In 2008 my girlfriend Lee Anne, now my wife, and I moved to Portland, Oregon. I had dropped out of college to start a business my Junior year in college, and decided I needed a change of atmosphere. I had visited my cousin who lived in Portland and fell in love with the city. It was also a great place for Lee, because Nike’s world headquarters and Adidas’ USA headquarters are in Portland. She had just graduated with a degree in apparel merchandising, so it was a perfect fit.
We absolutely loved the city, and even though we only ended up staying in Portland for a little over a year, we made some great friends.
For those of you that don’t know, my new business, OPENtruk, revolves around food trucks, and with Portland being one of the top 3 cities for food trucks, I was due for a visit to scout the city and spend some time catching up with friends.
I’m a huge advocate of people starting their own company’s, so the first day in Portland, I was excited to check out the vineyard one friend had started. They’ve always had a passion for wine, so it was great seeing that dream come to fruition.
On my second day in Portland, I got to do a ride along with a friend who became a police officer. For those who don’t know what a ride along is, it’s an opportunity to ride alone with a cop in their car for the day. You go everywhere with them, so you get a real world view of what it’s like to be in their shoes. We had some exciting moments – we had to arrest someone and take them to jail, dealt with lots of people running stop signs, and had one older women who was so drunk she repeatedly flashed everyone as she was being arrested. The whole experience really changed my view of what it’s like to be a police officer.
We headed downtown for my third day and spent a lot of the day scouting the city and talking with food trucks. There’s a lot of great passionate people who own the food trucks in Portland, so I’m excited to come back and work with them when we launch.
We spent the night at The Nines Hotel in downtown Portland. The people there were extremely accommodating. I had stayed at The Nines on a previous trip a few years ago, and I’m happy to say, it’s still amazing. They have an amazing staff, and the club level lounge, where you can stop in for a free mid-day snack and drink was a nice touch. (full blog post on the Nines Hotel here)
On my last day, I headed up a mountain on the Oregon coast to go shooting. I’ve shot guns before, but never with someone who’s been extensively trained to use them. He ran me though how to do tactical reloads, proper stance, how to clear gun jams under fire, and how to acquire targets quickly. It was a ton of fun, and I got to try out lots of handguns, a big game rifle, and an AR-15. They were all unique in different ways, but my favorite by far was the AR-15. I couldn’t get over how fun and accurate it was. If you have the opportunity to try one, I highly recommend it. They have a recoil spring in the stock, so although they pack a lot more punch than a .22, you really don’t feel it. We probably would have spent most of the day out on the mountain, but the Portland rain from the remnants of typhoon Songda got the best of us.
It’s been a great trip, and I’m looking forward to traveling back in the spring.