A distinct change of scenery. A pronounced change of life. Even a distinguishable change of climate.
That’s what awaited our family in the early 1990’s. After close to a decade living in the Midwest, we moved across the country to the Pacific Northwest, a place truly diverse from our usual surroundings.
Due to Papa’s promotion/job transfer, we packed our household goods and watched movers load everything we owned, including our family vehicle, onto a trailer truck and drive away for a long haul west.
All we had left in our possession was one piece of luggage per person and our carry-on bags. We then boarded an airplane and landed in what felt like a different country or at least an altered state.
Moving from the flat lands and rolling small hills of the Great Plains, where there were four discernable seasons with hot, humid, and often dry summers and frigid, windy, snowy winters, to a mountainous, heavily forested location just an hour or so away from the Pacific Ocean with a mild climate and abundant rainfall astounded us all.
Today’s Tuesday Tour will highlight some of the first photos taken on my initial glimpse of that altered state and serve as an introduction for the next few posts of amazing places we visited in our six years of living in the Pacific Northwest.
Scenic spots we experienced inspired me to capture scads of scenic photos. My pictures back then were limited by my not-so-great photography skills and using an inexpensive film point and shoot camera, but I still managed to get some nice shots.
Prior to our big move, Papa had already acclimated to those new surroundings for a few months while this Mama and our three young children stayed in our Midwest suburb to get our house there sold.
Papa accomplished one dream he harbored when he accepted an invitation from some of his sales customers to go sailing in the San Juan Islands area of Washington. Living in a location so near the ocean and two major rivers would prove to be an extraordinary experience for us all.
Before the move, I flew out for a few days to Portland, Oregon to join Papa in our quest for a suburban residence there while my parents came from their Northeast home to care for our children.
After landing at Portland International Airport, I could not stop exclaiming over the remarkably different environment right in front of my eyes.
The first thing that caught my eye and boggled my mind were the gigantic Douglas Fir trees…everywhere! Compared to the woods in the Kansas City area, those trees were massively tall. And I just could not get over it.
Even though it was early spring, grass was green, many of the deciduous trees already had leaves, and flowers were abundantly blooming. The majority of my first visit to the Portland area was spent searching for a place to live, but Papa and I managed a little bit of sightseeing as well.
What fun it was to stroll through the Portland Saturday Market, an open-air handmade arts and crafts market with local vendors, food kiosks, and live music. Open on Saturdays and Sundays from March through December, this must-visit place, which opened in 1974, is known as the largest continuously operating market of its kind in the United States.
During the years we lived in the Portland area, the market was located near the Old Town/Chinatown neighborhood under the Burnside Bridge. Now the market is situated in the Tom McCall Waterfront Park along the Willamette (pronounced Will-LAM-ette) River.
We still own a lovely hand-made pottery pitcher we purchased there, and I remember listening and enjoying the steel drum (or steelpan) music provided under a large canopy. Now the Portland Saturday Market is more permanent and folks can even purchase the unique merchandise from the artisans online. For those interested, click here.
We ambled along the waterfront park catching glimpses of RiverPlace Marina and the Portland Convention Center and just viewing the Willamette River. Soon we would call this unique (to us) place in the valley between mountains and ocean our home. And exploring beautiful new sights would begin.
“Beauty is thus an altered state of consciousness, an extraordinary moment of poetry and grace.” ~ Leonard Koren