On a recent trip to the Portland, Oregon, area for a wedding, we began our visit on the deck of a the Mount Hood Winery:
And watched as the fire on Mt. Hood went from "laying low:"
To a major "blow up:"
Fires and all, the Columbia Valley is a lush place with abundant wild fruit, like these blackberries:
And lots of excellent farm stands with yummy fresh produce:
No trip to the Portland area is complete without visiting a few of the many wonderful brewpubs. We took in music (and a few pints) at the Double Mountain Brewpub:
Samplers and pints at the Coalition Brew Pub (a true 10-barrel microbrewery with OUTSTANDING English-style ales):
And even a visit to the McDonald's or Starbucks of beer, one of the many McMenamins locations--the former Kennedy School, with its movie theatre, several restaurants and bars--including a bar with a "steam punk" theme:
We worked off the brewpub visits with activities such as a hike up Beacon Rock:
Get a load of those walkways bolted into the cliff face! (looking up):
A visit to just one of Portland's several incredible, sprawling Rose Gardens:
As always, walking around Portland delivers architectural delights, ranging from this quonset-hut house:
To the fantastic architecture of this building supply store:
Oh yeah, we were there for a wedding, and that was great fun too. How can you not have a wonderful time when the wedding begins with the arrival of the bridal party in "pedicabs?":
Back at home, fires around East Missoula and Phillipsburg are still mostly out of control with tens of thousands of acres ablaze (see Montana Forest Fires):
Still, as with our visit to Portland, we're not letting our summer fun go up in smoke. This past weekend marked the Boulder Music & Art Festival -- a fun, low key event with good local music including Mariah Paige (she did a knockout version of Miranda Lambert's "Famous in a Small Town"):
And our favorite--little yodelin', fiddlin' sensation Bridget Reedy (with her Dad accompanying on guitar):
Summer is nearly gone, but we are enjoying those last few sweet drops.