Sunday, July 3, 2016

Day 42 - Portland by foot and trike or bike

Saturday, July 2, 2016

We were up and ready for Coffee. Sylvia wasn't around.  Sylvia had suggested we all go to the Farmers' Market on Saturday morning.  We could walk there, she had told me.  So I looked it up on the ipad and mapped our route.  Less than a mile!  Easy Peezy.

On our walk to the market we saw

original art by the trash ...

 and a healthy hydrangea.

 At the farmers' market the vendors were still setting up.  We looked for a coffee vendor that might have opened early to service us early birds and the vendors.

 We found one.  2 large coffees $4

We sat on a bench and drank our coffees and then I remembered that it is later in the morning back in Wisconsin and Illinois.  So I called our kids.  I'd chat for a while and then pass the phone over to George.  He was able to say things and carry on a good conversation with them.

 The Farmer's Market opened at 8:30.  I texted Sylvia and let her know where we were.  She said she'd walk down and join us.

We saw the Mary Hill Fruit Company booth.  Remember the Mary Hill Art Museum we stopped at before we stayed with Peyt in White Salmon?  I remember the land had a winery on it and a park.  It may also have fruit production.  I didn't read that deep.

 There were a couple guys playing what sounded like steel drums but looked like the bottoms of gourds.  Good sound.  I thought of our friends Connie and Jerry and how this would be a great gift for them.  They like to go to drumming sessions and Jerry plays the wooden flute.

But... sorry Jerry, there were none for sale.

 We tried the lavender infused jams.  We bought the Pear-Fig jam.

 I picked out some pumpkin seed butter and Sylvia joined us and said she had gotten the Walnut butter and it was good.  The vendor said, "That's the brain butter."

"Brain Butter?  We need that!"  So I got some Walnut butter too.

 And onions,


and micro greens.
 I had never heard of them before but Sylvia said that the warmshower's host she stayed with in Homestead Florida grew them and sold them for big bucks to the restaurants.

We saw such beautiful produce and people!

 Our bags full we walked back up the hillside.

 After lunch Sylvia agreed to show us around Portland by trike.  So we were going to see some of the bike lanes and trails in and around the city.

Portland has buses and trolleys and passenger trains and more.... 

 Down by the river there are some people living in tents.  I'd call them homeless, but they have a tent.  Portland or someone provided them a porta-john.  They have a tent home on the river.

 We stopped at a trendy grocery store to use their bathrooms and get water.  More beautiful produce and people to view.

 We passed a creek and Sylvia said that it used to be very polluted and full of trash.  Several community groups worked to clean it up.  Now it runs clear and the salmon have returned.  Yeah!!!

The trail runs right by several homeless "communities".  The two pictures below had about 20 tents lining the trail.  Some had taken rocks to define their "yards" and "pathways".  One had mulch spread on their entryway path.

 Two men were standing on the path and I got kind of nervous.  One was holding clubs or something.  One in each of his hands.  As we passed I saw that one of the objects was a very large knife.  Like a machete.    I peddled faster for a while, leaving Sylvia and George behind.

 Sometimes there was no tent.  A couple might be sorting through their pile of stuff under a bridge.

If there was no porta-john in the area then often times as we approached a homeless couple or individual we could smell we were passing places they use for waste.  Whiffs of  human feces.... or Au d'poo as they say in France.

Sylvia said that there was a rise recently in homeless.  She thinks it was due to the rise in housing prices, both to buy and rent.  So many people live pay-check to pay-check.  It doesn't take much, a job loss, a rise in rent without a rise in pay, or illness for them to find themselves in a desperate situation.

 She took us down to the Columbia River Gorge.  In the distance we could see Mt. Hood.

 Sylvia said she'd like to live on a house boat.  I said, "Then you would need a house boy to drive you to a new location while you slept each night."

She said she wouldn't have a moving house boat.  Just a house floating on the water...

 These are boat houses, but it looks like one end has a mini home or office with windows and a pedestrian door.
 Below is the kind of houseboat she was hoping for.  Electric wires went to the houses providing electric service.  They must have some kind of sewer system.  Front porches for sitting and watching the river traffic.

 Gas prices are cheaper in Portland than in Washington State or the rural areas.

 We crossed a railroad bridge as a train was going over it. 
 Then we were down at water front where there were lots of people.  There was a blues festival going on.  We were having to go pretty slow, stop a lot, and weave through the people traffic.

 We started the mile climb back up to our home-base.

 36 miles.

 We were hungry, so while George showered, I created a stir-fry with some of those farmers' market veggies.

After dinner while I showered, did laundry and checked email and up-loaded pictures,  George sat out on the deck admiring the view as the sun cast light and shadows on the city. 


  1. Everyone I talk to says Portland is an amazing place to be. U just confirmed that with the variety of photos and events going on plus great fresh veggies! Those gourds that couple were playing that sounded like steel drums are called many things but most of time kalimba. I have two of them one is a gourd base tuned to and bino scale. The other is a half coconut plus wood top with the tins that are what people play. You tune kalimba or go to kalimba magic. Com for more info. Some are African tuning but many turnings exist. They have the most wonderful sound. They do have a scale and key Some folks call them thumb piano but they go by many names based mostly on cultures

  2. Replies
    1. Yes! That is where we were.

      Today the space left by the circular on ramp to the highway was packed with tents!

      Probably a safer place for a group of friends to create a community.

      Awful for a progressive town like Portland.

  3. Just looked again at todays blog. The drum the long haired boy was playing in the video you took, is called a Hang drum pronounced Hung drum.. It looks kind of like two woks inverted and connected together. It has dimples in it of different sizes and a ding on top, or most of them do, I didnt really notice on this one when looking. These produce the coolest sound similar to steel drums but more soothing. The couple who started making them are in Switzerland, I dont think they make them anymore but not sure. They were over 3600 per drum last time I heard several years ago with a waiting list of two or three years, and you had to fly to Switzerland to pick one up unless u found one on Ebay or someplace for about 6 or 7 grand. I have always lusted for one, but alas, that will never happen in this lifetime at that cost. Someone is making them in the USA now and those are called Halo drums.. Recently a friend bought one for about 3 grand from a person making them in North Carolina and it sounds good as well.Go on You Tube and put in search bar Hang drum and Didgeradoo if you want to hear a cool world sound. Portland is full of talented artists like you have shown on your blog today. I LOVE it! Charlotte

  4. Thanks. I went to Youtube on your suggestion. You got to try a few to get the right balance of sound between the two instruments.

  5. I'm enjoying your trip and getting an education as well.

    1. Thanks for taking this journey with us. Like the new cat picture you painted.

  6. I'm enjoying being along on the ride as well. What were those things that looked kind of like yellow sea urchins or ? Flowers, veggies, ??

    1. Jane, Those are Geodesic Cauliflower. We saw them at the farmers market. Aren't they beautiful!

  7. One more thing- did you get to Powell's bookstore? Fantastic place.

    1. No. I did not here about Powell's until just now from you.


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