Molalla River Recreation Area, May 2017

Southeast of the town of Molalla (itself southeast of Portland) is an Oregon hidden gem, the Molalla River Recreation Area. It follows the river as it cuts through foothills of the Cascade mountains and has a series of hiking and mountain biking trails that take you through forests so thick they make you feel a million lightyears from the Willamette Valley just a little below.

Fields Bridge Park, West Linn, Oregon

Continuing my quest to visit all the parks of Oregon, Amanda and I visited Fields Bridge Park in April 2017. The park is not large, and a good deal of its 19 acres is devoted to ball fields and parking. And yet I would call this park a real gem for the town of West Linn, particularly for someone in a wheelchair, as its flat, well maintained trails hug right along the shore of the gorgeous Tualatin River... 

Winter Hike in Champoeg, Oregon

In early February 2017, on a very cold, wet winter's day, I hiked around the Champoeg State Heritage Area outside of Butteville, Oregon. Champoeg (pronounced like "shampooey") was an important settlement in the 19th century and in 1843 formed an early regional government, a key step for the area eventually becoming a state. Today the former townsite is merely a field, but the surrounding 600 or so acres have become a park with forested trails easing along the Willamette River....

Ellie Pritts and Portland's Mississippi District

Angeleno power-player Ellie Pritts and I wandered in April 2017 around a couple of blocks in North Portland's Mississippi District, where there are fun little shops, bars, and coffee shops. Plus, we got to see one of the most wonderfully named parks in town, DeNorval Unthank City Park, or as it's more commonly known: Unthank Park. What a name! And from what I hear, Dr. Unthank himself was pretty amazing too, breaking numerous racial barriers in 20th century Portland...

Leach Botanical Garden

After our trip to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in April 2017 Amanda Ulrich and I visited the Leach Botanical Garden on the outer edge of southeast Portland.  We didn't have much time as we got there just a few minutes before closing. It is such a lovely spot though that I still had a blast. There are so many interesting plants there, and the whole estate (of about 17 acres) is serene and gorgeous...

Venice, Day 5: Giardinetti Reali

On day 5 of my Venetian adventures in December 2015, I visited the Giardinetti Reali. It's a wonderful little oasis of calm and greenery, steps away from the wild humanity of Piazza San Marco. The last time I was there the park was overrun delightfully with cats. The cats now though are all gone, as they are gone from every corner of Venice...

Venice, Day 7: Wandering Alone

On day 7 of my Venetian adventures in December 2015, I spent the evening wandering the glorious streets one last time before my plane took off in the morning. The city is so endlessly interesting to me, with its tiny alleyways, its abhorrence of 90-degree angles, its colors, its style, its life. I can't wait to return... 

Opening Day at the AC Hotel Portland

I was invited to the opening of the new AC Hotel in downtown Portland, Oregon. They built it in what was a funny old vacant lot that everyone just used as a shortcut at a busy intersection. Now it's a charming place to stay steps away from the Pioneer Place shopping mall and other downtown attractions. The best part of it for me, hands down, is they have a bunch of local artwork and local food and drinks... 

Oregon City Wanderings

Just after exploring Camassia Natural Area, Amanda Ulrich and I wandered around Oregon City, Oregon, in February 2017. It's a great little city, anchored by the mighty Willamette Falls. Soon the old Blue Heron paper mill will be rebuilt as a new waterfront for the city with apartments, condos, restaurants, and business spaces. Then the whole area will begin to transform. Cannot wait to watch these huge changes happen before all our eyes.