Sunday, October 15, 2017

Enjoying Oregon!

Once we settled into Bend, things seemed to turn around for us.  The sun came out, things warmed up and once again life was good!  Yea!  Our new campground was lovely and a great place to "get things settled".  We needed additional tires, and electrical fixed from the blowout, as well as to just rest up from the experience of it all.  Calls were made, people came out, and things were handled (as best they could, anyway).  There didn't appear to be much to "go and see" in Bend except for Tumalo Falls, so we saved a pretty day for that and took a short drive out to see them (along with hundreds of others, as it turned out!).  They were indeed lovely, but what I enjoyed even more, was the beautiful grove of aspens I found along the way!  Jack was kind enough to pull over to the side of the road for me while I tromped into the woods for a bit and spent about 20 minutes just basking in their beauty while I snapped picture after picture trying to capture it all.  Colorado has nothing on this sweet little grove!  I could have stayed there all afternoon just watching the breeze flicker their cute little leaves so they just sparkled in the sun...

As we drove back to our campsite, the drive picked up several of the trees starting to turn yellow, orange and red...aah, autumn is definitely starting...and even a nice view of Mt. Hood...

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 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 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.

Our last day in Portland we were able to finally enjoy two of their beautiful gardens...the 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 they are made and their meanings as well as some beautiful silk brocade costumes.

It was a beautiful way to spend the sunniest of days here in Portland!

...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:


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