Pacific Northwest, May

Mar 4th, 2009, 10:41 AM
  #21  
 
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You are so right! I think we always get a week or more of lovely "high pressure" weather, with blue skies, in February. My parents--native Californians---bought their retirement home in Port Townsend on just such a February day in 1978. It was 70 degrees, people were out riding bikes. . . how could they resist? The first winter here, they froze!!!

And then we get a similar lovely stretch of weather in May. By then the spring flowers are blooming, the =trees have leafed out, and it is so beautiful here. I hope that the visit by hetismij & her husband coincides with one of those stretches of wonderful weather.
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Mar 4th, 2009, 10:43 AM
  #22  
 
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And on the other hand, it always seems to rain on Memorial Day weekend and the folklife Festival. May 23 to 25 this year, so beware (or be elsewhere)!
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Mar 4th, 2009, 10:57 AM
  #23  
N77
 
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With a three week window of time, you could consider flying into Seattle and flying out of California. You then could travel the Pacific Coast Highway and see the sights from Washington to California. There are trip reports detailing all there is to see.

We took that trip a few years ago in May and loved it! -Just a thought.
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Mar 4th, 2009, 12:20 PM
  #24  
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N77, that was my idea too, but my husband nixed it. He really wants to explore the Northwest. I realise it is early for crater lake, which is a shame - but hey, it gives us an excuse to go back again
I hope we get some good weather, but it isn't the end of the world if it rains. It's only water right? As long as we get a decent summer when we get home
Last year we had snow, rain, hail, winds and finally warmth during our trip through Arizona and New Mexico. Meanwhile Holland had a heat wave - and the rest of the summer was cold and wet and miserable.
My guide books arrived today so I have some bedtime reading now I'll be back with some questions in a day or two. You are all so helpful
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Mar 14th, 2009, 03:34 AM
  #25  
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Ok I'm back with some more questions, now grandson number 2 has safely arrived.
How long would you suggest we spend in Portland? Do we hire the car on arrival at PDX or leave it until we are ready to move on from Portland. How is public transport to the city from PDX?
Or maybe we should we leave the city for the end of the trip and use it as a bit of a chill out time before we leave?

We have 4 weeks now! My husband made a mistake in booking the flights, but he can manage 4 weeks away so that's what we've got, starting on April 27.
We may add the coastal redwoods in Ca to the trip since we can spend a bit longer exploring the Oregon coast.
Is there anything in Eastern Oregon worth seeing, or is it really just empty as it appears on my map? We love empty btw, deserts and badlands really appeal.

Oh and one other question. In Oregon all petrol stations are serviced right? Do we tip the pump person? If so, how much? Oops that was three questions!

I'll be back with Washington questions later
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Mar 14th, 2009, 07:28 AM
  #26  
mms
 
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Portland itself is worthy of a couple days. The rose garden, Chinese garden,Japanese garden,zoo, Pittock Mansion, art museum, various districts to explore...you can do this leisurely with about 3 days.

Taking Max from the airport into town is easy. No need for a rental car for covering downtown. Get the rental car when you are done.

Eastern OR is empty, but worthy,IMO. The Wallowas are spectacular! Do a google search for the town of Joseph and see if that interests you. You can include Pendleton and John Day Fossil Beds in this trip. The scenery is dramatic.

Yes, all our gas stations here are serviced. It is illegal to pump your own gas, and no we do not tip
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Mar 14th, 2009, 11:15 AM
  #27  
 
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I'm stunned to find myself disagreeing with mms. If the gas station attendant washes my windshield, I always tip him/her a dollar! ;-)

Otherwise, I agree though; the Wallowas are definitely worthy; even the Steens. Either would be a long drive from Portland though. What is your itinerary? Maybe central Oregon would make more sense.
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Mar 14th, 2009, 01:21 PM
  #28  
mms
 
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LOL beachbum--true...but I can't think of the last time they have washed my windshield. I do tip when they do that though.
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Mar 14th, 2009, 01:40 PM
  #29  
 
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I will disagree slightly on the timing question, which also impacts the car question.

I would save Portland to the end. Arrive in PDX (assuming you're riding the NW nonstop,) go through the formalities, and then pick up a car and drive all of 10 or 15 min. to McMenamin's Edgefield - http://www.mcmenamins.com/index.php?loc=3. This is a unique property, comprising a combination of comfortable rooms, numerous bars and cafes, a movie theater, and lovely gardens and grounds. I can't think of a better place for weary travelers coming off a 10 1/2 hour flight, and with 9 hours of time change, to spend an afternoon and evening - much, much better than fussing with public transport or taxis into a big unfamiliar city, jet-lagged and exhausted after flying all day.

