Monday, July 11, 2016

Eyes, Oxbow, Teeth, Milwaukie, Vancouver



I put all those words in the title so I could remember everything we did since my last post. On Wednesday we took the train downtown and walked the mile and a half to the ophthalmologist’s office in the Nob Hill district of northwest Portland. It’s a trendy kind of area with lots of shops, restaurants, apartments and lovely old houses.

Jim’s appointment went well and we really liked the ophthalmologist (Dr. Mark Terry) and the younger doctor who did most of the exam and discussion with us, Dr. Sanchez. He was in the last week of his one year corneal fellowship and starts his practice in Albuquerque soon. Jim will most likely need a corneal transplant one of these days due to his inherited Fuch’s corneal dystrophy, and Dr.Terry later told us Dr. Sanchez was an excellent surgeon, so he’s someone Jim may visit again in the future. The general consensus was that since Jim’s vision is still 20/20 and he isn’t having disabling glare or fluctuating vision, he did not need surgery at this time and he could just be checked in another year. Always nice to get a fairly good report.

After almost three hours at the doctor’s office we were ready for a beer, and Bridgeport Brewing was along our route back to the train. It’s the oldest craft brewery in Portland, and we found the beer to be good but not outstanding.

On Thursday we drove 22 miles to Oxbow Regional Park where we met up with our friend Chris for a hike. We haven’t seen him since we were in Anza Borrego together back in February. He is  now camp hosting at Promontory Park near Estacada, OR and Oxbow was about halfway in between so it was a good place to meet.  Despite occasional drizzle and gloom we managed to hike over 6 miles through the ancient forest and along the banks of the Sandy River.



The sun came out a few times but the forest is so dense it barely reached us.


Our views from the Ridge trail were obscured by trees.


We were afraid if we stopped for too long moss would begin to grow on us, too.


The Sandy River.



Chris ducking under a huge trail obstacle. Glad we got to meet up for a hike and lots of talking. I think we may have solved all of the world’s problems.


On Friday we had to take Elvis in for his dental cleaning at 7:30. No traffic to speak of crossing the I-5 bridge north to Vancouver in the early morning. Around noon I got a call from the vet saying that Elvis was under anesthesia and doing fine but the xrays found that he had a molar with a resorptive lesion and she wondered if we wanted to have it pulled. I said go ahead since he was already out, but it was quite a surprise since he isn’t even four years old.

Tooth resorption is a common autoimmune condition in cats where the body tries to destroy the teeth. She said some cats only have one in their lifetime, but others end up losing many teeth. Since the rest of the x-rays looked fine we’re hoping this is his one and only. It can cause severe pain on chewing so I’m glad we caught it early and got the tooth pulled. He doesn’t seem to chew his food like Sophie does so maybe it’s been bothering him for a long time. So the $185 cleaning ended up costing over $400 with the extraction, meds, sutures, etc. Although he was quite a little drunken monkey that evening after he came home, and Sophie hissed and swatted at him because he smelled funny, he is eating and doing well and they are best buds again.


On Saturday morning we drove to Milwaukie, a southeast suburb of Portland, and home of Bob’s Red Mill.


We had breakfast in their restaurant (really good vegan whole grain pancakes and French toast), then wandered the aisles and picked up a few things. It’s a huge store that carries every product they manufacture. You can tour the factory during the week, which would have been interesting.


And we didn’t realize that Dave’s Killer Bread factory and outlet store is right across the street, so we got a loaf of day old for $3.49. From there we drove to the Milwaukie City Hall and took a walking tour of downtown and along the Willamette River.

It was a dreary looking day and we both forgot cameras so the phones had to do. The only picture I took in town was of this cute dog wearing goggles. He looked tired of sitting at the traffic light.


When we got to Spring Park we continued along a dirt trail that led to Elk Rock Island, part of a volcano that erupted about 40 million years ago. You can only walk to the island from late spring through fall, and there was still quite a bit of water we had to jump across.



Mansions across the river.



From there we drove a couple miles to the Columbia Sportswear Outlet where we both tried on quite a few things but didn’t find anything that fit. We had no traffic issues on Saturday driving around Portland.

Yesterday afternoon we met Jeanne in downtown Vancouver, WA at the farmer’s market in Esther Short Park. It’s not nearly as big or as crowded as the one in downtown Portland, but we got some good blueberries, Rainier cherries and a few Walla Walla sweet onions.

That’s Jeanne with her back to me getting a photo, while Jim is in the tent on the left getting some coffee. It was cool and drizzling, like it’s been doing off and on for several days,


Everybody had their dogs out for a stroll.


Jim and I decided to take a walk around downtown and then follow the Columbia River Renaissance Trail along the river. It leaves the waterfront at two miles, so we turned around there, but you can continue on down a street where it diverts around a shipyard then goes back along the water for a total of five miles. It would make for a nice bike ride.

I-5 bridge.




Shipyard where the trail leaves the waterfront.


Wendy Rose, aka Wendy the Welder (cousin of Rosie the Riveter). This sculpture was built to honor the thousands of women who worked in the Kaiser Shipyards during World War II.


On our way back as we passed by McMenamins On The Columbia we decided to stop and check out their beer list. Happy hour had just started so we stayed for a bite to eat and a pint of House Stark Porter on Nitro. It was really good, one we would definitely have again.

We’re down to three days left here in Portland. Will most likely take the train downtown one more time for some urban hiking and beer tasting, maybe a hike in Forest Park, or a bike ride along the river. Tomorrow we’re expecting a visit from Jimbo and Chica. Can’t wait to see our favorite chihuahua, and Jimbo, of course Smile


  1. Busy, busy, busy should be the title of this blog.

    I love the Oxbow Regional Park trail. So different than what you two are used to. I love seeing all the green.

    Elvis and Sophie are so dang cute. So glad Bella's teeth have been fine.

  2. You guys have really packed in the exploring around Portland! You gave me a few ideas of spots to visit next time we go.

    By the way we're lucky enough that BOTH our cats suffer from tooth resorption. Taggart has had practically all her teeth pulled. Rand has more teeth, but needs another pulled almost every time we go for a dental. It's darn expensive and there's nothing you can do except pull the teeth. Hopefully your kitties won't need as many pulls as ours!


    1. Too bad both of your cats have tooth resorption. We've had lots of cats over the years but our last one is the only one who had to have a tooth removed and the vet did not mention resorption. Guess we've been lucky up until now!

  3. Doggles are what the dog was probably wearing :-)

    They even had a Packers tire cover on that Jeep.


  4. Good to see you back in the Pacific Northwest....It is fun to visit all the old favorites. Such cute kitties all snuggled together!

  5. Good to know you aren't just sitting around:) I really need to return to the Portland area. I didn't know Bob Red Mill was there!! Glad to hear Elvis is doing well even if it did cost you a small fortune:)

  6. All those Brew Pubs (almost) makes urban warfare worthwhile :)
    Box Canyon Mark

  7. So glad to hear Jim's eye exam went well. Although Elvis didn't fair as well, perhaps this will be the only tooth issue for him. We are currently in Glacier where the Internet is nearly non-existent. I was able to open this post but the photos didn't download so I will have to enjoy those at a later date.

  8. Great shot of the kitties, and I love that sculpture what a great way to pay tribute to their part in history.

  9. For some reason I couldn't comment on the previous post. That volunteering sounds like a good idea. Glad Jim got a sort of good eye report. Maybe he just needs to drink more beer. ;-D

  10. Good news on Jim's eyes. Welcome to the wet & lush PNW where if you stop too long you become part of the forest.