Dan and Hannah Nike, Pickle, then Hike the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon

NIke 1F  D and H at Nike entrance

Staying overnight with our niece Corrie and nephew Karl in Beaverton, a suburb of Portland, Oregon, we wonder what are our chances of seeing the Nike campus in town.  Thanks to Wayne who contacted Ron who arranged for Jane to give us a tour, we walk the college-like Nike campus on a 90F afternoon during the first week of June.

Nike 1DD  MJ on track

Hannah with Olympian Michael Johnson on the Nike campus 400 meter track

Athletic women and men in casual attire seem to be upbeat and happy to be enrolled at the 13,000 employee “Nike University.”   There is a full size 400-meter track here and employees have access to free bicycles to ride from place to place.  With five recreation halls with basketball courts, rooms for yoga, fitness centers, and the like, employees have a sweet place to work up a sweat.

NIke 1C  Tiger Woods in golf tees

In the Tiger Woods Center made entirely from golf tees

Learning that the campus is scrubbed clean of any mention of Lance Armstrong, we see the Tiger Woods Center standing proudly with this artistic rendering of Tiger, entirely created with golf tees.  It seems Mr. Armstrong lied face-to-face to one-time Nike CEO, billionaire Phil Knight while Tiger fessed up to his misdeeds.

Nike 1A  shoeboxes in back of van

When the business of selling shoes was run out of a Volkswagen van, graphic designer Claire Danielson designed the Nike Swoosh and was paid $35 for her creation.  At the time, Phil Knight said, I am not really sold on it, but maybe it will grow on me.  Upon arriving home, I read the New York Times bestseller, Shoe Dog (2016) by Phil Knight about the genesis of Nike.  Click here to learn more about the book, which speaks to us sports junkies of a certain age.  I loved it.

Nike pickleball

With an evening red-eye flight from Portland to Boston ahead of us this Tuesday, we have come to play pickleball at the indoor recreation center in Beaverton, not three miles from Corrie’s place.   Like I did recently in Tampa, I use the USA Pickleball site to find venues to play here in Oregon.  Click here to access this site to find pickleball venues.

NIke 2 Beaverton Pickleball

Pickleball courts in Beaverton, Oregon

Sometimes free, often for a nominal fee, pickleball sites are generally open to anyone traveling throughout the country.  Arriving at 930A, Hannah and I are welcomed immediately into a game of doubles.  Over the next two hours we play spirited games with a variety of skilled opponents.  Pickleball players for the last seven months, Hannah and I have a new love that is both a great workout and a place to meet active, friendly folks of our age.

Nike 3B  rainforesty trail with Hannah

On the trail to Elowah Falls

Showered and then fed by Corrie, we first nap, then pack up for a late afternoon waterfall hike on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge.

The Oregon (pronounced Or-a-Ginn) side of the Columbia River Gorge has waterfalls without end Amen.   We choose a pair of falls (Elowah Falls and Upper McCord Creek Falls) not far from Portland with 3.4 miles of hiking on the mountainside with just 600’ of elevation gain.

NIke 5B  Overlooking Columbia River

High above the Columbia River looking east on the Oregon side

Leaving the trailhead parking, we have 0.7-mile hike to Elowah Falls.   Climbing quickly into the forest on hard-packed dirt, we rise above I-84’s four lanes of commercial traffic and vacation seekers.   And then without warning, the smooth dirt trail turns mean, with sharply angled rocks.   But no matter, the slope of the trail is not steep, as we climb high above the mighty Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean.

Nike 3C  E Falls

289′ Elowah Falls in June

A series of switchbacks through the rainforest takes us down to an amphitheater canyon where the misty Elowah Falls drops gently off the mountainside, spraying the two of us.

NIke 5A  D at McM Falls

Dan with the Upper McCord Creek Falls in the distance

Hiking back a half mile or so, we turn up the mountain at the trail sign for the Upper McCord Creek Falls.   The steady climb on, again a rocky trail, is easy going without any huffing and puffing.

Nike 5 W and L with W and BE

Around the last turn the voluminous Upper McCord Creek Falls cascades higher up the mountain, above our previously viewed Elowah Falls.   With the trail ending above the falls a short while later, we spot a most appropriate landing spot on this horizantal branch to photograph our grandsons Owen’s Woodstock and Max’s Blue Elephant.  We love the W+L (our son Will and his wife Laurel) in our lives.

PS I emailed Volkswagen to confirm that the van with all the boxes of Nike running shoes was indeed a Volkswagen.  Here’s the response I got.

Reference # 160987898

Dear Mr. Rothermel,

Thank you for taking the time to write to us in regard to your recent visit at the Nike Campus in Oregon.

After researching further into this, I did stumble upon the story of Geoff Hollister traveling to track meets and selling Nike shoes from his van in the 1970s. Regretfully, we don’t have details here at Volkswagen of America to confirm whether Geoff’s van was indeed manufactured by Volkswagen.

I’ve never visited the Nike Museum so it was very cool to see the picture you shared. Additionally, I noticed links to your blog(s) included in your signature and after taking a closer look it seems as though you and your wife Hannah have enjoyed many wonderful travel adventures.

I apologize I didn’t have more information to share with you in regard to the van Geoff Hollister owned. However, you’re welcome to let me know if you have any other questions or need further assistance – I’m happy to help in any way that I can. 

Have a great weekend and I wish safe travels on the road ahead for you and your wife!

Kind regards,

Brittany A.
Customer CARE Advocate 

 

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4 thoughts on “Dan and Hannah Nike, Pickle, then Hike the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon

  1. My favorite part of this post is that you took the time to write Volkswagen and that you got such a fabulous letter in response. Once again you (and your readers) are rewarded for you going the extra distance. (pun intended!)

      • Even when I don’t comment, I always read and enjoy your posts. Your comments have been a huge support to me and I’m happy to know that mine encourage you as well. 🙂

  2. to think we were “neighbors” in Oregon in June! We were with our son, Mark & wife, Claire, in Tigard while you were in Beaverton. Mark and Claire are with TVF&R, protecting you cousin and her husband – along with a 1/2 million other people.
    We, too, hiked in the Gorge but we were on Dry Creek Trail. Though each moment with Mark and Claire were precious, wouldn’t have been fun if we had met and hiked together? Happy Thanksgiving to you both. Hope you are with Owen and Max also.
    We shall be with Nicholas and Noah. kathie

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