This is the 5th of a series of posts dealing with my 2015 trip to Portland, Seattle, and vicinity. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports (typos, bits I don’t feel like making public). Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of two years later or to add further clarification. These are indicated by “NOW”.
I had breakfast to go at the McDonald's near the hostel and when to providence Park MAX Station (the only person who's "guessed" what it used to be called used Wiki so the old name contest is still up for grabs). I bought a daypass and took a Blue MAX train (unless noted all transit this day TriMet) to Gresham Transit Center MAX Station/Gresham Transit Center. There was a wait for my bus so I wandered around randomly and found a nice park called the Plaza of the Arts. There were water jet holes on the ground but only one jet was on. Curiously there was a "No Lifeguard on Duty" sign even though the only way someone could drown would be if they passed out drunk with their mouth over one of the jets. Returning to Gresham Transit Center, I took an 84 bus as far south as it went, quickly visited a Chevron in this no man's land south of Gresham, and walked the rest of the way to Boring; same farm animals along the way.
[NOW: The hostel I stayed at was Northwest Portland Hostel].
In Boring, I saw the street SE Andy, signs referring to Boring's partnership with Dull Scotland including an upcoming Boring & Dull Day, and Boring Mini-Storage. I bought the movie Frankenfish and a pop at Green Food Mart, partly to get a Boring receipt. There was a sign saying "Boring MS Students & Staff"; hopefully the sign referred to the nearby school and wasn't claiming that multiple sclerosis was boring. I also saw Boring Station Trailhead Park, Boring Middle School (always a highlight) then heading a route I hadn't gone in 2014 saw a sign that said Boring Industrial -->. I didn't investigate further because it looked like it might be too far out of the way. The Boring Shell, which I visited briefly, had a sign that said "Beer Up at Boring Shell". This time the Not So Boring Pub Bar & Grill didn't have a funny sign about beers. I briefly visited McCall County Store, briefly revisited Trailhead Park, saw the Post office that had some reference to Boring, the Boring Rural Fire District (with the Boring Fire District Training Tower and a van saying Boring Fire), and Boring Bark & Landscaping which was offering timber wood and espresso.
I left Boring, taking pictures of signs for drivers nearing Boring as I walked south a very long ways to Sandy Oregon. Blockbuster was not yet open but it was exciting to see an existing one that would soon be open for the day. I walked further south, visiting Walgreen's during a brief rain. I walked to the downtown core and saw Sandy Chainsaw and Sandy Bicycle (neither a good combo). Oddly the ant farm didn't have Sandy in the name. I then returned south to Blockbuster, where I bought a DVD called detention of the Dead. The reason this Blockbuster still exists is because Blockbuster licensed out the name but this branch wasn't actually owned by the parent company. I caught a SAM bus ($1, Sandy Transit) back to Gresham. I visited Oregon Trail Shopping Center (outdoor shopping centre) where I visited Big Lots, got a drink from Dollar Tree, visited CD/Game Exchange. i walked to Cleveland MAX Station, where I took the Blue MAX train all the way from Gresham to Hillsboro (so far east to far west). I'm pretty sure one woman had a phone call on speaker phone for a long ways. At one point a young woman smelling of pot got on and talked to a guy about her probation officer related to her drug use.
[NOW: The “ant farm” proved to be AntFarm Cafe and Bakery, so most likely a play on the Sandy name.]
At Hatfield Government Center Station in Hillsboro I got off and visited Jacobson's Books & More but decided to skip Arcade Book Exchange because last visit they were snobbish when I asked about something, maybe graphic novels. The downtown core of Hillsboro didn't really wow me this time either so might skip next time unless I want the train ride. I visited a McDonald's for lunch hoping a different street would wow me more; no luck. I took a Blue MAX train from Washington/SE 12th MAX station to Beaverton Central MAX Station in Beaverton.
[NOW: Jacobson's Books & More is now closed.]
I visited Things from Another World. I noticed that the McDonald’s with the nice fountain was being extensively renovated so all the nice decor outside was gone. I visited Powell's and Everyday Music (got a DVD for a $1) (these Beaverton stores should not be confused with their counterparts near the hostel in Portland, and saw the (outside of Heroes & Hobbies, a store that doesn't open until 4:30 and is said to open late). I returned to the MAX station, having now hit all the places I planned to visit over an hour early. So to offer some relief for the busy day tomorrow started on an easy place to jump on that itinerary. When the Blue MAX train arrived I got on but instead of getting off downtown (which I was tempted to do as I think the guy in front of me after the first stop had a cold) I continued on to Lloyd Center/Northeast 11th Avenue MAX Station. I cut across the park to Lloyd Center and got through Macy's into the mall proper, where i took photos of the ice rink. I bought a couple DVDs from Suncoast Motion Picture Company (owned by f.y.e. and comparable stock) and visited Barnes & Noble before cutting through Macy's again and heading east. Heading south I passed the Sunshine Milk Company with the giant rotating milk cartoon on the roof. I visited the Everyday Music on Sandy Blvd before catching a 19 bus to Stark's Vacuums, where I took photos of the small corridor but free Vacuum Museum. Instead of taking the bus downtown I decided to cross the bridge on foot; if you're there two or more days you should do this at least once. It's a nice way to see the Willamette River. I walked north along the waterfront, passing Bill Naito Legacy Fountain and Mill Ends Park before arriving at Salmon Street Springs.
[NOW: The ice rink has since been renovated. The bridge I crossed was Burnside Bridge.]
There were a couple more things I wanted to do so I visited Cameron's Books & Magazines and got a Slurpee from 7-11 I was craving before passing Mill Ends Park again and relaxing at Salmon Street Springs. In the Willamette River a boat was spraying jets of blue and red water into the river. I relaxed at the fountain some more and then visited Mill Ends Park once more, then went to Sbarro and Pioneer Place. I wasn't crazy about the pizza choices this time though. I saw the animal fountains and the statue of the cloaked woman which was now cleaned of gun. Wandering north I found a Subway for dinner. The woman at the counter complemented me on my camera (lots of women have complemented me on the camera this trip). i wandered around a bit more before returning to the hostel.
[NOW: Sbarro is now closed. The fountain is Animal in Pools fountain. The cloaked woman is Kvinneakt.]
There are now only two days where I HAVE to get up before 6: the day I go to Seattle and the day I return home. I might still get up before 6 on other days (likely will especially tomorrow) but in theory I'm entering a period where there's less of a need to get up so early.