Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Oregon 2 - 2014

I left Bend at 5:30 AM and an hour later I was in Redmond. I could not find the Moose Lodge and ended up at the Home Depot parking lot. I unhooked the car, prepared a lunch and took off for the Painted Hills. First I reset my GPS for the Moose Lodge and went into town to look for it again. It is easier with a car.
This time it was easy to find the lodge. Their address is on highway 97, but the lodge is back one eight of a mile from the highway. They have a sign on the ground, which I did not see.
The Painted Hills are 76 miles east of Redmond. I had seen an article in a travel magazine and the beautiful pictures of the hills helped me to make up my mind to leave the WINs for a day and go there.
Central Oregon is high desert country with a lot of juniper trees. The twisty road went though some picturesque countryside.
When I arrived at the park I was greeted by a colorful cone. It was 9:00 AM, but the sun was too bright already. I believe the best pictures are taken early in the morning and late afternoon. 

The view from the overlook was amazing, even with the sun in the back of the landscape. Pictures do no justice to this place. This was a one half mile walk. 

The walk to the Red Hill was a one quarter mile walk, so was the walk to the other sights. 

I saw some different blue flowers and some more painted hills..

After walking the last trail I sat down and ate my lunch. The weather was perfect for walking.
In Prineville I stopped at McDonalds, ate a small chicken wrap, and did my computer work.
When I came back to Home Depot I hooked up the car and drove over to the Moose Lodge.
The rest of the day I took it easy. I did not feel like doing more sightseeing.

I arrived at the Snow Bunny Snow Park, in the Mt. Hood National Forest, at 7:15 AM. Most of the way I saw this snow covered mountain. It is not Mt. Hood.

The snow park is near the town of Government Camp. When I arrived at the camping area it was cold and drizzling.
At 10:30 AM the group left for the Timberline Lodge.

The parking lot was filled with cars. Mt. Hood is an all year ski area.
This Wolf-German Shepherd mix got our attention. It was a sweet dog though.

Mt. Hood was only partially visible. 

The lodge was built during the depression and finished in 1937. It took 18 months to complete the building.
We took the guided tour and our guide was fantastic. He really loved his job. 

There is a picture on the wall of the owner of the company which has the concession of the lodge. He is holding the lodge in his hand. The stewardship of the company saved the lodge from being torn down after World War II. The lodge needed a lot of repair. 

A St. Bernhard is the mascot of the lodge. This is Heidi. 

A lady was resting and working on her computer in front of the fire place when our tour came in the large lobby. The fire place is 92 feet high, covering two floors. 

While we were there guests were helping themselves on a buffet. 

Animals living in this area are depicted on a painting. 

On my evening walk I saw those flowers and was lucky to see the top of Mt. Hood without clouds. In the front are our motorhomes. 

For my morning walk I took one of the forest trails. The rhododendrons are in full bloom. I was surprised to find them in the middle of the forest.

I have never seen a flower like this before.

Not so wonderful is this place. Somebody must have lived here and spent a lot of time carving “Slaughter House” in boards for over the entrance. The person left a lot of garbage behind.

At 10:30 AM we left for a walk around Trillium Lake. It was a two mile loop. The lake with Mt. Hood is so beautiful. 

While we were sitting on the edge of the lake, and eating our lunch, a mother duck and her two ducklings came to visit us. Later a female duck came and walked among us looking for food. We did not give her anything, since it is against the law to feed wild animals in the park.

 When we came back from our walk I drove down to Welches and went to the library. The 3,000 feet difference in elevation was noticeable. It was a lot warmer there.
In the evening we had Hobo Stew for dinner. Everybody brought something to throw in the two pots. It is surprising how good the food tasted without recipe or without knowing what we were doing.
Some of the WINs are waiting for the food under the awning. In the afternoon it had started to drizzle.

Tom is stirring the stew. 

