Travels With Caroline – Part 2

Leaving Portland behind, we headed to the Columbia River Gorge.  About an hours drive on I-85.  We went first to the Bridal Veil Falls. It was overcast and misting rain, great day for a walk on the trails. Below is a view of the Columbia River from the trail at Bridal Veil Falls.

Columbia river from bridal veil falls trail

The Bridal Veil Falls:

Bridal veil falls 3


There has been an unusual amount of rainfall in the Pacific Northwest this winter, and the falls were flowing mightily.  Below is Bridal Veil Falls as J. M. W. Turner might have imagined approaching it along the trail:

Bridal veil falls 1 turner


Multinomah Falls is more spectacular, as one would immediately note from the crowds there and not at Bridal Veil.  It was misting and there was a fog as you can see at the top of the Falls.

Multinomah falls soft


We ate lunch at the Multinomah Falls Lodge (which was a good choice) and then headed back past Portland to the Oregon Coast.  Our first turnout on Hwy. 101:

Coast1 okeefe


As one can see from the brilliant photography, the Oregon coastline is dramatic and beautiful.

Oregon coast 2


We spent the night in Newport, Oregon, a charming little town with an attractive harbor.  It was an overcast evening with showers spitting at times.

Newport harbor


The weather got worse as we drove south along the Oregon coast.  You can easily see the conditions from the following shots:

Oregon coast 3

Oregon coast 4

Oregon coast 5


Quite a storm had blown through Newport during the night and early morning, and little did we know at the time the effect it would have on our plans for that day.  Sitting at lunch in Coos Bay (at Sharkbites Restaurant, not recommended) I received a call from the Holiday Inn Express in Klamath where we were to spend that night. The coastal storm had knocked out power in the area, and the young lady suggested we stay at the next Holiday Inn in Eureka.  That would make what was already going to be a long coastal drive an hour and half longer. So, we trucked on.  Caroline did most of the driving through the bad weather, rain and high winds that morning..  

Crossing the California line, we were soon in the redwood forests. The only word to describe the redwoods is magnificent.  Redwoods can grow to 300 feet or more, and can live over 2,000 years.  The oldest know living coastal redwood is over 2,200 years old.  Most of the redwoods we see are 50-150 years old, and can grow to 100 feet in their first 50 years. Writing this blog entry the day before Easter, I am reminded that the oldest living redwood was probably over 100 feet tall when Christ was on earth. 

We spent the night in Eureka, California and continued south early the next morning.  We intended to turn off of Hwy. 101 onto coastal California Hwy. 1 ay Leggett, Ca. Arriving at the intersection the road was closed.  There is a redwood tree attraction in Leggett on Hwy. 101, and paying for the entry fee, the attendant , who works for Catrans during the week, explained that there were two major landslides a week apart that completely blocked the road.  Sp we too a small detour.  First, a drive through redwood.

Chandelier tree


The weather finally cleared as we drove south toward our next stop at Mendocino, Ca.  But that’s another story.

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Travels With Caroline – Part !

Portland, Oregon.  Not a particularly beautiful city, at least the downtown portion thereof.  Caroline and I spent an evening and a full day in Portland.  The first stop, the absolute required first stop, was Powell’s Bookstore, the City of Books.  Probably the best bookstore I have seen, and I have seen a few.  We spent a couple of hours there, then walked around a bit before having dinner at Mother’s Bistro and Bar.  An excellent restaurant.  The weather was standard fare for the Pacific Northwest this time of year, drizzling and chilly.

Portland has a superb mass transit system, trains, streetcars and buses.  Very easy to get around the city.  Also, there is an arial tram going from the street level to the OHSU Hospital Complex.

Speaks for itself

From the tram

Portland arial tram

Some random shots from above:

Angles and dangles

Angles and dangles 2

Looking down from OHSU

You ca see Mt. Hood just right of center in the picture below.

Looking down from OHSU 2

Caroline from top

Some shots from around downtown Portland:

Ringside park

Food Truck row

Food trucks

Mexican food and ragtime

The best bookstore I’ve seen, at least recently.  Luckily they ship.

