Portland for us is a special stop, one where we will be linking up with friends who are like family in our life journey. It is also a great city to visit. Once known as the ‘City of Stumps’ or ‘Stumptown’ it is now the City of Roses but for me it is also the city of bridges for I have never seen so many bridges across a central river as in Portland, not even in good old London it seems.
It is also the only place I know of where the city hospital is a tourist attraction, one that attracts a vast number of tourists and patients to the heights of the city to enjoy the magnificent view there. The Sky tram is a huge attraction and a lot of fun as it takes you up into the heights of the city and to the hospital.
The Columbian river winds its way through Portland and is in itself an entertainment. We had the opportunity to cruise on the river, ducking under her many bridges on a lovely luncheon cruise, which we enjoyed in some truly great company. Portland is a shipping hub despite the fact that it is a good stretch from the sea.
Dominating the cityscape is the distant image of Mount Hood and Mount Snt Helens both being a backdrop of the city and at times when you catch sight of these wonderful snow capped peaks it is breathtaking. Even when it isn’t breathtaking with a simple editing program for pic’s you can most certainly make it so in barely a few minutes. I just loved tacking around in their shadow as we explored. Imagine the view when Mnt Snt Helens erupted … I am told it was amazing with a clear view as the ocean winds blew the cinder cloud east, scattering it across the continent. Visiting Mnt Snt Helens is definitely on the cards and it’s something I am particularly looking forward to.
We also tripped out to the oceanfront, one that just happens to include the long stretch of hard sand that is Long Beach, a beach of some fame in a few places. As an Aussie, from the land of the worlds most beautiful and most secluded beaches, there was little for me there in comparison.
A truly memorable place to visit though is Marsh’s Free Museum, that was an iconic highlight of our day, one that I can highly recommend and don’t pass by Jake’s tank without saying hi. The tour across the mountains was a great run though and I love the view of deep forests and the smell of the Pacific Ocean when we arrived at our destination on the coast. This of course was enhanced by the great company of friends which had become part of our life so easily in the days were the internet was new and young.
Many years ago I spent many hours entertained by the world, opening up its global reach across the lands. IRC (Internet Relay Chat) was a great new tool in communication back then. It was a time that was in the pre ‘Windows’ revolution, a time where people would gather in ‘Chat Channels’ and interact with anyone online who could manage to type a legible sentence in response to curiosities of others from around the world. I met some wonderful lovely nuts in this time, those who would journey along the links of the internet with me.
We had to deal with many things in those days, the least of which was the dial-up… that wonderful ring of tone that announced you were attempting to, and often failing to link with your ISP server. But I digress… the memory I wanted to draw on was that of the relationships which people built then, and continue to build within the energies of the Internet even today.
A friend of mine, who was one who shared my journey through Portland once wrote a song about such relationships and had the song recorded. It was a lot of fun, it also is reminiscent of the emotions embodied in the relationships between people in the time that saw the birth and growing pains of the Internet we know and love today.
I would like to invite you to get a cuppa, get comfy and take a moment to listen to a time before Windows owned us. Click into the link below and take a journey back twenty years with us. I hope you will excuse the blur in the image as I was using a camera that I hadn’t trialled video on… but the song is great. Kick back and take a moment to listen to the recording of Rachel Harris in a rendition of ‘Words on a Page’ below. Happy traveling.
Jan is an Australian author and writer. You can find our more about her publications at her official web site. Be sure to check out the reader discounts there.
Read the full travelogue of Jans adventures in the e-book ‘The Rockies and the Greater NW USA’ now available at Amazon for just $US1.99