Let me make one thing clear: I love living in Berkeley. I have adjusted to life as a Californian in a very crowded little city. I've made friends. I've learned my way around and don't spend all my time longing for my hometown, Seattle.
But it does my heart good to visit the Pacific Northwest from time to time! Last weekend John and I spent a few days in Portland, Oregon, where we met up with my sister Tori, who lives in central Washington. For many years visiting Portland was a regular part of our life, but it had been at least 15 years since I'd spent time there!
Portland was infernally hot, but the lovely lovely green offset any discomfort! We are seriously hurting for water in California, and the landscape here is overlaid with dust and dispirited plants, so seeing the plants so unstressed was a treat.
On Saturday we went to the Alberta Street Fair, which was a fun introduction to the Alberta Arts District in NE Portland. Not too crowded, with lots to look at in the shops and booths. Bolt and Modern Domestic were excellent places to shop for fabric, and we enjoyed the galleries that lined the street. I particularly enjoyed the colorful buildings and the sweet houses nearby!
Portland TriMax train
Sunday we took Portland's excellent lightrail train into the Pearl District downtown (that's my sister, looking back at me). Destination: Powell's City of Books, of course, with stops at Knit Purl, Penzey's, Quin, and Hannah Andersson before the heat overcame us.
The evening was spent with my cousins and my aunt in Lake Oswego--it was a real pleasure to see them all again. My family is very small and far flung; as time passes I've come to value family more and want to make the effort to keep in touch.
Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood
By Monday we decided that the heat (100°) was too much for us, so we drove around Mt Hood, enjoying the scenery from an air conditioned car as God intended. We drove up to Timberline Lodge, which I've been intrigued by for years.
Timberline Lodge is a marvel! It was designed as a ski lodge and built as a WPA project in 1936-7 right at the timberline halfway up the mountain. It was filled with handmade lamps, furniture, pictures, and textiles, giving work to hundreds of artists and skilled craftsmen. At every turn a small detail delights. Now a national historic monument, the park service keeps things as they were (the textiles have been, by and large, recreated by teams of volunteers, but some of the original pieces can still be seen).
The newel posts were carved from recycled telephone poles; each one was different. We ate lunch at the Ram's Head Bar in the lodge--excellent fare (and they had gluten-free bread that tasted great!)! Sadly, the heat and haze from forest fires made the wide vista hard to photograph, so you will have to imagine the evergreens and waterfalls and Mt Jefferson in the distance.
John and I have been talking about retirement within the next 5 years--Oregon is topping the list right now!
Tomorrow I'm having the Choosing Color for Fair Isle class at my home! In preparation a friend and I shampooed the rug, taking it outside for the task. Please note how Mason decided to help!