Powell s Books

We walked a lot in Portland, and also rode the trains and street cars.  Ate some really good meals, and probably didn’t spend $60 total for the full day in the city.  We only had the one full day there, and left the next morning for the Columbia River Gorge, then down the coast.

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Santa Fe

We travelled to Santa Fe in September, 2015 with two other couples.  A trip I recommend, Santa Fe being a lovely, friendly place.  Traveling with other couples means, of course, negotiation on what to do, where to go, etc, but we did get to see a lot and do a lot, and we look forward to going back to cover what we missed on this trip.

Our first stop was Sandia Peak outside  of Alburquque, where we took a cable car or tram up to the top of the peak.  We had a good lunch in the restaurant and enjoyed to vistas stretching out before us.

View from Sandia Peak

View from Sandia peak 2


You have to wonder at times about people’s intelligence.  Would you ride on the top of the cable car?

Dummy on top of cable car


A rose on top of the peak.

Santa fe rose hopper


A car show on the square in Santa Fe.

Bugatti    Bugatti 1

Lincoln    Unknown car

 Mg signed


Giving the burro a break

Tired Burro


Santa Fe has a marvelous farmer’s market on Saturday, and also on Tuesday afternoons.  Some scenes:

A flower vendor

Flower vendor


Some  of her wares

Zinnas i  santa fe




Peppers degas dancers

Red peppers and flowers


Little fiddle player trying to earn a buck or two

Little violinist


Blowup balloons not people, a nice sentiment

Blow up balloons


One of the many sculptures around Santa Fe.

 Eagle Attacking


More chili peppers, a wall display 

More Chili Peppers


Part of the Plaza, vendors selling jewelry, etc under the shade.

Market in Plaza


Some more indian sculptures:

Indian couple sculpture

Three indians


The gal singing in the picture below had just wandered into town, and asked the guys if she could jam with them  She was singing her heart out.  Really pretty good.

Itinerant singer


Another sculpture:

Balancing act sculpture


Good dad:

Tying his shoe


As you can tell, the arts are alive and well in Santa Fe, as is the Native American and Hispanic heritage and culture.  A great place to visit.

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A friend

I had a friend, I’ll call him Jon for these purposes.  Jon was a lawyer, and a good one.  He was also a man of integrity, intelligent and easy to be with.  We fished and hiked together over a number of years.  We first met hanging around our daughters at Ridgepoint Stables.  Jon loved the mountains on North Carolina as I did and we hiked there when possible.

Nc morning fog rudis glaze signed

On one occasion we went up to North Carolina for a long weekend of hiking, eating and drinking. On a beautiful day, we hiked up to Shining Rock, a nice walk, and climbed up on the rock to have our lunch.  To my surprise,my always prepared friend pulled out a bottle of excellent red wine from his backpack, and thankfully, a corkscrew.  We shared the bottle with our sandwiches sitting under the glorious North Carolina skies.  I must admit after sharing the bottle, we stretched out for a while under that glorious sky,  Getting moving, we got down from Shining Rock, and hiked back to our car.  We were driving my 86 Volvo 240D.  One of the most reliable cars I’ve owned.  I drove it for over 214,000 miles.  I noticed after starting the car, that I was hard against the peg on empty, on top of a mountain miles from any gas station.  We did the only thing possible, got out of the parking lot on the downhill slope, put the Volvo in neutral and let her rip.  We coasted all the way down, picking up speed and laughing like school kids.  While filling up at a station at the bottom of the mountain, we saw a string of vintage MGs going by.  We had seen the same cars while on the way to the mountain in the morning.  Neat vehicles.

Mg signed

We went to dinner that evening at the Inn at Brevard, and when we pulled into the parking lot, lo and behold, the lot was full of MGs.

