Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: April 2023

Portland is the largest city in Oregon. It has a vibrant art scene and is well known for its gardens and green spaces. It is located on the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette rivers and provides easy access to many hiking trails and other outdoor activities to appreciate nature.

After spending the past week driving along the Pacific coast to Northern California, it was time to start making our way back to Seattle. This included making a detour to explore Portland. We started the day off at the Portland Japanese Garden. It is located in Washington Park, a public urban park that also includes a zoo, rose garden, memorials, trails and other activities and attractions. There is a paid parking close to the entrance of the Japanese garden, but we found a spot that was free, but required walking down (and then back up) a steep hill. Even though it was a weekday, it looked like everyone had taken a day off of work to enjoy the warm weather as the park was pretty busy.

The Portland Japanese Garden is a traditional Japanese garden that features eight different garden styles, some of which capture a different period of Japanese history and culture. There’s a walking path that meanders through the manicured gardens and passes several points of interest, including a Tea House, Koi ponds, bonsai trees, waterfalls, ponds and streams.

There was also a special art exhibit which featured a collection of leaves and plants surrounded by glass from Rui Sasaki, a Japanese glass artist.

Afterwards we went to the Pittock Mansion where we could take a self-guided tour through 23 rooms of the house. There were information panels located throughout the house to learn more about Henry Pittock and his family, along with the history of the house and its furnishings.

Henry Pittock’s claim to fame was that he became the owner and publisher of the Oregonian newspaper. He moved into the mansion in 1914 with his wife, along with eight members of their extended family. The couple only lived there for roughly four years before they died. The rest of the family struggled to maintain the mansion and estate. It then became damaged by a storm.

Developers planned to buy the mansion to tear it down and replace it with a subdivision. But a group of locals campaigned to save it. The city of Portland ended up purchasing the estate and then had it repaired and restored. Only a handful of the original furnishings exist and there are very few photographs to reveal how the mansion would have appeared in the Pittocks’ time. And so many rooms feature furnishings from other prominent Portland families.

Once we finished touring through the house, we strolled around the grounds where’s there’s a nice viewpoint of the city and Cascade Mountains.

After eating a quick bite to eat, we hopped in the car and headed to the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens. We followed the path through the gardens and around Crystal Springs Lake, admiring all the different colors and varieties of rhododendrons and azaleas. We lucked out with the timing as most of the flowers were in bloom. The gardens also feature other types of trees and plants, including Japanese Maples.

The last attraction on our itinerary was the Lan Sun Chinese Garden, located in the heart of downtown Portland. This gave us our first glimpse of what the downtown area was like. And it wasn’t pretty. While we’re used to seeing homeless people on the streets in Toronto, nothing could have prepared us for this. There were homeless people everywhere, along with hundreds of tarps and tents. And it looked like most of the homeless people were on drugs. It was a very sad sight.

We hesitantly parked our car around the corner from Lan Sun Chinese Garden, which is located in the historic Chinatown district. We arrived an hour before closing and nearly had the place all to ourselves. The garden is an authentic Ming Dynasty-style garden built by Suzhou artisans using traditional materials and methods.

The garden features covered walkways, bridges, pavilions, a pond filled with Koi, a waterfall and a Tea House, among other attractions. Most of the plants scattered around the grounds are native to China, which include some rare shrubs and perennials.

We thought we might have been a bit too harsh to judge downtown Portland. So we decided to go for a walk to Voodoo Doughnuts, which is reputed to have some unusual and very tasty doughnuts. And it was only located a few blocks from where we parked. But it turns out our initial reaction was pretty accurate. As soon as we picked up our doughnuts (we couldn’t decide on the flavours, so we went with three) we raced back to the car. We had no interest in exploring more of the downtown.

From there we headed to Champoeg State Heritage Area for a different kind of traumatic experience. We had booked a cabin for the night. While this one came fully furnished, it was infested with stink bugs. We spent the next hour or so trying to kill as many as we could. But for every stink bug we killed, five more seemed to take its place. It then became a decision point as to whether to close the windows to prevent more stink bugs from infiltrating or to keep the windows open because the fan was busted and it was sweltering hot outside (it was nearly 30°C).

