This week has been one of both rest and adventure. I attempted to cure the previous week’s various ailments by hiding away in my room and taking it easy for a few days, with moderate success. However I did not let them prevent me from getting out and doing something over the holidays. I got in contact with fellow scholar Julian Hasleby, who is based in Calgary at the Manning Centre, and he agreed that we should capitalise on the break. Thus, I hastily organised our transport and accommodation, and we made our way across the border to Portland, Oregon, in the United States.
I figured that Portland would be an appropriate place to spend a few days over Christmas, a relatively sleepy little city known for its rustic and cosy atmosphere. Although there were no turkey feasts or shimmering Christmas trees on our coach, we were still pleasantly surprised to find that both the Portland locals and their boutique microbreweries were warm and welcoming. Upon making our way to the popular Wildwood Trail for a morning hike, the friendly bus driver was so happy to have us visiting her city that she gave us both day passes for free!
The Wildwood Trail itself was something of unparalleled beauty. It winds its way up the Northwest Portland hills passing by lazy, bubbling creeks and enormous moss covered trees. Aside from wearing inappropriate hiking shoes and being inundated with muddy decorations accordingly, the walk was one to remember. Even the downpour of rain halfway through could not dampen our mood. At the top of the trail was our prize, the glorious Pittock Mansion and a fantastic view over Portland. We’ve since arrived in Seattle with high expectations after the first leg of our trip, and we’re looking forward to bringing in the New Year with some fireworks over the Space Needle! See you in 2017!