Day 6: Portland

Tako is borderline passed out at all times from this heat. Poor pug. I’m not fairing very well, either, but my comfort zone is between 75-85F. (At temps lower than 75F, I always have a sweater handy.) So the heat doesn’t feel as extreme to me.

Our first stop was Cathedral Park to check out the off-leash dog area. T Cath Park

I can’t say enough good things about Cathedral Park. We went back three separate times we loved it so much. There’s a tiny sandy beach at the far end of the park, and Tako actually jumped in the water. Since he was on-leash at the time, I wound up soaked to my knees. But neither of us cared about that.

Cathedral Park Selfie

On our way back from the park, I was searching for a dog-friendly breakfast place in St. Johns, so we were wandering through that cute downtown area I mentioned before.

I really like St. Johns. I’m a sucker for brick buildings and old neon signs, both of which run amok here.

Every block is restaurants and pet shops and stores with home goods that I really wanted to stroll through.

When Nothing Goes Right
I mean, this is just straight up good advice.

As we were wandering, we came across the Saturday St. Johns Farmers Market!

St Johns Farmers Market

I spotted other dogs already inside, so I ventured in with Tako, who proceeded to introduce himself to everyone and every dog we came across. People were really nice about it, and pretty much everyone wanted to give him a pat or two and chat about what a fine-looking pug he is.

So he was strutting pretty hard by the time we came across the crepe truck.

St Johns Farmers Market Crepe

Delicious breakfast acquired, we wandered the market and downtown area, meeting a ton of dogs and people on our way, until I had finished the crepe and Tako stopped pouting that he hadn’t gotten any.

I decided to head to the Peninsula Park Rose Garden next for a bit of a rest for the pooch (and for me; SO HOT OUT). St Johns is fairly removed from Portland proper, so we drove into a neighborhood on the Northwest side and walked to the park from there.

Public Art and Rolling
I love all the public art in Portland.

Rose Garden Fountain

The scent of the roses was intense in the heat. As soon as you walk down the steps so that you’re level with the rows, you’re breathing in perfume.

Peninsula Rose Park

We took a break in the shade, and Tako went full Zen mode while I wrote for a while. We saw about half a dozen groups with professional photographers come through for photos in the beautiful garden, including two weddings, a quinceañera, and a couple of family portraits.

Zen Pug

And then we met up with my friend Kara, who took us to Radio Room. RR is inside a remodeled gas station, so it has two roll-down doors that separate the lower patio and the indoor seating. With a firepit on the ground floor and a deck upstairs, I imagine summer dinners there are spectacular.

We partook in the Bloody Mary bar. I’ve never seen so many types of hot sauce in the my life. I wish I had a photo of the bar itself.

Radio Room

Tako made friends with a French toddler named Meela* who was obsessed with his ears. I don’t blame her. They feel like the softest suede in the world.

We stayed so long that our server changed to the next shift, and it became happy hour around 3 p.m. It was still a thousand degrees out, so we headed over to Mama San Soul Shack for boozy slushies. Their soft drink mention tickled me.

Mama San Soul Shack

Portland, your boozy slushie game is fierce. Mama San had two varieties: Charred Watermelon Margarita & classic Piña Colada. Both were delicious, but choices had to be made, and I went with the margarita.



Sadly, after Kara and I parted around dinner time, it was still so hot that I wasn’t even hungry. So I scrapped our dinner plans (Quesabrosa…I mourn not having eaten your al pastor) and tried to take Tako on a short walk back in St. Johns to Cathedral Park. He was having none of it, though, because of the heat, so we got back to the AirBnB around 8 p.m. and Tako crashed hard. Even then it was 87F in an AirBnB with no AC.

Mental note: always check for AC in the AirBnB I’m traveling with Tako. Bad Kaitlin.



Seeing my friend Kara for the first time in about 7 years. That’s just crazy. I was so busy catching up with her that I forgot to take a single photo (other than of my bloody mary) the entire time we were together.



Trying to regulate Tako’s temperature in this heat wave has been an anxiety-driver for me. He seems happy, and he definitely loves Portland, so I’m trying not to worry too much. But we’re supposed to camp tonight on Sauvie Island, and it’s going to be 99F. I am very concerned at how we’ll manage that heat in a tent.


*I have no idea if I’m spelling this correctly; my friends have a toddler named Mila, but that’s short for Amelia, so I’m at a loss.



Driven: 1172mi

Hiked: 14mi

Written: 3k

Listening to: “Stereo Hearts” Gym Class Heroes & Adam Levine

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