Trip Log – The River is awesome but…

No pictures today; just some commentary. Where the Columbia River was awesome the city of Portland was a total let down.  It started at 9am with our 10 mile drive into the city. This took about 45 minutes on Interstate 5  in creeping traffic. Now remember, this is after nine in the morning, not morning rush hour! We finally got into the Pioneer Court House park and then walked to the Oregon Historical Society a few blocks away. After paying $20 to get in we were told that no cameras were allowed. So, if I wanted to remember something it had to be written down. This was the first restriction of this kind on our trip. The museum was ok but was pretty much absent any info about the native Americans, one of my special interests.  One of the things I learned while studying some of the books in the museum store was that Portland during the 1950s and 60s had pretty much torn down all their older buildings and replacaed them with buildings of that era.  After thinking about it I did notice a rather bland landscape throughout the city.

We then did manage to get to the Pittock  mansion. He was a “robber baron” type that pretty much ruled Portland in the early 1900s. It was indeed a grand house. His great grandchildren, who inherited his massive wealth had abandoned the house in the late 50s and it was starting to deteriorate. The city wanted to take it over and turn it into a museum but apparantly the kids wouldn’t donate it . They insisted on getting over $200.000 for it.  It seems totally wierd the these children would demand such as thing. I just remember what Eli Lilly did for the city of Indianapolis.

Anyway we wanted to go to a Japanese garden but it was totally packed and no parking to be found within a mile of the feature.  We gave up that quest and decided to try to get to a museum in Oregon City. After another almost hour creeping through traffic we landed at the museum. It was a building of about 2,000 sq ft and they wanted $10/person to go through it, and of course no cameras allowed! I was getting pretty ticked by now and said “no way”.

I had such high expectations for Portland it was totally tragic that it failed my expectation in almost every regard. It just seems to be a bland, overly populated, expensive city that has stripped itself of its heritage.  What a shame!  So, as the Bible says I just dusted off my sandles and am heading on to our next adevntures. Hopefully Portland will continue to be the low point of our travels.

Tomorrow we will be heading to the coast and to see the remaining sites in Oregon before heading to California.

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