Kelly again and a new museum

Final got a break from all of the rain we have been having and had a chance to get out. I really need to do a post on the 10 reasons not to visit Portland in the winter and rain would be right at the top of the list. But when it is nice here it is really nice. With some dry and some sun I went back to Kelly Point Park. This is the place to see just what a busy seaport the Portland area is, even though we are a hundred miles from the ocean. The view of Mt. Hood and Columbia River with all of the ocean going ships and river barges is always striking.

I also got to Washington County Museum that they just renamed Five Oaks. I have never been here before but saw that they had displays on the native tribe and on logging. I am working on my Theme Tours and trying to find place for folks to go as part of those tours. It turned out to be very disappointing. Biggest issue is that these exhibits are just temporary and going away in a couple of months. The quality of both exhibits was poor and they need to check there facts as they were using old information that we now know is wrong. So I can’t recommend this place. When White man came to this area we did a very good job of wiping out the indigenous population so it is hard to find places for people to go to to learn about them.

Green Anchor bit of Portlandia

One part of starting this website was to find what was left of Portlandia and share it with visitors. Sadly most of it is gone now. But one last bits of it can be found a Green Anchor. They have taken an old ship yard and found a way around the city’s codes and ordnance to be able to offer small rustic spaces for rent that artist and green entrepreneurs can afford. When you walk through the yard it looks confusing, messy and where you say “what the heck is going on here.” Reel creativity often is messy.

I love to walk through this place to see what changes have occurred. I always find new tinny home being built, vans and buses being converted for living in, new sculptures sitting out and always a surprise of something way different that was not there before. I don’t know how long this bit of Portlandia can survive before the rapid rise in property prices forces them out but for now it holds on.


Rediscovering Kelly Point

We are in the full gripe of winter now. This is our gray time of year. The last of the colorful Fall leaves are falling and we will be left with baron gray trees. Not the time of year to show the beauty of Portland. But if you are an explorer of the area it is a good time to discover or rediscover places less visited. One such place is Kelly Point Park. It sits at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia River. This is where the last major river joins the Columbia River before making its way to the ocean. For years I loved going to this Portland city park and walking the trails and beaches. Several years ago I stopped going. When I first started working on the Portland or Portlandia website I visited the park thinking this would be a place visitors to Portland should see. On that visit the rivers were running very high, almost flooding into the park. I saw no charm in the park on that visit and thought I could not recommend this place to visitors. But I did make a plan to go back at some point and revisit it. This is the nice part about winter here. When we get breaks in our rain, that is the time to rediscover places that would be over looked during the other seasons.

I had a chance to go back to Kelly Point on a couple of our clear cold winter days.  Changes had occur since I was there last but I did find the charm I remembered. The rivers were running at their normal levels and that exposed a sandy beach that can be walked. While walking I found I was entertained cormorants, seagulls, ducks and geese flying by and swimming in the river. This is also where you can see all of the river traffic. There are large ocean going ships, river barges and tugs, motorboats, sail boats, and sea kayaks that can pass by you as you walk. You can also say high to folks fishing from the beach hoping to catch a salmon. This is also on the flight path to PDX for viewing aircraft coming and going. You see the commerce that makes the area thrive.

The park also has a large picnic area, historic markers (Lewis and Clarke missed the Willamette River twice on their travel), trails through the woods and hidden quit spots tucked away in corners of the park. This is an urban park surround by industry but still an oasis of green. I am now working on a page for the website that will to show why you might want to visit this place on travel’s to Portland. Greener photos will have to wait until Spring.


History and Art – Overdue Visits

I have been wanting to do this walk for quit a while. I final got in to see the new third floor exhibits at the Oregon Historic Society Museum and got to the Portland Art Museum on there $5 after five on Friday. I was able to get the photos I want for the website and was able to check on all of the changes that have gone on. The third floor at the History Museum has the story of Oregon and is a permanent exhibit. They booth did a redo and update but also worked to give a more balance view of our past. The Art museum has been going through an extensive face lift with changing out items from their collecting and opening up new display area. They are doing more with temporary displays and showing more local work. I should now be able to complete my website pages on these two visitor’s spot.

Oregon Historical Society Museum

Portland Art Museum

Mississippi Ave. Visit

We were having a rain free weekend so I got out to check out another neighborhood. This time I went back to Mississippi Ave. This was another turn around neighborhood that went from slum to trendy a decade ago. I was greeted with a massive new housing complex in the area I normally park. The blocks that were being built on were vacant before so these projects were just putting the land back to use but I was afraid of what else may have happened to Mississippi Ave.

