It’s hot here. Mid-90’s most every day this week. The weather people say this is the first extended heat wave of the entire year. They don’t expect it to end until Monday – the day we leave for the northern coast of Oregon. We had hoped to do a number of hikes around the Columbia River and Gorge, as well as the Mt. Hood area, but the heat has changed our plans. To add to this, there are fires burning on Mt. Hood sending up a lot of smoke. Visibility is way down and we usually cannot even see Hood or St. Helens. We adapt though. This is Portland after all (aka Portlandia), a mythical place in the minds of many. A large painted sign nearby Voodoo Doughnuts proclaims, “Keep Portland Weird”. Compared to San Francisco, not that weird though.
I mentioned Voodoo Doughnuts. This place was the top vote getter for “must do’s” in Portland. Our first morning in town we stopped by for breakfast. They do doughnuts like no one else, my choice, the Bacon Maple Bar (yes, 2 strips of real bacon and maple frosting on a bar of dough) was nearly out done by Mary’s choice, Memphis Mafia (Fried dough with banana chunks and cinnamon sugar covered in a glaze with chocolate frosting, peanut butter, peanuts and chocolate chips on top!) Washed down with a 16 oz. coffee each, and we were ready to face the day – until the sugar crash.
We walked the streets in town a bit. Visited the Rose and Japanese gardens in the huge Washington Park where I found bags filled with rose clippings. Not the usual subject matter, but I found it more interesting than straight rosebush shots. Also visited the Portland Museum where they were having a show of really unusual automobiles. A particularly cool exhibit was by a native american artist whose blown glass sculptures were attached by a long metal posts to a painted black board and hung on the wall. The way it was lit, the sculpted pieces cast shadows in various directions and created a really cool effect.This piece would work well in our entryway at home.
Although it is very hot, getting out early really helps. The nights cool down quite a bit and it actually stays coolish until after around noon each day. On our second day, we took a driving/hiking tour of the Columbia Gorge area. The route follows old highway 30 and is mostly shaded. The roadway was designed to blend in with the landscape as much as is possible for a highway. It takes in a number of scenic waterfalls and the hikes to the falls is rewarded with cool winds created by the rushing, falling water. We stopped at several of them and yes, more waterfall shots followed.
Another day’s driving destination brought us to the Swan Island Dahlia Gardens. It was steamy hot, but oh how dahlias love the hot! This is still prime growing season for them and we had a fun but sweaty time photographing.
Portland has a very active photography community and one of the main things I wanted to do while here was visit Newspace Center for Photography. I am a member there and am included in the Members Showcase show. It will be up October 7 – 30. Since I left San Francisco before the results of the juried exhibit were announced, I needed to bring the five prints I entered, along with enough framing supplies to cover the prints accepted. I didn’t know which, if any, would be accepted but I had to be prepared. As it turned out, 1 print was accepted and since I’m in town, I get to drop it off personally and check out the space. While I am a member, I’ve never actually been there before. They have just finished expanding the space, so I was excited to visit. The gallery didn’t disappoint. Lauren Henkin was showing work from her Growth series and work from several of her other projects. It was really interesting work.
We spent our last full day in Portland checking out the downtown market and then off to several photography galleries. We saw Grace Weston’s fabulous work at Augen Gallery, visited Blue Sky, and 23 Sandy. All good work and a very enjoyable day. Of course it all started off with another visit to Voodoo. This morning, the line was around the block and then doubled back on itself. We waited though.
Back at the RV park, I met Ole’, Renne and big Bubba. Full-timers for the past eight years and still lovin’ it. Ole’ was grooming his kitty with a brush/glove contraption to protect himself from Bubba’s bite. Bubba sank his fangs into Renne’s arm some time ago and she spent 2 days in the hospital fighting a severe infection. They still love their kitty.
It’s back to the coast for us. Monday we leave for Nehalem Bay State Park. We are meeting up with the Northwest Lazy Daze group for what sounds like a fun 3 days of eating and gabbing. I hope to photograph the full-timers among them. Pictures to follow.