This is one of the most beautiful fall weekends we’ve had yet. Anticipating sunshine, we decided to take a drive east toward the Columbia Gorge. One of our favorite stops is Multnomah Falls, or Bridal Veil. But on a sunny weekend, it can be so busy and crowded that you spend more time avoiding stepping on strangers’ toes and protecting small bodies from being jostled than you do walking the trail or admiring the misty waterfall. So we chose to go about fifteen minutes past the falls, to the Bonneville hatchery. A friend had recommended it several times, and we thought we ought to see what it was like.
Turns out, it was perfect for a morning stroll with a small family. Sofia was completely content snuggled up in her Ergo carrier, and Niko was gratifyingly wowed by the giant sturgeon that glided inches from his nose. “Is that a SHARK?” he shouted.
One thing I love about Oregon is the bright array of fall colors. The hatchery is designed to encourage strolling, and the bright oranges, reds, and yellows reflected in the peaceful streams and ponds were beautiful.
And, since we got a fairly early start, we still have the whole afternoon to relax and work at home. Who knows, maybe I’ll finish freeing my root bound water lilies!
Just now, Aaron texted me to say, “Two years ago today, we were visiting Oregon for the first time to see if we liked it!” It doesn’t seem that long ago. But he’s right.
Two years ago today, Aaron and I took a long weekend to explore the Portland area. We were almost sure Oregon was at the end of our escape chute from Alaska, but we didn’t want to make a decision without having visited at least once. And that one visit did it for us. We were in love! Our visit happened to land on a weekend that was unusually sunny for this time of year, with temperatures in the 60s. Our Alaska-acclimated bodies felt like we were in the tropics. We stripped off jackets and cardigans and tried not to laugh at the locals in heavy sweaters, down vests, and coats. This was summer weather for us. Oh, it does get warmer during summer in the Anchorage area, but those days in the 70s and 80s are rare. When we visited, Anchorage was blanketed in fresh snow, and the green grass, still-blooming roses, and bright oaks and maples of Portland were like a Technicolor heaven for us.
Seven months later, we had packed our belongings, our son, and my pregnant belly and were driving across Alaska to catch a ferry from Juneau to Bellingham, Washington so we could make our way to our rental home just outside Portland. And now here we are, seven months into owning our own beautiful piece of Oregon paradise.
It’s so good to be home.