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Day 44 - Bike Trail and July 4th in Portland

Sunday, July 4, 2016

I ended the day standing in the living room and saying, "This is one of the most amazing experiences of my life!"

That is how the day ended.

Here's how it started.

We drove out to do the Banks-Veronia Trail which is about 25 minutes West of Portland.

 The parking lot was full!  Oh yes, Sunday and a holiday weekend, we aren't the only ones with this idea.

 We parked in a business parking lot across the street.  No business today, so it works.

 Sylvia said there were lots of blackberries on the trail.  "Take a container," she said.  So I did.

 We got a few, but in a week or two the bushes will be loaded.

 I had learned on our walk yesterday that Blackberries are an invasive species here, it was clear that they were taking over parts of the trail...  might tasty invasive.

The trail goes right through a free-range farm.  Nice to see.

 Lots of composting toilets along the trail.  No water, so take extra water if you do this trail.

 It traverses through gorgeous forests, the trees covered in mosses, the ground covered in ferns.

 In one of the porta-potties I saw a slug.

 At one point on the trail it decends by switch backs.  Sylvia had warned us, and a good thing, there are no signs warning of the sharp turns.

 I fed this sheep a flower.

 In Vernonia we found water and a restroom at Anderson Campground which is right on the trail.

We then rode around town.

 We had our picnic lunch at a park by the river.  There was a beach, but the lifeguards were reading.  Too cold to swim.

 The gazebo was messy with trash and these little blue plastic balls.  I think they might have come from inside a beany-baby????   Any guesses anyone?

We had PB&J and oranges for lunch.  Then we went to the market and picked up popcorn and chocolate.
 The guy at the counter said, "You guys are so orange, you have orange shirts and I smell oranges!".

20 minutes I thought of a come back, "And we are from Florida!"

 On the return trip I took a picture of a steep place where erosion was harming the trail.

 The "Tophill" reststop is actually at the bottom of the switchbacks.

Back at the farm the ducks and chickens and turkeys were on the trail.

 The farmer was out, very friendly.  She was letting bikers hold the baby goat.

This pig has an absessed tooth.  Poor piggy-piggy-pooh...

Back in Portland we stopped at the Chinese Garden. One of our ATC hosts had told us about it and said it was free.

 It wasn't free.  $17 for the both of us.

 Below is silk thread pictures.

After the garden I saw this place advertising entertainment.

 But, not tonight.

We went home and Sylvia and I whipped up an amazing sweet potato soup and fruit salad. 
While the soup was cooking I took George out on the deck and we did our exercises.

Several friends who have husbands also have dementia asked about the exercises.  So I am going to try to film them one at a time.  This was our first try.  I have to laugh.  It is AWFUL!!!

What was I thinking??  I will post the videos on a page of their own when I get some better ones made and some time....

The night before the food was so beautiful that we put both arms up and said "YEAAAAAH" in our big cheer.  An amazing grace.   So we did it again this night.  Joyful fun!

Joining us this evening was Sylvia's friends Annie and April.  So we had a mini party for our 4th of July.

After dinner I checked email and there was an email from a friend whose husband is showing dementia symptoms.  She said he recently began to leave his depends pads out to dry so the house is beginning to smell like urine.  She has to use special soap to get the smell out of the clothes.  Sigh.

I have asked her about the soap.

As it got dark we started seeing the fireworks set off by communities, neighborhoods, and individuals.  We could see a line of them all along the horizon. 

Right across the Columbia River, in Washington state fireworks are allowed.  They are not allowed in Oregon.

And that is when I said it.  "This is one of the most amazing experiences of my life!"



  1. I like your writing style. State the fact and then go back and explain. Sounds like a great trip.


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