Powell's Bookstore. The...
Powell's Bookstore. The largest freestanding bookstore in the US, it is a bibliophile's dream. From new and used books, it seems unimanigable that anything short of the Library of Congress would have this many books. Were I to be sentenced to confinement anywhere for the rest of my life, it would be here. The Japanese gardens on the hill west of downtown is lovely in any weather.
When to visit
Well, Spring time is really nice. Its when the roses around downtown and such bloom, so its good for pictures.
Winter is rainy, but ski places are just a short drive away, so if your from a place without skiing, maybe its a nice time to visit. A clear day, with a view of Mt.Hood and the Cascade mountains with a nice cup of coffee in the morning and no work or school to get too
I have more photos about this one at my Oregon Grape tip for Oregon customs and traditions as well.
Every once in a while, you will hear new comers and visitors remark about "that strange holly tree with the blue berries instead of red ones" or other similar comments.
Most likely these references are to Oregon grape, which does look a little like holly, though generally is a bush (lower to the ground, and rarely the size that a holly tree can become). The leaves are shaped ever so slightly different, and of course there are those blue berries on the plant.
The berries are too sour to eat directly, but there are apparently some people who like to make jelly out of them.
This can be a bit confusing because there are actually several plants that people do call Oregon grape, but officially speaking the "Oregon Grape" that is the state flower of Oregon is Berberis aquifolium. Flowers start to appear in late March or early April, and the dark blue berry starts to ripen in the fall.
Does it like shade or does it like sun? I've seen very healthy Oregon Grape growing in both locations that get a large amount of sun and that are very heavily shade covered. Photo 4 shows them growing the wild (with their yellow flowers) on the floor of a forest at the Minto Island Park and Wildlife Refuge in Salem. During the summer months, when the trees have a full compliment of leaves, these will be in very heavy shade.
On the north end of the Eastbank, sitting above, is the Rose Garden, owned by billionaire Paul Allen, of Microsoft fortune. In the late 1980’s, Allen, a basketball fan, traded his season tickets for full ownership of an NBA team. His first inclination was towards was to buy the local Seattle Supersonics, but they weren’t for sale. Looking south, he found his team in the red and black of the Portland Trail Blazers. At the time, the Blazers played in the NBA’s smallest venue – the Memorial Coliseum. A new venue - $61.3 million in cost - was built with more seating capacity and the all-important luxury boxes. The Rose Garden is easily reached with the light-rail trains of the MAX system.
A hundred yards to the west still sits the empty Memorial Coliseum, a future yet undecided. Here, one spring in 1977, the Trail Blazers achieved immortality and captured the hearts of the City and region by winning their only NBA Championship in their first playoff appearance. Walton, Lucas, Neal, Adelman, Gross, Twardzik, Hollins, Davis, Steele, Ramsey – some of the names that became ingrained in the imaginations of millions.
The Clackamas River
Somewhere else I might not have visited, if it had not been for my hosts, Phil and Deni, was the scenic Clackamas River.
The Clackamas River rises in the foothills of the Cascades southeast of Portland and flows into the Willamette River at Oregon City, which is Southeast of Portland. From Oregon City get onto Route 224 and head for Estacada. You will follow the route of the River all along this highway, and there's lots of smaller roads that lead off, which will take you to some stunningly senic parts of this river. (See my Estacada Page for more - to follow soon).
The photo here is of a recreational area of the Clackamas River, near Estacada. This part of the river is deep and wide, caused by the construction of a dam a little further downstream. Just up river from here you will find white water rapids, and fast flowing streams, and people kayaking.