We spent two days driving up and are now staying in Gresham, a small town outside of Portland proper. We've been spending day trips driving around the local countryside (in some piercing sunshine, too) seeing local picturesque towns with silly names such as Tualatin and Vernonia. Quite enjoyable, really, except for the occasional headache and glaring sun in the car.
I am learning one thing... The bay area has amazing geographical diversity. Travelling a few miles can not only change the surrounds, it can change the climate. Here, one can drive for quite a ways without any real change in the landscape. But the Portlanders are nice enough to indulge me and there are some subtler changes as the woods transition to forest and hills to bluffs.
We'll continue our driving tours until about the end of this week, at which time we'll make the less scenic drive back down the I-5 corridor.