It rained almost all day. Five rigs left. I went down to Welches. It rained there too. On the way back I stopped at the museum in Government Camp. The town was named after a group of soldiers, in the 1800s, were surprised by a snow storm and had to leave their equipment. They marked it government property, and eventually the town became Government Camp.

The museum displays a lot of history and how the winter sport was started on Mt. Hood.
It also mentions the training of soldiers for World War II.

Since the ski areas near Mt. Hood are in use all year, future Olympians train here. 

The Ski-Way Aerial Tram was a flop. 

Some members of the group had planned to go today to the Adventure Park and ride down the one half mile dual slide. It is like a bob sled on wheels. Unfortunately the rain messed that up. 

This was a rainy morning. I left Snow Bunny Snow Park at 7:00 AM and was early at Johnson RV Service in Sandy, Oregon. Phil Cafferty was behind me. He was here to have a bed room slide problem fixed. I was at the place for free dumping, free water, and to purchase propane.
At 8:00 AM, when the service department opened I was told that the customer dump side is down because of being full. The honey wagon, to empty the storage tank, was supposed to be there in the afternoon. I knew that they have another dump station in the service area and asked whether I could use that one. The young man told me to go ahead and use it. When I drove into the service area with my car in tow I was told that the dump station there was not for public use. I told them that I had permission. They wanted to know who told me. I told them that I am with a group and that one of our members has his motorhome here for repairs and that other members might come. I pointed at Phil’s large bus.
I knew it was a bad time for me to be there. They were lining up motorhomes to go into the bays. It also rained which did not improve the mood of the service manager and mechanics.
Finally the manager told me to drive through the service area and he directed me to the proper place.
The propane filling station and the water faucet were in the open area and there was a lot of room.
When I was done I drove the six miles to Boring, to Phil Van Hise’s Nursery, our next gathering place. We were supposed to camp in the grass area, but because of the rain Ted’s motorhome got stuck. Dan, with his big truck helped him to get out. That maneuver left deep ruts in the lawn.
Phil directed several motorhomes and trailers to a solid place on the other side of his property. I was lucky and got a spot on a gravel road.
Phil is a WIN and travels with the group in winter. Now the blue berries are getting ripe and he will be busy. I checked the bushes and found a few ripe berries.
We had our circle meeting in one of the barns. Phil has a fantastic itinerary laid out for us. We will be busy the next few days. I hope the rain stops.

Eight cars and trucks, loaded with WINs, left at 9:30 AM for the Columbia River Gorge Adventure. Unfortunately the weather did not play along with our plans. When we came to Multnomah Falls it was raining. We kept on going and had the same experience at the Cascade Locks.
In Hood River it was cloudy but it did not rain.
At the Visitor Center we watched kite surfers on the river. One surfer explained to us the use of his equipment. 

Then we went to the Saturday Farmers Market. Some members of the group bought cherries.
While everybody went for lunch at the nearby restaurants I ate my peanut butter sandwich and apple and then explored the town.
Hood River is located on a high Bluff and the streets are on terraces and go down to the river. 

In the old neighborhood I saw this colorful house. 

Once in a while the sun came out.
The Hood River Valley is one of the largest apple and pear producing region. 

After all the people came back from the restaurants we drove to a lookout and saw Mt. Hood in the distance and apple and pear orchards as far as we could see. 

On the way home we stopped at Cascade Locks. The weather had improved a little bit. This weekend the Sternwheelers Days are going on. The Sternwheeler Columbia Gorge was arriving at the dock. 

Since Lewis and Clark stopped at this location a monument of Sacajawea and Pomp is located here.

Kids were celebrating Sternwheeler Days in bubbles. Those things leaked and the kids were wet. 

At the same time the Mountain Man had their Rendezvous. They had their tents and tepees set up on the island. 

It was still raining when we came near Multnomah Falls. Phil stopped anyway and most members of the group walked up to the Falls. I stayed in the car and probably come back on a sunny day. I have been here several times before.
In the evening a few of us went dancing at the Elks Lodge in Gresham. This was a long day.

