Thursday, July 14, 2016

Last Days in Portland


Monday was spent taking the train to downtown Portland once again. We did a long walk through the Pearl District and Nob Hill along different streets than we had previously been. We spent some time in US Outdoor, a huge store where Jim bought a pair of pants on sale.


Then we visited Powell’s Books, which claims to be the largest book store in the world. The four story building occupies an entire city block,  and all of it is full of books, new and used, on every topic you can imagine. It made my head spin, and we were surprised at how crowded it was, and how many people were in line actually buying books. Since we don’t have the space to keep many books, we pretty much just use our Nook and Kindle to read these days, so we were not in the market to buy. I was intrigued by the number and variety of adult coloring books, but figured I would probably not have the patience to sit and color. Some of the pictures in the books were so elaborate and detailed it looks like it might be fun.


We passed by and checked out a Whole Foods and Fred Meyer, all within walking distance of many nice houses, condos and apartments. Jim suggested that we should rent an apartment for a year in the city to experience a different way of life, where we could take public transportation or walk to just about everything. For some reason it does hold some appeal.


After another happy hour beer at Rock Bottom Brewery we hopped on the train back to the Expo Center where a few stops later this gentleman got on. Yes, his pants are halfway down his thighs, and he was not aware of it.


With the thought of who or what may have been sitting on the seats we were on, I told Jim my clothes were going in the wash when we got home. He said his were going in the dumpster Smile


When he got off a kind woman getting on helped him pull his pants back up. I just couldn’t. Then at the next stop another woman got on and sat on the same seat where he had just been sitting. At that point Jim decided city living and public transportation probably weren’t for us!

On Tuesday Jimbo and Chica came by for a visit. Jim is camp hosting at Lake Harriet, about 60 miles away, and was ready for a change of scenery on his day off. Jeanne came over from Vancouver to join the party.


Chica is just as cute as ever.


And she still likes a little taste of beer. It was great seeing them again.


After days of gloom and off and on rain, we finally had a mostly clear day yesterday so we took a drive to Powell Butte, 13 miles southeast of the RV park, for a hike with views. I didn’t research the trails because I read there was a visitor center and assumed we could pick up a trail map. Turns out it is not a manned visitor center, just some outdoor displays, and there were no trail maps or brochures. I did find the restroom interesting, although there was no other way out than the one door. I so wanted to push the black button but restrained myself.


We asked a few people if they were familiar with the trails, and finally talked with a woman who gave us some ideas for a loop hike. There is a complicated network of interconnected short trails and they are well signed, and each post has a little map of the trail, but only a small portion of the trail system. We finally figured it out and did a 4 mile loop, but in hindsight we should have taken a photo of the large trail map at the trailhead where we started. Live and learn.

Powell Butte is a 600’ extinct volcanic cinder cone and is also the site of two massive underground water reservoirs, 50 million gallons each, which help supply drinking water to Portland. The park has 9 miles of trails over grasslands and through hemlock forests, a very pleasant place to walk. Some of the trails are actually paved or gravel and there is not a lot of elevation gain.



Most of the flowers were a bit past their peak but still pretty.





One of the trails took us through the cool green forest for about a mile.


But we loved the wide open views the most. At the summit there is a peak finder, where on a clear day you can see Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens. Mt. Rainier, and Mt. Jefferson. Yesterday, we barely got a glimpse of Mt. Hood through the white puffy clouds.


Still a beautiful day for a hike, and a good ending to our two weeks in Portland.


Today we move east on our way to Joseph.


  1. Even if you don't Need books Powell's is a fabulous place. I too have thought about getting a coloring book, but... Portland is a unique city for sure but don't think I'd want to live there. Yet the surrounding area is spectacular. Glad Jim could handle the forest. Safe journey back into the desert.

  2. Joseph Oregon? I hope you will stop by Old Chief Joseph's grave I didn't take time to go there and now I wish I had. He was the father of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce

  3. The best thing to remember about the adult coloring books is that you DO NOT have to stay between the lines. They are fun especially if you let your imagination loose in one.

  4. When I am in San Antonio, I ride the bus between the RV park and my daughters house. Most days are fine but some days I question what I am doing on a bus and sometimes worry about the seats. I would love to find a "small" walkable community.

  5. Thank goodness Jim came to his senses :)
    Box Canyon Mark

  6. Yikes... we are headed to Portland and I hope I can get that image of the man on the bus out of my mind before we get there!!!!

  7. Awwww, Chica's looking so cute with her daddy. Thanks for the train porn.

  8. OH how I would love to just be inside Powell's books. I am such a bibliophile. Losing my library was the biggest loss in full timing. That is a gorgeous hike. Your pictures of the flowers and the views are really beautiful. Such a shame they don't provide maps.

  9. Well that post was hysterical! Thanks for a good laugh and photos of the train dude. Never know what you'll see in a city.
    Good to see pics of Jim and Chica.

    1. Yes, I needed a good laugh, and I got it on this post.

  10. Powell’s Books is amazing. We couldn't get over the long line of people bringing books in to resale.

    How could he not know his pants were that low?

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!

    1. I failed to mention that he also had about a three inch stream of drool hanging out of his mouth. We suspect he was either very drunk, high, mentally ill, or a combination of all three. Sad.

  11. OK, that is just plain gross!

    I do have an adult coloring book and I do enjoy it occasionally, it is a good stress reliever and something different to do. Fortunately it doesn't take up too much space. If you ever decide to get one, it is worth it to invest in the good Prismacolor pencils...don't bother with the Crayola brand.

    1. Thanks for the tip on the colored pencils. I wondered what would be the best kind to use. I think I will buy a book and pencils one of these days and give it a try.

  12. Powell's Books is just too large. We didn't enjoy it all with way too many books; it lost its appeal. I have gone back and forth about purchasing an adult coloring book. I even got as far as picking a book, but then while looking at the pencils, I decided it was too expensive for something I may never get too. Maybe one day!

    Your train adventure was just too funny! Thanks for the morning laugh:) But it did give me the creeps!

    Nice wide open hike:)

  13. I saw quite a few coloring books that were new to me in downtown Waupaca Wisconsin today of all places. I bought a book and some pencils in January and have only used them once because I never seem to have the time. It was fun though.

  14. Powell's Bookstore is an amazing place. We did tour it while in Portland several years ago. And I agree with Lisa, an adult coloring book is a great way to relax, and the Prismacolor pencils are the way to go. Perhaps this would be something to do at night before bed. Might help with your sleep. ;) So is Portland out of the running then?

  15. Love my coloring books - especially when the internet isn't working or we don't have satellite :-) They take up very little room, even with markers, pencils and crayons! There's an episode of Big Bang Theory where Sheldon talks about his "bus pants"......I totally get it now!

  16. Hmmm, that city living could get expensive if you have to throw your clothes away every time you ride public transportation.

  17. We love Powell's, but as you said, it is a bit overwhelming.... :)