last summer I attended the Portland Antiques Expo in
Portland Oregon, the weekend of July 9th- 11th. I did
real good, made four incredible finds over the whole
trip…well actually three incredible finds and one
pretty good one. The Portland Expo is a renown antiques
show that's been going for about 30 plus years. It's
held three time a year in March, July, and October
and claims to be the largest antiques
show in the country. Although I've been collecting 22 plus years, and live on the west coast, I have no
answer why I had never been to it before.
I considered going but decided not to because of the
cost. The eleven hour one way drive equals about $300.00
in gas round trip…three nights in a cheap hotel equals
at least another $200.00.…so that’s five hundred
just to walk in. Plus another $500.00 or so I was likely
to spend at the show equals a grand… At
one point I could have gotten a round trip flight for
$152.00, But by the time I got serious it jumped to
$400. So I decided I’d pass and go another
time.....But then I was talking to Ron and Sue Fox at
the previous Alameda Point show and they said this
Portland show was the best one of the year on account it’s
the biggest, with dealers set up inside and out the
building. That did it…my cost benefit analysis finally
penciled. I figured if I was going to a Portland show I
might as well go to the best one....plus I could use a
little get away. At that point I decided I'd just drive
the S.F. Bay area where I live it's technically about an eleven hour
drive....on paper that is. But by the time you stop to
go thru antiques stores, eat, get gas, etc., its
more like 15 hours. I actually prefer driving over
flying when possible. Collecting
isn't just about getting stuff...it's also about the
things you see, the people you meet, and places you go.
When you fly you miss a lot that. Of course, for
people with real jobs and time constraints, driving isn't
always practical. Fortunately I was able to get the time
off my job.
is a learning experience. The first time you go
somewhere you learn the ropes. How to get there, where
to stay or not stay, where to eat or not eat,
where the Right Aid is, etc. The next time you go you
know the score. The most
important thing I learned this trip is don't drive Portland in one
day...break it up into two. I can drive from the Bay
Area to Los Angeles in about 6 hours, and I'm OK with
that. I'm tired when I get there but I can handle
it....15 hours? aw-aw nope....it's just too much.
Besides that I also learned there's a whole lot'a
antique'n to be done between S.F. and Portland.
I got out of the bay area onto Highway 5 it was about 100 degrees all the way to Portland.
drove with the top down on my mustang most of the way. I
suppose just for the sake of not missing anything...I
wanted the full experience elements and all....sort of
surreal. The total opposite of flying in an airtight cabin. 15 hours of open air with
the smell of pine trees versus 1 /1/2 hours with 100
other people all breathing the same air.
really didn't do that great a job planning my trip, and kind
of winged it. My main objective was to just get to the
show, and I had a vague plan of stopping at a couple of
towns on the way to go thru the antiques stores. My idea
was just to jam thru to Portland as fast I could. But I
didn't realize how nice Oregon would be. Next
time I'm going to leave at least a day earlier to allow more time
to stop and smell the flowers. If you're driving
thru a state and really want to experience the real
people and places....get off the interstate somewhere
rural and drive 50 miles east or west, and spend a half
day or a day checking out the area. Walk down a main
street of a small town you never heard of, see what you
can see, stop and have a cup of coffee in a greasy spoon
and soak up the local color. That's what I wish I'd
done. But it's that job thing...unless you plan it
right, you have to hurry up and have fun.....and hurry
up and get back to work!
first stop was Redding California. I quickly went
thru a couple antiques malls but didn't find a thing.
Driving north on Highway 5, Redding is where it starts getting pretty. Next I stopped in Grant's Pass
it big...I got there right about 4:45PM and the stores
were just about to close at 5:00PM, which gave me just
fifteen minutes to roll thru them.
Pass Antiques Stores
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