After such a busy weekend, I thought I was ready for a restful day. I planned to attend a lecture by author James Blase at the Oregon Historical Society, about President Teddy Roosevelt’s visit to Portland in 1903. Grandpa Nelson was interested and came with me.
The lecture was disappointing, I am sorry to say. Considering the President’s trip was politically motivated, it was a shame that Mr. Blase was unaware of Oregon politics of the time, or even if Oregon was a state in 1903 ( this is when he started to lose his audience). He had a very worshipful opinion of President Roosevelt, unaware of the President’s now-unacceptable opinions on race and eugenics. I admire Teddy for many reasons, but this doesn’t blind me to his faults.
I was hoping to buy Mr. Blase’s book, called Keep it for your Children, but since I felt that I had learned more in my research than he had in his, I left without it.
After an hour of sitting in the air conditioned lobby of the OHS, Grandpa Nelson was ready for a walk. We wandered north through downtown to the Pine Street Market, where we got great fries from Bless Your Heart and not-very-good pizza from Ken’s Artisan. Cold drinks helped a lot, because once the clouds blew away, it was really warming up outside.
We headed for the Willamette River and walked south along Tom McCall Waterfront Park, enjoying the parade of life. Boats and jet skis on the water, kids on bikes and old men pushing their wives in wheelchairs, young men on skateboards being pulled along by large, happy dogs… everyone was out and about.
We saw some historic notes in the paving I hadn’t seen before, showing where the First Wharf was and the corner of the original city as it was laid out in 1846. This put things in perspective, especially when I looked up from visualizing the first wooden wharf and to see the magnificent, modern city Portland has become.
We kept walking, passing under bridges while looking past them to see the next one. Burnside, Morrison, Hawthorne, Marquam, and finally, the newest and prettiest, Tilikum Crossing.
This, as it turns out, was Grandpa Nelson’s goal. He wanted to walk across this beautiful pedestrian and transit bridge on this bright July day. The views from and of the bridge were wonderful! There was even a poem set right into the concrete sidewalk.
But there was no shade, and the reflection from the paving was very bright… we were pretty done in once we got to the east side.
We caught the B Loop of the Streetcar and transferred to the magic number 15 bus, getting home to drink lots of cold water and have a much deserved lay down.
I got more of an adventure than I bargained for, but it sure was fun!