Friday, July 06, 2012

Travel Notes

I went up to Portland, Oregon, to see some dear college friends. They were doing some yurt camping on Beverly Beach, and so I tagged along. Yurt camping is apparently a pretty popular thing in the Northwest; I hadn't really heard of it. It makes sense given the weather, though; certainly beats putting up a tent in the rain.

Portland has an extraordinary beer culture, so I saw (and drank) a great deal of that. We had one dinner at McMenamins when they were doing their live music, and got to listen to Kathryn Claire and Hanz Araki.

We also ran in the Foot Traffic Flat on Sauvie Island, in the 5k. I don't really run at all, and didn't in this race (my first) really push myself (I had a flight the next day!), so timewise it was nothing impressive, but it was fun in its own way.

On Thursday, I was on the MAX going back to the airport and had a pleasant surprise. The Barbershop Harmony Society was in the middle of having its international convention. Massive numbers of participants, mostly but not exclusively seniors, got on, and sang a few songs. I think a lot of them were coming from the Good News Gospel Sing at some Presbyterian church or other. In any case, it's one of those pleasant surprises.

Flying up was quite straightforward -- Southwest really does in many ways seem to do a better job than most other airlines. Flying back was a bit mixed, though. The TSA agents in Portland were actually the nicest TSA agents I've ever come across -- not that that's a high standard, but it was a big difference. Security was as much of a pain as ever, but at least the agents didn't make it worse. (I got patted going and coming; the machine kept registering something or other about my right ankle. I don't know what that's about.) The second leg of my flight was delayed by about fifteen minutes -- I knew that going in -- and then when they got there they had difficulty with their auxiliary power unit, and that had to be fixed, so we ended up leaving an hour after originally scheduled. I got on the plane in Portland at 2:30, Pacific Time, and with travel time from the airport didn't get back to my apartment until after midnight Central Time. Long day.

I miss Portland weather. Their daytime highs now are about where our nighttime lows are here, and I don't mind rain all that much. It will take some adjustment!


  1. Brandon, I'm guessing you live in Texas. I heard from the Darwins that tempratures in the state have recently reached and exceeded triple digits, yikes! Just a couple of degrees more and you probably wouldn't even need a grill to cook your Fourth of July barbeque! Meanwhile, it's about the high 70's and low 80's here in Southern California, which sounds chilly by comparison.

    I see that the Darwins used the "Too Darn Hot" dance sequence from the play Kiss Me, Kate to express their plight in song. Well, the closest alternative for me that comes to mind is "Hot Hot Hot" by Arrow. A good idea for your next “Music on my Mind” post?  8-)

  2. Yes, I've been glad to miss the triple digit days recently, and it looks like I picked a good time -- over the next week it's expected to be no higher than the high nineties.

    Wow, it's been a long time since I've heard that song.

  3. The WSJ affirms your travel destination! No mention of yurts, though, which is strange because "yurt camping" is one of those phrases that rolls trippingly off the tongue.

  4. That's quite a coincidence. Since yurt camping is a few hours away, I suppose they can be let off the hook for not mentioning it. I suppose.

  5. No, I'm seriously thinking of cancelling my Journal subscription over this slight.

  6. It does seem suggestive of anti-Mongolian bias.


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