Sunday, September 16, 2012

Portland, Oregon

Edit: I had some problems with the photos showing up correctly, so I've had to re-add them and re-publish.

Warning: Travelogue ahead.

My next trip was in March of this year to Portland, Oregon for the round of 64 and round of 32 games in the NCAA tournament.  I still call them the first and second rounds, but technically they are now the second and third rounds now that there are 68 teams involved.

The games were at the Rose Garden Arena (where the Trailblazers play), which turned out to be quite a comfortable arena.  It's been so long since the tournament that most of you have probably forgotten who even won the national championship (it was the Kentucky Wildcats, by the way).

We saw some great games, including 3 of the 6 determined by 3 points or less.  The teams that we saw were: New Mexico, Long Beach State, Louisville, Davidson, Wichita State, Virginia Commonwealth, Indiana and New Mexico State.

On the Friday between the games, we headed up the Columbia River Gorge to see the waterfalls.

The first falls that we visited were Wahkeena Falls, where I went log riding.

Next we visited the beautiful Multnomah Falls followed by a short hike to Bridal Veil Falls.

After the waterfalls, we turned the car west and headed out to Astoria, where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean.  We ate lunch in a small seafood joint out over the river before we turned south down the Pacific Coast.

We stopped at the cheese factory in Tillamook, sampled the cheese and had some ice cream before turning back to Portland.

On Saturday we spent the morning walking around downtown Portland, with our first stop at the famous Powell's books (where I purchased A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson).  We spent an hour or so at the Portland farmer's market before heading over to the Rose Garden for the final two games of our NCAA sessions.

Another awesome NCAA trip in the books!  Here's a list of the tournament rounds I've been to:

1997 - Jon M. Huntsman Center, Salt Lake City, UT - First and Second Rounds
2000 - Jon M. Huntsman Center, Salt Lake City, UT - First and Second Rounds
2003 - Jon M. Huntsman Center, Salt Lake City, UT - First and Second Rounds
2004 - Key Arena, Seattle, WA - First and Second Rounds
2005 - McKale Center, Tucson, AZ - First and Second Rounds
2006 - Jon M. Huntsman Center, Salt Lake City, UT - First and Second Rounds
2007 - Arco Arena, Sacramento, CA - First and Second Rounds
2008 - Honda Center, Anaheim, CA - First and Second Rounds
2009 - We didn't get drawn for tickets (lottery system)
2010 - EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT - Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight
2011 - McKale Center, Tucson, AZ - Second and Third Rounds
2012 - Rose Garden Arena, Portland, Or - Second and Third Rounds

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