Oregon::part 3

I’m back with the final post about Oregon. Our trip back turned out quite differently than we planned, which is part of the reason this post was so long in coming.

Monday morning we went out searching for poppy fields. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get pictures of poppy fields because we couldn’t find them. The farmers must have hidden them well this year.

Our train was scheduled to leave at 1:40, and we arrived at the station in plenty of time to check in. We left right on schedule and headed east. We both missed most of the scenery that day because we were catching up on sleep. Besides watching the police pull a suitcase off the train and check it with their dog, our trip was pretty uneventful.

I first realized we were running late when a woman got on complaining about having to wait for four hours. That was the beginning of the adventure. Soon we were twelve hours late. And it just kept getting worse. It seems that whenever freight traffic needs the rail, we had to get off. After Fargo, freight traffic increased due to the amount of oil traveling out of the town. About the time we were supposed to get to Chicago–3:30 p.m. on Thursday–we realized we’d definitely be spending another night on the train. (Carlene, the blanket you sent along was  lifesaver!) I’d had hopes that we could still catch our train to Elkhart, but by then I knew for sure that we would not.

We were rudely awakened at 4:30 by one of the parents of a couple sitting in front of us. We had unpleasant experiences with elderly travelers conversing loudly at 4:30 both coming and going. This time, however, we heard all about the events of the past week rather than listening to the wonders of jelly made of dried apricots. Did I mention before that train travel is a lesson in patience and grace?

Our trip ended not by train, but by car. I had a wedding to shoot on Friday that involved six hours of travel and the earliest train wouldn’t get us home until 5:00 pm Thursday. Thankfully my mom took pity on us and drove a few hours to pick us up in Chicago. We got home almost exactly three days after leaving Oregon. Instead of 48 hours on the train, we lived on it for 66 hours!

Probably the most frequent question I’m asked is: “Would you do it again?” The answer is, yes. I would. It ended differently than we planned and it was stressful to have to rethink our schedule and modes of travel. But neither one of us had to drive, we could watch scenery go past very slowly :), and we got to interact with people we wouldn’t have met traveling via car or plane. Yes, I’d do it again, but I’d allow myself an extra day. Just in case.

And lest you came back to see pictures, and would cut us off forever if we had failed you, here you go.


I’m one of those people who enjoys collecting little things from my travels, but never knows what to do with them once I’m home. After finding my owl stone and a twig, I decided a mobile would be a fun way to present my Oregon coast souvenirs.


The blue shells are my favorite. I’m never sure which side of the shell I like best!


Introducing the owl rock. It takes a little imagination from this angle, but he was lying there staring up at me as owlishly as possible!


And that’s that. Current projects include a leather bound photo book of a vintage photo shoot and a map for a friend getting married in a few weeks.


Oregon::Part 2

We started off Saturday at the Farmer’s Market in Portland, a great place to sample all kinds of food, get a taste of the culture, and capture snapshots of interesting people and beautiful produce. If I wouldn’t have been staying for a few days longer I would have ignored the sensible voice in my head and taken a bouquet of peonies and sweet peas back to Indiana on the train.




This band made my day! I felt like I went back in time to an era I’ve only experienced through pictures. I’m really glad comb-over hairstyle the lead singer had hasn’t stayed around. It’s dreadful!




Jam or jelly anyone?


Keturah caught these two little guys giving each other fist bumps. 🙂


A really wonderful window in the parking garage where we spent at least ten minutes trying to get decent lighting for a picture of Keturah and me. And as usual I’m the subject on which the photographers test the light.


Mugs at Anthropologie. I could go in there every week just to window shop.


The end of Saturday’s adventures and the beginning of Sunday’s…

Oregon coast…


In front of Yaquina Head’s lighthouse, where we went to see the tidepools.


I wondered over the rocks barefoot. I hadn’t realized how rough the rocks would be so I didn’t have shoes. Besides, going barefoot is a better tactile experience. 🙂 I didn’t realize I was such an oddity until we went back and one of the volunteers commented on seeing me out on the rocks barefoot. Her comment when I confessed to walking barefoot: “Good gracious, balls of fire.”


Keturah has an uncanny ability to discover small creatures. In this case it was crabs hiding under the rocks.


These shells are navy blue. We found little pieces that had been smoothed by the water, but we had to leave them at the beach. Fortunately we found a few more at another beach we visited. I think I gathered enough little things to make a mobile–inspired by the owl rock I found formed by lava rock in the shape of an owl with two holes for eyes.


At the beach in Lincoln City.




This is us. We’ve been traveling around Oregon for the last three days. We have half a day yet and then we head back. One more update in Chicago or home.


Oregon::part 1

We arrived in Portland at 2:00 Thursday afternoon, two hours after the planned arrival time. I never knew train travel involved so many delays! I also didn’t realize how much train travel exists. Most of our delay was caused by a messed up schedule after we had to slow down for construction. We waited for a number of freight trains and passenger trains headed east. Two lessons learned: be flexible and take a blanket when traveling by rail.


We’re only here for a few days, but I think we’re packing twice as many days worth of activities into those days. 🙂 After supper we headed to the Rose Gardens. Rows on rows of beautiful flowers! When we walked under the rose-covered arch where Aunt Carlene is walking here, I could smell them from the sidewalk.





I’ll have to depend on pictures for today’s journey because I can’t remember all the stops. 🙂 We drove over 200 miles. We started off by driving to Crown Point and The Vista House to see the mountains from a good vantage point. Unfortunately it was quite cloudy so we saw less than we hoped for. We did get a great view of Multnomah Falls!


The next picture helps illustrate the weather.


Uncle Marv explained that salmon are considered a crop in Oregon thanks to Native American influence. We stopped at a fish hatchery. One of their sturgeon, named Hermon, is ten feet long! We think we saw him. 🙂 We fed a school of very greedy fish. Keturah shared some of her fish food with a little boy.


We drove in circles for a bit in search of lavender fields. One was too small. Way too much of a lavender garden. The field we found was no longer open to the public. In our search we did find this little patch of poppies. Keturah and Aunt Carlene hopped out and snapped a few pictures while Uncle Marv wrestled with the GPS.


We drove up to Timberline Lodge in hopes of seeing Mt. Hood, but it was way too cloudy. We braced ourselves against the wind and huffed up the hill to the lodge. 30 degrees and wind is pretty cold when you’re only wearing a light jacket! We both ignored the fact that it could be chilly and didn’t bring jackets. Luckily for us, our hostess has plenty of jackets in our size! This is the window through which we were supposed to be able to see Mt. Hood.


 Tomorrow we’re heading to downtown Portland. We’ll keep updating. We’ve got four people and four cameras. Between the four of us we even include pictures of the people, not just the scenery. 🙂

And we’re off….

…or trying to. The long awaited trip to Oregon is finally here! The train is an hour late, so instead of sitting in Chicago we’re still waiting at home.

I’m sharing a postcard I designed last week. Feel free to download it for your own use! Download to print here.

chicago postcard


We’ll be posting our progress frequently. Uncle Marv has some great plans for us! Some concentrated sightseeing and really great food coming up!