Thursday, October 27, 2011

LURE (Portland, OR) • October 22–23, 2011

On Tuesday, I realized that I didn’t have anything scheduled for this weekend other than the Northwest Bears Brunch on Sunday, but this was the 4th Saturday and thus the LURE leather event in Portland.  As Northwest LeatherSIR, I need to cover the entire region as much as I can — not just Seattle, but all of Washington, plus Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and even Alaska.

Portland is the easy and obvious one of those.  There’s relatively little in terms of leather going on in the rest of the region, unfortunately.  Lucky Dog Tavern in Boise had a couple events in the past, and there are a couple fisting parties in Moses Lake and Richland, and Dylan got up to Alaska last year.  So needless to say, when I’ve got an available weekend and there’s an out-of-town leather event, I’m going to try to be there.

(British Columbia isn’t in my ILSb region — it’s part of Western Canada — but it’s as close as Portland, so I’ll get to events up there, as well.  Give them some leather love.  Or glove.  Whichever.)

So a quick Hotwire deal on Wednesday and I had a cheap enough (yet nice) hotel at the Courtyard at Lloyd Center.  I then wrangled up Northwest Leatherboy Danny to go down with me.  Ms. Oregon Leather Ms. Tracey was also having a Fetish Makeovers workshop that afternoon at the new location for Fantasy For Adults Only, so we tried to leave early enough to get to that.

Well, tried.  I slept a little later than planned, and so did Danny.  When we got to Olympia, I realized “Crap!  I forgot my boots!”  (Oh, the shame!)  Fortunately, the Centerville Western Store is at the outlets in Centralia, so we stopped for the fastest boot shopping in the West: 15 minutes in and out and I had a new pair of harness boots, plus some boot socks, bandanas for myself and Danny, and boot laces for Danny.  But that was still a delay, as was the unfortunate pull-over by a cop right after we got back on the road.

I forgot that the speed limit plunges at Centralia, and he was just waiting for someone.  Remember that old line from Driver’s Ed about it being safer to not travel in “wolf packs” of cars?  I now wonder about that, because he basically said he picked me off because I was not in a group of other cars — “I was keeping pace with traffic” apparently didn’t apply to the traffic that was a couple hundred yards ahead of me, traveling the same speed.  But what can you do?  I was legitimately over the speed limit; you takes your lumps (and you pays your tickets).  But it added another 10 minutes to us running late.  Sigh.

We rolled into Portland at 4 pm — the workshop was supposed to start at 3 pm — but we went to Fantasy anyway.  Ms. Tracey was still there, along with her partner (and former Ms. Oregon Leather) Lady Alycyn, plus store manager Chanelle and one of the local leathergirls (whose name I missed).  The gist of the workshop was having the opportunity to try on any of the outfits and gear in the store.  We quickly put Danny in an Asylum straight jacket, plus a gas mask.  Checking out other stuff they had there, I ended up buying a funky Ruff Doggie Styles flogger with braided tails with leather leaves braided into them and leather rosebuds on the ends — pretty, yet still functional, and likely to be a big hit (ahem) for Spanksgiving next month.  (The rosebuds actually give some weight and unexpected thud to it.)  I also picked up a hand-held Foreplay Ice Frost massager — it has a silicone sleeve you fill and freeze, then add a vibrating bullet to make for an ice toy which doesn’t get everything wet as it melts.  We’ll see how well it actually works.

We then went out to Aparaphilia, the recently opened leather store out on 82nd and Fremont (which the Maps app on the iPhone can’t find by name, just be address).  They carry about 75% men’s leather gear, 25% women’s, plus a selection of cock rings, sounds, cuffs, and so on.  As usual when I go to a leather wear store these days, there wasn’t anything I needed (I’ve got a full leather and rubber wardrobe) — nor after buying boots and a flogger already that day, would I have wanted to buy anything more!

We checked into the hotel and I had a short nap.  We then caught the light rail to the Pearl District and at at the Republic Cafe, a Chinese restaurant that Danny liked when he lived in Portland.  After a shower and clothes change, we headed off to the Eagle Portland for the LURE (“Leather, Uniform, Rubber, Etc.”, named for the former leather bar in New York) event.

This month was themed for Puppy Play, and there were a handful of leather pups there.  The Border Riders also had their monthly meeting in Portland, so they all showed up as well, and the bar was packed.

Shout out hellos to Mr. Oregon Leather Tarsus, Oregon Boot Black Nick, leather community jeweler John Poncé (you’ve seen him at big leather events, I’m sure), Thom Butts of Blackout Leather Productions (and a former Northwest LeatherSIR, Andy Mangels, Oregon Cub Dalin, former Oregon Bear Don James, and so on.  Hunky Lance and George were visiting from Denver, and Don was up from Los Angeles, plus furry local Nick and who knows who else that I met and am not remembering right now.  Special thanks to Don and Hal for good times (and for getting my lost leather cap back to me!).

It turned out that the Northwest Bears board meeting was supposed to be after the Sunday Brunch, so I had a bunch of texts back and forth on Saturday evening and Sunday morning with board president Pete.  I had forgotten the discussion about moving the board meeting, and apparently others did as well, since there wasn’t a quorum.  Although I’m not on the board per se, as an outgoing titleholder for the club and part of the website and Spring Thaw committees, I had needed to get some info to Pete.

The trip back was uneventful.  For several miles north of Kalama, a pickup track with a mass of compacted oak leaves in the bed was having the wind pry the leaves out as he drove, and they were bouncing on the road, dancing along with the cars.  It was a nifty, uplifting scene.

Before getting Danny to come along, I had hoped to ride the scooter down, but it rained most of our trip down, so I wasn’t too bummed about driving.  The trip back, though, was broken clouds and nice enough that I pined for the chance to ride.  In two weeks, I’ll be going up to Vancouver for the Hard 3 leather dance/dungeon party, so I’m crossing my fingers that the weather will be dry enough to do that trip, since it’s the very last distance trip I think I could hope for.

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