Never really seen Portland.

I had the distinct pleasure this past weekend of being shown Portland and surrounding environs. I've long heard that Portland is an incredibly beautiful city, but except for a Debate camp at Lewis & Clark, I've only just driven through it, until now.

But as with all things wonderful, one must experience intense suffering before you get to it. You guessed it- Amtrak. There is only one route I will still take with this company. Thankfully this was a far cry better than last time. This time I only got a guy who really should have paid for two seats for he didn't fit into the one next to me, who had forgotten to bathe in the past year, but truly was gifted in the ability to snore. At least he wasn't pulling lice out of his hair.

Once I arrived, after being gratiously hosted by Steve & Julie, we were off to a whirlwind day. First to the Portland Saturday Market, the largest outdoor arts and crafts market in the US "in continuous operation". I was fascinated by one woman's exquisite underwater photographs. I was enamored enough with one close-up of opening coral polyps to grab a small picture.

Then on the local train that runs through the middle of the city cleanly and freely, to the sand sculptures. We have no idea how they keep them solid for over a day, but they had been voted on the previous day and were still there, in all the Portland heat. Sulley and Mike were there, as well as some representatives from Collin's new favorite movie, Surf's Up.

Surfs Up! PenguinThen to Powell's Books, the largest brick and mortar bookstore in the US, and the largest indepdent used & new bookstore in the world. Oh my. Wow. Rather unfair to be taken there, really. Kind of like taking an alcoholic to a bar. It was quite difficult to pull ourselves away from there- and impossible without buying a little somethin somethin.

Then Lebanese lunch, and on to one of the many rose gardens in the City of Roses.

Our next step was to leave the city, and see some of the beautiful Columbia Gorge. I've never stopped to look like woods in a snowy evening- I've always driven through, as on to the way to TriCities, the most boring spot in the U.S. (You think me unfair. Consider that their claim to fame is the tallest treeless mountain in the U.S. And they're proud of that. It's enough to make one want to do a little vandalism and plant a tree.)

See hovertext.

A waystation used by caravan travelers long ago making their way West.

Mt. St. Helens on a hazy day.

The fabulous Multnomah Falls- and other falls along the cascading cliffs.

The old and the new.I was most impressed by two items on this day. First, was a woman sharing over tapas how she had gotten over bitterness and learned to forgive. That really touched me. And secondly was my Portland guide's amazing faith, as she just trusts God to bring whatever he might have for her. It's often a surprise, but she seems to have no doubt that he will provide.


Omar said…
These are stunningly, beautiful places! I love the greenery, trees, mountains, lakes and valleys. They remind me of my childhood and youth in East Africa.

I put such 'green' thoughts in my other blog (my main one):
Always it's more comforting and appeasing to have thoughts on Nature and Wildlife than on Man and Humanity.
Sara said…
There is a Powell's in Chicago as well; while not as extensive, it is indeed a dangerous locale for those of us with bibliophilic tendencies!
Omar said…
Please note: I have changed the URL for my blog. I had to. Apologies for this.

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