Moulton Falls Hike/ South Pacific Cafe/Renata. He Said Extra.

He Said

Moulton Falls Hike

As I have said, a good Geezer hike is no more than 6 miles, mostly flat and near water. For those criteria, Moulton Falls Hike is almost perfect.

I never think of crossing the Columbia to go hiking but there are some good hikes just to the North. Moulton Falls trail is wide and on a gentle slope that runs along the Lewis River. It is less than an hour from Happy Valley and once you get out of the remarkably ugly east ‘Couve, there is a pretty drive along the Lewis river.

There is about 6 miles of trails and several small waterfalls. A perfect hike. Some warnings. The signs suck at the parking area and are confusing. There are also no signs on the hike to guide you at the occasional fork in the road so we occasionally took the paths less traveled by and it made no difference. Parking is better at the Hantwick Road Trailhead where the maps will make more sense than up at Moulton Falls. And do NOT miss on the short loop that takes you to Yacolt Falls. See the pictures below for what you are missing.

There are also a couple of wineries in the area that offer afternoon tastings but were we more hungry than thirsty after the hike.

South Pacific Cafe

All the main roads tend to bypass the old city centers in the NW, and sometime, like Camas, you are missing a real gem. On the way home we went to the city center of BattleGround. No architectural gems, but the South Pacific Cafe and Lounge was the lunch/dinner stop and worth the turn.

It has a beach decor, very friendly service and great food, even considering I was starving after a long hike on only 6 sour cream pancakes with raspberries. I needed food.

A cocktail menu tending towards the sweet and fruity as befits a South Pacific motif, I went for beer from a small but excellent selection of draft, going with a Fresh Squeezed IPA.

I only half kid when I tell Kerry I am Pizza and Mexican’d out. I will eat it if that is what is available, but I am not going out of my way for either. Peanut butter, ice cream, and beer seem to be the only foods of which I never tire. But I ordered the fish taco: perfect. Cabbage, fried cod and lime in a tortilla. Just what I needed for a protein bolus but not so large that there wasn’t room for dessert because when I see Banana’s Foster on a menu that takes priority. It is a simple, classic, dessert and I have had many variations over the years.

I wasn’t disappointed. Big enough for two Banana’s Foster addicts: vanilla ice cream, caramel (brown sugar and butter) sauce, bananas fried in butter, now wait for it, between two waffles. I done died and went to heaven. We hike in part so we can eat later. A perfect reward.


The Oregonian had the top 10 Italian restaurants and given Kerry’s passion for Italian we hope to go through all 10, hopefully not in one day.

Renata is in SE Portland in a old industrial building with wood beams and ‘Y’ shaped tables. Any place that has an Old Fashioned Flight, three tasters, is going to be good for me: rye | demerara, bourbon | smoked maple, scotch | burnt honey.  Mmmm.

Years ago in Manzanita was the best restaurant ever, Jarboes, and they offered a grand dessert tray, small samples of each of the desserts. It is a concept that needs to be routine not only for desserts, but drinks and appetizers as well (Pu Pu platters are usually to to much).

The waiter said they encouraged family style dining with sharing of food, so I speared a piece of pizza off the table next to us and the diners and waiter got pissed. Go figure. But we were there with three others so sharing was in the works, at least for the primo course.

The appetizers were fine. A salad is a salad is a salad as far as I am concerned. Salad is my dinners dinner. The cheese plate was fine, the soft cheese especially good. The roasted beets were fantastic. But each was only a mouthful. Sharing? Fahgettaboudit. While politically I am liberal, when it comes to food, I am a Trump. It is mine, all mine, and you can’t have it.

So I kept the entree, dark black squid ink spaghetti with pork sausage and clams, to myself, protecting it with a short-lived lived beautiful wall of Italian Bread that I made the restaurant pay for. Well, I did give grudging samples to those at the table with whom I negotiated to gave me fair trade for a sample of their entree. It was delicious and gorgeous, with slick pasta, crunchy sausage and salty clams. The jet black pasta glistened like solid oil. The chef was kind enough to minimize the chili, for a I am a real heat wimp. The kitchen cooks on a wood fire, which can tricky but not here. The food was perfectly cooked.

Dessert was a fresh fruit panna cotta, not quite as cold as I like, but delicious and the check came with some brown butter cookies. As seems to be standard in our PDX dining experience, the support staff was friendly and efficient. I rarely find bad service in our meanderings about town. Renata was number two on the Oregonian list, but Mucca (#5) was a tich better. 5 down (we have also been to Nostrana (pre-blog, the kitchen caught on fire and the restaurant had to be evacuated), Nonna (but not DOC) and Luce), 5 to go.

A Hodgepodge of Moulton Falls  Photos

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