Prowling Around Portland

It rained most of the night, but it had mostly stopped by the time I got up.

I can’t say it was exactly sunny, though. I’m not sure what the block was doing on the picnic table, but there is was.

And the sun did come out, eventually. Look! A shadow!

I set out to see what I could see in Portland. As a recovering elementary school teacher, I knew that Beverly Cleary was from the area. I had been hearing stories on the local NPR stations about her and the fact that she was turning 101. I decided to see if there were any sites in the area that related to her.

I found the Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden at Grant Park.  It turns out that Beverly Cleary grew up in the neighborhood and actually played in the park as a child. I found the park without too much trouble and found a parking spot on a side street.

I ended up parking right by the Beverly Cleary School. I parked and started making my way toward the sculpture garden.

I found Henry Huggins…

and his dog, Ribsy.

Ramona Quimby was there, too, and the sun came out!

Ramona Quimby, Age 8. Kim Davison Age 61

It was a lovely little park. Based on photos I’ve seen on line, there are jets of water that shoot up around Ribsy and Ramona. There is also a splash pool.

I like the accessibility of the pool. Notice the curb cut so people in wheel chairs or other mobility issues can get in to enjoy the water. Of course, being that it was early April when I visited, the water wasn’t turned on yet.

I was starting to feel ready for lunch. A Facebook friend recommended a pizza restaurant and I set out to find it. I was making good progress when I saw a sign.

Voodoo Doughnut! I’d heard of this place! Change of plans.

It had been a while since I’d seen so much pink concentrated in one place.

I parked in their lot and headed for the door. This promised to be an interesting place. I got in and started looking.

There was quite an array. I decided to have the squid doughnut.

It was a lot of doughnut! They gave me a box to take the rest of it with me. There is no way I could have eaten that at one sitting!

They had a few interesting vehicles in the parking lot.

On the sidewalk nearby they had one of those bicycle rental racks. I had to take a look.

I always wondered how these programs worked and how much they cost. Now we both know.

Stuffed to the gills with doughnut, I set out to see downtown Portland. I arrived and started looking for parking. Parking Bart in a supermarket parking lot can be a big enough adventure. Finding parking in a city can be a nightmare. I decided to treat myself to valet parking. I pulled in and handed the attendant the keys and set out to see what I could see.

I strolled down the South Park Blocks toward the Oregon Historical Society.

Shemanski Fountain caught my eye. It’s a sandstone fountain that was donated to the city by Joseph Shemanski, a Polish immigrant and businessman. It was designed in 1925 and completed in 1926.

The fountain has two drinking platforms. Each level has three basins. The upper level is for people and the lower level is for dogs.

Originally, the fountain had a planter in the center. In 1928, Shemanski hired Oliver Laurence Barrett, an arts professor at the University of Oregon to create a bronze statue to replace the vase. According to Portland Parks and Recreation, Shemanski chose the Biblical figure of Rebecca at the well because of her hospitality to strangers and kindness to animals.

Lincoln was the next sculpture I came to. It was by George Fite Waters, cast in Claude Valsuani’s foundry in France in 1927, on Lincoln’s birthday, and was dedicated on October 5, 1928.

On my right side, I noticed Masonic Temple that had been repurposed as the Portland Art Museum.

A little further down, it was Teddy Roosevelt’s turn. This statue is called Theodore Roosevelt, Rough Rider. It was designed by American sculptor Alexander Phimister Proctor. The memorial was commissioned after Roosevelt’s death in 1919 at the age of 60. It was completed in 1922. Cast in bronze in Brooklyn, New York, it was shipped by sea via the Panama Canal to avoid having to cut the work into pieces. I think shipping it via the Panama Canal was a nice touch, as he was instrumental in its construction.

After all that walking and sight seeing, it was time to visit the Oregon Historical Society.

But first, a stop at the drinking fountain.

That is a work of art all by itself. I paid my admission fee and took the elevator to the top floor.

They had a nice collection of artifacts from the first inhabitants of the area.

Unfortunately, the low lighting level, which is necessary for preserving the delicate artifacts, made it hard to see the artifacts.

