GOLF COURSE FOR A NONGOLFER
You’ve outgrown the spinning windmill on the putt-putt course, but you’re nowhere near ready for Pumpkin Ridge. Sounds like it’s time to unleash your wedge and putter on McMenamins Edgefield’s Pub Course: a 32-hole, par-3, pitch-and-putt wonderland. Located on a 48-acre tract of farmland in Troutdale, with holes ranging in distance from just 40 to 80 yards, the course is a golf hack’s green dream. There are even a few surprises to be found, like a sculpture honoring Grateful Dead singer Jerry Garcia at the 10th hole. It’s cheap, too. The 12-hole east course is just $12 to play, while the 20-hole west course costs $18. Best of all, they both play through to the Distillery Bar, a potato shed turned horse stable turned watering hole where you can tilt back an Edgefield Wheat beer and bemoan yet another afternoon spent in the rough.
Portland Adult Soapbox Derby
Of all the carefree weirdness that goes on in Portland, this slightly deranged version of a NASCAR race that erupts on Mount Tabor each August pretty much takes the crazy cake. Once a year, a small army of wannabe Evel Knievels climbs to the top of the dormant volcano’s curvy blacktop and points a mess of nonmotorized, gravity-powered, metal-and-wood contraptions toward the bottom. They then hurtle down the slope in a mad dash to claim the title of Derby champion. The competition is fierce, but with vehicles sporting names like Landshark or F-Bomb, and designs resembling rolling bathtubs and coffins on wheels, it’s also laugh-out-loud hilarious. As far as the rules, all you really need to know is that the use of pyrotechnics on a car is prohibited. The lobbing of water balloons at other drivers, however, is encouraged.
PLACE TO GO UNDERCOVER
You want to be a pirate for Halloween? No problem. Feel like wearing Wonder Woman’s red, gold, and blue swimsuit? Cool. How about an alien cowboy with a penchant for tiaras, wax lips, and frayed nylons? Well … Hollywood Portland Costumers can probably accommodate that request too. In fact, the sky’s the limit. Not only are there thousands of costumes lining the racks inside (and a warehouse of accessories), but the staff also takes custom orders. So if you want to flaunt your Napoleon complex by dressing up like the tiny Frenchman himself, but you can’t find the right bicorn hat, they’ll fix you up. October is a busy month, so plan ahead. Some costumes can cost a couple hundred bucks to rent, but when you’re determined to dress up as Princess Leia from Return of the Jedi, not just any metal bikini will do.