Amtrak to Portland

December 9, 2008

“A good meal somewhere”, “the Portland Art Museum”, a tour of Portland public buildings, “parks” and “Powell’s” City of Books were on the agendas of the thirteen Obsidians who signed up for this train and walk trip to the Rose City. The train was fun with lots of conversation or quiet reading and napping. Some found the dining area more convivial than regular seating. In Portland we walked quickly to Henry’s Twelfth Street Tavern for great food and more conversation.

After lunch, we split up: four made their way directly to the art museum, eight attempted one-half the walking tour of Portland’s public buildings and one had errands of her own. The public building tourers found that old city hall building was the highlight of the walk. We couldn’t resist the red cushion in place for viewing (without getting a crick in the neck) the suspended artwork in the old city hall rotunda. The attraction of the Portland Art Museum, aside from the permanent exhibits, was ”Wild” — pictures of the Columbia Gorge from 1867 to 1957. Imagine embarking up the Columbia Gorge carrying an 18" x 22" “mammoth format” wooden camera, a “dark tent” and all the chemicals and other supplies needed to prepare glass plates with a “wet collodian process” — with few trails! The photos were exquisitely presented in black and white. These photographers were crack technicians and had an artistic eye. We enjoyed the exhibit very much. I’m thankful to the group for taking a chance on this unusual trip and for arriving at Union Station in time for our return trip. Well ahead of time as it turned out, the 6:15 p.m. train became the 7:00 p.m. train.

Participants were Jim Duncan, Sharon Duncan, Dick Essenberg, Margaret Essenberg, Yuan Hopkins, Sachiko Iwasaki, Janet Jacobsen, Lou Maenz, Jim Pierce, Barb Revere (leader), Ruth Romoser, Elle Weaver and Nancy Whitfield.

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