Out beyond 122nd way
Pablo said I’m taking my uncle to Tad’s, would you like to join us? Sure. Where is Tad’s?
Troutdale, on the eastern edge of Multnomah County. How do I get there? Go east on Halsey until it ends, through downtown Troutdale and across the Sandy River. The sign makes it pretty hard to miss. And the directions are easy enough to remember.
Multnomah County is a long, skinny construct east of the Willamette River. And it’s mostly flat, so Portland and its suburbs had a fairly easy time sprawling eastward. In fact, the original MAX line went east because that’s where everyone thought the population growth would be.
It turned out Portland’s west side grew faster. But the street grid still extends way the heck east.
I got on Halsey and headed east, as directed. While 82nd is the beginning of terra incognita in 2009, my late aunt Bonnie and uncle Bill used to live out 122nd way, as the old commercials for Ron Tonkin Chevrolet used to say.
I don’t know the exact address. But this part of Portland hasn’t changed a whole lot since my family used to come to visit. It’s still got a 1950s suburban feel. And there are still no sidewalks.
As the avenues’ numbers get bigger, the scenery doesn’t change much. The road itself is much narrower than what you’d find in King or Snohomish counties, the businesses hugging the road’s edges much more tightly.
Soon the avenues’ numbers are up beyond 250th. A few more minutes, I’m in historic downtown Troutdale. The un-historic part is anchored by an outlet mall, BTW.
You can’t buy groceries, but you can get a tattoo. Or you can see a lawyer.
The law firm’s building is dated 1920, which appears to make it one of the newer ones. It would not be so far-fetched to think of this place as a set for a Western movie; get past the metro areas and Oregon looks and feels like the Old West. Except for the occasional fast-food restaurants and big-box retailers.
Heading further east, the forest provides a welcome drop in temperature, even though the instrument cluster says its 99°F. I’ve entered the Historic Columbia River Highway, and Tad’s is just across the Sandy River.
I arrive and find Matthew and Dave. Pablo, The Wave and Pablo’s uncle Don arrive shortly thereafter. It’s dinner time.
That’s Tad’s signature dish. All entrees are served with green beans, which will be in a large bowl for everyone to share. I did manage to eat the whole thing. I was hungry.