The Portland Heritage Tree Quest: Group 11 - Northwest passages: riding out the storm - CycleBlaze

May 27, 2020

The Portland Heritage Tree Quest: Group 11

Transitions

Well, perhaps a nine day hiatus is too long.  I forgot about the tree quest.  I can’t really pass up the opportunity to knock down a few more heritage trees while I’m in town.  And as long as I’ve opened the door a bit I may as well show you where we’re staying here in Portland.

Also, I never posted any interior photos of our cabin in Chatcolet.  By the time it occurred to me to take any, we had already so cluttered up the place with our explosion of junk that I was embarrassed to show it.  So, here’s what it looked like as we prepared to step out the door for the last time.

The living room at our cabin on Coeur d’Alene Lake. A very comfortable spot to sit inside and watch the rain come down or the hummingbird raid the feeder.
Heart 3 Comment 0
Our cabin, Coeur d’Alene Lake.
Heart 3 Comment 0

There’s not much to say about the drive back to Portland.  Long of course, but it went fast.  We took a longer but the fastest route, by cutting northwest through Rockford to Spokane and intersecting with I-90.  After that, it was an efficient but uninteresting freeway drive the rest of the way, broken only by a drive-in breakfast in Kennewick.  We arrived in Portland not long after 3, put on our masks and made a fast run through the grocery store, and pulled up at our new home by four.

The place we’re staying this time, on a quiet neighborhood in north Portland, feels perfect.  A new multifamily structure in an older neighborhood, it feels like a perfectly safe place to live for awhile - much better than being on the 23rd floor, sharing a long elevator ride with strangers every time we arrive or leave.  We’re in a basement unit with a separate, keypad entrance.  It’s a stylish unit with a brand new feeling to it.  I wondered if we might be the first guests here actually, until I opened the guestbook and saw many enthusiastic entries dating back two years.  We do look like we are the first guests since the virus arrived though.

With the cabin still in mind, I remembered to take a few photos of this place before we unpacked.

Our new maison de jour, before the Anderson tidal wave inundates the place.
Heart 2 Comment 0
A nice, stylish place with a minimalist decor.
Heart 2 Comment 0

So how are we spending our time here?  First of all, we picked up two months of mail from Elizabeth, who’s been faithfully collecting it in our absence.  Elizabeth is taking the plague year very seriously, so we hardly saw her masked face through the front door of her condo as she briefly opened it and place a shopping bag full of mail on the sidewalk while we stood a safe distance away.

One item of interest in the mail was our T-shirts and ridiculously heavy medals for participating in the Bike for Humanity ride.  Another was a bill from Blue Mountain Hospital in John Day for our emergency room visit on the day of the dog attack.  Shocking - the total bill was only $59, of which our share was $15.

Not included in the mail was anything pertaining to the saga of the Capitol One refund we hope will arrive BHFO.  We weren’t expecting anything yet, but we do hope that SSA returns my passport before we leave the region and head north to Bellingham.  One of our thoughts for the fall is to go back into Canada, if they’ll let Americans in again by then and If I’ve gotten my passport back.

Bike for Humanity!
Heart 4 Comment 0

So we aren’t doing any of the usual things that draw us to a city.  No movies.  No live music.  Not visiting with Elizabeth.  We are though patronizing as many of our favorite restaurants as we can fit in, doing our best to help them stay in business.  Yesterday we ordered take-out from Gallo Nero and enjoyed a delicious Tuscan meal on the steps of the fountain In Jamieson Park, staring across the street at the condo we lived in for nearly twenty years.  

A fine meal and a big step up from our dining experiences from the last two months, but a bit sad.  They’ve laid off their entire staff, and the restaurant is being run now by only the owner/chef, with his daughter managing their orders.  They’re selling off much of their wine inventory, which doesn’t sound good.  Not much to be done but give them our business, leave a big tip, and hope they make it through.  We’ve already lost one favorite, Nel Centro, our favorite happy hour/pizza spot in town.

