Another great day with our Warmshowers friend, Sylvia Halpern in Portland Oregon.
After breakfast she drove us through town to a huge park to hike with some friends of hers.
You know how an off ramp on a freeway can make a circle of greenery? Sometimes they plant trees or bushes in it. But it is encircled in roadway.
Well we took this ramp and the round area was full of tents! A homeless village! I tried to get a picture as we dashed by...
Barbara rides and ELF (an enclosed trike). They are hard to transport and heavy to ride, but a lot of fun for all the attention they attract.
All the best groups are like this.
We walked up the street a while. I loved these lights on the front garden wall of a house.
I said, "Someone get me a q-tip!"
At one point we decided to take some stairs down the hill. It is like going down 7 flights of steep stairs. I got down and turned around to see how George was doing. He was doing great, and then I could see his right foot and leg were not following commands from the brain smoothly. Hesitating, shaking.
I said, "Hang on George!" He was looking at me and began to lean back more and more. (Leaning back is good when you are going downstairs, at least if you slip you sit down instead of tumble.)
The last few steps were slow, but he made it and then I had him stretch out his calves and his thighs.
The next set of stairs was only two flights and he hopped down them just fine.
The water reservoir had lots of ducks. Sylvia said there was a controversy and some people were pushing for plastic balls to keep the ducks off the drinking water source.
After our ride we got a big table at the coffee shop. So great to chat with everyone.
We talked about the homeless issue and how one solution wouldn't work because there are several reasons for homelessness.
Sylvia said when she left on her trike tour to Florida last year there wasn't a big problem. She was shocked by the huge increase in tents and homeless when she returned to Portland.
Someone at the table said that other cities give their homeless a bus ticket to Portland.
Many people live paycheck to paycheck and something happens (medical, job loss, roommate moves out, divorce) there is no cushion. Some are addicted, some have poor mental health. Some are working but can't make enough to pay rent or put down a deposit.
We all agreed it is a complex problem.
We returned to Sylvia's place and I took a picture looking down between her building and the neighbor's building. It goes down a LOT.
We took a break and Sylvia went to the airport to pick up another guest she had met on one of her trike tours. This woman, April, is a Warmshowers host in Conneticut.
April mentioned the hostage situation in Benglidesh. We had not heard about it. We had been away from restaurant and motel TV's and keeping busy.
After lunch we walked to the Rose Garden and Japanese Garden. They are right next to each other.
The rose garden was free. There was a small fee for the Japanese Garden. Sylvia had a season pass because she likes to go there a lot. We got a discounted price because we were with her. AND then April paid for it! Thank you April and Sylvia!
On our walk back home we stopped at the Holocaust Memorial. It was very moving.
Terrifying that such evil exists in us. That people can do this in mass. The thing is, you hear the same hateful logic today from some of the far right. It starts with believing a whole group of people are bad. For example believeing that all athiests are bad or all muslims are bad or all homosexuals are bad.
Amazing. He just flipped his board straight, got back on and continued down the hill.
After an amazing stir-fry dinner made with more of the veggies we got at the farmer's market, I drove to the closest grocery store and got some despirately needed supplies.