Thursday, July 14, 2016


Portland built an aerial tram a few years ago, connecting the medical campus for OHSU to the south waterfront.
Downhill is free :) 
That's Mt. Hood in the distance. It's a super smooth ride. 
At the bottom, we walked over the new Tilikum bridge, the 12th bridge over the Willamette within city limits. 
Cars aren't allowed on the bridge. Only buses, pedestrians, cyclists, and a new streetcar line. 
Below the river was filled with activity. Barges and sailboats and a school of standup paddleboarders. 
The best part is it runs till after dark. The southern waterfront is a sea of activity. Check it out. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

natural stairmaster

Today's detour took me to Chimney Rock state park. I'd always wanted to go there.
Chimney Rock sits at an elevation of 2880 feet, looking out over the Broad River.
To climb the 1000+ feet to its top, you can either take an elevator in the rock or climb 499 steps.
I'd intended to walk up and slide—I mean "ride"—down.
But the ranger greeted me with the news that admission was discounted because the elevator was out of service.
Shades of the stairs to the Devil's Punchbowl in Arthur's Pass National Park, New Zealand.
This guy charmed me.
(And if you don't like my pictures, here's the web cam. There are lots of scary warnings.)
The Broad River empties into lovely Lake Lure.
You may know Lake Lure from the movies where it's stood in for upstate New York (!) in Last of the Mohicans and even more memorably, "Dirty Dancing." 
(Because of time, I had to skip Melanie's bbq recommendations in favor of a last languid lunch by the lake. At least I got a little exercise.)


I'm finally off to the Pacific Coast to cool off. It's been an important trip, but I can't wait to get back to where I belong: West of the Rockies. Look for updates from the Beaver state.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Appalachian trail

Hello from Mills River, NC where I'm taking a brief detour on my way back to the West Coast. I spent 10 days in Florida and never saw the ocean. Now I'm in peach country, wishing I had more time for the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Asheville is charming, filled with good food and architecture and happy people. 
You could even say good vibes.
There's a trail of public art, punctuated by interesting shops and snacks. 
This iron outside the flat iron building on Wall Street amused me. 
In between ice cream and fried chicken and grits, I bought a boatload of gifts and a Woodrow for me. This is a Woodrow. 
Now I just have to learn to play it. 
The store was in this airy mall. I was drawn in by the grandfather clock, and by the sound of a woman playing music. 
Everything old is new again. Old-fashioned crafts are back, like this pot holder/washcloth. 
Tomorrow it's off to the mountains for a quick hike and some barbecue. But for now I'll leave you with the view of the Blue Ridge Parkway from Jump-off Rock last night. 
Not too shabby.