Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Journeying On

Stepping out of the Granville Island hotel at 5:30am, I was a bit surprised to be met by rain. Not that rain is surprising in Vancouver, but it had been so nice the day before. Thankfully it barely drizzled on me. It was nice not to get soaked before the train ride!

I took the Amtrak train from Vancouver to Portland. There was a little customs and security since it was across the border, but minor compared to flying these days. The train ride was pleasant.

We got to Portland about 3pm. It was beautiful weather - sunny and warm. Lots of people out biking and running. I could easily have taken public transportation to the hotel - Portland is good for that. But it was such a nice day I walked along the paths by the river. Spring is even further along here, with lots of flowers blooming.

It took about 30 minutes to walk to Riverplace Hotel. It's in a great spot overlooking the river. And they'd given me a free upgrade to a suite. A little wasted on me by myself, but still nice.

I had an early supper in the hotel lounge (the restaurant didn't open till later). A nice roasted pepper soup with a salad. And a glass of Pinot Noir that Oregon is known for.

With Google's help I took the streetcar and then the Max light train to the zoo. The only glitch was that the electronic display of stops was incorrect and by the time I figured that out I had missed my stop. But it was no problem to hop out and catch a train going back the other direction.

I went to the zoo to hear a lecture on condor reintroduction in Arizona. It is pretty amazing how condors were down to 22 captive birds (none left on the wild) and are now gradually making a comeback thanks to reintroduction.

The speaker was good. But he was a hunter, which always seems incongrous to me. But as much as I don't care for hunting, their organizations have done a lot for conservation. For example, Ducks Unlimited and their preservation of wetlands. I'd rather they had a different motivation but conservation can use whatever help it can get.

This morning I walked back along the river to the train station to catch the bus to Astoria on the coast. I have to shake my head when I take public transportation to be more sustainable and end up on a 50 seat bus with only four passengers! This is the off season and no doubt they are busier in the summer. What they need is a more flexible system where they could switch to a smaller vehicle like a van when it made sense.

Here in Astoria I'm staying at the Cannery Pier Hotel. Shelley and I stumbled into this hotel a few years ago when we were driving down the coast and really liked it. It's in a restored cannery on a pier over the water. It's not cheap but it's a lovely hotel.

Amazingly, the weather is continuing beautiful and sunny. I just hope I get some of this nice weather while I'm hiking.

Tomorrow I'll take the bus to as close to the start of the hiking as I can. I've enjoyed the fancy hotels and restaurants but I'm looking forward to getting out on my own and hiking and camping on the beach.

Location:Marine Dr,Astoria,United States

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like an enjoyable day. Thanks for sharing it. Great descriptions. Thanks.