Today we drove to Oregon City, the first Territorial Capitol of Oregon. 

The city was also the end of the Oregon Trail.  We visited the End of the Trail Interpretive Site.

Over the buildings is a large steel structure depicting a covered wagon.

While we were at the center a search dog and his handler had a training session. The dog was very smart and found the object. 

Like many other towns Oregon City has murals on the walls of buildings. 

In earlier years most of the city was located on the“ first level “ along the Willamette River. As the city grew it became apparent that an easier way needed to be found to travel to the upper levels of the town. By 1867 steps were built to supplement early Native American trails used by city residents.
To walk up the 722 steps was no easy task.
On December 1915 a vertical “ Elevator Street “ was put in service. The 89 foot ride took five minutes.
In 1954 a modern elevator replaced the original steel and wood structure.

We took the elevator down to the lower part of the city and walked to the bridge where we had a good view of the Willamette Falls. 

We also walked to the falls and then back to City Hall, where we had our cars. Since it was Sunday and City Hall was closed we used the steps and benches to eat our lunch. Nancy provided home grown Washington cherries for dessert. 

More WINs arrived. The grass area is getting dry and the danger of getting stuck is over. 

The gravel area is about two blocks from where we park. 

We still have Hugs and Mugs and the circle meeting in the barn. Phil pulls his fifth wheel trailer with this Mercedes Benz powered Freightliner truck. 

While a group had Happy Hour after the circle meeting I checked out the blue berries. More and more are getting ripe, and they taste good. 

Today we took the factory tour of the Pendleton Woolen Mills. At this location wool is processed into thread. On looms the thread is woven into cloth for making garments or blankets. No clothing is made here, only blankets. English weaver Thomas Kay founded the company in 1863.
We could not bring cameras or cell phones into the factory. Cameras were allowed in the store.

On our way to the Bonneville Dam we stopped at an overlook on the Columbia River.

When we arrived at the dam we ate our lunch and then took the 1:30 PM tour. 

All eight turbines were in use. 

The ranger explained how the turbines work. 

There was a lot of wood in front of the dam. 

We saw only a few salmon going up the ladders. It is too early for them to go up the river to spawn. 

We were able to sit inside, in front of windows, and see the fish go up the river. The glass was not clear and the pictures did not come out very good. In the room where the fish counters sit, the windows are different. 

On the way home we went over the Bridge of the Gods. Judy, my passenger, and I went to Multnomah Falls, while the rest of the group went to Camping World and Dairy Queen.

This was a perfect summer day. There were no rain clouds in sight and it was warm.

On my morning walk I walked up the hill to the forest. I had a fantastic view over the valley and Mt. Hood in the back.
Today was a real summer day. The temperature was in the upper nineties.
We took the factory tour at Bob’s Red Mill, where they make natural stone ground grain products.

Bob Moore and his wife Charlee started the company. 

After we saw a film about how the company started and where they are now, we went to the factory and our guide explained to us the process from when the grains come to Bob’s Red Mill, how they are cleaned and then milled. All the milling is done with milling stones. 

We also got a lecture of the benefits of eating whole grain products. The company has also a whole line of gluten free flour, cereals and pan cake mixes. 

At the packaging line are very few workers. Most of the work is done by machines. 

They have also a little museum where the company keeps their old equipment, like their first mill. 

We went home with some free samples of oats and muesli.
Some members of the group went to Bob’s Red Mill Restaurant and store. Gene and I went home. Gene wanted to go to a bar to watch the soccer game between the US and Belgium.

On my morning walk I came by this wood pile. The owner of the house was watering the grass and I raised my voice and told him that he has wood for the next five years. He came to me and said that it will last three months, since they like to be comfortable in the house. He was a very interesting person. He traveled all over the world building United States embassies.

At 10:15 AM we left for Guide Dogs for the Blind. 

