I lived in Portland for many years, and have some thougths to add about the finish. My first thought when the racers found out that the finish line was Portland....was that the Frat Boys would go to Portland Maine (rim shot).
What viewers would not know is that the finish in Portland was laid out so that the racers first went west, then back east, and then west again. Even if you knew exactly where you were going the racers spent hours in their taxi cabs.
To get a cab at the airport where the driver did not know Newberg is unbelievably bad luck. Newberg is a small town south west of Portland, but unless the cabbie was on the job for only a week....you gotta know where Newberg it is...and it is not hard to find at all. To drive to the Bridge of the Gods, and then back to downtown Portland is mostly all on the freeway...and you would want a driver who could put the pedal to the metal, and the fratboys certainly did not have that either.
The downtown stuff was not that far apart, but the real hard twist is finding a cab near Ankeny/Burnside. Much like the finish with Flo and Zack in Seattle, where I now live, the cab culture is non-existent in both cities, except for airport runs, and around major hotels. Burnside is a major arterial, but finding and catching an empty cab on Burnside would be a stroke of luck. It looked like Ken and Tina caught a cab at the Benson Hotel, which is relatively close by that area, and I would have gone to the Benson myself if I was looking for a cab.
The Pittock Mansion is a very short drive from that part of downtown, so I, like others posting, wonder how far apart the racers actually were. Like in the Seattle finish, this appears to have come down to a taxi race to the finish line....which would be a stroke of luck, and not having much to do with skill.
All of that being said, it appeared that Nick and Starr had maps to pour over as they rode, (good move on their part) but a competent taxi driver was the key to winning the dash for the cash. Maps would not have helped to find the doughnut shop or the Adler Street food court. Locals would know of the food court....but the doughnut shop could have been a hard one to find....about six to eight blocks from the food court. The doughnut shop "could" have been the decider....but getting the cab after the doughnut shop was the real dash for the cash.
Finally, I have to comment on the overall ignorance shown by many of the racers. When getting a clue to go to Kazakstan or Cambodia...the frequently made comment, by college graduates, was "where is that". To not be able to recognize Lenin or Stalin on sight....that is ignorance of basic 20th century history. Remember, the racers pastports already have visas in them....how could you not look at your own passport in advance and not know where these countries are?
I love the Amazing Race, but this cycle had the most inept, ignorant, and foolish racing teams. What were the producers thinking when they selected this bunch?