But that wasn’t even the worst of it. Shortly after we arrived, a group of at least ten people rolled up to the cabin next to us. And they came to party. I have no idea how they all fit inside the single cabin as it can only sleep up to five people, but we didn’t stick around to find out. Between the stink bugs, heat and noise from their loud music, we had reached our limit. After trying to sleep for a couple of hours, we packed up our stuff and searched for a motel.


109 thoughts on “Portland

  1. Darlene says:

    Although I like Portland, there are parts of it I would never go to. I’m pleased your car was still there. You did see some nice places so I guess that made up for the nightmare of your cabin. I don’t blame you for leaving, you stayed longer than I would have. Oregon is a beautiful state though and I love that there is no state tax.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We enjoyed our time in Portland and generally felt safe to walk around many of the main tourist attractions, but the downtown area was pretty sketchy. It was pretty disturbing and sad to see so many homeless people on drugs. We were less than impressed with the cabin situation. I’m glad we cut our losses short and found somewhere else to stay instead. Despite our bad impression of downtown Portland and our horrendous cabin experience, overall we had a wonderful time in Oregon. The scenery, especially along the Pacific coast, is beautiful and there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors.

  2. Ab says:

    Oh Linda, and I thought your cabin experience with the mattress and padding was bad. This sounded like a horror movie. Right call to leave for Bates Motel instead!

    Portland looks so beautiful from the photos you shared. Those different gardens are so well manicured and maintained.

    I can’t even imagine how bad the homeless situation was and how sad it is. It is quite ironic and also infuriating isn’t it when the government allows the infrastructure outside to fall apart like this. Must’ve been so hard to watch.

    On a happier note, those donuts looked delicious!!!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      No kidding!! I’d take the cabin without the mattresses over the one with all the stink bugs and loud neighbours. Plus it was stinking hot inside the cabin with the windows shut (even with them open). The older I get, the less willing I am to put up with this kind of stuff. I had no regrets about packing up and ditching our cabin.

      Portland is a tale of two cities. The area surrounding the downtown is quite lovely, but the downtown itself is another story. It was unsettling to see so many homeless encampments that have taken over the streets and sidewalks. And many of the homeless people we passed looked like they were on drugs. I would not want to be wandering around at night or in broad daylight either. There’s got to be a better way to deal with these issues. Seattle used to have a pretty big homeless crisis too, but they’ve taken some pretty major steps to address it, which seems to be working.

      We certainly earned those donuts! They were very tasty!

      • Ab says:

        I never realized this was an issue at Portland and it’s very sad to read more about it. It’s a reminder of how lucky we have it and how some cities need to do better. I also see this getting worse in our own city!

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Homelessness is a pretty big issue along the west coast. But you’re right, it’s an issue we have here in Toronto as well and it could get worse especially especially with housing and rent becoming more unaffordable. Something’s got to give.

  3. Boots on the Trail says:

    We lived near downtown Portland for almost 20 years – leaving in 2014 to move to Southern Oregon. Our years in Portland were wonderful, with arts, books, restaurants, etc. We went back late last year for a wake and were absolutely shocked by what a wreck downtown has become. It was so sad 😢 – doubly so since we remember Portland during its good years.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We found the area surrounding downtown Portland was quite lovely, but the downtown itself not so much. It must have been so strange to return and to see how much the downtown has changed. I couldn’t get over just how many homeless encampments we passed. Seattle and Vancouver have taken considerable steps to handle the homeless crisis, which seems to be working well. It’s too bad that Portland isn’t following suit.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. The Pittock mansion is gorgeous. I’m such a fan of Victorian-style homes. It was fun to wander through some of the different rooms and learn more about the history of the family and of the house. I’m glad it wasn’t torn down and replaced by a subdivision. The cabin we stayed at on the other hand could have totally been torn down and I’d be okay with that. Between the heat, stink bugs and noise, I was so over it. I’m glad we packed up and found somewhere else to stay instead.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We didn’t realize that homelessness was that bad in Portland either. We’re no strangers to seeing homeless people in Toronto, but this was next level with all the encampments taking over the streets and sidewalks in the downtown core. The area surrounding downtown where many of the gardens and other tourist attractions are located is quite nice though.

