Monthly Archives: March 2015


Famous Residents of Orchards

Orchards is one of the largest residential areas in Vancouver. With most of the city’s population residing here, there are sure to be more than a few well-known celebrities to be found in this quiet area. So let’s see who Vancouver can claim that just might have called this area home before they ever became tabloid bait.

Artistic Minds

Vancouver has claimed its fair share of artists and writers in recent years who are attracted to the low real estate prices the city has to offer as well as the vibrant and unique cityscape of neighboring Portland. Of all the writers located here, there is one who stands above the rest: William F. Nolan. A longtime resident of Vancouver, he has produced hundreds of different pieces across a wide range of genres, making him one of the most prolific authors working today. He continues to maintain a home in Vancouver and does not intend on stopping any time soon.

Successful Athletes

The Portland area is not widely known for its athletes and what few it does claim are typically pretty unknown. There is one, however, who has seen tremendous success on the NASCAR Sprint Cup series: Greg Biffle. A native of Vancouver, Biffle has competed in NASCAR events since 2001. He was named Rookie of the Year that year and eventually won the Sprint Cup in 2005. He continues to be a racing threat to this day, competing in both truck and car events.

Scientific Geniuses

Vancouver is home to its fair share of geniuses, as well. As it hosts the Cascade Mountains Volcano Observatory—one of only five in the United States—many people who are fascinated by volcanology and the earth sciences live in Vancouver and Portland. The current big name in geophysics right now is Jeffrey C. Wynn, who works at the Cascade Mountains observatory as one of its leading researchers while also teaching Japanese jujutsu at Clark College.
So with all these fine folks living here in Vancouver, one is sure to come across one or all of these famous names in their specific fields. Take a walk around and see who you come across!

Brought to you by Iron Gate Storage in Orchards, WA.

Iron Gate Storage
7920 North East 117th Avenue
Vancouver, WA 98662
(360) 799-5082

Why the Mill Plain is Great for the Outdoors

For many people who are not familiar with the Mill Plain, as well as the road of the same name, in Vancouver, it might sound like your basic residential area without a lot of amenities to make it attractive. However, for people who actually reside in this area of the city, Mill Plain is actually a wonderful place to spend some time outside. It’s fairly common knowledge at this point that most our lives are spent inside. So spruce things up and check out some of these locations to bring you some quality time under the sun.

Golf Courses

Golf is an extremely popular pastime for young and old alike. It’s relaxing, gives you some outdoor time, and forces you to think outside the box. Vancouver’s local golf range is located in the Mill Plain. Known as the Vanco Golf Range, this large park has everything you can expect from a golf course. It is challenging, open, and allows you to stretch out those clubs you haven’t touched in several years.

Parks and Recreation

Vancouver is widely known for having a fantastic municipal park service. Its ideal location both on the Pacific coast as well as in the Cascade Mountains allows for some breathtaking views. The largest park you will want to frequent with your family would be the aptly named Mill Plain Park. While not the largest in Vancouver, it is very close to the mark and featuring many secluded spots to have a romantic picnic as well as playgrounds and fishing opportunities in its ponds and creeks.

The Fort

If you have more of a flair for history, then Vancouver has plenty of options as well. Not including the historic houses along Officer’s Row, the city also plays host to the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. The buildings here date back to mid-1800s when the Portland area was first settled by American settlers and features a fantastic exhibit operated by the National Park Service.

If you are looking for great outdoor opportunities in Vancouver, the Mill Plain is definitely the place to be. So get out and get some sun before the rain sets in! We all could use it.

Brought to you by Iron Gate Storage in Mill Plain, WA.

Iron Gate Storage
12406 SE 5th Street
Vancouver, WA 98683
(360) 799-5100

Three Things to Do in Vancouver’s Mill Plain

When folks want to have a good time in this area, most of them want to go to Portland. It makes a tremendous amount of sense. Portland is a bigger city than Vancouver ever could be with virtually no sales tax. But the truth of the matter is that Vancouver has a tremendous amount to be experienced in its own limits, making the city a vibrant cultural hub year round. So here are three things you should look at if you want a good time.

Outdoor Activities

The Pacific Northwest is famed internationally for its scenic beauty. Snow-capped mountains and evergreen forests are a part of the climate here and a major aspect of its appeal. So for the outdoor enthusiast, Vancouver is a dream city. Biking, hiking, fishing, and all sorts of other outdoor activities can be found around here. If you want to go a little further out, Mt. St. Helens is sitting just an hour north of here.