As I walked down the street I found most of what had made this district special had not change. The popular eateries were still open. And many of the small retail shops were still surviving. A lot of the redevelopment of the Avenue had happened a number of years ago, in fact long enough ago that they now blend with the old. Even on an early Sunday morning there were folks out and the coffee shops were full. So all looked well here with plenty for a visitor to Portland to enjoy.

Alberta Street Fog

I ventured out this morning with plans of doing a longer urban walk and covering several Portland neighborhoods that I thought would be of interest to visitors. I found the fog to be so thick I could not even take a picture across the street without it being hazy. The fog cut my plan short. I did walk up and down NE Alberta Street to reacquaint myself with this neighborhood and try and get some photos. Alberta St.was the last of the larger Portland neighborhoods that became “the next NW 23rd. I think it has been four years since I last walked the whole area. At that time it was still rapidly changing and becoming the next up and coming star. It was sad to see that it has stalled. It was in a mature market phase. Some businesses have closed and the store front are empty. Some of better restaurants were still doing well. It was more the fringe ones that looked like they were having a hard time. There was some new construction going on and that may lead to what has happened to NW 23rd. NW 23rd has moved from Portlandia to Portland. For now there are still many murals on buildings and some of the arts and crafts movement lives on but it look like the place is ready for a new chapter.

Magness Memorial Tree Farm

As a follow up to my visit to the discovery museum I went for visit to the World Forestry Center demonstration forest. Magness Memorial Tree Farm is situated south west of Portland in the Chehalam Hills. It has several miles of trails passing through second growth forest and a built up area for hosting groups. As part of my “when timber was king” tours I was curious if this place would work in as part of that and if it might replace the Hopkins Demonstration forest. I walked most of the trails in the place to be sure I covered it all. It appears at one time to have signage by the trails to explain some point about the forest in that spot. Most of the signage is gone but the sign post remain. One trail did still have signage that spoke in general terms about the nature. I found today it is used by folks near by to walk their dogs or take a run. So pretty much like Forest Park. Looks like it’s initial purpose has been abandoned.

Trying to stay objective

Yesterday I got over to the World Forestry Center/Discovery Museum. Overall it is a nice museum but if you have been watching the battle with the big forest industries for last 50 years you see the propaganda everywhere. Now I have a love-hate relationship with the timber industry. I have worked house construction so I love my 2x4s but I also love our large natural forested areas and sustainability. I hate when the forest industry works to “get the cut out” and make as much profit as it can and leaves hills baron eco disaster areas and never replant (this happened a lot 50 years ago). The museum portrays the timber industry as the great friends of the environment. When they harvest timber it is only done in an eco friendly way with sustainability in mind. If you have been around for more than a half century you know they only portray this role because they are force to by hard won laws that make them do it. The museum portrays a picture of forest and logging today and is better then 50 years ago. But we also know if you turn your back on the timber industry for on second and they will be back to their scorched earth policies.

So I am trying to stay objective on adding the forest museum to the website. The museum has good information that is presented in a modern, attractive way and with good interactivity of kids. For folks who haven’t been through the eco battles they may think everything they see is all facts and the only way things can be done. I hope folks visit the museum but I also hope they question what they hear and see and ask why are there almost no 350 year old trees any more and is this the only way. There are getting be other ways of doing things that are not business as usual. In my “when timber was king” tour I am trying give a complete story. This museum will be part of it but just one part.

Mt. Hood Tour Development

Lori and I head up to Mt. Hood to explore a tour route for my visit Portland site. I need to go back and check to see what was still there and what would still work for a self guide tour. We also came across some new places and Lori pointed out some details that I need to add. We had great weather and still some good fall color.

New Explorations

Finally my foot healed up enough to get back out for more exploring Portland. It is interesting that when you live in a place that you can walk by something for years and never take time to explore it. So it was for me with the Maritime Museum and the Grotto. Then there are places that you visited 20 years ago and you never go back some how thinking they never change. So it was with Oregon Historical Society Museum. Then there are those thinks you learned 28 years ago, when Portland crime rate was so high, you did not do because you would die, like take public transit. So I took the Streetcar in downtown. It was a bit confusing but I did not die. All of the new info I have on these places and experiences I have add to the this website.

Also, I had to stop in for doughnut and there are scooters everywhere.