Portland... the most scene hippie city in all the land. Fixed gear bikes, tight pants, and quaint coffee shops. The perfect place for us and a destination that I could see one day calling my temporary home. Alex lived in Portland last summer for an internship so he had tons of local knowledge to ensure an authentic experience of the town. We toured the city for a bit before finally meeting up with our dudes Art and Zach. It was a warm reunion. Art threw a cantaloupe in the air for me to catch before I even knew he was their (I went grocery shopping while Alex picked them up from the airport). Just the kind of zany stunt that Art and I get into when together. The four us us, reunited, visited Art's aunt and uncle for a backyard cookout with their neighbors. It was a gallant affair. Art's uncle (affectionately named Zucchi from his golden days playing baseball in Texas) was a colorful character and gracious host with vivid stories about his past and family. Art's aunt Julie, a school teacher, is as nice as they come and helped us with whatever we needed during our stay in Portland. Dan, Art's cousin and engineering student at Villanova helped drive us and all our stuff to Mt. Hood where we set up camp for the night. We set camp at The airstrip near Trillium at the base of Hood.