ventured to Dawson Park. Our dog “decided” to join us though I suspect if he could really talk he would have rather stayed home. All three of us, with our coats and snow boots on, (yes the dog too!) went to the park for a little fun. The snow wasn’t really right for making a snowman but we had fun nonetheless. Even before we arrived Oscar had long since decided enough was enough and I am certain that if he wasn’t attached to the leash he would have run home. On our way back we saw some neighbors cross country skiing through the neighborhood.
Later, we planned to go see Peacock Lane in SE Portland. First, I shoveled snow then we left. By now there was about 6” of snow after an all-day snow storm. Peacock Lane was beautiful with all the fresh snow. We came back to Eliot for a late dinner. McMenamins White Eagle Saloon was the only business on lower Russell street that was open so we ventured on in. The live music was nice and the meals were good. My wife and our friend who joined us, both had hot coffee drinks that hit the spot on a cold night. I had Kris Kringle beer! After a great wintry night of holiday lights, food and drinks I shoveled the sidewalk once more before retiring to bed.
I got up Sunday morning and first things first – I shoveled snow. Total accumulation now was about 7” with 1/2” of crusty ice on top from overnight freezing rain. Then we went to Goldrush for our normal Sunday bagel and coffee followed by football watching. In what has been a dreadful NFL season, the Seahawks won at snow covered Quest Field!
When the game was over I noticed something. The boots I had been wearing all week during “Arctic Blast 2008” had fallen apart. Other than snowboarding boots I didn’t have anything appropriate to wear. Inspired by the neighbors we saw skiing the day before, we decided that with the snow continuing to fall we needed to take advantage of a rare opportunity. It was time to run a few errands, but first I shoveled snow.
After clearing the snow and ¼” of ice off the windshield we started our next adventure. First stop was the Mountain Shop on 7th and Broadway. We rented cross country skis, poles and boots. I also bought a pair of waterproof hiking/backpacking boots due to my boot malfunction earlier in the day. Then we ventured out to buy a new camera at Costco.
Once we got back to Eliot we found our favorite BBQ place closed so once again we ended up at White Eagle. We were a little too early for their Sunday Open Mic so no live music this time. I had more Kris Kringle and a really good Cajun Chicken Cobb salad. My wife had a yummy Portland Dip.
After eating we went back home to prepare for an evening of cross country skiing. We got geared up then skied through the neighborhood toward Irving park. The light in the neighborhood with snow on the ground is very elegant and soft so visibility wasn’t a problem. We went around Irving park a few times then skied through Eliot to Dawson Park. Again we went around the park a few times then moved on to Lillis-Albina Park and back home. It was a great way to kill a few hours. To end the day – you guessed it – I shoveled snow.
Portlanders often plan special trips up to the Mount Hood wilderness, Central Oregon or other destinations to stay in a place were they can ski-in and ski-out. We did it right here in Eliot from our house! To top it off I used the skis again to get to work on Monday.
I hope you have enjoyed our neighborhood and city during this unusual snow. During the rest of this storm or during the next you can count on Goldrush, Sparkys and White Eagle to be open. Goldrush Coffee Bar is located at 2601 NE MLK . Nearby, Sparkys Pizza is at 2434 NE MLK. Finally, McMenamins White Eagle is in lower Albina at 836 N Russell. Enjoy the snow and enjoy the winter! Oh, I don’t really mind shoveling snow – I actually kind of like it!