Ditch Dairy in Portland – 35

Let’s talk about our Harvest Hosts Winery stopover, our casino “parking lot” stay and the Escapees Co-Op park in Sutherlin, Oregon. We’re going to review a couple of vegan restaurants we’ve found in Portland and our experiences with a scavenger hunt vegan style.  Then we’ll tell you all about my first day of animal activism here in Portland. So thank you for joining us and stay tuned for this action-packed episode!

Welcome to the Two Vegans on a Mission podcast. I’m Louisa, and together with my husband Michael, and our dog Sugar, we’re traveling and living full-time in a Winnebago ClassC motor home…visiting animal sanctuaries and animal rescues all across the country. Each week we’ll share what new camping spots we’ve found, what great vegan meals we’ve eaten, and our latest vegan outreach activities. So please join us as we strive to inspire, educate, and support you in your efforts to be vegan.

We were still in travel mode on our way up here to Portland when we found a Harvest Hosts site called Indian Peaks Winery. It’s in Manton, California, and again, because we are members of Harvest Hosts, we get to stay at places like wineries and museums and farms and even golf courses because we pay the extra money to be members of the golf courses.

But that doesn’t mean you have to golf. You just need to call ahead and make sure that they don’t mind if you don’t golf, but we don’t golf, so we just call and say, “Hey, can we stay in your parking lot? We’ll come in and have a glass of wine,” and we told you all about that last week. This week, however, we found a great winery called Indian Peaks and we want to shout out to Fred and Donna, the owners, and Michael’s going to tell you what that winery was like.

The winery is absolutely beautiful and spectacular! It sits on a small hill, and as you walk around this facility, you can see all the surrounding wineries and farms in the area… just majestic. The wine was okay! I loved the Merlot, but the big part that we really both loved was the couple that ran the winery itself. So welcoming, so warm, tons of stories. They talked about their hard work that they’ve been putting into their winery. Unfortunately, for them, they have decided to sell because of family issues and the amount of work that it takes to run a winery. Otherwise, I would tell you this has got to be a stop on your way if you’re in that particular area.

And the other fun part about going to a Harvest Hosts site like this is sometimes you get to meet up with other RV-ers who are taking advantage of the same thing. So, we met George and Mary Lou, who were retired military as well, and they had never been to a Harvest Hosts site. So this was their first one. And, we want to shout out to them to say hey! It was really nice meeting you! Good luck with the book you’re writing, George, and hopefully we’ll see you in the future!

Then we moved up on the road a couple of hundred miles, because that’s all we like to do is about 220-250 miles a day, and we stayed at a casino. This was called the Rain Rock Casino. It’s in Yreka, California. They also have an RV park about a hundred yards from the casino that you could opt to pay $40 if you need a hookup and a dump site, but we didn’t need any of that. So, we stayed right in the parking lot of the Rain Rock Casino, and you check in with the security people so that they know you’re there. Then you’re far, far away from the big huge trucks that make a lot of noise as they are using their generator all night!

It was a great quiet, cool, peaceful evening for us, and then of course we go inside to have a glass of wine. The problem with this casino though, was they had no “non-smoking” sections. So we couldn’t stay in there very long because we don’t do smoke from cigarettes.

As the old saying goes, “if it’s free, it’s for me!” This casino again was very welcoming. You could stay there for two days. We walked around the surrounding area, which actually went past another RV spot that was really recommended but it costs $40 a night and we paid for nothing, free, and it was quiet. Lots of space, fairly level. What wouldn’t you want there? So again, boondocking is the way to go if you have someplace that’s safe because they do have security all night long and free and we really enjoy that casino. And then I also understand that a lot of people like to gamble so you could go in and do that. They also had a couple of restaurants inside also. Enjoy.

Then we continued our drive north toward Portland and we stopped in Sutherlin, Oregon, which has one of our new Escapees Park favorites! It’s a place where, as members of Escapees, (and we talked about this a long time ago in one of our previous episodes, all about the benefits of being an Escapee) but this is a co-op park, so we stayed at this place so that we can get a feel for it. We stayed two nights and we had to boondock because all of the sites were taken. Most of the people there are either snowbirds or long-term residents and so they aren’t leaving very often. So we didn’t get a spot with electric or water, but we were able to use their dump and it was only $5 a night, which you can’t beat!