In one of the stairwells, they had a collection of advertising art that was important to the area. I didn’t know it, but Jantzen was founded in Portland. It grew out of the Portland Knitting Company, that was founded by John A. Zehntbauer and Carl Jantzen in 1910.

In 1913, they were asked to develop a knit woolen suit for use by the Portland Rowing Company. They began making their suits in wool. I can’t imagine that they were very satisfactory for swimming, but that would be just the ticket for keeping rowers warm. Eventually they began experimenting with a fine elastic fiber, according to my ultimate source.

I was surprised to learn that it was such a long established company and that their swim suits are still available. The company was purchased in 1980 and has changed hands several times. Currently it is owned by Perry Ellis International, Inc.

I wonder if my campground has any relation to the company? I imagine so.

There was much more to see, and if you are in town, I would recommend a visit.

I headed back toward where I left Bart.

This is the First Congregational United Church of Christ. The congregation was formed in 1851, and the cornerstone of this building was laid 1893. Incidentally, this is just the side view of the building. It really is lovely.

I entered and noticed that they were having an art exhibit in the basement.

The exhibit was called Celebration of Calligraphy: Sacred Words in Art, by the artist Salma Arastu.

This one is titled, “Allah is of Infinite Bounties”.

This one is titled “Equal Rewards.”

What a lovely surprise! It is so delightful when you enter a building just to see what you might see and you find a jewel-toned art exhibit.

I went upstairs to the sacristy.

There was fine stained glass in all the windows.

Oh, horrors! Would you look at that organ! Luckily, no one was playing. (For those who don’t know me well, I detest the sound of the organ. It doesn’t matter of the skill of the musician playing. It just sounds dreadful to me.)

The pews are arranged in a semi-circle around the altar area.

I thoroughly enjoyed my prowl around Portland. It was time to ransom Bart from the valet parking and head back to Flo. I stopped to pick up a few things at the shopping center near the campground, and was treated to a little reward for dodging the rain.

I’ll bet there is a pot of gold inside Target! (Unfortunately, it I’m sure it has a bar code attached to it.)

Pulling into Portland

I set off nice and early for Portland – before noon, at least. It was a 280 mile trip. I was making good time and had about twenty miles left to go when I hit traffic.

That’s not all bad. When you are stuck in traffic you have time to look around and even take pictures.

For instance, this overpass caught my interest. What in the world is going on here? Of course, I had no one to ask, so I still don’t know. But, I did have time to look and ponder.

I was fine with just inching along with the flow. I had a reservation at a campground. I had called the campground before I left Medford just to make sure.

That is, I was fine with the traffic and the glacial speed until I heard the “low fuel” bell sound. I looked down and noticed that the gas distance to empty was getting smaller and smaller. Since I wasn’t really moving, I had time to check the mapping program and find a gas station. I got off the interstate and wended my way to a gas station in a residential neighborhood.

You should have seen the people looking at me in amazement! I guess it’s not every day that you see a full-size Airstream pulled by the world’s longest pickup inching by your house.

I got gassed up and back on the road. Fun fact: There are no self-serve gas stations in Oregon. It was quite a treat to remain seated in the cab of the truck and have the gas pumped for me.

I got to Jantzen Beach RV Park before dark. My site information was waiting for me outside the office. Even though I had been on the road for a good six or seven hours, my site was easy enough to back into

I unhooked Flo from Bart. While I was hooking up the water and electric, it started to drizzle. I got indoors and started getting some dinner together.

And then the rain started in earnest.

This is the Pacific Northwest, after all.



Medford, Oregon

I headed further north and bid adieu to California.

One of the things I was really looking forward to seeing on this trip through California was Mount Shasta. It was another one of those places that Dad used to talk about. I wonder if he ever saw it? It never occurred to me when he would talk about it that he was in southern California and Mount Shasta is in northern California.

My level of acquaintance with Mount Shasta was in the logo on the Shasta cola the hit the market in Buffalo in the ’70s.

Anyway, I was looking forward to seeing it. On my way to Medford, Oregon, I saw a rest area that doubled as a scenic overlook. I parked and headed over to the viewing spot.

On the way, I enjoyed reading the info they had stamped into pavement.

Fun facts to know and share!

And those animal tracks. 

They look kind of like bear tracks, but they seem kind of small. Maybe they are baby bears?