The Inn, a restaurant really, was a grand old house.  You walked up the steps, and entered a wide hall with stairs in front of you, a sitting room on the left, used for  dining, a large dining room on the right, already filled with MG snobs, and a narrow hall leading back beside the steps to the kitchen and whatever else in the back of the house.  We were seated in the small dining room on the left near the hall. Actual cloth tablecloths and good silver.  Living large, we were.

During our fine meal, enjoyed with a fine bottle of wine, we heard a commotion coming from the large dining room across the hall.  One of the men was complaining loudly and profanely to the server about something.  She went back to the kitchen, and he actually followed her and continued to berate her, the host and the chef, again loudly and profanely.  He finally finished venting his spleen and resumed his seat.  In the relative quiet that followed, we finished our meal, paid the check and got up to leave.  I stopped in the hall to put on my coat, but my usually mild-mannered friend continued across the hall to the large during room.  He approached the fellow who had been so profanely vocal, put his hand on his shoulder, and said in a soft voice, “Sir, I’m sorry you had such a bad experience”, then raising up and continuing in a louder voice, “but did you have to be such an asshole about it?”  Silence in the dining room.  Jon turned and walked toward me, and we quickly exited the premises.  We laughed all the way to the car, walking by those beautiful, vintage British cars.  As I drove out of the lot, Jon turned to me and said ”I left my coat in the restaurant, and we can’t go back and get it.”  More hysteria.  As an aside, I have heard that those old MGs are finicky, and that mountain air can have an effect on tire pressure, just what I’ve heard.

A fun trip with my friend, and there were others.  Then Jon went flying.

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Last Days in Alaska And Victoria Island

Ketchikan was the last stop we made in Southeast Alaska.  Approximately 14,000 people live in Ketchikan and the surrounding countryside.,_Alaska  I really can’t say a whole lot positive about Ketchikan, although I’m sure it is a nice place.  A prime cruise ship port, it is very commercial.  The best attraction from our standpoint was the Totem Heritage Center, which preserved and displayed old totems from around Ketchikan and the surrounding areas..

The principal purposes and reasons for Totem Poles in the culture of the Northwest Indians were:

  • Potlatch Pole – to symbolize the generosity of the person who sponsored the Potlatch ceremony
  • Legend Pole – To record a supernatural encounter
  • Memorial Pole – To commemorate the life of an important person 
  • Burial Pole – totem poles were used as grave markers, grave posts  or mortuary totem poles
  • Heraldic Pole – Recording the history of clans or families
  • Portal or Entryway pole – through which a person enters the house, identifying the owner and family of the house
  • Ridicule pole, also called shame pole  – symbolic reminders of debts, quarrels, murders, and other objectionable occurrences
  • Indoor House Pole – supported the roof and bore emblems of the clan
  • Welcoming Pole – situated on waterfronts and identifying ownership of the water and surrounding area  (Courtesy: )
An interesting topic, meriting further study. 
Some shots of downtown Ketchikan:
Downtown Ketchikan
Downtown Ketchikan 2
Ketchikan harbor
The next and last stop of the cruise was at Victoria, on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.  Victoria is the capital city of the province of British Columbia, and is one of the prettiest cities we have visited.  Some background if you are interested.,_British_Columbia
Victoria is famous for Butchart Gardens, and rightfully so.  A beautiful place, and not to be missed if you are in the vicinity.
Some views around Butchart Gardens:
Butchart 1
Butchart 2
Butchart 3 degas signed
Butchart 4 hdn texture signed
Butchart tree davinci sketch signed
Butchart pond chia 3 signed
Victoria is a beautiful city, as I said the seat of government for the province of British Columbia.  We happened to be there on a Saturday, and there was a street fair going on around the pretty little harbor.
The Parliament building across a corner of the harbor.
Victoria parliament house
The harbor, The Empress Hotel across the water.
Victoria harbor
A totem in the park across from the harbor:
Victoria totem 1
A totem in the Empress Hotel:
Victoria totem 2
And, finally Plasterman.  Put money in his box and he comes to life.
Plasterman texture
Next morning, we sailed for Vancouver rand disembarked.
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