Saturday, June 6, 2015

Portland OR

The drive to Portland along route 26 is mostly through forest. In fact we were nearly to our homestay before we saw any real city traffic.  And our home was only a walk away from everything in downtown.  Portland OR is a SMALL city. With roughly 10 times the population of Portland ME, it feels smaller to a tourist ...who isn't bothering to check out the greater urban area.  

We arrived for the first weekend of the Rose Festival. There was a foot race and other festivities in process when we arrived. Apart from the serious runners, the race encourages costumes.  We “ran” into group dressed in Togas.  We talked with some of them and it turns out they were from the local Hash House Harriers (HHH) group. 

For those unfamiliar with HHH, it's an Ex-Pat tradition where a "Hare" lays trail and the "Hounds" have to find and follow it to get to their drinking spot. For our Hasher friends, we neglected to mention that they were doing a "Red Dress Run" in Ashland while we were there. Somehow we suspect we have a down-down coming to us for our lack of awareness of these honored occasions.

The Portland "Saturday" Market is in fact a "Weekend" market . On Sunday we walked down to the river and through the various stalls selling artisanal items and food delicacies. After the market we made our way back up the hill passing Voodoo Donuts (with a line of maybe 50 people waiting their chance to sample the local favorite.) 

We especially enjoyed lunch at Andina, a Peruvian Restaurant serving small plates. For lunch we had beef heart, a 3 potato dish with different sauces, a red and yellow beat salad, and stuffed peppers. We could not resist the chocolate mousse dessert. 

3 potatoes with 3 sauces AND beef heart kababs
Bill anticipating the mousse
Further up the hill we paused at the Art Museum to view impressionist paintings.

Monet - Water Lilies
Renoir - Young Girls Reading
There was a special exposition of works by Betty LaDuke. Her works reminded us a bit of Diego Rivera...with little wonder. She studied at the Instituto Allende (yep, the one in San Miguel) and met the 4 great Mexican muralists while in Mexico.

Betty LeDuke - Grape Harvest Frenzy - Picture these as nearly lifesize.

Monday we headed out to visit Danny, Jean, and Leah who moved to Hood River from the Bay Area 7 years ago. We drove along the Columbia River via the Historic Route 30 and visited the Crown Point Vista House, as well as numerous waterfalls. As we approached Multnomah Falls (the 2nd highest waterfalls in the US, Yosemite Falls being the tallest), our viewing was interrupted by rain and it followed us to lunch at Doppio in Hood River. 

The Columbia River - with cloud cover until you get east of Hood River
Bridal Veil Falls 
Bill with the leaves of a plant that clings when it only barely touches things
After lunch we connected with Danny and went east to the Merryhill Museum which has an excellent collection of works by Rodin, displays of local indigenous history and sculpture, not to mention "La Théâtre de la Mode" which displays the latest fashions circa 1945 in dioramas.
Reclining figure
Blowing in the wind
La Théâtre de la Mode
There was also a great exhibit of native american arts by region.  We were quite impressed by the attention to child safety by several of the native cultures. Specifically there were a range of features for papoose carriers focused on protection from the weather or falls.
Love the "roll bar" on this Yakima (Washington area) Pppoose carrier.
The weather here was sunny and balmy with some seriously gusting winds.  The town of Hood River seems to be the break point between the wet and dry climate zones in northern Oregon. And also where the wind blows and kite surfers play.

Tuesday morning we headed back to Portland and encountered the rain as we again neared Multnomah Falls. Arriving in Portland we went to the Oregon Historical Society Museum.  
Detail of the faux design on the Oregon Historical Society Museum

An original RV from the Oregon Trail days
The rain continues and we decided to have lunch on the 30th floor at the Portland City Grill, trout that was just "OK" for Pat and a fine steelhead salmon for Bill. We stopped at the Columbia Flagship store and shopped for “cooling” shirts, tones designed to utilize perspiration to keep you cool. We are assuming we'll have some pretty warm days later this month in Monument Valley and Moab UT. Nearby we spotted this helpful signpost.

Rain continued on Wednesday and we dodged raindrops at the International Rose Test Garden and Japanese Garden in Washington City Park.

Whoops, this is a dogwood, but it's really lovely!

Japanese Garden
Bunny thinking about disturbing the finely raked sand

Our next destination was 23rd street for a little shopping and lunch at McMenamin's Brew Pub.  After lunch we drove back to the park and toured the Pittock Mansion and grounds. The manison, built in 1914 featured all the latest in technology...

Lighting fixture use gas and electric. The lights pointing up are for gas
Shower with nozzles at every angle
Elegant staircase
Next: Seattle. But first, here's a snapshot of Oregon...

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