  4. kagould17 says:

    Great memories from our 2,000 visit to Portland. The Rose Garden was a highlight for us too. Love the viewpoint shot Linda. Now, I see what your worst cabin experience was. Sad to be infested with stink bugs as well as stinkers. Good call to bail for a motel. Thanks for sharing. Have a great Sunday. Allan

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I imagine you’ve had the opportunity to visit Portland a few times given all the trips you’ve made to the west coast. It was nice to visit in the spring when many of the flowers were in bloom. As you can probably guess, we enjoy our time outdoors. I think we’ll be taking a break from camping, even when it comes to staying in cabins. I had no regrets about ditching our stink bug infested cabin behind, along with those noisy neighbours (although I was curious as to how they were all going to fit inside that one small cabin). Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed your weekend. Linda

  5. Vanessa says:

    Portland is really high on my list of cities I want to visit, and it looks like you had gorgeous weather while exploring it! Just too bad about that cabin! (I hope the motel was better!)

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We really lucked out with the weather and had nothing but clear skies and sunshine while in Oregon. Portland has a lot of character and is also close to a lot of green spaces. The downtown core was pretty sketchy, but the area surrounding it, which is where most of the gardens and tourist attractions are located is very lovely. The cabin was pretty rough. I don’t know which was worse: the heat, the stink bug infestation or the loud neighbours next too us. I’m glad we decided to leave and stay in a motel instead.

  6. John says:

    Linda, I am very sorry that these people ruined your cabin stay and all of the homeless people. I wouldn’t go there either. Vegas has its share of homeless. That said, the large home is so beautiful! I love the gardens too! We have Voodoo Donuts in Las Vegas too. Be well!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I never understood why people like that even bother going camping. If you’re going to blast your music the whole time, just stay at home. I was kind of curious as to how all ten of them would fit inside the tiny cabin, but it wasn’t worth sticking around to find out. Toronto has a lot of homeless people too, but the situation in Portland was pretty bad with all those encampments. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live there and have homeless people trying to take over your front yard. It’s probably a good thing that I didn’t know that there was a Voodoo Doughnuts in LV when we visited earlier in the year.

      • John says:

        Ha, taste makes waist! I’ve seen the camps here just off of the strip which is really terrible. So much wealth not much more than a stone’s throw from these tent camps. Yet people are spending billions on space travel and wars? Our species has its priorities very mixed up. 😭

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        I’ve never heard that saying about how taste makes waist. But I like it. And it’s so true! Sorry to hear that homelessness is an issue in your city as well. And yes, we have some messed up priorities as a society. I still can’t get over how many resources were used to try to find the Titan submersible last week.

      • John says:

        Unfortunately it’s true! I’m a bit overweight. Did they find the sun? I don’t watch news these days.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Nope, the submersible imploded and there were no survivors. But it makes you wonder whether the same rescue effort would have happened if the people on board weren’t wealthy billionaires.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Yah, seems like a nasty way to go too. You couldn’t pay me enough money to get in one of those submersibles that goes that deep in the ocean. And all to see the remains of the Titanic. I’ll just watch the movie.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We found the area surrounding downtown Portland to be quite lovely, but the downtown itself was pretty dodgy. It was shocking and sad to see so many encampments taking over the streets and sidewalks. It wasn’t very fun to walk around. While we’ve had some amazing camping trips over the years, I’m getting too old to deal with some of this stuff. And I swear the noise situation is only getting worse, especially on weekends during the summer.