Annual Events

Portland has some strange events going on. Whether it’s a film festival dedicated to H.P. Lovecraft or flash dancing in the street at random moments, there is always something going on. This spirit of weirdness has filtered over into Vancouver, which hosts several strange annual events. The weirdest and most interesting of these would be the Recycled Arts Festival, which brings in trash artists from all over the country to show off and sell their wares.


But maybe you’re looking for something a bit simpler that doesn’t require a whole day to do or a whole year to wait. Look no further than Cinetopia, which has several locations scattered all over Vancouver. An eat-in theater on the surface, each location is actually different from the next. One Cinetopia serves only wine. Another serves only craft beer. Another is a museum. Your experience changes with each location, making your options practically endless.

So those are the best things to do inside Vancouver. You be sure to have a good time (and make sure to save those cans for your trash sculpture!).

Brought to you by Iron Gate Storage in Vancouver, WA.

Iron Gate Storage
12406 SE 5th Street
Vancouver, WA 98683
(360) 799-5100
Petroglyph in Eastern Washington

An Outsider’s Guide to Orchards and Vancouver, Washington

When you are not familiar with Portland, Oregon and the surrounding area, such as here in Vancouver, the most you probably know about it is that it’s supposed to be a very weird place. While that is very much the truth—and we are quite proud of our weirdness—there is a lot more to be said about Vancouver than just the fact we’re weird. Vancouver actually has a tremendous history stretching several hundred years and a diverse community full of creative thinkers.


Vancouver was originally settled by Chinook and Klickitat Indians, who dominantly made their living off of the sea. They were noted for being one of the few tribes who inhabited longboats made out for living quarters. By the time the Lewis and Clark expedition entered the area, most of the population had been killed by smallpox. Their presence gained the pioneers attention, however, declaring Vancouver to be “the only desired settlement west of the Rocky Mountains.” Within a few years, the area now known as Vancouver was settled by Americans heading west.


Today, Vancouver is one of the biggest and best small cities you will find. While most of the population is white, Vancouver boasts a sizable Hispanic population as well as a number of Native American peoples hailing from different tribes. With a population of 161,791 as of 2010, it offers small town comforts with large town convenience—Portland living without the Portland prices.


Vancouver is your traditional Pacific Northwest climate with some harsh winters, mild summers, and about 41 inches of rain falling per year. Temperate rainforests cover this entire area and the Cascade Mountains provide for some breathtaking scenery you will not find anywhere in the country. The ground here is fertile, the people are wonderful, and you can truly enjoy some down to earth living.

So if you are making the big move to Vancouver, don’t expect a town composed only of maniacs. We actually have a tremendous amount of charm and beauty to us (even if you see Darth Vader playing the bagpipes).

Brought to you by Iron Gate Storage in Vancouver, WA.

Iron Gate Storage
7920 NE 117th Ave.
Vancouver, WA 98662
(360) 799-5082

Famous Residents of Vancouver, Washington

Portland, Oregon has been home to a number of interesting people. Some are famous, some are not. But what many people don’t know is that Vancouver, Washington, a veritable suburb of the city, has actually been home to just as many interesting folks as its big neighbor. With lower rent and a more distinctive small-town atmosphere, Vancouver has catered to some of the biggest names in a wide number of different fields. Let’s look at a few of them.


The Pacific Northwest is not greatly known for making primetime athletes. The ones who do traditionally come from Seattle. But Vancouver actually does have a couple of athletes under its belt who have called the city home. The biggest of these folks, by far, would be Greg Biffle, who has made a name for himself across the United States for being a champion NASCAR driver.


Vancouver can also lay claim to a number of politicians and pundits. Whether you like them or not, these folks have played a major role in American history and policymaking. Lars Larson, whom many folks know as being an outspoken conservative talk show host, lives in Vancouver and broadcasts out of Portland. Vancouver can also lay claim to Ulysses S. Grant, supreme commander of the Union Army during the Civil War and 18th President of the United States.


But Vancouver’s real contribution to society would be in the writer’s population. Since the Portland area’s creative resurgence in the 80s and 90s, several authors live and work here. Most of them would be noteworthy in the horror genre, particularly Chuck Palahniuk, who was the mastermind behind the Fight Club novel as well as Lullaby, which was nominated for several awards including the Stoker Award for Best Novel.

