I realize my 24hr Solo in Canmore last weekend hasn't been covered yet, that'll happen in the next couple of days. For those of you that follow the blog you will know it takes me a few days to process a race event of that magnitude and right around the time I was going to put pen to electronic paper something jumped into the queue of things to do.

An unplanned road trip to Portland.


I got word of an available San Franciscan SF-1 located in Portland needing a good home but it would require some fast footwork, a flexible plan in a fluid situation... and 17hrs of driving. The very thought of that much driving caused me to wince but the SF-1 came so highly recommended by so many other roasters that I know, I simply shook off the post-24 fatigue and scrambled to get a bunch of other things in place to make it happen. Time to head for the border.


Only 1wk ago we had driven 14hrs to get back and forth between Rossland and Calgary for the 24hr in Canmore and a week before that we had done the same trip back and forth for another 14hrs of driving. I remember saying to Doreen less than a week ago 'I'm glad we aren't doing a bunch more driving for a while', hahaha, so wrong... bring on Portland.

When driving by one's self, one must always do what one can in order to amuse one's self.


The road trip to Portland was nearly non-stop as I wanted to get there in daylight in order to see the roaster and get a batch of coffee done on it. My only stop was this place, uhmmmmmm not good.


By the time I got through a bit of traffic the light was failing at the end of the day but Hamilton (the owner) was gracious enough to walk/talk me through a batch. Here's a shoddy low light shot of the first time I saw the roaster.


Here's what it looks like in the sunshine in his driveway.


Growing up, most little boy's want a small red fire truck or a red toy train engine. Right???

This roaster is like that perfect little red present... except it roasts awesome coffee. How could it be more perfect? Nothing comes to mind immediately but I suppose if it could save the whales or was intelligent enough to design a time machine that would make it even more impressive.

With the QA out of the way and the failing light now transformed into night time, I left Hamilton with a 'See you in the morning and we'll load it in the Pilot' and went looking for something to drink and eat. I hadn't drank a beer for nearly 2mths before the Canmore 24, I was about to make up for that in Portland. ;-)

Hopworks Brewing - super beer, super food, super staff.


By the end of the night I was having a bunch of laughs with the Assistant Brewmaster, the generosity was overflowing and at one point he jumped on his bike and rode 2.5miles to his house and back to the pub to give me some of his own personal stash. I did my best to reciprocate.


After a long day, not a lot of food and some beers I was ready to crash out for the night. Fluid plans call for fluid responses, with no hotel booked I slept perfectly well in the back of the Pilot on an extremely comfortable Thermarest and my Western Mountaneering down bag.

Tweeting birds and a crowing rooster of all things had me up at a reasonable hour and off in search of coffee, bring on Coava Coffee.


I had a couple of these and a pourover on the Kone (Generation 2). Tasty!


Sam was working the Kone bar and doing a great job of pouring simultaneous double Chemex. Not his first rodeo. He was really accommodating with all my questions regarding the new gen Kone and he was one of the main reasons I grabbed a Chemex and the new design Kone for home. Kudos to you Sam.


Coffee done, it was time to head back to see Hamilton to load up the roaster. Before I left we shot a mediocre quality vid on the basic start-up process for the SF-1, Hamilton did a great job, the iPhone not so much.

With a wave goodbye, and a honk of the horn, I drove off with the SF-1 leaving behind a new friend in Portland. My first stop was a shop called Beer Monger to check out their extensive list of beers and grab some stuff that is unavailable in BC. By now I was well into 'need food now', luckily there was Apex just across the street and next to it a Mexican restaurant. Awesome beers on tap and big burritos, nice!


Pliny the Elder.


And then I moved onto a small glass of the beer of the year! Well in my books it's beer of the year - Firestone Walker Parabola, http://www.firestonebeer.com/beers/products/parabola which is insanely good, crawl over broken glass to have one sip kind of good.


Good beer deserves a humungo Mexican lunch.



With a full belly and Google at my fingertips I came to the conclusion that I should stop by Cascade Brewing to see what all the fuss was about. Luckily they had some limited release beers on tap for the Oregon Brewer's Festival which happened to be in town that weekend. I got a small sampler of the Noyeaux and Bourbonic Plague - awesome sour's! Check out this craftsmanship, the brewmaster took each individual apricot pit, cracked it open in order to dig out the apricot seed meat, then roasted the meat and added each one to the brew. That's no Bud Light.


After sitting in the sun for a bit and sipping on my samplers, it was time to get back on the road, sad to leave Portland behind on such a postcard perfect day. But the day wasn't over yet, while at Cascade and Hopworks I'd heard about Double Mountain Brewing in Hood River and just knew I had to stop there and enjoy one last beer while sitting in the sun, trying to delay the inevitable long dark driving haul ahead of me.


This Devil's Kriek was intensely sour, sweet and perfectly Kriek-ish; exactly right for the sour ale style and a great last beer. I was in no rush to leave as I knew the family would be in bed by the time I got home. So I just sat and enjoyed that Kriek while reflecting back on the whirlwind 36hrs, jam packed goodness.


With the Oregon sun starting to slip away it was time to head North. The hours drifted by and eventually I got home at 0230hrs, finally climbing into bed by 0400hrs. Doreen and the boys thoughtfully let me sleep till 0900hrs. Hop out of bed, brush the teeth, head downstairs and check to see if the red roaster was in the garage where I put it before crawling into bed... or had it all been just a dream?

There it stood. Shiny red and begging to roast coffee.


John F said...


Just Wow!!

Anonymous said...

Interesting machine. Very industrial. Those whiskers are sure changing color fast these last few years. Very distinguished though..ha ha

JD said...

We really need to work on your "lack of commitment" to the things you chose to put in your life. Maybe its time we get you to a Tony Robbins seminar! :)

Shaun Taylor said...

I'm not sure what's going on with the grey, I keep telling myself I'm still 30yrs old. ;-)

Shaun Taylor said...

Haha, nicely done JD!

Shaun Taylor said...

That's right John, now you really have to come up!

John F said...

Oh, I'm coming up there...

But meeting in Portland also looks like a good idea.

Shaun Taylor said...

Portland is the epicenter of good times.