  7. Rose says:

    Wow there was some very distinct highs and lows in this post. The gardens and flowers were so beautiful. But heartache set in for the homeless and their suffering of addictions. I would have left the campsite after all the stink bugs and partiers.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Oh I know. The day started off well enough by visiting all those gardens and enjoying the blossoms and warm weather. But then it went downhill. It was unsettling to see the state of downtown Portland. And the cabin being infested with stink bugs was not what I signed up for. The loud neighbours just gave us another good excuse to pack it up and find somewhere else to leave.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Even though we found downtown Portland pretty sketchy with all those homeless encampments, the drive along the Oregon Coast is incredibly scenic. And all the small towns along the way are very charming. It’s hard to have time for it all though. Starting with Vancouver and Seattle is a good choice. And there’s lots of great trails in and around both cities.

  8. Lynette d'Arty-Cross says:

    You definitely had a mixed visit. Beautiful gardens, but given the sleeping conditions, I would have bailed too. Sometimes the better part of valour is knowing when to change course! Sad about the homeless.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I definitely had mixed emotions about Portland. The area surrounding the downtown core is quite lovely and we enjoyed exploring many of the gardens. But the downtown itself is a different story. It was disturbing to see how many tents and tarps have taken over the streets and sidewalks. It almost looked like certain blocks were abandoned. I’m glad we weren’t staying downtown. But then again, it’s not like our cabin was much of a trade-up with all those stink bugs, the heat and loud neighbours. I had no regrets about leaving and finding a motel to stay at instead, even if it meant forking over more money.

  9. travelling_han says:

    Well your cabin experience sounds horrific, I’d have gone and found the closest hotel…gross! And reading about the homelessness is just so distressing, it feels like the West Coast has a huge issue to address. The gardens and mansion look beautiful though 🙂

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      That cabin was awful. The stink bugs alone were a thing of nightmares. In some ways I’m glad the people next to us were loud as it gave us the final push we needed to pack our bags and go someplace else. Homelessness is definitely a big issue along the West Coast. Some cities like Vancouver and Seattle have been taking considerable steps to address it. Portland can learn some lessons.

  10. Little Old World says:

    The gardens are beautiful and I love the glass from the Rui Sasaki exibition. It’s so pretty and delicate. You certainly had a mixed experience in Portland. The homelessness there sounds awful. It’s tragic how so many people in some of the richest nations on earth are finding they have no option but to live on the streets. The cabin sounds horrendous and I’m not surprised you left. Hope the motel was better.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The timing of our trip worked out well and we were able to see the rhododendrons in bloom. It’s nice how there are so many gardens and green spaces around Portland. Agreed, the glass art with the plants was pretty neat. It was distributing to see so many homeless people downtown. We didn’t feel comfortable walking around much. The cabin situation was awful. Between the heat, stink bugs and noise, I had reached my limit. I’m so glad we decided to cut our losses short and find a motel to stay at instead.

  11. elvira797mx says:

    Wow! Such a beautiful places, love the garden oriental style. Great photos as always!
    Thank’s for share, must be a very relaxing experience, Linda.
    Have a wonderful week ahead.
    Keep well.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s great how many gardens there are in Portland. We lucked out with the weather and the timing and were able to see many of the spring flowers still in bloom. Enjoy the rest of your day. Linda

  12. Little Miss Traveller says:

    Oh my goodness what a day of contrasts Linda. The mansion and gardens of Portland look magnificent and those aspects of the city are very appealing. With the homeless it’s exactly the same story in San Fransisco and LA as we were there a couple of months ago . I’d visited SF twice before but how it’s changed, even the central business district is full of homeless people, tents and people walking round screaming and off their heads high on cannabis or whatever. We constantly had to swerve to avoid them as they were either sleeping or blaring out loud music on the underground trains and buses and causing a nuisance of themselves. Nothing seems to be done about them either.
    What a nuisance for you both about the stink bugs and rowdy people in the next cabin. Some people just don’t seem to think or care about anyone else do they! Hope you’ve had a lovely weekend. M.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Oh I know. We started off on such a high note by touring all those gardens. And we really lucked out with the timing as we had fabulous weather and many of the spring flowers were still in bloom. But the downtown core of Portland was pretty dodgy. I’m not surprised that homelessness is more prevalent along the west coast where the weather is nice year round and they don’t have to deal with harsh winters. Some cities like Seattle and Vancouver have taken considerable steps to address the issue, which has been met with much success. It sounds like Portland and San Francisco can sure learn some lessons. It’s sad that nothing is being done about it as I imagine it has such a negative impact on business owners, people who live there and tourism.