Then do your touring, noting that the Edgefield's location is ideal for day trips to visit the Columbia Gorge, Mt. Hood, or even Mt. St. Helens, if you want to take it easy and not "break camp" for a couple more days.

Then return at the end to Portland, where it will be a month later, meaning probably less rain, more warmth, and at the peak of the flower season in the "Rose City." Then drop the car if you want, and use public transport around the city.
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Mar 14th, 2009, 03:57 PM
  #30  
 
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Eastern Oregon is beautiful. We drove through the Painted Hills some years ago and I've always wanted to return to explore:

http://www.nps.gov/joda/planyourvisi...hills_unit.htm

And Gardyloo has a great suggestion about McMenamin's Edgefield. We spent a long weekend there last May for my son's birthday, and I loved the place. Very relaxing, but lots on offer if you want (even golf!) And it is only 15 minutes from the airport by an easy drive.

I would go out for a run about the golf course early each morning, and had lots of close encounters with bunnies, a fox or two, and hummingbirds.
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May 26th, 2009, 06:29 AM
  #31  
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Sorry I never came back to this topic I started. Things got so hectic I had to more or less give up any planning for our trip.
We got back on Saturday after 4 wonderful weeks, with only one day on which it rained non stop .
We had just the best time, saw plenty, missed even more (Seattle for instance!) and weren't too hindered by the weather, though we'll have to believe you all about Crater Lake - all we saw was snow and cloud lol.

We loved the whole area. My husband says it is the one part of the US he would consider living, which says a lot! When I have time I'll write up a quick trip report, and post a link to some photos.

Thanks again for all your helpful suggestions.
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May 26th, 2009, 07:41 AM
  #32  
 
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More, more!

Sorry that our wet spring made things difficult for you. We didn't much like it either. It is raining right now, BTW, but the weather for the Seattle Folklife Festival this weekend was glorious.

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May 26th, 2009, 08:51 AM
  #34  
 
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You missed Seattle altogether?
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May 26th, 2009, 12:04 PM
  #35  
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Yep, never went near Seattle - it was a choice between chilling out with the orcas or going to Seattle. The orcas, and islands, won .
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May 26th, 2009, 12:07 PM
  #36  
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Folklife certainly looks fun! Morris dancing in Seattle - who'd a thought it!
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May 26th, 2009, 01:05 PM
  #37  
 
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Gardyloo,

You must have been seated next to us on the wall surrounding the fountain, because I have some pictures that look much like yours. Those kids (and grownups, too) were having such a WONDERFUL time playing in the water! A delight!

One really needs to see the enormous number and variety of folk bands, and dance troupes, that perform at the festival to realize the ethnic diversity of the region. The true enjoyment I get out of the festival, however, is the spontaneous jam sessions that happen. One guy will sit on a wall and start strumming a banjo. A guy with a fiddle will sit down beside him and start following. Here comes a flute, a couple of guitars, a mandolin, and even a gut-bucket -- and awaaaay they go for some wonderful improvised musical afternoon delight ---

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May 26th, 2009, 02:12 PM
  #38  
 
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Morris dancing in Seattle - who'd a thought it!

You have no idea... The Seattle International Film Festival is also going on at the moment, and we attended a screening of a British film, "Morris - A Life with Bells On" - sort of a "mocumentary" of the culture of Morris Dancing - at the SIFF theater on the Seattle Center grounds, i.e. adjacent to Folklife.

The theater was completely filled with Morris groups from Oregon, Washington, BC, some I think from California, Alberta... and when there was a funny part in the film (and there were many - highly recommended) the whole theater jingled.

There were Morris dancers performing quite a lot of the time at Folklife, at least when they weren't on scrumpy breaks.

Nukesafe, it really is a diverse (some would say whacked out) scene. It's getting a bit like Bumbershoot in terms of people ad libbing - hula hoop competitions, etc.
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May 26th, 2009, 05:18 PM
  #39  
 
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Will you be at the Fremont Summer Solstice Fair? Talk about your whacked out scenes! My Son-in-Law was one of the hundreds of body-painted nude bicyclists last year. Hope he doesn't repeat!

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May 26th, 2009, 06:09 PM
  #40  
 
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I have seen the cyclist !!
What a sight to be hold.
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