Sunday, October 7, 2012

From Mount Hood to Jeld-Wen Field

Saturday morning, we woke up at the Reed College Ski Cabin, a 14-bed facility in Government Camp where we spent the night.  Oddly enough, I had never been there as a student – and we ran into a couple of students who seemed embarrassed to admit that, albeit seniors, this was their first time there.   Although the facility is meant primarily for students, as an alum I could reserve a place there up to a week in advance, and I was glad to be able to do so.  Sorry, though, not to have had the time to luxuriate in the sauna or enjoy the nice living spaces more.  Next time....
Living Room in Reed College Ski Cabin
Porch of Reed College Ski Cabin
After breakfast, we did an easy hike up to Mirror Lake, and could not resist the temptation for a quick dip in the quite-cold waters.
Gingerly easing my way into Mirror Lake, with view of Mt. Hood
We did not have the time to hike up Tom Dick and Harry Mountain above Mirror Lake

Then we drove back to Portland, and had lunch at a farmer’s market across from the houseboat at the Bridgeview Moorage on Multnomah Channel, where friend Lorene Scheer lives. We could see Mt. St. Helens looming in the distance across the cornfields.

After a few hours on the houseboat – Lorene was working on her expense reports while I was working on this blog  –

Lorene Scheer's houseboat

Houseboat from the front

we headed into town where we had dinner a block away from Jeld-Wen Field with another TDU activist, Gail Francis, who had just finished hiking the entire Pacific Crest Trail, and with Knute, a Norwegian fellow with whom Gail had hiked for a fair part of the way

Dinner was at an exceptional Thai restaurant in Goose Hollow, the Soi9 Thai Eatery

I had Pla Lui Saun, a crispy boneless trout with a spicy tamarind dressing
Pla Lui Saun
other notable dishes included Gai Yang Krati, a marinated and grilled Cornish game hen, served with som tum (papaya salad) and sticky rice,

Seafood soup (with drunken noodles behind)
Of all  the dishes we shared, only the drunken noodles were only ordinary.  This is an exceptional restaurant where I'll want to eat again on future visits to Portland.

The restaurant was full of Timbers supporters, as indeed were many other eateries around. In fact, I liked the whole vibe of a stadium in the midst of downtown Portland.

Then onto the game. Jeld-Wen is a lovely stadium, but it was not quite full as the game began, although the game had been advertised as sold out

The packed Timbers Army section at the far end was great

but I found the rest of the fans to be rather passive, very unlike my visit to the Sounders the year before, where the entire stadium was passionately behind the team from the very beginning.  Indeed, the Timbers fans near our seats almost seemed surprised to see a supporters section for the visiting fans.

At one point in the game the Timbers Army section all coordinated in a uniform movement – they would link arms together and shimmy slowly together to the right, then slowly together to the left. It was too far too get a good video, although Lorene shot this video of the cheering in our section.

As the game dragged on, I was distressed to see DC creating so few attacking chances, but then there was the dramatic penalty awarded.  I had not seen anything that looked remotely like a penalty, but Chris Pontius stepped up to the spot and converted emphatically. 

After that, Portland stepped up its game, and with barely ten minuted left they scored the tying goal. Green flares erupted from the Timbers Army end,

Flares set off by Timbers Army after Bright Dike scores the tying goal

but the entire stadium came alive, with fans standing, and cheering madly, and rooting their team on for the rest of the game, as they should have been doing from the beginning. 

Timbers fans come alive all around Jeld-Wen field

One of the Barra Brava fellows starting getting into arguments with some of the nearby Timbers fans, as if he wanted to pick fights with them.  It was the same guy who had engaged in similar behavior at with Sounders fans in Seattle, almost making me embarrassed to be in the same away supporters section.  His energy in supporting United is commendable, but he does not represent our team well when he acts this way.

The game ended in a 1-1 tie, which seemed to be to be a fair reflection of the game. Not the three points I had hoped for, but I expected we would be able to collect those in Toronto the following week.

As I flew home the next day, the sky was clear, and we had a great view of Mount Hood and Three Sisters beyond from the right-hand windows

Mt. Hood and Three Sisters seen from Alaska Airlines flight 764

Indeed, the views continued over mountains below for ninety minutes before the sky finally clouded over               

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