If you love the Northwest, then this Escapees Park is going to be for you! It’s beautiful. It’s green, tall pine trees. A flowing creek goes through the area, and this is built on several different levels. So if you’re into walking/hiking, there were multiple hiking trails off of the RV Park. One of the things I was impressed with, even though the spaces are small, each family that lives there is very creative about designing their lot. Some people pave their driveway, landscape their driveway. They had small gardens and just really pretty for the small lots that they have.

The other thing that for RV-ing is really unique about the place, when you drive in, they have the dump, they have the water that was readily available, especially for us boondocking folks, and was very well-appreciated. And also, even though we didn’t have happy hour, we noticed that on their bulletin board they had lots of meetings and groups and fun activities for people. We did meet several couples that really loved the place, gave us fresh vegetables from their garden, and really made us feel comfortable at their park. They invited us to at least pay down on a lot when it comes available.

So as of this recording, we know that it is $1,000 deposit, which is refundable if you change your mind. But you have to be an Escapees member first to be able to put a deposit down and there is a 3-5 year waiting list. Once you do come up on the list and you’re able to purchase a lease for this spot, it’s about $13,000. What you get with that is the place to put your RV. You get the electric, the water and the dump. That’s all included in your site. You also get a storage shed which, unlike in Benson where you get to use 488 square feet to make whatever you want, whether it’s a kitchen or a bathroom and a shower and a toilet and all that kind of stuff, or a nice sitting area, not a bedroom, but all those other things in Benson, at this co-op park in Sutherlin, you do not get to do all that to your storage shed. You must live in your RV and the storage shed is just that. It’s storage!

But the community is great! The people are wonderful. There is a nice clubhouse with lots of activities. There is also a laundry facilities, which is very well-kept, and of course as a co-op, that means everybody’s involved in the upkeep and in the maintenance of the place. So everybody is really excited to welcome new members, and we really enjoyed our stay there, so thanks a lot, Escapees!

So after the break, we’re going to talk all about some vegan restaurants we’ve found here in Portland, so stay tuned!

The first restaurant we’re going to review here in Portland is as a result of the VegQuest that we were participating in on June 23rd. This was our first activity in Portland.  What I do when I come into a new city like this is I get on Facebook and I look up vegan activism, vegan activities, vegan events, vegan societies, veg societies, whatever I can find in the area. And the first thing I found was this VegQuest from the VegQuest website.[VegPDX]

And here’s what they said,

Join your fellow veg head adventurers in taking on vegan Portland. In this race, teams of two to four people will work together to solve puzzles that will lead them to various destinations and challenges. Besides having a great time, you are sure to discover some great new spots in Portland. This year’s race will be in the St John’s area of Portland. Registration begins at 2:30 and will conclude with a Vegan cookout at the end of the race. Fastest team gets a prize bag full of goodies. Costumes are encouraged and although not required, there will be a prize bag of goodies given to the best dressed team.

It was only $10 if you paid in advance or $15 a person on the day of the event. Well of course, Michael and I just drove into Portland so we didn’t sign up ahead of time, but we were willing to contribute to the vegetarian /vegan society of Portland, so we were willing to pay our $15 each to participate in this “first-ever scavenger hunt for us here in Portland. Michael’s going to tell you what that was like.

By far, Portland to me is the number one vegan capitol of the United States! Now, we haven’t visited all of the cities in the United States, but of the states we have visited, Portland is the most vibrant, active vegan community in terms of their activism, in terms of their wonderful 100% plant-based food. And more importantly to me, not only the 100% plant-based food, but the number of restaurants and food trucks, stores, and most importantly, welcoming folks all around the city of Portland!

