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Travelogue: The Gorge, Oregon

The idea began during discussion with my wife about what to do on a scooter adventure maximizing the fun during several business trips and vacations all over the states and around the world. Since scooterists do many things beyond just sitting on a bike, the intention of these submissions is to offer a brief idea for a travel adventure that mixes things to do beyond just scootin’. There may be ideas for sights to see, things to do, shopping tips, or just plain tourist-trap fun. Travelogue provides ideas for what to do before, during, after, and between scooter runs.

There is no fancy name for the gorge that was cut by the Columbia River that divides Oregon and Washington State. It is just called The Gorge. There is no need to call it any other name. Regardless of the bland name, it is beautiful and majestic.

The Gorge empties the Columbia into the greater Portland/Vancouver (WA) area by first spilling past the suburb of Troutdale. While Troutdale may not be the roots of the rich and famous, it IS the gateway to several scooter escapades.

From the east side of Portland, there are several day and weekend trips that take you around one of the greatest scoot adventures ever. Bring your smartphone and your riding gloves because the sights are eye-popping and the ride is a rush. (Portland is an amazing city in its own right and worth spending some time in. Ride the Max, and hit the waterfront.)

Before you embark for Troutdale, your scooter journey should begin with a visit with the local scooter scene. A quick web search for “scooter clubs in Portland, OR” will reveal several options. Make contact and see if your new friends want to come along. Stop in to see the gang at Vespa or Portland to add even more contacts. And, of course, you can check out Facebook for the scooterheads in town and consider a meet-up at Pine State Biscuits. If you are hoteling, stay in the Troutdale area or near Mt. Hood Community College.

OK, now for the ride… there are a few major East/West roads on the East side of Portland… Halsey Street is the one you want. Just go west! Just when you think you’re about to run out of city… ta da!

Load up on fuel here, for it may be a while before you see another station. (If your scooter has a small tank, then travel with a little more.) Continue east into what seems like you are heading for a crevasse that separates a town from the foothills of the Cascade Range. Once you cross the Sandy River, Halsey Street will come to an end. Turn right and head up river.

Whatever you do, you HAVE to stop at Tad’s Chicken and Dumplin’s. At least, that’s what it is called during the day. But at night, the neon sign is broken, so it transforms into Tad’s Chick Dump. It does not matter if you are full, jam your finger down your throat if you have to… but you GOTTA eat there. Dumplin’s the size of a cat’s head… and they taste WAY better.

Buy the frinkin’ T-shirt on the way out! However, you may need a bigger size.

Ok, now that YOUR tank is full… continue up river…

You’ll pass Dabney and putt into Springdale.

You can start to feel the corners come to life on your scooter. Your throttle hand should start to begin to twitch with the adrenalin rush that will last all day.