This organization has a campus here in Sandy, Oregon and one in California. They train Golden Retrievers and Labradors for assisting visual impaired people.
A volunteer gave us a lecture on how the dogs are trained. People who receive those dogs have to come to this campus and also get training with their dog. We were lucky one of the alumnus, and his dog Oma, and wife and two children are here for a visit. He told us the experience he had with his dog the last four years. 

These eighteen books are the bible in Braille. Ordinary magazines are as thick as books in Braille. 

On our way to the veterinarian clinic I took a group picture. 

We could not visit the clinic because they were in the process of an operation on a patient. We could look through the glass in the door.

There are sometimes up to seventy dogs at this campus and they have to be fed. We got an explanation how that is done. 

This is Chester, he is part of the dog training. 

Trainers walk the dogs on campus and in the city. They always carry kibbles in their pockets for rewarding the dogs for good behavior. The owner of Ona did the same thing. It looks like the dogs will jump through hoops for those tiny morsels. 

After this exciting visit we drove to the overlook near the river. 

Sally got up in this world. 

We had another group picture.

I had a small problem with my car, which I thought was a brake problem. I also needed two front tires.
When I got to Les Schwab Tires I had all four tires replaced. While I did my computer work they worked on my car. The mechanic told me there is nothing wrong with the brakes. The brake pads were still thick enough. I told them that the front was shaking when I applied the brakes. They figured it must be warped rotors and they have to be turned down. I made an appointment for Saturday.
On my way home, at the first red light I noticed there was no shaking. I tried it several times more with the same result. I canceled the appointment.    
At 4:00 PM we had a pizza party in the barn. Members of the group signed up for slices of pizza or part of a pizza. I had ordered a whole pizza and ate three slices. The rest went in the refrigerator and freezer. 

This was a pleasant day. The temperature was about eighty degrees F. just perfect. 

On my morning walk I talked again with the man who has the large wood pile. Yesterday he was watering the grass and today he was mowing it. I told him to water less and then he would not have to work so much. He has a giant lawn.
We had again a wonderful conversation. 

Today was a free day. There were no planed activities. I went to town and did laundry, had lunch at the Chinese Buffet, did some shopping and went to the library.
When I came back to the motorhome I vacuumed and did some cleaning. Tomorrow we have open house. I signed up to show my motorhome.
Phil spent some time straightening out the ruts we put in his grass area.

His large meadow had very tall grass. Today a man came and cut the grass. He will be making hay. 

Phil has a beautiful home. It is hidden behind trees and bushes. 

This is his home when he travels. 

He is retired and another nursery rents a large portion of his land. 

He takes care of the blueberries though. As soon as more are ripe people come and pick them. They weigh what they pick and then leave the money in a metal box. It is an honor system.

Today is Independence Day. We had the Open House. Quite a few members showed their rigs. We are mainly interested in what changes they made and what kind of technical improvements we can copy.
In one lady’s motorhome there was shredded paper all over the floor. Her two small dogs had turned over the waste basket and tore all the paper apart. The dogs were sitting on the couch and looked like nothing happened. It was funny.
At 2:00 AM we had a potluck dinner. Phil donated the hot dogs and hamburger meat, and soft drinks.
We are a large group now. There are 47 WINs at this gathering, about six of them are new members. Linda has just bought her new motorhome and did not know how to work the toilet and other things. She is upbeat though and does not seem to be frustrated. Another lady knows how to drive her big motorhome but does not know how to empty the tanks and fill up fresh water. Her late husband did that. They have come to the right group.
We were waiting for the hot dogs and hamburgers.

Arlene started to sing a patriotic song. 

Tom and Gene were cooking the hot dogs and hamburgers. 

Most people started without the meat. 

Sharon is licking the lid of the pie container. 

Now we have a serious line of hungry WINs.

It suddenly was quiet in the barn. Everybody was eating. 

We could have had the meal outside. The weather was perfect, but we like to stay in the barn.
In the evening a group went to Sandy to watch the fireworks. Some of us stayed and watched from the top of the hill. We saw five different fireworks at the same time and were practically under one. Phil’s neighbors were spending big money shooting off all kinds of devices. We could feel the debris come down.

