Our little day trip to the Rose Garden & Japanese Gardens in Portland didn’t quite end up being what we expected. 🙂
We awoke to a beautiful, sunny, morning and that convinced us to finally make the trip to Portland to see the Japanese Gardens and the Rose Gardens in Washington Park. But, as is often the case with our Life Unscripted that wasn’t the way it worked out.
On the positive side — WE MADE IT TO THE ROSE GARDENS. I had been here before and I really wanted Peg to see the gardens. We picked the perfect day — the gardens really are at their peak right now even though the official Rose Festival is still a week away (June 5-7).
The problem came after we finished our visit with the roses. We were getting on noon and the paid parking scheme at Washington Park does not allow for paying, leaving, and returning the same day. If you leave the spot you’ve paid for someone else can come in and occupy it even if your time has not expired. So the ‘problem’ of what to do about lunch raised a few questions.
Oh Mountain, Where Art Thou
When Kathryn learned of our stay in Junction City the first thing she asked was are you going to Portland to see Mount Hood? And at the time I hadn’t been planning that but I could not remember if I had ever been, and Peggy certainly had not, so the idea lay as a serpent waiting to shake it’s rattles and jump up and bite us. And it did yesterday.
So, she says to me, “Why don’t we go to Mount Hood?”
Now, mind you, we had planned a 200 mile day. 100 miles up to Washington Park, 100 miles back. Easy Peasy.
Mount hood isn’t that far out of the way, we could do that. Only 60 miles from where we were. So, we forsook our parking spot half an hour early, forgot about going to the Japanese Gardens, and headed off to the East. To the Far East…. or so you might think from the name of the Deli where we chose to eat. Elephants Delicatessen has been a fixture in Portland for almost 40 years and in keeping with it’s name it’s a veritable zoo (in the sense that it’s hectic and inhabited by every sort of human you could imagine).
Armed with a couple sandwiches (mine, a pastrami reuben) and some sweet potato tots we found a table and enjoyed the show. I love how good Portlandians about bussing their own tables! And the way they actually look for the containers to place their recyclables!
But from there we headed off in search of Mount Hood, which as you can see was not displaying all her glory on the wonderful day we choose to visit.
We did enjoy the drive immensely — so many tall trees, so many gorgeous valleys.
While at the summit we checked out Timberline Lodge — now one of two lodges on the mountain operated by the Federal Gov’t and two of many private facilities built to cater to the ski and summer recreation crowd.
As we headed down the mountain we sort-of-decided that since one of our goals before leaving OR was to spend some more time EAST of the mountains that maybe we would take a drive back towards Bend and Sisters and enjoy the flatter, drier scenery for a while.
That idea was wrought in folly though. I honestly thought there was a road that would keep us closer to the mountains and not drag us halfway (exaggerating) across the state before taking us back to the West. As it was we drove SE as far as Madras, then South to Redmond, then back east to Sisters, Back North to the junction of US-20/Rt 126, and then SW to Eugene and back North to Junction City. The sun had just set as we drove into the lot at the end of the day.
What had intended to be a 200 mile day turned into a 418 mile day — but one we thoroughly enjoyed.
Shortly before Redmond we stopped at an interesting wayside. This single arch bridge used to be the sole passage across the 300′ chasm below. Built in 1926 it was designed by the same engineer who designed many of the Oregon US-101 bridges along the Coast and was at the time it was built the highest single arch span in the US. Needless to say the process of building that bridge must have been harrowing — as you look DOWN those 300′ to the craggy riverbed below.
IN spite of the mileage it was a wonderful day. The roses were beautiful. The mountains were beautiful, and we had a lovely chat as we drove through the country. All in all a very pleasant day — even if our butts were tired by the time we arrived back home.