20-27 June 2012

At the airport—what a great place when a trip is just getting underway! The small restaurant serves up breakfast.

The gate is quiet at this time of the morning. One passenger waits and wonders why I am photographing her.

Activity slowly increases.

Flying high and heading west!

The Missouri River divided the land below.

As we approached Portland a beautiful peaked Mount Hood poked itself up like a pimple.

We strolled through the famous Rose Garden in Washington Park.

A place to ponder—to stop and smell the roses.

Some visitors relax in the hillside amphitheatre and watch an imaginary performance on the stage.

Mt. Hood peeked out between the trees.

The decapitated Mount St. Helens was visible to the north. It must have been quite a scene from here on 18 May 1980.

I will be at home in this quiet cul-de-sac for the next week.

We ate outside at the McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse & Imbrie Hall.

Holy Holly! If those berries were red I'd think it was Christmas.

After dinner we strolled over to this shed with a mossy roof. Inside there was a small spigot on the wall from which a black tarry brew called Terminator Stout was drawn.

The Pacific Northwest temperate rainforest region provides for a lush green environment.

The next day we headed east along the Columbia River Gorge. A squirrel scampered down these stairs with a watery landing.

Water cascaded over the majestic upper Multnomah Falls.

Herman, the 11 foot long 450 pound sturgeon, lumbered slowly in a pond at the Bonneville Fish Hatchery. Yes, you can friend Herman on Facebook.

This trout did his Jaws imitation for me. Nice try fella, but you just don't compare to a great white!

On the Washington side of the river past the The Dalles is a small patch of green in the brown hills—the home of Maryhill Museum of Art. The barren ridge is prickled with a new type of non-native intrusive species of tree that churns with the incessant wind and spins gold for their owners.

After crossing the river you can visit the life-size replica of Stonehenge as it would have appeared some 4000 years ago. The inscription reads:

The structure before you is the first monument in our nation to military personnel who gave their lives in World War I. Memorializing13 young Klickitat County men, it also serves as lasting reminder of the works of Samuel Hill, patron of this region. He established a townsite here, with postoffice, hotel, general store, nearly 10 miles of experimental paved roads, and the Maryhill Museum three miles to the west—all on his own land. His tomb is 50 yards distant, on the opposite side of this monument.

The design duplicates in size and original form England’s famous Stonehenge (dated 1900-1350 B.C.) on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire. When Hill, a Quaker pacifist, visited England during the 1914-18 conflict, saw Stonehenge and was told it had been used for human sacrifices to pagan gods he remarked: "After all our civilization, the flower of humanity still is being sacrificed to the god of war on fields of battle." From that inspiration came this monument, built by Hill. On July 4, 1918 the altar stone was dedicated. The full structure was completed and dedicated May 30, 1929.

Today the sacrifice legend is generally discredited. Current belief is that Stonehenge was a device used by stone-age astronomers to measure time and mark seasons of the year by observing positions of the sun and moon. The diagram at left suggests how the original may have been used by its ingenious builders.

After a quick drive to the south we came up behind the museum—an oasis in the barren landscape.

Once inside the museum, we were greeted by this beautiful woman:

Queen Marie of Roumania

Queen Marie of Roumania (1875-1938) was the granddaughter of both Queen Victoria of England on her father's side, and Tsar Alexander II on her mother’s side. Raised in England, Marie married Crown Prince Ferdinand of Roumania in 1893. Together they had six children: Carol. Elisabetha, Mignon (Marie), Nicolas, Ileana and Mircea. Although Marie had never been to Roumania before her marriage, she came to love her adopted country and wholeheartedly embraced Roumanian folk culture and tradition. Known in her lifetime as a beautiful celebrity, Marie was a skillful diplomat and an accomplished author and artist.

Queen Marie met Samuel Hill in 1893 when he was in Europe selling Great Northern Railway bonds to royalty. In 1902 Marie attended a dance performance by Loïe Fuller at the Roumanian National Theater. Marie’s friendship with these two Americans was cemented during the aftermath of World War I. when Samuel Hill. Loïe Fuller, and a third American, Alma de Bretteville Spreckels, provided generous war relief to Roumania.

Out of gratitude to Samuel Hill for his loyal, lifelong friendship, Queen Marie accepted his invitation to dedicate his mansion on the Columbia River as a museum of art. On November 3, 1926 Queen Marie and two of her children, Prince Nicolas and Princess Ileana, ventured to eastern Washington to inaugurate Maryhill Museum.

Premiere Program for Le Lys de la Vie (The Lily of Life), 1921

In 1919, Loïe Fuller began adapting to film Le Lys de la Vie, a fairy tale by Queen Marie of Romania that Loïe had presented as a ballet. The plot involves two princesses and a prince who is stricken with a mortal illness. One princess stays to nurse him while the other seeks the Lily of Life. The princess who returns with the magic flower dies of a broken heart when the prince marries his nurse. The film premiered at the Marivaux Theatre in Paris in March 1921. A showing at the Coliseum Theater in London soon followed It was shown to the Royal Court in Bucharest in June 1921.

Loïe hoped to direct profits from the film to Romanian relief efforts but the work was instead a financial failure.

Gift of Queen Marie of Romania

The poor lady in stone shriveled with modesty as the man read about her. She was created by Auguste Rodin. The museum has quite a collection of his work.

Where are my damn dentures!

A beautiful portrait of Queen Marie's daughter Queen Maria of Yugoslavia.

A bust of Queen Marie.

Furniture designed by Queen Marie.

Some of the books written by Queen Marie.