So we met up with Gail, who we met during our Mexican Connection through Escapees, and we all had a wonderful time! So with the VegQuest, we walked maybe three or four miles visiting various restaurants, plant-based restaurants, vegan restaurants. And every time we stopped, they would give us a puzzle. And these puzzles were really challenging and difficult! Once you solve the puzzle, the director would direct you to your next location. So, we would follow the answers on these puzzles to the next restaurant, which was exciting because some of the restaurants gave out vegan samples and that was delicious! It allowed us to learn about the community and taste those vegan goods!

So let’s give a shout out to our friend Gail, who was game and willing to participate in this VegQuest, which was in the northeast Portland St John’s area!.And we had a really good time except for, I would suggest in the future, if it were me organizing this event, I would not make those puzzles so darn hard! Oh my God, it took us a half an hour at each spot just to figure out the puzzle. But, what I really liked was being able to go into the different places, and I think it was Parallel 45, 45th Parallel, was the place where we got the pickles and we got some cheese, all vegan of course!

And that is really a great idea to have each of the places that we visit offer some samples and then make those puzzles a little less challenging, and we might’ve had a chance to at least win. No, we would never have won, but at least not feel so frustrated along the way. But this is where we first were able to find out from the puzzles and from the activity one of our favorite food trucks here in Portland is called Flourish, F-L-O-U-R-I-S-H. Michael’s going to tell you what we ate while we tried to put the puzzles together.

Flourish is a plant-based food truck/kitchen in the St John’s area, and that food was so yummy there! They talk about, on their website, being compassionate, wholesome, environmentally friendly, but more importantly they talk about a widely recognized approach to reducing animal and human suffering through their plant-based food that they serve. So big shout out to Flourish!

So I had the best macaroni and cheese this year! [Pictured above]

It had a heaping portion of quinoa, elbow macaroni, creamy cashew sauce, broccoli, arugula topped with shallots and chives, and it was so delicious. I should’ve bought another,  second portion of that. Truly it was the best vegan mac and cheese I’ve had this year! So if you’re in Portland, specifically in the St John’s area, you have to stop at Flourish and try their variety of plant-based meals.

But thank God they have this food truck there! Actually, there were several vegan food trucks in that neighborhood, but we were doing those puzzles and they were so difficult. We had to ask some of the other participants for some hints or some help. Couple of them were so, so competitive, they wouldn’t give us any tips. But a couple of the other ones were very helpful, and of course we reciprocated and we gave them some of the tips, too. (And if you’d like to see a picture of the mac and cheese that we ate, go to our Instagram @heaveninaclassc and there you can see how yummy this mac and cheese really was!)

So the next restaurant we’re going to review is the Veggie Grill, which is of course a chain of restaurants. But it is so wonderful to go into a restaurant and know it’s all vegan all the time and you get to pick whatever you want! I loved going to the Veggie Grill. This was because it was in the middle of the day. It was time for lunch. We had just finished one of the demonstrations over the Coca-Cola headquarters in Portland, and we’ll talk about that demonstration in a little bit, but we went over to Veggie Grill. Michael just had a snack because he had eaten somewhere else, but I got to have a wonderful Caesar salad that was kale and so delicious that I would say, if you’re going to eat kale, you should go to the Veggie Grill. And we want to shout out to the guy who helped us out there. It was funny. He’s from Spring, Texas and he is not vegan. So, hey there buddy, become vegan! You work at a restaurant that’s all vegan. What are you waiting for? Get on. Get on with it. Become vegan now!

But one of our favorite places that day was the Next Level Burger. We went here after my entire day, spending hours doing vegan outreach, vegan education and protesting at Coca-Cola, which I’ll talk about in just a minute, I promise. But Michael’s going to tell you what our experience was like at the Next Level Burger.

So, as I said before in Portland, there’s so many 100% plant-based vegan restaurants and the Next Level Burger is right in the middle of Portland and has tons of good vegan eats! I had specifically the spicy bean burger and it had horseradish, and I’ve never had horseradish before, but it’s delicious and I’m going to make sure, when I make my own burgers, that I’m going to add horseradish there. So it was black bean, horseradish, pickles, tomatoes, and then topped with jalapenos. Yummy, yummy, yummy! And again, really Portland stands out with, seems like every other block had some kind of vegan restaurant or vegan option place for folks to eat!

