Portland, 17-Feb 2014

Another day in Portland. After breakfast, we double-checked the latest weather forecasts and made rough plans for the day.

We were thinking it would rain most of the day, so the original plan was to go to Powell's to roam around and hang out at their café. As we started walking, we started thinking we should instead go first to the Oregon Historical Society Museum, which was further away. Since it wasn't really raining, we could get down there and wander around, checking the weather again when we were ready to leave.

We didn't know how crowded the museum would be, since it was a holiday and the Portland Art Museum across the park block was closed. We showed up not long after they opened and were pleased to find there weren't many people roaming around. We first wandered through Windows on America, which was "extended by popular demand" through today. It was about presidential history, and had some interesting artifacts such as the House copy of the Thirteenth Amendment (which abolished slavery), a silk map used by the Enola Gay on its run to bomb Hiroshima, and fabric scraps (such as one from the Lincoln's seat at Ford's Theater the night he was shot; no, I'm not kidding).

The next exhibit we went through was a collection of prints by Ansel Adams, many of them taken with an 8 by 10 camera (that's the size, in inches, of the negative plate). The dynamic range and depth of the prints were almost surrealistic. After that, we went through the Oregon My Oregon exhibit, which takes up the whole third floor. It covers Oregon history from early settlements to after World War II.

 Wrapped waribashi at Behind the Museum Cafe

Wrapped waribashi at Behind the Museum Cafe

While we were wandering through the Museum, we kept looking outside to see what the weather was like. We saw sun, we saw rain, and we saw a combination. Because of the time we were ready to leave, we thought we would grab lunch not too far away and then head towards Powell's to spend some of the afternoon. We settled on a Behind the Museum Cafe, which by its name you'd never guess served Japanese food. And while they did have some teriyaki, they concentrated on onigiri (rice rolls) and otsumami (appetizers). They also had lots of nice little touches, such as the tied-off paper wrapping the tips of the waribashi (disposable chopsticks). One wall of the seating area was dedicated to things you could purchase, such as dolls.

As we were eating, not only did the sun come out, but the skies cleared up and we saw lots of blue. Being the flexible travelers we are, we opted to find a walk out of Melody's Portland walking tours book, settling on one which would take us through Goose Hollow and King's Hill, ending not far from the hostel. Sounded good.

Ironically, the start of the walk in the downtown area about a block away from Powell's, taking us by several historic buildings. We quickly got to Goose Hollow, and the first stops there were the light rail station we often use and the Jeld-Wen Field where the Portland Timber soccer team plays.

 Jeld-Wen Field

Jeld-Wen Field

A block away from the stadium was Lincoln High School, and on the sidewalk next to the school were drawings in several of the concrete sections. One was done by Matt Groening, who graduated from Lincoln.

 Drawing by Matt Groening in the sidewalk by Lincoln High School

Drawing by Matt Groening in the sidewalk by Lincoln High School

We knew we were leaving Goose Hollow when we started gaining elevation. We passed several elaborate houses in the King's Hill neighborhood, some which were on historic registers. At the top, we went onto Vista Bridge, which lives up to its name (even though high fencing is now in place).

 View from Vista Bridge

View from Vista Bridge

On our way back downhill we got a glimpse of Washington Park (where the Japanese Gardens and Zoo are) and wound back past Lincoln High. At that point we knew we had hit all the stops on the walk, so instead of following it back to the beginning, we went straight to the hostel.

Since it was only mid-afternoon, we thought it would be nice to relax at a café for a while, so we went to the one across the street from the hostel. In addition to something to drink, we couldn't pass up the cherry galette in the display case. While the café had free wireless, I still got a strong signal from the hostel, so I ended up not having to change.

As it got later in the afternoon, we went back to the room, and Melody got ready to go see one of the movies in the Portland International Film Festival. The movie she chose was playing at a theater only a few blocks away. I was going to pick up some groceries anyway (dinner and dessert), so I walked part way with her. There were some very enthusiastic Girl Scouts selling cookies outside of Trader Joe's, but when I was wandering around inside, a couple of them had gone inside to raid the samples. What did they take? Cookies.