On a flight to Portland, Ore., not long ago, I noticed an enormous volcano out to the left of the plane during our descent. When I turned to look out the right side of the plane, I saw an even larger volcano. My guess that the left mountain was Mount Hood and that the right was Mount Rainier was confirmed by a gentleman across the aisle. The feeling of being on an airplane that seemed to be suspended between two massive volcanoes was breathtaking.
In town for a cannabis trade show, I spent a few days catching up and networking with friends from the Pacific Northwest. I met up with my high school buddy, Evan, on my second day there. We decided to hit one of Portland’s popular breweries, Deschutes.
Despite the fact that I had visited two different recreational shops the previous day, I decided to look for one more in the city center. A quick Google search revealed a store about a 10-minute walk away. So we finished our beers and headed to Oregon’s Finest in the city’s Pearl District.
Mt. Hood Magic Durban by the numbers: $12/gram at Oregon’s Finest, 1327 NW Kearney St., Pearl District, Portland, Ore.
The budtenders were behind a counter in the center of the room, with all the product on shelves around the perimeter. I perused the flower — there were around 30 strains from several different farms. When I inquired whether the store grew any of its own flower, I was told that Ideal Farms was affiliated with the store through the owners (a little follow-up research informed me that Oregon’s Finest is co-owned by two farms — Ideal Farms and So Fresh.)
I noticed several of the strains I had purchased at The Kings of Canna the day before, but a local cross of Durban caught my eye. I eventually settled on a gram of Mt. Hood Durban Poison.
By the time I was ready to leave Portland on Monday, I had visited three different stores and bought six different strains. My initial thought was to save the best for last (or at least my favorite, Durban.) Naturally, on the day I left, the only remaining flower was the local Durban cross.
Weed reviews and resources
Tangerine Man: The clear winner in Snoop Dogg’s new line of cannabis products. Tangerine Man held up despite its extended time in the jar. The citrus notes weren’t quite as bright, more akin to a car air freshener that is overdue for a change, but the black pepper and cane sugar became more pronounced. Compared to Leafs by Snoop’s lackluster Blueberry Dream, I was vacationing in Terp City, U.S.A.
Juicy Fruit: I popped the jar open and stuffed my nose into it. It was fruity and tropical with hints of pineapple and creamy coconut, along with the subtle undertone of grass. When I sparked it up, the sweet fruitiness was prominent on the front end, followed by a spiciness that hit the back of my tongue and throat on the exhale, causing me to cough. The second hit made me question whether I had just smoked a mango lassi, and it made me cough even more.
Grape Stomper: While it wasn’t very purple, the resin production on this nug stuck out against many of the strains I’d tried lately. What I didn’t get on the initial open was much discernible smell. A faint grape fought with chem notes for control of my nose. Clearly, the Sour Diesel and Headband in the lineage were winning out.
According to the label on the brown rice-colored paper packaging, Mt. Hood Magic Durban is a sativa-dominant cross between Northern Lights #5 x Durban Poison. The shout-out to nearby Mt. Hood and the fact that I can’t remember ever seeing a NL#5 x Durban under a different name led me to believe that the strain was bred locally, though I couldn’t identify the actual breeder.
I tore the seal on the package and poured its contents onto the desk. I noticed the gram was almost entirely one big nug. It was long and pointy, unlike the dense, round Durban I was used to smoking. It didn’t smell like a Durban either. While Durban tends to carry the scent of pine cleaner, the Mt. Hood Durban smelled a lot sweeter, almost like a haze.
When I pinched it softly, it decompressed slowly back to its original size. It left a sticky resin on my fingers as I crumbled it up with my fingers and rolled a thin joint to smoke before we hopped in a cab for the airport. Once I was done, we did one last sweep of the room and finished packing.
I lit up the pinner. It took a couple lights to get going, probably because the weed-to-paper ratio was so low. The first flavor that hit my tongue was sweet smoke that turned piney toward the end. After I exhaled, I felt a distinct tingle on the tip of my tongue. The tingling sensation slowly crawled a few centimeters up my tongue. Eli and I wanted to get to the airport, so we power-smoked the joint, barely pausing to breathe air.
It was a little chilly out, so we waited inside a bar next to the hotel while we waited for our car to arrive. We sat at the bar and debriefed from a long and eventful weekend. My mind felt sharp and my thoughts concise as we chatted. I was so focused on the conversation, I barely noticed the funny glances we were getting from the patrons around us.
Once we got to the airport, I dropped my bag off at the counter and headed toward security. It wasn’t until we got to the security line that I noticed my increased heart rate. Despite the cerebral high, I didn’t feel paranoid at all (unlike my experience flying out of Sea-Tac earlier this year.)
Both Mounts Hood and Rainier are stratovolcanoes, with varying degrees of volcanic activity, and are around 50 miles from major metropolitan areas.
After I saw the Mt. Hood Magic Durban, I realized that each mountain has a “vice” named after it — Mt. Hood has its Durban; and Rainier is a popular lager in the PNW.
I don’t usually play favorites when it comes to mountains, but in this case, I definitely prefer Mt. Hood.