Enjoying take-out from Gallo Nero in Jamieson Park. It’s beautiful out today, and in normal times this little park would be packed, its fountain operating and the water full of wading toddlers. Today it feels like it did when we first moved in here and the park was brand new and still undiscovered.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Parmigiana di melanzane! Verdure al forno! Tagliatelle al sugo! Steozzapreti, prosciutto, e rucola!
Heart 2 Comment 0

Today

It’s beautiful today, so we’re both bound for a ride.  First though I’m off for the first real social event I’ve had for over two months, on a coffee date with Bruce.  Traditionally we’ve gotten together for coffee every couple of weeks at Spielman Bagels, but we’re not sure what to do now.  They’re open for take-out, and we might be able to sit at one of their outdoor tables; or maybe find a different coffee shop near a park.  We’re both intelligent people, so it only took us four iterations to settle on this creative solution: Bruce brewed a pot in his French press, and we sat around in his back yard jungle and conversed at a healthy distance.

When I make it back to the apartment Rocky is just preparing to leave.  She’s on her way out to Oregon City via the Trolley Trail, excited to ride over the recently reopened 82nd Street Bridge over the Clackamas River; and anxious about whether she’ll find any unlocked loos along the way.

Rocky’s ready to roll!
Heart 1 Comment 0

For today’s PHTQ outing I’ve picked up a set of trees fairly close to home, in a fifteen mile oval through North Portland.  I’m having to get more organized about planning these routes, because the number of remaining trees is thinning out and they’re scattered all across the city map.  I’m down to roughly fifty left, so we might actually see the end of this silly project one of these days.

I wondered how it would be running this event in the time of the plague - would it feel unsafe biking tthrough the neighborhoods, or would it feel too intrusive to bike up to the front of someone’s home and stand around taking photos of their prize tree?  It was just fine though, really not much different than in the past.  So some things about life can still go on here anyway.

I’m not going to say too much else about this round, other than to show you some great trees and a few incidental sights.  I am, after all, taking a break.

Rodriguez is antsy. Let The Quest resume!
Heart 2 Comment 0
Tree 249: Aesculus hippocastanum, the Common horse chestnut.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Horse chestnut with bicycle.
Heart 2 Comment 0
I was sorry that we’re here too late to see the tree in bloom, but it’s nice to see the young fruits forming too.
Heart 1 Comment 0
As usual, I’ll stop if a pretty face catches my eye along the way. And as usual, I have no idea what I’m looking at.
Heart 3 Comment 1
Andrea BrownThat is a cistus, or rockrose.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Tree 78: Juglans regia, the English walnut. At first I wasn’t sure I’d be able to see this tree, buried behind a fence in a back yard. A woman sunning herself in the yard next door though invited me in for a look over her fence after learning of why I was poking around. Very nice.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Not the best look at a walnut, but everyone is probably well familiar with it anyway.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Our next tree is somewhere in beautiful Fernhill Park, a new spot to me. Really a lovely place, with some magnificent trees - such as this awesome chestnut.
Heart 3 Comment 0
The restroom in Fernhill Park is gaily painted with murals with an ethnic theme. Very inviting.
Heart 2 Comment 3
Jen GrumbyColorful!