  13. Lyssy In The City says:

    My sister lives in Portland, but I don’t think she’s been to those stunning gardens. What a horrible cabin experience. My parents have stinkbugs and they are such a pain!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I was impressed with how many gardens there are in Portland. We really lucked out with the timing and were able to still see many of the spring blossoms in bloom. We also couldn’t have asked for nicer weather. We have stink bugs here in southern Ontario but I’ve never seen a stink bug infestation that bad before. It was a thing of nightmares. I didn’t think twice about packing my bags to go someplace else.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Portland sure has a lot of character. I was impressed with how many gardens and green spaces there were in and around the city as well. We couldn’t have asked for better weather for wandering around.

  14. thehungrytravellers.blog says:

    Ah it happens to the best of us….those horrible overnight stays where it’s too bad to even give it a single night! And insects and humans can be equally irritating and distressing, huh. We’ll get to Oregon one day (we have friends in Eugene) but you haven’t given us much enthusiasm for seeing Portland 😀

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Bad nights are bound to happen. It’s all part of the travelling experience. The older we’ve gotten, the less likely we are to tolerate anything that will prevent us from getting a good night’s sleep though. I’m glad we cut our losses short and found somewhere else to sleep for the night.

      I have mixed feelings about Portland. The area around the downtown where many of the gardens and other tourist attractions are located is quite lovely. But the downtown itself is real sketchy. It was disturbing to see so many homeless encampments everywhere. I can’t even imagine what it’s like for business owners or people who live there. That being said, we enjoyed our time in Oregon. The stretch along the coastline is definitely worth exploring.

  15. grandmisadventures says:

    I’m feeling torn over your post- one side of me is discomfort and disgruntlement over the bugs and the people encountered, while the other side is loving how beautiful those gardens are. I’ve heard a lot of people have that feeling about Portland, especially downtown. But I’m glad that if nothing else you got to see the beautiful gardens 🙂

  16. Book Club Mom says:

    Hi Linda – well you had a varied experience in Portland. I had heard about the homelessness problem in Portland from a friend whose daughter moved there after college (and then moved back east). Yet, you’ve shared some very nice places that you visited. As for the stink bugs, ack – we have them get in our house on the east coast, but not to the degree you described! Between those and the folks in the next cabin, you made the right decision to find a motel!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Portland is a tale of two cities. The area surrounding the downtown where many of the gardens, parks and other tourist attractions are located is quite lovely, but the downtown core is pretty sketchy with all the homelessness. It wasn’t very enjoyable to walk around. We have stink bugs here in southern Ontario too, but I’ve never seen an infestation that bad before. We must have killed over 50 of them in that single cabin. And more just kept coming. The noisy neighbours gave us the final push we needed to get the hell out of dodge!

  17. Mike and Kellye Hefner says:

    With so many wonderful things to do and see in the Portland area, it’s a shame that the downtown is so disappointing. Mike and I haven’t been there, but we would love to see the beautiful gardens. We had heard of Pittock Mansion, but hadn’t seen the inside, so thank you for sharing your great photos. We also appreciate your honest insights.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      There was such a huge contrast between the suburbs where many of the gardens and other attractions are located compared to the downtown core. It was shocking to see so many tents and tarps taking over the streets and sidewalks. It wasn’t very enjoyable to walk around. But the area of Portland outside of the downtown is quite lovely and it was nice to check out some of the green spaces, especially since we had such fabulous weather.