I wonder if they are putting the info on the ground because so many people walk around looking down at their phones?

I made my way over to the viewing area.

Do you suppose Mt. Shasta is somewhere behind the clouds? If so, I couldn’t see it. Back to the road.

Oregon was waiting! But first, I had to see Mt. Shasta. When I had the new power jack installed in Redding, the mechanic told me that I would see it right in the middle of the road.  (Yeah, more repairs.)

By golly, there it is! Right in the middle of the road, just like the guy told me! And it even looks like the logo on the Shasta pop can.

The only thing is that I was told that that wasn’t really Mt. Shasta. I don’t know which one it is, but a few miles down the road there was a rest area to pull over and look at the real Mt. Shasta.

So, I can’t say for sure which was which. I’ll let you make up your own minds.

Another hour on the road and I finally came to the last exit in California. 796 miles! That is one long state!

A few miles more and I was in Oregon.

My first mission in Oregon was to get a prescription refilled. Repairs and maintenance on the rolling stock and keeping my meds current are two of the most difficult parts of full time Airstream travel. After multiple go-rounds, it looked like I would be able to get my script refilled in Oregon. California declined to fill it because they had different regulations for the prescription form. The pharmacist I contacted in Oregon told me that they would be able to fill it, so I went there as soon as I got settled in to my campsite on the outskirts of Medford.

I got a spot in a brand new campground, Southern Oregon RV Park. It was so new that the wood chips in the landscaping smelled like the forest.

I don’t think the fire pit had even been used!

Anyway, I got set up and headed over to the nearest Walgreens.

After a little more hemming and hawing and phone calls to the insurance company, I eventually got what I needed and headed back to the park.

The next day, I set out to explore Medford. I stopped in to the tourism office. The tourist advisor was more than happy to tell me about all the attractions in the area. Apparently, the only thing to do in Medford is shop at cute little shops. Shopping at cute little shops for tchotchkes is something that doesn’t appeal to me, so I decided to head over to Central Point, just a mile or so from the campground. They have a chocolate shop and a cheese shop and they give free samples.

FREE?!  (My favorite word!)

I was on my way – but not before she gave me a free Oregon mug.

She told me to look for the big silo and then the chocolate shop would be just a block or so away – Lillie Belle Farms in the purple building.

It was hard to miss it.

The samples did not disappoint, and it smelled heavenly!

I was visiting just before Easter, and they had some lovely chocolate bunnies for sale. They also had some  *ahem* more “creative wares.

There were Voodoo Bunnies.

And this absolutely monstrous bunny.

It kind of reminded me of Franciso Goya’s “Saturn Devouring His Son.”  Once again, my thanks to Sister Jeanne for the excellent Art History education.

Anyway, after seeing those creations, I was ready – nay, eager – to move on. Having accomplished chocolate, I set out to find the cheese.

Normally, I would have cropped out the rat trap in the lower left corner. However, I found an interesting irony in a rat trap near a cheese shop.

They had samples there, too. I feasted on the interesting cheeses and admired the awards they had won.

Then I moved on to admire the cheeses themselves.

The wheels looked like works of art!

One of these days, I am going to get over feeling like I can’t afford foods like these. In the meanwhile, I guess I’ll have to settle for samples.

I set out to see what else the little town of Central Point, Oregon might have to offer.

There was the Central Point Cleaners.

This sign gave me a chuckle. I didn’t find any pants dropped on the sidewalk, and the store seemed to be closed for the day.

I wish I could have found someone to tell me who Fred was and where he might be, but no one was there to answer my questions.

Oregon is known for its pears, and there was this lovely sculpture in front of the grocery store. It’s entitled “Picking Pears.”

The artist is Jim Davidson. Lucky guy! I’ll be no one misspells his last name!

He even has his own foundry!

The for a small town, there was quite a bit of art. I was taken with the mosaics.

They looked like they were a community project.

I liked the individuality displayed.

The community must really enjoy this project!

There were so many of them.

They seemed to reflect the interests of the people of the town.

I also like how they use a variety of materials.

It was really worth the time I spend strolling around the CBD. (Central Business District.)

I picked up a few things at the grocery store ad then headed back to camp. One more night and it would be time to push on.

Next stop: Portland!