Yesterday we decided it was time to visit Mt. Tabor. This is a 636 feet high extinct cinder cone volcano right here in Portland. It is covered with a forest and has hiking trails. We wanted a nice walk up the hill.
As so often happens, we got much more than we bargained for! We wandered into a fabulous event called the Adult Soapbox Derby. This is an annual event that happens the third Saturday of August here in Portland. Teams create vehicles with no engine, that are started by a big push and stopped by their own brakes, that roll down the road of Mt. Tabor three at a time. The vehicles are funny, beautiful, and whimsical.
Dozens of people raced, pushed and helped direct people and traffic. Hundreds more watched from the sidelines with picnics, kids, and dogs. There were food trucks, Frisbee games, and even dancing along the way. We sat in several different places, watching the racers come down, some really zipping along, others just barely moving, but all being met with cheers and applause.
Auntie Bridgett’s favorite was the Kraken, a colorful sea creature that squirted water at the crowd. There were cartoon characters like the Catvan from Totoro and Johnny Cab from Total Recall. And, there were ponies! A My Little Pony car was decorated with pink and purple fluff and driven by two ladies in pony costumes.
We were glad we had taken a picnic, because we ended up walking four miles, up and down and around the mountain. By the time the drum corps marched down the road announcing the end of the race, we were ready to find our own car and drive into the Montavilla neighborhood to look around and get some refreshment.
We found The Bipartisan Cafe, a politically decorated place for cakes, pies, coffee, and interesting old political posters. Ice Cold Ice Cream provided Grandpa Nelson with a delicious root beer float, and we were ready to head for home.
So far we still don’t know which car won. But we enjoyed being steered by serendipity!