Challenge Accepted Costco! Can I Beat a Car Rental Price on Costco with Priceline?

I am a huge fan of Priceline for rental cars.  I think last minute bidding with Priceline is THE way to go for cheap rental cars.  Although I think Costco just made it hard on me.

I am currently finalizing some of the details for our upcoming trip to Hawaii.  We booked airfare a few months ago using frequent flyer miles and the hotel is just about wrapped up. On Monday I thought I would check out rental car prices.  My typical strategy for rental cars, which you can read about in detail here, is to book a reservation I can cancel and then make a last minute bid with Priceline the week before I leave.  Well Costco Travel just made that a challenge.  When I checked Costco on Monday I found a rental price of $12.50/day for an intermediate car.   Needless to say I made that reservation. Total price including taxes was $158.  Beating that with Priceline is going to be a challenge.  Well, challenge accepted Costco, challenge accepted.

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Welcoming 6 New Portland Breweries, Map Updated.

Local Beer

Local Beer

So I last updated my Map of Portland Breweries in 2012.  It has been in desperate need of an update.  In the last couple of years there have been some major additions and changes in the Portland craft beer seen.  Amnesia left town to go the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge, in its place is Stormbreaker Brewing. In the same neighborhood we also welcome two additional breweries, Ex Novo (a nonprofit brewery) and Ecliptic. Ecliptic was perhaps one of the most heralded brewery openings in some time.  No surprise since the owner is Oregon brewing legend John Harris.

Down in Southeast Portland 13 Virtues moved into the brewing space at Philadelphia’s  We also welcome Baerlic Brewing and Montavilla Brew Works.

I have lost count of how many individual breweries this makes for Portland.  Needless to say it is a lot.  There are a lof of great breweries in Portland and many are adding great food too.  So use the map and start exploring.  Cheers.

View Portland Breweries in a larger map

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Portland Day Hike: Latourell Falls Columbia River Gorge

Latourell Falls Lower Falls Columbia River Gorge

The Columbia River Gorge, 30 minutes east of Portland, is filled with lots of great hiking. You could easily spend a couple of days hiking all the different trails.  I love the Columbia River Gorge and having it in Portland’s backyard is one of the many reasons to love this city.  A really great hike, and the closest of the Columbia River Gorge waterfalls to Portland, is Latourell Falls.  Latourell Falls is a easy to moderate hike just past Vista House on the Historic Columbia River Highway.

To get to Latourell Falls, head east on I-84 out of Portland.  Take exit 22 (Corbet) and drive up to the Historic Columbia River Highway and turn left.  If you have the time the Portland Women’s Forum and Vista House are on the way and worth stopping at.  If you are crunched for time, keep driving.  Latourell Falls is on the right side of the highway past the Vista House.  The parking lot is marked Latourell Falls.  If you are going to hike the falls I suggest heading out early because the parking lot can fill up fast.  If you get to Latourell Falls by 9:30 you should be able to find plenty of parking.  If you get there too late you will need to park on the shoulder of the highway.

The hike to view both Lower Latourell Falls and Upper Latourell Falls is a little over 2 miles. The hike is easy/moderate in difficulty. The beginning to the hike is a bit steep but after that it levels off.  if you are not interested in the hike but just want to view the falls you can get a pretty good view from a trail just below the parking lot.

Latourell Falls Lower Falls Trail Columbia River Gorge

However, I think the hike is well worth it.  It is good exercise and Upper Latourell Falls is a pretty waterfall that is not overly crowded thanks to the uphill hike to get there.

Latourell Falls Upper Falls Columbia River Gorge

Another reason why I think the Upper Latourell Falls hike is worth it is for the view.  After you walk past the falls there is a split in the trail.  One goes up (the way back) and one goes down.  The downhill trail will take you to a lookout with a great view of the Columbia River Gorge below.

View from Latourell Upper Falls Trail Columbia River Gorge


If you are looking for a day hike from Portland and don’t have all day to spend in the Columbia River Gorge, then Latourell Falls may be the hike for you.

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