But what really cracks me up about all of this is that Northwest Veg has a wonderful listing of probably 40 different vegan only restaurants that if you are in the Portland area and the Vancouver area, there is no excuse for you to eat animals! There are so many opportunities for you to eat vegan and you need to get out and go visit some of these restaurants!

I had a wonderful burger. I think I had the Classic Burger at this Next Level Burger, and I also had a milkshake, which I have not had a milkshake in years, years and years and years. I had a peanut butter chocolate milkshake made from coconut milk and almond milk that was to die for. I should’ve just had that because I wasn’t really that hungry for the burger!

But we met a mom and her kiddo who were so fun to talk to! This little girl was probably, oh gosh, I want to say 10 or 12. I think she was probably closer to 12, and if she was older than that, I’m sorry to not acknowledge that. But she was so much fun to talk to because she’s been vegan her entire life and she was so fun to talk to. So, if you’re listening, please let us know that you’re listening and we’d love to interview you for the podcast in the future. But we had such a wonderful night there and shout out to the people at Next Level Burger! Go visit them, have a milkshake on us and enjoy!

Okay. Enough about food, because it’s making me hungry. But we’re going to talk about the animal activism, the animal rights activism that we have done thus far in Portland, and there’s so much more to come next week. So I hope you stay tuned next week as well. So see you in a minute.

Welcome back to the podcast and thank you so much for listening. I want to first give a shout out to Cheyenne and Danny! They put together the Peace.com activity in front of the Coca-Cola company. We were talking about the Coca-Cola dairy protests because did you know that Coca-Cola supports the dairy industry? Did you know that Coca-Cola has interest in the dairy industry? They actually sell products through Fair Oaks, which is a dairy farm in the Chicago, Illinois area and they have products under the label called Fair Life.

And what happened was some people from the ARM, the Animal Rights Movement, were able to infiltrate the dairy farm and they took pictures. They took underground pictures and video of the abuse that these poor cows were taking at the hands of humans while they were trying to extract the milk. So Coca-Cola then takes these products and puts them on the shelves as Fair Life milk, which of course we all know we shouldn’t be eating dairy, drinking dairy products anymore, but Coca-Cola is the parent company of Fair Oaks, Fair Life products, and they have all of these dairy products on the shelves.

And we’re saying to Coca-Cola,

“Hey, ditch the dairy. We don’t need to be drinking milk anymore from cows. We would rather drink plant-based milks such as almond milk, oatmeal, soy milk and all the other wonderful milks that can be made from plants.”

So Coca-Cola, ditch the dairy, get rid of all of that abuse that’s going on in the dairy farms! And this is not an isolated case. Poor Coca-Cola, because they were the ones who were caught. Everyone else who is producing cows milk for human consumption is just running under the radar. They are not getting caught. There are lots of cows that are being abused and mistreated every single day in America and around the world!

For example, did you know that cows have to be impregnated in order to have a baby, of course, and they are artificially impregnated, meaning they’re raped. And then once they have the baby cow, that baby is immediately removed from them because if the baby were to stay with the mom, of course the baby would then drink the mom’s milk. But if the babies drink the mom’s milk, then it’s not available for the humans to consume.

So they are removed immediately after birth from their mothers. And this is a very painful process because as a mother, you know how painful it would be if your baby was just taken from you. So these babies are removed and then if they are male cows, then they are sent to either become veal or they’re killed immediately! If they’re girl cows, then they are destined for a life just like their mothers.

But we must know, we must tell people that in order to have milk for human consumption, the cows have to be pregnant. They have to give birth and then the babies have to be removed. So this is a very heartbreaking situation. We do not need to be drinking cows’ milk!

In fact, it’s the number one cause of osteoporosis, which people will tell you,

“Oh, I must have my calcium, I must get it from cows’ milk.” But if you were to read Dr. McDougall‘s books and Dr. Barnard‘s books, you will learn that in order to maintain healthy bones, we do not need the calcium that comes from cows’ milk. We can get it from plants. So please ditch the dairy!

