Whitecaps in Portland

Another old post that I totally forgot about over the craziness that was this past summer. The weekend of July 18th, I did a short weekend road trip with some friends down to Portland, to see the Whitecaps play the Timbers. 

We started off on Friday night and decided to drive as far as Bellingham. There were two reasons for this - to break up the drive, and because there were a few breweries in Bellingham that we wanted to check out. It was a little later than planned when we got down there, and a couple of the places we wanted to check out were either closing or had private parties going on. We still managed to find a couple of cool spots and had a fun night.

We were up pretty early Saturday morning, and started our drive south. At Mount Vernon we hit ridiculous traffic. I managed to pull off and take a side road by the problem, which was a massive accident that was blocking traffic in both direction for the whole I-5. The newspaper headline was Dump truck plows head-on into stalled I-5 traffic, and the description was "Seven people were taken to the hospital and traffic backups stretched for miles Saturday in the Mount Vernon area after a truck charged across the I-5 median into oncoming traffic. That traffic had been stalled for an investigation into a fatal drive-by shooting."

Picture from the new website on the massive accident.

Even after we got through that, the rest of the drive to Portland was a mess. It took way longer than it should have, and it was early afternoon by the time we got to Ian's cousin's place, where we were staying. 

The game was at 7:30, so we had some time to do some touring around downtown Portland. We had brought our bikes with us, so we rode into downtown (it wasn't that far), and went to check out a few of the local breweries. 

Our first stop on the short brewery tour.

They had a good selection, and the beer was pretty good.

We went into a place called Fat Head's, and sampled some beer. We didn't stay long, as we had decided to try Deschutes for dinner. There was a bit of a wait, but we grabbed a beer at the bar, and it didn't end up being that long.

Inside Deschutes, they have all these amazing carvings separating the seating areas.

Close up of one of the arches.

We had a great dinner, then headed down to the area of town where the stadium is. The stadium is really cool. It's an old stadium, with a ton of character. The Vancouver fans travel pretty well for these west coast matches, so there were quite a few supporters around. We were both giving and taking from the Portland supporters. It was a good atmosphere, and a lot of fun.

The marquee on the outside of the stadium.

There were about 500 Vancouver supporters in the section where we were sitting. We were loud! We had our own version of O Canada going, a little out of sync with the official version. That and the various songs during the match made it a really great environment.

The view from our seats before the start of the game.

The game was also a good one, and ended up in a draw. I think we got a bit hosed by some questionable refing decisions, but what else is new? 

After the game we had a bit of a late night, bar hopping and generally having a good time. It was a very fun night, and overall might have been the best experience I've had at a sporting event. Definitely want to do it again next year!

Sunday we had to drive home, and fortunately it was a bit better drive. We kept our eye on traffic, and got off the I-5 in the right places to avoid the worst of the traffic.