Another noteworthy writer who lives in Vancouver would be Jason V. Brock, who has been active in the horror community for a number of years as a writer, publisher, and documentarian. Several of his collections have been nominated for Stoker Awards and he has also produced several documentaries, the most famous of them being about Charles Beaumont, the original writer of The Twilight Zone.

These folks and many more have lived in Vancouver at certain points in their lives. With this much talent in a single small town, who wouldn’t want to get a little weird?

Brought to you by Iron Gate Storage in Cascade Park, WA.

Iron Gate Storage
802 NE 112th Ave.
Vancouver, WA 98684
(360) 799-5090

Best Companies to Work for in Beaverton, Oregon

Beaverton, Oregon is unlike any other place in the Pacific Northwest. As a member of the Silicon Forest—the up and coming hub for all things technology—the city has numerous jobs available for its 84 thousand plus residents. Even if you are not a software engineer or a skilled programmer, there are still plenty of opportunities to be found. So let’s look at the best places to work in Beaverton.

Technology Companies

As we mentioned before, Beaverton is a part of the Silicon Forest. Lacking in all the glitz and glamour and big money you find in Silicon Valley, the Silicon Forest is a great place for startups to base themselves. If you have a terrific new idea that is bound to blow Apple out of the water, you cannot find a better place than Beaverton to set up your business.

The fact that the city has a number of high-profile technology companies found within its city limits makes it all the more attractive for programmers to test their ideas and grow their skills. Easily the best place to find yourself as a programmer is in the Linux Technology Center, which is administrated by IBM. Linux is the primary operating system for all the best programmers in the world. But if you want to contribute to the platform in a big way, this is the place you want to be, as it is responsible for literally every piece of open-source software you could imagine.

Corporate Jobs

Beaverton is also home to several corporate headquarters that employ thousands more residents who are more business-minded than tech-savvy. Reser’s Fine Foods is one of them and should definitely be looked at if you are health nut. They have stores located all over the country and rate high on Glassdoor for their Google-esque office space and good treatment of employees.

But the biggest corporation you will find in Beaverton, by far, is Nike, which is the second largest employer in Beaverton behind only the school district. Their world headquarters are located in an unincorporated part of the city and should definitely be considered if you want to get your foot in the door with a successful business or want to gain some valuable experience.

So if you are in the process of moving to Beaverton, Oregon and are in need of a good job, look at these employers first. You won’t be disappointed with what they have to offer.

Brought to you by Iron Gate Storage in Beaverton, OR.

Iron Gate Storage
4050 SW 160th Ave
Beaverton, OR 97007
(503) 649-7531

Three Weird Things You Will See in Vancouver, Washington

Portland, Oregon is known far and wide for being, quite a simply, a very weird place. All sorts of things which could be considered “out of the ordinary” can be found there. Located right across the border, Vancouver is practically a suburb of Portland with all the strange charm and not as many living expenses. As a result, we, too, have some strange sights you should be familiar with and keep an eye out for. They are practically a part of local heritage and what makes Vancouver such a great place to call home.

The Pacific Paddleboat

When you think of the word “paddleboat,” you are probably thinking about Southern charm, Mark Twain, and the mighty Mississippi. The paddleboat is very much an important part of the local heritage there, but it is not the only one. Vancouver also has a paddleboat which runs tours through the Columbia Gorge, which was the last leg of the journey of Louis and Clark.

Flying Jellyfish

You probably did not know that much of the strange you will hear about is not just in science fiction books. Some of the strange sights and phenomenon around Vancouver might even sound like they belong trapped in paper. One of these sights is the famed “flying jellyfish” of Washington. Spotted in isolated instances from Puget Sound all the way down the coast, these weird floating orbs have been seen by Washington residents since the late 80s. Reports continue to persist to the day and much evidence has been provided to prove their existence, such as dead cattle that have been found with scorch marks.

Paul Bunyan

Paul Bunyan is an American icon. Between his giant ax and the blue bull, this legend has been purported to carve out canyons, forge coastlines, and even kill the dinosaurs. Where he might have come from, however, is a matter of many debates. Cities all across the north from Maine to Minnesota claim that Paul Bunyan was born there. Well, nearby Portland is one of those cities. You will find memorials and statues dedicated to Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox all over this area if you know where to look.

So if the strange or intriguing pique your interest, take a stroll around Vancouver and you just might find what you are looking for.

Brought to you by Iron Gate Storage in Downtown WA.

Iron Gate Storage
1200 West Fourth Plain
Vancouver, WA 98660
(360) 419-4200