Monday, 31 August 2015

Flying over Oregon...

After leaving Portland on Sunday, 21st June, we drove south to Albany and stayed with Candace's family for three nights. One of the highlights was being flown above the valley by Candace's cousin Jess. The family own a plane and we went flying on Monday, 22nd June. We flew over Lebanon, Sweet Home, Cascadia, and Albany. It was awesome seeing the beautiful scenery and places rich with family history from the air!

 The hangar at Lebanon State Airport.
 Jess filling up the Cessna 170B.
 Candace and I in the plane.
 Taking off from Lebanon State Airport.
 Willamette Speedway to the right as we climb away from Lebanon.
 Following the South Santiam River.
 View down towards the cemetery at Sweet Home - where Candace's great-grandma and great-grandpa are buried. Also note the other aeroplane far below us.
 Flying over Foster Lake.
 Heading towards Cascadia - where Candace's mom was raised.
 Over Cascadia.
 The Short Covered Bridge at Cascadia.
 Flying back towards Albany.
 Sawmill and Foster Lake to the right. Candace's grandpa worked at many sawmills in the area.
 Back in the clouds.
 Heading over the 1-5 highway. This is the view to the north towards Albany.
 Flying above the Willamette River.
 Buzzing low over the river.
 Combine harvesters working in the fields.
 View towards Jess's home near Albany.
 Jess's landing strip and home.
 Buzzing over one of the local landing strips.
 Another view of Jess's home.
 Heading back towards Lebanon.
 Banking to make our approach into Lebanon State Airport.
 Approaching the runway.
Information sign at Lebanon State Airport.

Portland Waterfront...

We spent our final day in Portland exploring one of the trendy areas of town, where we bought donuts from Blue Star. After eating them at a park nearby, we headed to the waterfront and walked along the beautiful Willamette River. There were many joggers, cyclists and fellow walkers using the walkway along the river. It is clearly evident from our short visit that this city is a health and fitness-focused city, much like Cape Town. It was also cool to see speedboats and other vessels on the Willamette River. We then had amazing Thai street food for lunch, before saying farewell to our Mercy Ships friends. It was a lovely time in Portland and we were so happy to be able to visit our friends!

 Blue Star Donuts.
 We bought a selection of donuts and shared them.
 They were really good donuts!
 Portland skyline from across the Willamette River.
 Cool fire station by the river's edge.
 Candace and I relaxing in Portland.
 The Jet Boat was doing some insane manoeuvres on the water.
The more serene - pedal-powered - Brew Barge.
 Steam-powered tug Portland, part of the Oregon Maritime Museum.
 Lovely old bridge.
 Close-up of the bridge's towers.
 Sign for Portland's Old Town.
 Walking past Mercy Corps.
Awesome road sign warning cyclists of an uneven surface. :)

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Foot Golf...

After visiting Multnomah Falls and having lunch at a restaurant nearby, our wives headed home while Tim, Elliot and myself went and played a round of Foot Golf at Glendoveer Golf Course in Portland. Foot Golf is a cross between golf and soccer and is loads of fun! I didn't do too well though!

 I think I missed the hole in this one.
 Tim boots it down the fairway.
 Aiming for the flag. I had a tendency to hook my kicks to the left.
 Elliot moving the flag.
The boys size up their options. I joined them in the bunker with my next kick.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Columbia River Gorge...

We went sightseeing with our Mercy Ships friends on Saturday morning, 20th June. We drove through Portland and along the Columbia River Gorge. Here we visited Vista House, which is a structure perched on a cliff high above the Columbia River. We had some beautiful views and even spotted an Amtrak train far across the river - on the same line we had travelled a few days previously.

We then went and hiked up to the top of Multnomah Falls, a double-waterfall that drops over 610 feet to the ground below! The hike itself was a good workout and lots of fun. The scenery was breathtaking and Oregon is certainly blessed with beauty!

 Possibly Mount Rainier in the distance.
 Vista House overlooking the Columbia River Gorge.
 View down towards the river.
 Amtrak train travels through the trees on the distant shore.
 Multnomah Falls in Oregon.
 Heights of the Upper and Lower Falls.
 Railway information sign on a railway bridge.
 The Lower Falls at Multnomah Falls.
 Elliot and Julle pushing Abi up the trail.
 Beautiful view down towards the Columbia River.
 River barge far below.
 At the top of the Upper Falls. That's a scary drop-off!
 Viewing platform at the top.
 Multnomah Falls - both Upper and Lower Falls visible here.
All of us after our lovely hike. What a great morning!