There are many ways to explore Portland, and the 4T Loop combines four transportation possibilities in one swoop: Trail, Tram, Trolley, and Train.
Last weekend, two of Stephen’s co-workers from Phoenix were in town to meet with Stephen and his boss for a leadership weekend. On Saturday, they invited us to join them for the 4T Loop. Honestly, we misunderstood and thought we were visiting the zoo (since we were to meet at the zoo), but I’m proud of us for completing the loop with our three little peeps.
Thankfully, Stephen had Brynn strapped on his hip, and I had packed water bottles and a few snacks for the kids. It was a very rainy, windy day since we were experiencing the effects of a typhoon that headed inland after hitting the Oregon coast. We came prepared with our rain boots and rain jackets.
We met the gang and set out on the trail that was 3.5 miles long. The first part led us through the rain forest and up to the top of the mountain where the cell phone tower was. Looking down on Portland from that height was beautiful—especially with the fall colors.
I spotted a giant slug on the trail that turned out to be a banana slug. The boys kept their eyes peeled for more banana slug sightings along the way.
After a very long hike (especially for little legs) down the other side of the mountain, we arrived at the aerial tram station. Brynn slept a lot of the way, and no amount of jostling and reshuffling seemed to bother her. Silas took a few shoulder rides from the guys, but Coop decided only Mommy or Daddy could carry him.
The tram was cool as the ride gave us an amazing view of the city, the bridges, and the river, though the fog hid Mount Hood from view. At the bottom of the tram, we found a street dedicated to our family and then ate Mexican food for lunch. We were ravenous after that hike!
The next “T” of the loop was the trolley, or the street car. While waiting for the trolley, we were caught by a couple microbursts of intense swirling wind, presumably from that typhoon that was coming in. The kids loved the trolley, but mostly they were excited that we were going to visit Powell’s Bookstore. Silas wanted to see what a million books looked like—since the store itself takes up an entire city block. I think Powell’s actually has more like three million books, including a rare book room and a coffee shop.
We hit the coffee station first and then took the kids to the children’s section where the boys spent some of their Christmas/birthday money on a book each. By this time, it was nearing suppertime, and we were exhausted. So, the gang boarded the train which took us back to our car.
It’s not an adventure I think we would have chosen just yet with the kids being so little, but I’m glad we did it! Hiking that trail was a bonding experience with Stephen’s co-workers.