And I want to tell you that when I was out there in front of the Coca-Cola headquarters here in Portland with a wonderful group of activists, we stood there for a couple of hours. We did chants. We did some shout outs and we also did some speak outs where wonderful people were able to give this information to the general public. And then as passersby walked by, we were able to give them some leaflets and hopefully educate more and more people about the dangers of dairy.

And so again, I want to say shout out to Cheyenne and Dani for organizing this event and keep doing the right thing!

This was a very interesting kind of activity for me. I hadn’t done one of these demonstrations before, but as we were standing there getting ready to do our demonstration in front of the Coca-Cola building, of course the “naked bike ride” happened to pass right on the street we were standing on, and this is a unique activity to me.

I’ve never seen this before. And it’s for protesting against the fur and it’s also for fossil fuels. So depending on which side of the activity you want to look at, it’s either for fur protests or for fossil fuel protests. But at any case, it’s a very big activity. They had more than 100 bicyclists driving their bicycles down the main streets of Portland on a Saturday afternoon, totally naked! And it was, like I said, totally naked. I have never seen this before. I have never seen bicycle riders who are riding around naked, but I think they made their point!

So that was the first thing. And then we had the protests in front of Coca-Cola and then we ran over to Veggie Grill, which I already talked about Veggie Grill, and then we participated in the Anonymous for the Voiceless Cube of Truth, which was in front of Pioneer Plaza, and I’m going to talk about that next.

Several of us spent the next three hours in front of Pioneer Square/Pioneer Plaza in downtown Portland on Saturday evening from about 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM. I want to shout out to Matt, the organizer. You did an awesome job organizing all of this and of course it’s all run by volunteers!

Matt is a great volunteer and then they have some fundraisers where they’re able to raise some money so they can buy the TVs that they use in order to stream the Dominion.com footage of the abuse that’s taking place in animal slaughterhouses across the world.

But,I also want to shout out to Andrea from Toronto! Go girl! Loved meeting you! You were wonderful! You did a great job in your outreach activities and in the Cube.

Carli, great girl, great job! I loved meeting you. I hope to see you again out there, maybe in the next activity.

Chelsa, lovely person, wonderful chat with you over there by the table where we had the leaflets for those who came up to the table and wanted more information! I enjoyed our chat.

And then of course, everybody else in the Cube and on the street who was doing outreach…keep up the great work!

I love Portland animal activism! I had a great time and I want to say that the Anonymous for the Voiceless Cube of Truth is one of my favorite activities because like I’ve said in the past, I feel like it’s an in your face kind of activism, but it’s not really in your face.

We’re not yelling at people. We’re not chasing them down the street. All we’re doing is standing there with this visual activity, showing them what is actually going on. This is the truth of how your food is being processed, and most of us don’t know that! We think,

“Oh, I’ll eat an egg or I’ll eat some chicken or maybe I’ll drink some dairy milk because the animals aren’t really abused or mistreated in any way.”

So of course we’ve been sold that bill of goods, that “milk does a body good” or you’ve got to eat your yogurt because you need strong bones and you got to get your calcium.

But there’s so many other ways to do that. And we’ve mentioned before in the podcast that you can get your calcium through vegetables and other plant-based alternatives. So ditch the dairy and join an AV Cube! If you see one in the area, stop by and give some of those activists encouragement because they are all volunteers and we do it so that we can educate others so that you, too, can know how it feels to be part of this movement! And we want you to continue to get on the road to getting healthier and to saving the animals and to shutting down these awful slaughterhouses!

If you want more information, go to our website at www.vegansonemission.com. You can see all of our pictures on our Instagram @heaveninaclassc. And join us again, next week, as we travel around Portland doing more activism and even get more vegetarian, vegan restaurants. In the meantime, be vegan!

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We are a retired teacher, Louisa, and a retired physician assistant, Michael, married for 39 years, who want to help busy travelers begin and maintain a healthy life-style while on the road.


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