Thursday, March 3, 2016

Three Nights in Portland, Oregon - Days 2-3

The Portland Timbers just happened to have a game while we were in there so even though we are Sounder fans we wanted to go to the game and watch Timber Joey cut a slab of wood after a goal scored by the Timbers. We have seen the Timbers several times in Seattle since they are the main rivals of the Seattle Sounders. these games always pack Century Link Stadium with about 64,000 screaming fans. 

The Portland Timbers were the 2015 MLS Champions so we weer sure they would score at least 1 goal against the Vancouver Whitecaps!

The Providence Park Stadium is nice but it the capacity is only 22,000.

Portland is proud of their The Timber Army but they can't compare to the Seattle Sounder Supporters.

They get the kids involved helping to drape all their Award scarfs on the log.

Nice Full moon for the Game

Gotta get Organized!

Timber Joey spent most of his time running his chain saw getting the fans hyped up. Sadly it did not help and we were denied seeing him cut the log. Vancouver 2-Timbers 0

Mount Hood just right up there.

Our first stop was Chanticleer Point on our Columbia River Gorge Tour.


The Scene is breathtaking and this is just the start as we tour down Historic Hwy. 30

That is Crown Point on the right.

It is Prett windy, we could just make out this wind Surfer on the river.

A tiny dot on this huge river.

Crown Point visitors Center and it is blowing so hard here it is hard to stand up.

Blowing 30 with up to 45 mile per hour gust and that wind surfer is still going right below us!

It was gusting so hard just taking a picture here was difficult. But at least it is Sunny out.

The Columbia River is the 4th largest in the US and the largest in the PNW. It is Navigable by ships  all the 100 NM from the Pacific Ocean to Vancouver, WA and Portland OR. Barges can Navigate all the way to Lewiston, Idaho! That is why you see navigation aids directing shipping traffic around huge rocks in the middle of the river.

Leaving Crown Point we take the Historic Hwy. 30 towards the Falls.


If you have something to say you have to yell from here.

Lots of water and lots of trees, an incredible environment.

The skies just keep getting bluer.


Just having a small piece of the falls in the back yard would be really nice.

Randy says we have not lived here long enough to be a Moss Back...He is so right!

Noe we are at the big one, Multnomah falls, this model in the visitors center shows 5 of the big ones on the planet. notice Niagara falls on the far right Multnomah is the center one.

There are several youtube videos for this fall but I like this one since it sort of gives you the awesome spirit of being there. 

The falls plummet 620 feet and is the second highest year round waterfall in the nation. 
Some of the other youtube videos will show more about the related hiking trails.

The wind and mostly the water drown out any nearby human voices. So you can experience the falls as if you are the only one there. Here is a short video I took, watch out you might get wet from the mist.

Makes you feel GOOD!



We saw a couple of small marinas along the river, I so wanted to talk to one of the sailors here about the currents and sailing in this incredible river. This year there are record rains so there has to be some pretty thrilling currants happening out there.
The tour stopped at Brigham Seafoods, a local mom and pop store right on the river. We sampled a few different varieties of their smoked salmon.

Bridge of the Gods

The Locks at Bonneville Dam provide an 80 foot vertical lift for the river barges

The citizens of the Pacific Northwest enjoy very low electric rates. To build the Bonneville dams they had to divert the entire Columbia River and then return it to its original spot. All this a long time ago when the technology to do something like that was pretty basic by today's standard. IN the process they created three islands in the river connecting the different sections of dams and locks. 

They have professional counters who count all the Salmon passing through the Salmon ladders during migration.

This is the first stage leading from the river.

Then the second stage leading upriver. I asked one of the rangers how long t takes for them to swim up the ladder and the 80' vertical climb. She said the average time is Four hours.

These are some Sturgeon on exhibit at the Bonneville fish Hatchery

The fish hatchery is mostly about Sturgeon, Rainbow trout, and several types of Salmon. Each of the pools were packed full of fish at different stages.

The Admiral got us tickets to see the Portland State University present the Music of Rachmaninov, Mahler, and Frank Zappa at the Crystal Ballroom. We had great seats and after two years of volunteering at the world renown Seattle Symphony we feel qualified to say the Portland symphony is a world class program. 

If you go to Portland find any excuse just to go to the Crystal Ballroom, it is a unique experience in itself. the entire wood floor is suspended on cables that they can adjust for dancing or what ever type of activity is happening. The floor bounces as you walk across. It is the only floor of it's type left in the nation.

Exiting Portland via Union Station and Amtrak. You can see the Benson Bubblers water fountains in the foreground

We had a rainy misty day for the ride home, we could just make out this ship making it's way up the almost 100 NM. on the Columbia River from the Pacific Ocean to Portland.

Three Nights in Portland, Oregon - Days 2-3

When we first planned our trip to Portland we were not sure what we would do there. But now we know. There are so many outdoor activities that we did not even scratch the surface. You just have to be prepared to get out in all types of weather, but we were lucky, we had three days of sun and warm weather. All the indoor environments are inviting and intimate, even cozy. The culture is vibrant and full of life and not extremely crowded anywhere.....yet. 

The tour through the Columbia River Gorge was well worth it. we learned all the places we would like to return to and spend more time. On a tour like this there is not enough time to explore all the trails that must offer so much more. You get a great sampling of the big picture and a lot of local knowledge along with the historical aspects making the tour a great package. The train is a great way to go especially since we did not need a car for this trip and driving anywhere on I-5 in Oregon or Washington might make you wish you did not do the trip at all.

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