  18. TomBoy says:

    I just got back from 6-days in OR. I enjoyed walking the Greenway in the Willamette and had good food too

    The homeless folks made much of the city reek of pee and poop. And some of them were very aggressive too. I think it seemed like effects of methamphetamine. Makes for some mildly dangerous interactions and is sad.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We used to live in Toronto and have seen our fair share of homeless people, but the situation in Portland was something else. I can only imagine how much worse the city would smell in the summer when it’s hot outside. I didn’t enjoy walking around even in broad daylight, but I can’t even imagine what the streets are like at night.

      • TomBoy says:

        I agree. We have homeless camps here, but they’re not centrally located and people don’t lunge at you or swing cell phone cords at you to hit you. I still had fun, but had to keep my wits about me at night and it smelled really bad–it was 92 and 88 my days there.

  19. Bama says:

    There seems to be a lot more interesting things in Portland than I previously thought. The Japanese Garden looks so sublime with the raked sand, a Japanese bridge, and those different types of trees. The Pittock Mansion looks really nice too, and you get to see the city from its grounds! I also love the blooms at the Crystal Springs Garden Rhododendron Gardens. While the Lan Sun Chinese Garden itself looks pretty, it’s so sad about what you saw around it though. I always hate it when inconsiderate people stay near where I stay. I think it was a good decision for you to look for a motel! I’m sorry your stay in Portland ended in a low note.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s amazing how many gardens and green spaces there are in Portland. The Japanese Garden was my favourite and it was neat to see how they integrated a few different styles and types of Japanese gardens together. I’ve always enjoyed wandering around these historic types of houses like the Pittock Mansion and imagine what it must be like to live there. The downtown area of Portland was very disturbing. It was sad to see so many homeless people who were in such a bad state from drugs. I wouldn’t want to wander around here at night (or in broad daylight). Agreed, I never understood why people bother camping if they are just going to be loud and blast their music. Stay home then. Oh well, the noise gave us the final push we needed to abandon our stink bug infested cabin and stay in a hotel instead. Luckily we still had one more day of our holidays to try to make up for it!

  20. michellecj333 says:

    This is so great! Portland is one of the places on our list we’ve yet to visit. What beautiful gardens. I’ve read about Voodoo donuts several times – and love that you got to try those! What were your flavors? Great post!!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words and for leaving a comment. We really lucked out with the weather and enjoyed clear skies and sunshine, which is always great for spending time outdoors.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We couldn’t have asked for better weather to explore some of the sights in Portland. The Japanese Garden was my favourite. It was such a relaxing experience to stroll through the different styles and types of gardens.

  21. leightontravels says:

    Really enjoyed this as Portland is a city I know little about. And one, alas, that Sladja and I concede we might never see. Japanese Gardens are always worth a visit, it seems Portland has a fine one. The bonsai tree is, in my book, one of Mother Nature’s absolute gems. As someone who has travelled a lot in China I can also say that the Chinese garden looks to have an authentic feel. In fact, its reminds me a little of my local park in the city of Rui’an, where I lived fort a couple of years. Thanks for introducing me to Henry Pittock, you know me, I’m a sucker for a bit of history. That house would definitely be up the top of our list if we ever visited. Now I want a donut!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We had such mixed emotions about Portland. On one hand we enjoyed all the gardens, parks and green spaces around the city, but the downtown core was pretty sketchy with all the homeless people and encampments. But thankfully we didn’t spend too much time there. The Japanese Garden was hands down my favourite spot that we visited. I’m with you on bonsai trees. They are so fascinating. I wish I had the patience and dedication to care for and maintain one. But alas, I’ll leave it to the experts. Those donuts were divine. My mouth is salivating just thinking about them.

