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The Though Kitchen - Dedicated to Stirring the Pot

Reasons to Love Portland: #1.5

Posted by hal | November 8th, 2006 | Filed under Outdoor Sport, Personal Reflection, Who We Are

I’ve always had a bit of an attitude about folks who lived in the city, assuming that they had simply chosen financial gain over quality of life. And when it came to outdoor sports, well, they weren’t “realâ€? outdoor athletes, because they didn’t live the life of the beach rat or the mountain town local.

blogshot_1.jpgNow I live within the city limits of a major metropolis. But it’s not the soulless yuppie enclave I had imagined it to be. It’s a city that cares deeply about limiting urban sprawl, about energizing it’s center through progressive public transportation programs and celebrations of the arts.

More than that, it’s also home to outdoor athletes that are just as passionate and proficient at their sports as any “feralâ€? surfers or skiers. The added benefit is that by being situated equidistant from the surf and the snow, the opportunities are exponentially increased and diversified. I can surf or ski within an hour and a half of my home. I’ve even thought about doing some sort of triathlon that included dawn patrol at the local surf break, cycling in Forest Park at lunch, and an afternoon/evening ski session to close out the day.

For those of us who take a more opportunistic approach to sport, who adjust their recreation of choice according to weather conditions and the best tool for the job, Portland is, in my opinion, the ultimate outdoor town.

3 Responses to “Reasons to Love Portland: #1.5”

  • December 10, 2006 at 10:15 pm | John says

    Your take on Portland resonates. I grew up as a “city rat” with limited access to cultivate my passion for both skiing and windsurfing. A day back in the mid-80′s, I saw a picture in a windsurfing magazine of a beautiful mountain and a body of water with windsurfers zipping across. I Couldn’t believe my eyes. When the article made a reference to Portland and me knowing that I had relatives in Portland, destiny was in the making. The ability to go skiing and windsurfing the same day is pretty unique and I’m not sure I know of any other place in the US where that is possible. I remember driving back to Portland after a day of skiing in the morning and windsurfing in the afternoon. When passing a car with California plates, I looked over and saw the people in the car eyes wide open and mouth half open looking at my car with both windsurfing boards and skis on top. Wonder what they were thinking? Portland absolutely rocks.

  • December 12, 2006 at 11:49 am | hal arneson says

    Hey John- Thanks for responding. I love what you had to say about skiing and windsurfing in the same day.
    I moved here from a beach town where I paddled outrigger canoes, and now I’ve discovered that the gorge is actually a great place for surfing the outrigger, in addition to being one of the world’s best windsurfing locations.

    It’s so cool to load up several toys, and just let the weather conditions dictate which sport to do that day.
    Yeah, Portland is a pretty amazing place for the multi-sport athlete.

  • January 24, 2007 at 7:28 pm | John says


    I could be wrong, but I think we met up at Mt. Hood Meadows last Sunday (1/21) with my shutterbug friend Randy and Jane. Maybe I should have added that I sat in my hometown of Oslo, Norway reading about Hood River. Well, 21 years later, here I am. Better skiing can be found other places, but the windsurfing is hard to beat. The combination, second to none. Whistler and Squamish got a similar set up, but the windsurfing is far better in the Gorge than in Squamish.
    It was good to meet you and Rebecca.


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