Portland OR, Saturday 9/24/11

In just a few days, we drove the relatively short distance from the Eastern arid and buggy parts of the Columbia River into delightfully lush and green west of The Dalles. Say goodbye to wind farms -- acres and acres of wind turbines up on the mesa above the river generating power to supplement the Columbia hydroelectric dams. You know big winds are common when you see so many giant three-bladed wind machines. 

We spent a couple of nites at Ainsworth State Park, tucked into a verdant site, cool and shady. During our stay in these parts, the days were calm, which was good for us ... after all the dry, windy conditions we've been in.  One day we toured the Columbia River Scenic Byway, stopping at several eye-catching waterfalls, and the Vista House @ Crown Point -- located atop a 733' sheer cliff overlooking the river, where the wind velocity has been measured at an amazing 120 mph!  It's a wonder the Vista House didn't blow into the Columbia!  This beautiful building was designed as a welcome center in 1918.  (no photo, sorry)


Clouds 'n glass, downtown.

On Saturday, we drove the 30 miles or so into Portland.  What a grand city!  As usual, we spent a couple of hours at Powell's City of Books, a fascinating bookstore occupying an entire city block.  We laid out a few dollars on books, too!  We found the House of Louie again and enjoyed lunch ... no dim sum for us this time. We actually stumbled up on the Saturday Market and walked thru it for an hour or two, looking at all the merchandise for sale, people-watching, and generally having a good time.  The market is celebrating its 36th season, and it attracts loads of people every week!

 Boats on the Willamette River come in all sizes.


Folks heading for Saturday's market.

Gorgeous fresh flowers are inexpensive for what you get.

Jimmy likes his chocolate ice cream!  A mime who was really good (the guy in silver, not Jimmy!).
Saturday Market is fun -- we had a blast!

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