I was so busy with my camera that I missed the opportunity of having my picture taken with Queen Marie of Romania.

Théâtre de la Mode

The year was 1945, France celebrated victory at the end of World War II. Yet despite liberation, France faced an urgent economic dilemma. After four years of German occupation, every possible commodity was in short supply—food, fuel, and fabric. The French fashion industry, eager to participate in the revitalization of the French economy, conceived an idea to both rekindle the French fashion industry as well as raise funds for war relief.

Under these circumstances, Robert Ricci, son of famed fashion designer Nina Ricci, proposed that the fashion houses create their collections in miniature, to be placed on 27" mannequins within elaborate stage sets. The Théâtre de la Mode, or "Theater of Fashion," became a unique collaboration between leading French haute couturiers, artists, sculptors, theater set and lighting designers, coiffeurs, jewelers, and fashion accessory artisans, whose names include Balenciaga, Schiaparelli, Balmain, Cocteau and Cartier.

One of the museum's permanent pieces is this breathtaking painting Solitude by Frederic Lord Leighton. If only I could reach in and touch her on the shoulder perhaps she would look up at me and smile—or say "Get your grimy paws off of me!".

I love this raucous crowd that we caught hiding in a closet. They've been carrying on like this since our first encounter almost 10 years ago!

Behind the museum (or is it in front?) is the green oasis of grass, shrubbery, gardens, and sculptures. One piece that particularly caught my eye was this beautiful Bird of Paradise by Ellen Tykeson (Eugene, OR), 2011.

I walked up to the Quantum Man by Julian Voss-Andreae (Portland, Ore.), 2007 and it reminded me of the liquid metal guy in Terminator 2 made out of a "mimetic poly-alloy". Whatever that is.

But as I walked past he disappeared!

The view of the gorge to the west from Maryhill shows vineyards in a dry, barren landscape.

We left and headed back towards Portland. Along the way a huge 850 ft. tall piece of stone called Beacon Rock came into view. I was shocked later when I found out that the US Army Corps of Engineers had planned to destroy it! Sometimes the right thing is done and the story ends well—at least for now. I have learned from my city that parks are not sacred in the march of "progress".

 We crossed over into Oregon. The vegetation here is much different than back at Maryhill.

The next day found us in downtown Portland. There are many "food carts" in several areas that serve up a wide variety of meals.

I'm an addict so the only choice is this colorful and plentiful Indian lap lunch. I was able to eat the whole thing without spilling on myself!

One of the vendors listens to the tall tales of the newspaper delivery man.

The famous Powell's Bookstore has a huge stock of new and used books. It's always a treat to go there, browse, and see what one comes out with.

This book was boring or might better be used as a bedtime story.

I gotta go! Why does this always have to happen to me?

Back at home this thing with about a 3 ft. wingspan was plotting to crash through the window and get us!

The famous Tillamook Cheese Factory where the lighting is as yellow as the cheese. A few humans are kept on to serve as assistants to the machines.

At the old lumber town of Garibaldi (not to be confused with the Garibaldi that they're going to dig up) there was sitting my favorite type of locomotive—an Electromotive F-Unit. What a beauty in the Great Northern paint scheme!

I carefully walked past this vintage engine expecting a blast of steam to be released at any moment.

The skies cleared as we got to Haystack Rock on the Pacific coast.

A Golden Retriever happily did his thing undaunted by the size of his "stick" and the crashing of the waves.

Down by the rock these boys were oblivious to anything but their toy trucks in this vast sandbox.

We made a stop at Papa Murphy's (Italian take-and-bake with an Irish name?) for something to bring home for dinner. From the look of this guy, we made the right choice in our custom pie.

I'm assuming that they are referring to the names of some beers. As a gentleman I think I'd prefer the blonde.

The beautiful grounds of Willamette University in the capital city Salem.

The coffee bistro is the most important place in any university.

A loud message from Johnny Cash but my favorite size, in Starbuck's lingo, is the venti.

The Oregon State Capitol building, seen through these beautiful university buildings, is..... interesting.

We checked in at Silver Falls State Park where, if you aren't totally captivated by one falls, you can choose from nine others.

The Silver Falls Lodge is a charming place where we broke out our lunch and ate by the fireplace. As I look at this photo I expect seven little men to march out singing Heigh-Ho. It was built in the 1930's during the Great Depression by the CCC. You can turn a deaf ear on a certain political party as you witness a beautiful and lasting government funded project that put people to work through tough times and gave them a sense of worth and dignity.

Portland has a wonderful light-rail system called the MAX.

The waterfront along the Willamette River is crowded with boats.

Portland has a certain quality that they are trying to maintain.

They are doing a good job of it with the famous Voodoo Doughnut shop.

I heard that there is always a long line of customers eager for some voodoo magic.

The coffin is included but it would be a tight fit for me when the time comes.

Hmmm, perhaps these donuts aren't all that healthy.

There's a plethora of brewed beverages available in the Portland area. I'll take the IPA!

Back on the patio at home, the heater for those chilly evenings bears a certain characteristic similar to that of a tower in Italy.

A nice little shopping center at Bethany Village has a very cool fountain that erupts periodically. The steps are a great place to drink a coffee, talk, and watch kids that are usually playing in the water.

I bid farewell to my friend Meeko who guarded her backyard queendom diligently.

My travel agent did good! On my return flight I was seated on the side that provided a birds eye view of this mountain that once had a snow-covered peak.

I looked down at a puffy white dreamscape and drifted off...

...then opened my eyes and I was back at work with everything chaotic as usual.