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A weekend of brewery-hopping in Portland

It’s been more than a year since my good friend Lucie moved to Portland, Oregon, and I was overdue for a visit. It can be hard to find a good weekend, given all the travel we both do. So when we found one in early January that also had cheap flights, we jumped on it.

There wasn’t really much on the itinerary for the weekend besides just hanging out. The only tourist destination I wanted to hit was Mills Ends Park, which is known as the World’s Smallest City Park. And it obviously wouldn’t take much time to do that.

Mills End Park
I didn’t see any leprechauns or other shenanigans, but the park does have a fancy new sign.

Given the rainy weather and to keep things simple, we decided to skip outdoor adventures and just hang out in the city.

And besides, I’ve only visited a few of the many breweries in Portland, so this would provide a good excuse to do so while ensuring that we had plenty of time to visit.

Avid Cider

Over the course of four days, we managed to hit a solid smattering of breweries and shared a number of flights. We caught up on the latest news about our lives, talked about our recent and upcoming trips, and plotted out future visits. It’s always great to hang out with one of your favorite friends—especially over some tasty beverages.

But one of my favorite activities this weekend was simply scrolling through all of the photos we’ve taken together over the years. We’ve made a lot of fun memories.

Why Lucie and I first met

For all the adventures and good times we’ve had together, it’s amazing that we’ve only known each other for a few years. We met during a backpacking trip to Havasupai in 2014 that was organized by a Meetup group called Arizona and Beyond.

It was my first trip with the group, and I didn’t know anyone going on the trip. Did you just cringe at the thought?

Sure, it can be a bit uncomfortable in a situation like that. Luckily for me, I stepped beyond that initial awkwardness and went anyway. And boy, I am so happy I did.

Fry bread ftw

I first exchanged some general pleasantries with Lucie during a snack break on the hike down, though we really didn’t chat much on the rest of the hike. Not long after arriving at the campground, however, we decided to split some Indian fry bread—and well, it was friends after that.

Fry bread has a way of making friends, especially at the end of a 10 mile hike.

But frankly, so do shared adventures.

Fry Bread
This was the fry bread that secured the friendship.

The truth is that we probably would have become good friends either way after our Havasupai trip. Sharing a fun trip with others just tends to do that.

In fact, I made a number of cherished friends on that trip—ones that’d I travel extensively with. By the following weekend, I was joining many of them for a Cinco de Mayo party on Saturday and leading them on a trip to Cibecue Falls on Sunday. By the end of the summer, many of these new friends and I had completed another half dozen backpacking trips, plus a number of other day trips, happy hours, and other get togethers.

This shouldn’t be that surprising. A group of adventurous backpackers is sort of right in my prime target zone for friends.

But that’s the point. If you’re just willing to show up, it’s not that hard to make new adventure friends.