Portland reminds us of an adult summer camp—and not just because of the low wages, rugged fashion or widely varied grooming habits. Deserted on winter weekdays, this town really comes alive as the skies brighten. Neighbors who went missing just after Christmas suddenly appear at the cafe by your house, and every spare patch of grass seems to be put into the service of blanket-sitters or Frisbee-tossers.
For this year’s Summer Guide, we approached Portland like one big collection of cabins, trails and fire pits. So we went fly-fishing for the first time, took up slacklining, learned to windsurf, completed a beginner-level mountaineering expedition and butchered a rabbit. We approached each of these outings like a kid trying something new at camp—excited, if a little nervous. We also put together a list of some of our favorite locally made camping products and assembled the ultimate summer-events calendar, with one can’t-miss activity for every day between now and the start of MusicfestNW.
We hope some of these ideas are useful. You can, of course, take it easy, just hanging out at the commissary downing slushies until the bell rings at the mess hall. But, as a helpful counselor probably told you a few years back, you should make more of your time here. Get out and have an experience, maybe learn something or pick up a new hobby, before the rain returns and everyone disappears.