Tuesday, September 13, 2016


Mt Hood, Oregon - Elev 11,249'
We took a little trip to see the sights of the Pacific Northwest and were not disappointed.  As for the particulars I will not bore with the minutiae.  Instead allow me to whet your appetite with highlights and photos.

Mt Hood
From 36,000' elev.
Clearly my photo
is better
than stock, right?
By the way I took 880 photos!  But don’t worry I’ll cull out the ‘not so good’ ones, edit and crop the rest and keep only the cream of the cropped crop.
Don’t you just love digital?

The trip was a tour with the group formerly known as Elder Hostel.  Many did not know what the title meant but they were possibly hostile to the elder part so the name was cleverly updated to Road Scholar Tours (RST.)  I can now proudly say I am a Road Scholar!  Take that Bill Bradley.

So how do you see everything in such a large area in just 11 days?
You don’t.
But being a scholar means knowing your limitations.

However you do get a chance to live out of a suitcase and lug luggage from hotel to hotel travelling by trains, busses, luxury coaches, street cars, light rail, and ferries and of course by foot.

Luckily our luggage was stored most of the time and in the end you feel refreshed and invigorated that you did more in less than 2 weeks than most people do in a lifetime! (As long as they don’t live very long.)

Important note: Attention spans being what they are these days even I wouldn’t want to read about the entire trip in one sitting so I will tell of the vacation in several parts.
If you are reading a part higher than number one and wish to go in order (no reason really but) scroll down for the beginning of the trip.


Our 11 day adventure began in Portland Oregon pronounce Err-Gone where we spent 2 nights sandwiched around a full day before getting gone.

The irreplaceable &
therefore nearly ever
present Roger!
After an introductory dinner hosted by our tour over-guide Roger where all travelers introduced themselves to the group and explained what they did or are still doing we were regaled by a local expert who spoke about Portland’s pre Statehood history.

This type of informative lecture is a key feature of the RST experience and we were treated (subjected?) to at least one in every city or locale.  They were well done and I will try hard to remember half of what I heard and re-learned from my school days.  Just don’t ask me to repeat any of it.

We had our first glimpse of all the interesting people we would be cooped up, I mean traveling with for the next 10 days.  But just as there is safety in numbers there is also nervous anxiety among strangers.  And there were 36 of us in that room.  Most had been on RST in the past so they were familiar with the concept.  We were not.  Clearly we had some work to do.

After a full buffet breakfast at the Doubletree Hotel we headed out for our day's tours beginning with Portland's:

Every year since 1907 a rose
is selected & the breeder
anointed Queen for a year!

All Hail the Queen!

And in 1977
they crowned
Queen Susan!

 The garden was incredibly fragrant and roses of all colors and sizes surrounded us.

A perfectly sunny day for
tiptoeing, uh romping
through the roses!

Roses to the left of us, roses to the right of us, well you get the picture or pictures.

Wonderful world of roses?

The colors!

The aroma!

The diversity!

The Storied PEACE ROSE

My favorite was the Peace Rose.

And finally a rose bush that
dates back to the discovery of Newfoundland by Lief Ericson

A tip of the hat from
The Royal Rosarian
and the Resches

A Rose Hip from a very old bush
I bid the roses
adieu & head
out for our
next tour.

And that next tour is of the Lan Su Chinese Garden.
This entire garden of Chinese tranquility occupies one square city block in downtown Portland.
This civic marvel was built overseas, taken apart piece by piece & meticulously reconstructed in Portland in Sept 2000.

     Note the city just beyond the outer wall.

You almost feel as though you need a passport to enter but luckily just a ticket, prepaid by RST. Out of our fee of course.

Several objects are strategically placed to give a peaceful feel to the garden.

Another panoramic view of Lan Su for you 

 Exotic artwork and architecture abound.

Not sure what they did to warrant a
lineup but Hey, It's Chinatown, sort of.

Some of the beautifully carved wood panels depict scenes from the city where the Garden was constructed

Gorgeous Jade creatures guard some of the fine furniture.

Lunch was at the Portland Grill WAAAY up (31st floor of the "pink" building) overlooking, well everything.  Large windows basically offered a 360 degree view of Portland.  Several mountains including Mt Hood and Mt St. Helens, what's left of it were visible to the north but hard to see with the camera.

You'll just have to take my word for it!

Next up was a quick visit to Columbia Gorge and it's very expensive Rest Stop/Visitor's Center.

The dot all the way on the upper
right is the Visitor's Center.

The Rest Stop is on the left and it's interior ceiling just because I felt like taking the photo on the right. Hey, it's my camera and my blog so tough!

Off to the famous (to many) Multnomah Falls for a delightful dinner at the lodge.

Enjoying my 'Fisheye' Lens again.

First view of the falls walking
from the parked coach

We hiked up to that bridge in the background to work up our appetite. As if we needed to walk some more!

A few of the wonderful people on this RST

And believe it or not this was just the first day!

To be continued

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