21 July 2010

Portland Oregon/Vancouver Washington Visit

Daughter Emily & her boyfriend Evan are relocating from Boston to the Portland Oregon area. A long day's drive west of our home in Butte Montana, we made the trek, met Evan, and spent some time helping the two get settled in. Butte America is at the headwaters of the Columbia River, and we followed it down, taking in the broad river plain dotted with agricultural fields and ridges dotted with wind farms:

We camped at Paradise Point State Park just north of Vancouver Washington--across the Columbia River from Portland. It must have been a grand park before the interstate was built nearby, and even with the highway the old growth cedars and other trees are lovely:

Boy Scouts sell firewood--here comes Emily with a wheelbarrow load:

I like camping while visiting places, in part for leisurely camp breakfasts of sausage, coffee, pancakes, and eggs (and Mrs Rover likes that I do all the cooking & washing when we camp):

And of course s'mores at night:

Camping also has happy surprises like this amazing slug Emily found on her sandal one morning:

And there are the amusing moments when RV "campers" discover you can't drive a ridiculously large house & SUV through camp without losing some paint (yes, I know, the Schadenfreude will bring me back as a slug-level on the karmic wheel, but still):

After getting the important stuff out of the way (i.e. finding housing), we played tourist. I deeply appreciate the area's commitment to environmental sustainability, evident at every turn:

Portland's Lan Su Chinese Garden is an amazing place--we spent hours there, after the imperial lion invited us in (like ravens, you want to do what imperial lions tell you to do):

Such a beautiful place--the architecture:

Water lillies in the meditation pond:

And particular forms of cultural understanding, like the writer's house with its "Four Treasures" of paper, brush, ink, and inkstone. As a writer, I like the notion of style (the word "style" derives from "stylus"--the implement that took on an individual writer's distinctive way of writing, so that each pen developed a personality):

The garden's bonsai trees are absolutely stunning. A few of my favorites include this outcrop-wrapping beauty (with a shadow that completes its beauty):

Tiny larches reminiscent of those growing at treeline here in Montana:

And a stately pine complete with a lightning scar down its trunk (how DO they do that?):

Lastly, the garden's piece de resistance--a teahouse with an incredible selection of exotic brews and wonderful "snacks" (the English word totally fails to capture the simple elegance of a tea egg):

Everywhere you turn, there is delightful public sculpture--from the critters that populate the streets of Portland:

To the interpretation of life's dimensions and possibilities at Vancouver's Washington State University campus:

We spent a long Sunday morning at Portland's Saturday Market (open on Sundays too, of course):

There are blocks and blocks of high quality, unique arts & crafts, and also a festive atmosphere with performers ranging from the amazing silver juggler man:

To acrobatic stilt dancers:

And music:

No visit to Portland is complete without a stop (or two, or three) at Dan & Louis Oyster Bar:

And perhaps a long wait in line for a yummy treat from VooDoo Doughnuts:

Portland being Portland, there's something surprising around every corner, whether it's Wacky McWiener:

Or sand sculptures at Pioneer Square:

We wish Emily & Evan much happiness in their new life here, and we look forward to many happy visits!


sandy, from gardenpath said...

I didn't know that is where the Columbia started. Portland looks like a really neat city. I haven't been there since I was little. You and Mrs. Rover are going to enjoy going west.

Janie said...

Great slug, and incredible shot of the gigantic RV trying to squeeze through the trees.
I haven't been to Portland but I've always heard it's a great place to live.
Looks like you've already found a lot of fun things to enjoy on return trips.

troutbirder said...

The City of Roses is my idea of what a big city should be like. Lucky for them! We've been to my cousins there several times and enjoyed all its famous gardens. Oh well. Greeley Colorado has some unique points too... :(

secret agent woman said...

I'd like to visit that area. But is your whole family just philosophically opposed to warmth? It's July, for God's sake!

Judy said...

What an assortment of photos, but then, you had a long trip to tell us about!! I love the fish sculptures, and I laughed at so many of the photos! What was Emily's reaction to the slug - screaming and euwww, or more philosophical? Those bonsai are stunning, too! If they had not been indoors, I would not have known they were nor full size trees!

Kong said...

how amazing those photos...
and i must say, you got nice and huge campervan...

tsduff said...

I saw VooDoo doughnuts on the travel channel - looked like a Giant Line but a lot of fun :)