Mt. Hood is still visible from where we are. I just love the sight of it on my morning walk.

Twenty-nine of us drove this morning to Gresham, got on the train and went to down town Portland. Our first stop was the Portland Saturday Market. Hundreds of vendors sell almost anything. 

A one man band was providing entertainment.

The market is located near the Columbia River. Several draw bridges span the water.

I could not figure out what those steel structures where used for. 

I left the market early and walked to the Chinese Garden.
The Garden is a typical court yard of the
home of a wealthy 16th Century Chinese family.

The Rock Mountain is designed to appear as rugged mountains in the distance, complete with 
waterfalls and cascading streams.

In the two story tea house waiters served tea and sweets.

Rocks from Lake Tia are located around the garden. The rocks are highly prized. Formed under water
over the course of many decades, the lake’s acidy and active waters erode some stone, leaving 
fantastic shapes. 

The garden is very beautiful, but China Town is not a nice place to visit. The welcome arch is the best
structure in the neighborhood.

I encountered homeless people sleeping and living on the street, despite the sign saying no loitering. 

Near China Town I encountered a long line in front of a business. It was Voodoo Doughnuts. I asked
customers whether it was worth standing in line for an hour for some doughnuts. They only smiled.

At least there was some entertainment while they were waiting. 

It was warm today and children enjoyed the cool water.

Peddle Bars are in vogue in Oregon. People peddle and have their drinks with them.

I went back to the market and I ate a Somtan dish at a Thai Food vendor. It consisted of rice, chicken,
papaya salad and cabbage.

After I was nourished I walked to the Pioneer Courtyard Square. It is also called the “Living Room of
The Oregon Electric Vehicle Association showed off their converted cars.

The Porsche caught my attention. The car carries a lot of batteries.

At the square is also the Portland Visitor Center. It is built underground.

On some of the down town streets are cute statues.

While walking on Morrison Street I noticed, on the other side of the street, Kim and Debbie enjoying
food or refreshments at a sidewalk café.

On the waterfront was a Blues Festival. Music lovers enjoyed the music on a large boat and on land.

Portland has a wonderful River Walk.

Grownups and children were getting wet and cooling off.

 Three young people created soap bubbles and children could not get enough of them.

I came back to the market and rounded up my car passengers for the train ride home.

The computer system in the train was one station off. We debarked the train and noticed our parking
lot was not there. We had to wait fifteen minutes for the next train. When we left the train we noticed
a woman not getting up. Gene touched her and she was not moving. I went and informed the train
He shook her and she still was not moving. A medical person was called and he did something which
made her jump up. The woman left the train and sat down on a bench. It appears she was on some
kind of drugs.

The group went today to the International Rose Test Garden in Portland. I have been there before and 
stayed behind and caught up on some of my work.
In the evening I walked in the neighborhood with Donna B. We admired the beautiful, colorful 
hydrangeas in a front garden.

Our host attached a 150 foot water hose to an outlet and we filled up our fresh water tanks. We are 
getting ready to leave. We will miss this place. This was a fantastic outing. The host went out of his 
way to make sure we had fun. I will miss the blueberries too. It is difficult to walk by the bushes 
without picking some.

Today we took the scenic highway 30 drive. The road follows the Columbia River. Some stretches of the road are high above the river. Our first stop was at Women’s Forum State Park. The view is normally out of this world. Today we had some foggy condition.

The next stop was the Vista House on Crown Point. Here again the view of the gorge and the river is awesome.

At Larch Mountain we had to walk up a steep grade. There were some steps too. From the outlook we could see Mt. Hood, which is not too far from here, Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helen, Mt. Jefferson, and Mt. Adams. The mountains, which are in a distance and covered with snow, are difficult to see on the pictures.

When we came down from the top we ate our lunch at the picnic area. In the evening we got ready for leaving this wonderful place. I will miss the blueberries and the smell of the fresh cut grass and hay.