We left the following morning for a week in Portland. Usually we are here for only a couple of day, and usually in the middle of November, so it's nice to come a month early and to be able to spend a little more time actually enjoying the city. We have friends and a niece here that we visit as well as a couple of "favorite stops". We tried a new campground this time, right in the city, and it sure was nicer than commuting 45 minutes each time! Columbia River RV is right by the airport and I was concerned the traffic and the noise would be a problem, but it really hasn't been; we will use this place again!
It wouldn't be Oregon or Washington (your right on the border) if it didn't rain some of the time...so of course it did...but I have to confess, it hasn't been to bad! We decided to take one of the days and drive out of the city and go see the state capitol, which is in Salem - just an hour and a half away. Not bad, and we have never been!
When we got there...the sun came out! ;-) We missed the tour, so did the "self-guided" one and chatted with the receptionist to learn as much as we could. It is a pretty simple capitol building without a lot of "fancy" trappings as it was burned down twice before and they decided to use a lot of marble etc. the last time. I did like the "Woodsman" on the top of the dome (called the drum" because of the shape) though - very different. And different is what they were after. They wanted Oregon's Capitol to "stand apart from all the other Capitols...to be "distinctive and different". Another change they made was having dual staircases, instead of one grand staircase at the entrance. They felt it was more open and airy adding more natural light to the area. The drum has 5 windows around it that also enhances this effect on the rotunda and helps shine down on their beautiful murals.
International Rose Test Garden of which Portland is famous for, and the Portland Japanese Garden. I was surprised to find that the Rose Garden still had so many flowers in bloom. Being mid October, I expected to see a lot of bare bushes, but was pleasantly pleased to see blooms everywhere! Nothing like it would be had we been there in April or May...but certainly beautiful for a sun-filled October in Oregon! Nice!
Portland Japanese Garden was delightful. I had no idea what to expect. We lucked out and wandered into a guided tour, thank goodness! Cheryl spent an hour with us and walked us all around the park and explained each of the 5 areas of the park and shared the philosophy of the design of each area. It really made a difference knowing the "what and why" we were seeing. I'll never look at a Japanese Garden the same again! Absolutely beautiful...
They also had a very interesting exhibit on The Noh Masks of Ohtsuki Kokun...how they are made and their meanings as well as some beautiful silk brocade costumes.
...on the road to Washington, Marie
If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/74905158@N04/