Monday, April 06, 2009

April 6, Astoria and Vancouver: Spring comes to Oregon and Washington

Garden, Astoria This morning I planted seven or eight more plants that I got at Freddy's last night. During the process of planting, I realized I should have checked out one of my classmates' nurseries, but we get into such ruts sometimes that when I think plants here in Astoria, I think "Fred Meyer." I'm not sure where their nursery is, but when I find it, I'll post about it. I know they care so much for their plants, it would make me happy to buy from them. I do still have the area to the left to deal with - the shaggy grass you can just see outside of the rock border. This pretty much completes the area inside the rocks. I hope they grow well this summer and turn the flowerbed into a riot of color. If not, I'll probably keep planting things, because that's what I want. My three sage plants in this bed survived the winter, and I've already seen that while the dusty gray kitchen sage seems to grow faster, it gets gray and leggy and sort of dead-looking, while the purple sage is still beautiful, if smaller. I love purple sage and would have filled the garden with it, except I'd like bright colors, too.

Sailboats on the Columbia River After fixing up the garden, I took off for Portland, where I was meeting Lee so we could go to the J.J. Cale concert at the Aladdin Theater. Since I guessed (correctly) that they wouldn't let you take photos inside, I didn't take my camera out of the car, and I have no pix of it, though someday I'd like to take some of the outside. Let me just say that J.J. Cale and his band were incredible, much better than I'd heard on his recordings, although I haven't listened to the latest live recordings. So that's how we ended the evening, but when we first arrived, we found our motel, then went across the bridge to Vancouver, Washington. Beaches is a restaurant on the river that we enjoy, and we had lunch there before chilling in the park nearby. I took the sailboat photos just above and below from Beaches. The Columbia River separates the two cities in the process of dividing Washington from Oregon. I took all of the following photos from the Washington side, and all but these two sailboat pix from "Old Apple Tree Park" near the I-5 Bridge.

A sailboat on the Columbia River It looks like a lake, but it's the Columbia River. Some days you see sailboats up here. Down our way, near the mouth of the river, that's pretty rare.

Green blossoms on a tree It was a beautiful day. The weekend had been the first really nice weather in a long time. It wasn't hot, but it was sort of warm. Some people were in t-shirts, and I alternated: sweatshirt/t-shirt, maybe even my jacket, depending on the shade and the breeze. It was fairly calm, and there were lots of flowering and blossoming things just getting into the Spring mood.

More green blossoms
Crows in a tall tree I like crows. I liked watching them in the trees. We put blankets on the grass and napped and watched things, and didn't do much else.

Trees in the park, Vancouver, Washington
Old Apple Tree Park, Vancouver, Washington Some people were more industrious. They were chasing a ball of some kind. I was so relaxed, I don't even remember what they were playing. A path goes through the park along the riverfront.

The I-5 Bridge and Old Apple Tree Park, Vancouver, Washington Portland/Vancouver have a number of picturesque bridges, and this is one of them. I thought they all had interesting names, but this one seems only to be called "The I-5 Bridge," or "Interstate Bridge," and it's notable for having the only stoplight on I-5 between Canada and Mexico. The light is to warn cars that they have to stop when the lift goes up to let ships through.

Interstate Bridge between Portland and Vancouver, and Old Apple Tree Park, Vancouver, Washington Here's another shot of the bridge showing more of the park where we were relaxing. It seems this bridge, built in 1917 and subsequently enlarged, is now so outdated that bottlenecks are common. It was one-way until 1956, when they added southbound traffic. They have a plan to build a huge bridge to replace it. My first thought when I saw the artist's rendering is just how ugly it would be. It seems there are a lot more problems than that. I hate seeing beautiful old landmarks fall into the dustbin, as I've already seen in my few (eight) years in Astoria, and this one may not even accomplish anything.

Train engine Back to the park: From our spot on the grass, we could watch the trains passing. I probably should have gotten up and walked over nearer the tracks to get a good photo, but as I said, it was just a lazy day. I needed that.

Train wheels Lee especially likes trains, and so I do. If he's a train freak, I'm at least a train admirer. I like taking photos of them, too. The wheels look pretty cool if you click on the photo.

Train engine And here's another engine on the back. I like that I can see it through the new growth on the trees. The colors are neat.

About the Columbia River and some of its ships When we finally got up, we ambled down closer to the river. I like that this display describes some history of the Columbia. If you click on the picture, you can read it.

A fishing boat on the Columbia River And here's a fishing boat of some type going upriver. It's Spring salmon season.

The Columbia River, Vancouver, Washington Here we've walked closer to the bridge, and you can see what the water's edge looks like with the park on the bluff above it.

I-5 Bridge, Interstate Bridge, Vancouver-Portland And another shot of the I-5 bridge with one of the lifts visible. Someone posted a beautiful picture of this bridge on Panoramio.

No comments: