Although Brian goes to Oregon on a fairly regular basis for work, I haven’t visited since our amazing road trip from San Francisco to Seattle years ago.
When I learned about an event to raise awareness for skin cancer where they were trying to set a new world record for the greatest number of natural redheads in one place, it seemed like the perfect excuse to head to Portland for a weekend!
We decided to drive down after work on Friday. I bought a train ticket back for Sunday late afternoon, and Brian stayed for the early part of the following week to meet with a few of his customers.
If I were to do it again, I would have left earlier on Friday or waited until Saturday morning or taken the train down Friday night. The traffic was terrible and it took us forever to get there–an hour more than it should have taken.
Even so, it was great being there Friday night because we got to squeeze in a few activities before Saturday morning’s event. After we checked into our hotel in the Pearl District we walked over to Bridgeport Brewery for a nightcap. There were a few people inside but it was pretty low key– a little dark, a nice energy and people just sitting around having good conversation to end the day.
We ordered a sampler to share and some hot pretzels and lingered over our drinks for a while. Our waitress gave us the sampler for free so we gave her a monster tip–what a way to start our weekend in Portland!
After our drinks we walked to the train station and nearby bridge so Brian could set up his tripod and take a few night pictures. There was very little traffic, and the city was beautiful by night.
The next morning we were up at a decent time and headed to the OHSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building via trolly for the War on Skin Cancer Event. There were several other redheads on the trolly and it quickly became apparent we were all heading to the same place!
We arrived and there were already tons of people there. They had numerous activities indoors, from free skin cancer screenings to participating in the latest skin cancer research trials and more. We checked in and then walked through the building and outside to the redhead event.
They had a gated area where we had to stand to be counted. I had to show a childhood picture proving I was a natural redhead and then I had to stand in the gated area for the duration of the count. Brian wasn’t allowed in so he walked around to the back of the fence so we could at least stand together along the railing and take it all in.
There were redheads of every age in the fence and we got to enjoy a live band who performed on the stage next to our area. One guy had brought his dog into the waiting area, and some of the kids loved petting and crawling all over him. What a good puppy!
Unfortunately we only ended up with about 500 redheads, which wasn’t enough to break the record. Still, it was fun being part of the attempt and I think they probably felt good about their efforts to raise awareness of skin cancer, especially among a population with a higher likelihood of getting burned.
It was a fun morning and a great start to our weekend in Portland!
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