With my wife Katie enrolled in a graduate certificate program, we knew that our summer travels would take us to the Pacific Northwest. Naturally this meant I got to plan a Pacific Northwest baseball road trip! Katie will spend a month in Portland, Oregon, before I meet her there. We will spend a week together in Portland before traveling to Seattle, Washington. In Seattle, we will work together at a sports camp, and she will do more work to complete her certification. So our Pacific Northwest baseball road trip will span two states and four weeks.
Our travels in Oregon and Washington are built around my wife’s academic/work commitments. Unlike my Midwest baseball road trip we cannot travel to solely visit new ballparks. Due to Katie’s schedule we plan to attend games on her days off, which means weekend trips and a disjointed itinerary of attending ballgames. While she finishes schoolwork in Portland, we will visit Oregon’s three Minor League ballparks. Once we head to Seattle, we’ll turn our attention to the teams in that area.
Friday, July 19: Boise Hawks at Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, 6:35 p.m.
Tuesday, July 23: Salem-Keizer Volcanoes at Hillsboro Hops, 7:05 p.m.
Thursday, July 25: Boise Hawks at Eugene Emeralds, 7:05 p.m.
Friday, August 2: Spokane Indians at Everett AquaSox, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, August 3: Iowa Cubs at Tacoma Rainiers, 7:05 p.m.
Tuesday, August 6: San Diego Padres at Seattle Mariners, 7:10 p.m.
Of the six ballparks we plan to visit, I have attended games at two of them. I saw the Rainiers in 2011 and the Mariners in 2002 and 2011. However, I visited those ballparks before I began writing about my stadium visits. I have previously attended a professional baseball game in Oregon when I saw the Triple-A Portland Beavers in 2008. So I will add four new ballparks to my tally, but no new states where I have seen a professional baseball game.
Volcanoes Stadium, Ron Tonkin Field, PK Park, and Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium will be the sixth through tenth Class A Short-Season ballparks I have visited. Respectively these will be the 81st to 84th affiliated ballparks where I have attended a game. Including independent-league ballparks and Japanese baseball stadiums, I will have watched a professional baseball game in 91 ballparks by the end of this trip.
Although I am usually the planner of our trips, I have not done a lot of research about breweries in Portland or Seattle. I have let Katie handle this research because she will spend a month in Portland before I arrive. We have planned a few things for our time in the region like attending the Oregon Brewers Festival. Obviously the festival does not qualify as a brewery, but it is a great opportunity to sample lots of local craft beer. Additionally, we are taking a weekend trip to Bend, Oregon. We will tour the Deschutes Brewery, which is one of Oregon’s early craft breweries. We don’t have other plans yet, but I expect that we will explore the Bend Ale Trail. Craft breweries in Oregon and Washington have generally stellar reputations, so I am optimistic that we will find some great beer to drink.
I have not done a lot of research about running routes in Portland or Seattle. However, I know both cities removed sections of interstate from their downtown areas to create more walkable spaces. In particular, I know that Portland’s Tom McCall Waterfront Park is ideal for running. I know less about Seattle, but hope to crowd-source some suggestions.
Working at Camp Spark
In addition to attending several baseball games, Katie and I will work at a sports camp for children who are blind or visually impaired. For a week in late July, we will work at the Northwest Association for Blind Athletes’ (NWABA) Camp Spark. The camp offers youths between nine and 15-years-old the opportunity to participate in swimming, goalball, judo, and other sports. I have never worked at a sports camp, much less one for kids who are blind or visually impaired, but I look forward to a fun and challenging week.
Recapping the plan
After almost two months apart from my wife Katie, I get to meet her in Portland and spend four weeks exploring Oregon and Washington. Although the primary purpose of our time in the area is about Katie’s professional enrichment, we will undertake an unorthodox Pacific Northwest baseball road trip. As I have previously visited Oregon and Washington, I have left the decisions about sightseeing up to Katie. So I am not totally sure what is in store for this trip.
As usual I will share content from our time on the road on social media. If you don’t follow me already, you can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Craft beer drinkers can follow my check-ins using Untappd. Whatever platform you prefer, I hope you’ll join me on this adventure. You can also find content from my Pacific Northwest baseball road trip with my unique hashtag: #StevenExploresPNW.