After 2 nights with no sleep because of seemingly constant train activity I decided tonight we would sleep in a nice quiet hotel, preferably one on the river as we were driving on toward Portland.
We wanted more bike riding so I checked out our Columbia Gorge bicycling map and discovered a trail that we had not yet ridden. It was near the Portland airport, starting right under the I-205 where it crosses the Columbia River and running west along the river, perfect! There were no parking lots for the trail but we did finally find a place to park on the shoulder of the road and we prepared to ride. There was a slight downhill from the road level to the trail so I checked my brakes . . . uh oh . . . my rear brake lever was not working at all, in fact it felt like it was going to break off in my hand. I couldn’t believe it our luck; has some gypsy crossed our path and put a curse on our bicycles? Two flats and now this. I most certainly did not want to rely on my front brake knowing that if I needed to stop quickly most likely I would go head over handlebars. Disappointment bubbles up for a second and then . . .
Plan B – it was such a gorgeous day, Mt. Hood was visible to the East and the river spread out in front of us so I urged George to go ahead and ride while I got my camera and walked the trail. It was just too good a day to not spend time in this stunning location. We will return once the curse has been lifted and we will both ride this trail to see where it ends.
I find a lot of interest, there is all sorts of boat activity on the river, osprey, herons, Canada Geese and other ducks, Mt. Hood reigning over the entire scene and you can watch the airplanes land up close and personal.
As promised, I found a hotel on the river not far from where we were riding but it is Saturday night and we went into the lobby with fingers crossed that they would have a river view room. The young lady at registration said so sorry, no river view rooms available but wait . . . she did have a 1 bedroom fireplace suite with a river view, it took me about a nanosecond to say YES! It took a few minutes while she tried to register us, it appeared she was having some technical problems with the computer and then she spoke the saddest words . . . sorry, that room is out of service while undergoing renovation.
Before my disappointment showed she offered another premium room that I guess she had hidden in her back pocket. A double queen with river view – where was it the first time I asked? Who cares, it was a river view in a quiet hotel. We were given a fantastic room with balcony, view of the river and a peek-a-boo view of Mt. Hood. I was a happy camper once again. After we both had a long, luxurious shower we strolled down to the restaurant for happy hour, sat on the deck overlooking the river and stayed for dinner; we did not want to leave, it was a beautiful evening.
While enjoying our appetizers we were entertained by what we thought was a wedding party, folks in formal attire, men in tuxedos and women in beautiful long gowns, lots of photos being taken. Some of the men appeared in some type of uniform, unfamiliar to both of us. They wore whitest shoes you’ve ever seen (Pat Boone would have been jealous) white slacks, white jackets and a colored half cape over the right shoulder some of the capes were yellow, some green or black. Obviously these men were officers or elders or grand poobahs of something but we had no idea what. The next morning we found out they were Shriners and this was their annual Grand “something” ball.
Our dinner was excellent, this was such a good choice, maybe the curse has been lifted.
Looking forward to a good night sleep . . .