Nev Judd: Online and out there

Posts Tagged ‘travel

You are now entering Vernonia, aka The Twilight Zone

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People are friendly in Vernonia, Oregon.

Within minutes of cycling into town, a woman told Ryan how much she liked his new Nikes; another woman asked me if I needed directions (I must have looked confused); and a motorist braked sharply so as to avoid ruining the photo I was about to take.

Other strangers said hello, and as we cooled our feet in the Nehalem River, kids floated by in inner tubes. No one swore and I couldn’t see any graffiti. Perhaps we’d entered the Twilight Zone.

Under cloudless skies, we’d just cycled 22 miles across wheat fields and through forests on a paved trail from Banks, about half an hour west of Portland. At Mile 12, Leah and Emma decided they’d had enough and cycled back to Banks while Ryan and I rode on the Vernonia. Ironically, that meant the ladies actually cycled farther than we did, and they were nice enough to drive to Vernonia to pick us up.

Tubing down the Nehalem River in Vernonia, Oregon.

Written by nevjudd

August 16, 2011 at 10:33 pm

Posted in Cycling

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Visit Tacoma. Seriously!

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Tacoma's Stadium High School, as seen in 1999 movie 10 Things I Hate About You.

Tacoma’s a nice place. Who knew?

There’s a decent boardwalk for bikes and pedestrians, with lots of fishing piers and waterfront pubs and restaurants. Downtown is a mix of reclaimed warehouses converted into coffee shops, pubs and funky little fashion outlets. It feels a bit like Seattle in miniature. There’s a pedestrian bridge to Tacoma’s glass museum featuring two glass trees created by Dale Chihuly. Chihuly is to glass blowing what Frank Lloyd Wright is to architecture. Ryan thought the random glass foliage was actually plastic bags, but then he was looking from a distance and hadn’t eaten in 20 minutes.

Dale Chihuly's glass trees on the bridge to Tacoma's glass museum. They can look like plastic bags from a distance.

Best of all, for fans of 1999 movie 10 Things I hate About You, Tacoma is home to Stadium High School, one of the most impressive-looking schools in all of North America. All brick turrets and Gothic spires, Stadium High School stands on a bluff over looking Tacoma and towers over a steep-sided stadium. Ryan and I tried to get in to kick a ball around, but it was all locked up. 10 Things I hate About You features Claire Danes and Heath Ledger (RIP) and was based on Shakespeare’s Taming of The Shrew.

Our accommodation beside the I5 freeway at the La Quinta Inn and Suites would not be noteworthy, but for the fact that it was full of middle-aged rockers wearing wigs and spandex. The lobby looked like a Richard Simmons video gone horribly wrong. Turns out Motley Crue were playing the Tacoma Dome half a mile away. Vince Neil must have worn them out because they were a lot quieter coming back than going out.

Written by nevjudd

August 15, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Posted in Cycling

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Tickets to ride

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What’s worse for schoolkids on summer holiday? Getting up at 7 a.m., or cycling 26 miles with no apparent destination?
I’ll let you know Sunday, Aug. 14, after we’ve completed the annual Providence Bridge Pedal in Portland, Oregon.
I decided to spare Ryan and Emma the 36-mile, 10-bridge option, so we at least have a chance of making it to VooDoo doughnuts by mid-afternoon.
Instead, we’ll cross the Willamette River via eight bridges with Stumptown Coffee coursing through our veins.

Wish us luck!

PS: Here’s a look at my last trip to Portland, courtesy of The Province Two-wheeled and weird in Portland and Vancouver Province Portland2

Written by nevjudd

August 3, 2011 at 2:43 pm

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Offbeat and online

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I have never used the word ‘nestled’ in a travel story.

UK (The Times) and North American daily newspapers (Dallas Morning News, Oregonian, Montreal Gazette, Vancouver Sun/Province) have featured my work for more than 20 years and I have edited travel and adventure sections in Canada and England.

My young family is intimately acquainted with urban bike lanes from Manhattan to Portland. They know a ziptrek from a zipline, a kayak from a canoe, and a luge from a skeleton. In or out of a wetsuit, they know a dive when they see one.

Solo, or with family, I usually travel on a budget and on assignment. Follow my progress here.

and here

and here

Written by nevjudd

July 28, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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