  22. Yeah, Another Blogger says:

    I live near Philadelphia, where there are quite a few homeless people. But the situation in Philadelphia is nowhere near what you describe in Portland. I’ve read that there are over 500,000 homeless people in the USA.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I used to live in Toronto. While there are homeless people there, the situation in Portland was next level. It was sad to see so many homeless people and that most of them were on drugs. Needless to say, we did not enjoy wandering around downtown Portland on foot.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The Japanese Gardens were the highlight of our day in Portland. But you’re right, the ones in Japan are obviously so much better and are more authentic. We couldn’t help but reminisce about our trip there a few years ago.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I’ve always enjoyed visiting historic houses like the Pittock Mansion. You can’t help but imagine what it must have been like to live here. I know what you mean. I’m so glad the building was protected instead of being converted into a new subdivision. We have enough of those already!

  23. rkrontheroad says:

    I haven’t been through Portland for decades, but if I do, I’ll look for that beautiful and very authentic looking Japanese Garden. Although it may not be visible from that site, the hovering Shasta on the horizon, it looks like Mt Fuji!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We visited a few different gardens in Portland and the Japanese Garden was my favourite. It was very nicely designed. It was a bit busier than I would have liked, but then again the weather was nice which always has a way of bringing people outdoors.

  24. wetanddustyroads says:

    The cleanliness and precision of Japanese gardens is so striking. Love the glass artwork and what a lovely walk through the colourful Rhododendron gardens. The doughnuts look yummy, but your accommodation for the night is definitely a stinker (excuse the pun)! Which is worse: Stink bugs or noisy neighbours … or both?

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I’m such a fan of Japanese style gardens. Everything looks so clean and tidy and you can’t help but feel at peace. The timing of our trip worked out well as many of the spring blossoms like the rhododendrons and azaleas were still in bloom. It was a bit of a sketchy walk to pick up those donuts, so we figured we might as well make it worth our while by ordering a few different flavour to sample. And yes, our accommodations were a real stinker! I don’t know which was worse, the stink bugs or the noise (or the heat). I’m really glad we decided to abandon our cabin as there’s no way we would have gotten much sleep there.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure. I can’t believe they were going to tear it down and build a subdivision here instead. It’s such a beautiful house and provides an interesting perspective on what life was like for the wealthy back in the day. Thanks for reading. Linda

  25. alisendopf says:

    Oh my goodness! You mentioned the traumatic night in your next post, so I quickly hustled over hear to find out what happened. Stink bugs!!! I had to look them up – so gross. I fully applaud your decision to get a motel. Even without the partiers – that’s a hard nope!

    The rest of your day was amazing though. That mansion is beautiful. So glad it was saved and restored.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Stink bugs are nasty. We actually get them here in southern Ontario too, but I’ve never seen an infestation that bad before. It’s like they were nesting inside that cabin. We must have killed over a hundred of them. The noisy people next to us gave us the final push we needed to get the hell out of dodge. I’m getting too old for this shit!

      Besides the issues with our accommodations, we had a nice day exploring some of the gardens around Portland. We couldn’t have asked for better weather. Agreed, a historic house like the Pittock Mansion is so much better than a generic subdivision.

  26. Diana says:

    More and more, I’m having experiences similar to yours… people who just go places to party with no regard for those around them. It’s very frustrating. I would have cut my losses as well, for sure.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We’re also finding that the park rangers aren’t nearly as strict at enforcing the rules anymore. I have no interest in front country camping anymore, unless it’s in the off-season. I’ll stick to the backcountry. I’m so over the noise, trash and people.

      • Diana says:

        I agree, we have the same problem down here. There’s millions of dollars in maintenance that needs to be done, not to mention a constant need for more workers.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        I’m not sure why our politicians don’t invest more money into our park system as I feel like most people would generally be supportive of it. Our premier has received a lot of backlash recently for opening up parts of our green belt for development, which was supposed to be protected for conservation purposes. I don’t get it.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words and for leaving a comment. We had a wonderful time enjoying the sights in Portland, especially when the weather was so nice. The timing worked out well as we were able to catch the last of the spring blossoms.

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