Was it open?
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Rachael AndersonTo Jen GrumbyCan you believe he didn’t check! I’ve been checking every bathroom and outhouse! I’ve also had to be creative about finding secluded areas since almost nothing is open. It’s really hard being a women and especially one with a small bladder!
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Jen GrumbyThat's challenging in a big city. Definitely important to know about the open restrooms, especially for we of small bladders.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
The colorful restroom in Fernhill Park.
Heart 1 Comment 0
It’s pleasant looking around the park, but there’s work to be done. It takes me awhile to cull through all the great trees and find the one I’m looking for, a European Hornbeam. It would have helped if I had any idea what a hornbeam looks like.
Heart 1 Comment 0
A European Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) looks like this, in cae you find yourself on a hornbeam hunt yourselves some day.
Heart 1 Comment 0
#310: Diospyrus virginiana, the American persimmon. This is another one I’d like to see in blooming season, or in the fall. Somehow I imagine a persimmon tree would be very colorful at the right time of year.
Heart 2 Comment 1
Bill ShaneyfeltNot especially colorful. There is one nearby that I usually visit in November to take advantage of its fruits. Good tough wood. I'd like to find a nice straight limb for a hiking stick, but they do not tend to grow straight.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
The persimmon has a distinctive, oak-like bark.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Persimmon leaves almost look like a laurel.
Heart 1 Comment 0
I was disappointed at first when I came to the 400 block of Rosa Parks Way and found a newish industrial building. I was afraid I’d missed my chance to see this Silver Linden (Tilia tormentosa), but it’s still 8 blocks away. I’m in the NE quadrant, but the tree has an N address.
Heart 1 Comment 0
What an interesting structure the silver linden has. I’ve never seen one, and I wonder if this growth pattern is characteristic.
Heart 3 Comment 0
Definitely a linden, and looks silvery in the right light.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Sassafras! This tree reminds me of my childhood in West Virginia, when my father took me out hunting for sassafras to harvest for tea.
Heart 1 Comment 0
I didn’t know the sassafras grew as a tree, actually.
Heart 2 Comment 1
Bill ShaneyfeltThat's huge! I like to dig a few rootlets now and then to suck on.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
The leaves are lobed and mitten-like, but not as pronounced as I remember. Maybe the trees and shrubs are only cousins.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Peninsula Park is another of my favorite parks in town. It’s nice to pass by when the rose garden is in bloom.
Heart 3 Comment 1
Andrea BrownWe rode our bikes there on Saturday, just lovely.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
When I pulled up to this Southern Catalpa, a passing truck driver leaned out the window and drawled in his southern accent “That’s the biggest catalpa I’ve ever seen!”
Heart 3 Comment 0
Big tree, big leaves.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Not a target for today, but this huge tulip tree still commands attention.
Heart 1 Comment 0
I’ve marked this tree off earlier, but it’s great to see it in bloom.
Heart 4 Comment 2
Bill ShaneyfeltIndiana state tree.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Bill ShaneyfeltI didn’t know that. I’ve always loved this tree, maybe because it’s so easy to identify.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
The Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum), one of the characteristic native trees of the Pacific Northwest.
Heart 1 Comment 0
I didn’t spend that much time looking at the Bigleaf maple really, because it’s so familiar to me already. I was more taken by the irises beneath it, with the beautiful blue shrub behind them that I keep forgetting the name of.
Heart 1 Comment 8
Patrick O'HaraNice shot of the bee mid flight too!
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Patrick O'HaraNice shot of the bee mid flight too!
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Patrick O'HaraNice shot of the bee mid flight too!
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Patrick O'HaraNice shot of the bee mid flight too.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Andrea BrownThe blue shrub is ceanothus, or California lilac.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Andrea BrownI’ve been reminded of this for at least three years straight. For some reason I have a mental block on it’s name.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Patrick O'HaraYou’ve developed a stutter, young man!
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Patrick O'HaraWhoa. What happened? Sorry about that.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
I was quite disappointed when I came to this Pacific Dogwood. I was really anticipating seeing a brilliant tree, since dogwoods are in bloom now. Ho, hum. Maybe this one is an early bloomer?
Heart 2 Comment 1
Andrea BrownMost dogwoods are long done but the Korean ones are still blooming and will be much of the summer.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
The Pacific Dogwood - such a beautiful tree!
Heart 1 Comment 0
I love it when the best is saved for last. Now this really is a beautiful tree!
Heart 3 Comment 2
Scott AndersonTo Andrea BrownAmazing, right? A giant’s bouquet, fit for Paul Bunyan’s bride.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
I like everything about the California Buckeye (Aesculus californica). I think it’s my new favorite tree.
Heart 1 Comment 0
We’re seeing it at exactly the right time, obviously.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0

Keeping score

Group 1 (7 species):  grand fir, willow oak, hedge maple, Douglas fir, incense cedar, tulip tree, sugar maple.

Group 2 (9 species): silver maple, Japanese cedar, oriental plane tree, European beech, American chestnut, copper beech, mockernut hickory, basswood, butternut.

Group 3 (9 species): ginkgo, crape maple, northern red oak, deodar cedar, bigleaf linden, giant sequoia, coast redwood, Japanese pagoda tree, Mount Fuji flowering cherry.

Group 4 (8 species): Zelkova, Carolina poplar, Japanese red pine, Katsura, bur oak, river birch, catalpa, wych elm.

Group 5 (8 species): Monkey puzzle tree, western white pine, boulevard cypress, madrone, single needle pinyon, pecan, Coulter pine, Monterey pine.

Group 5-1/4 (2 species): Port Orford cedar, English yew

Group 6 (6 species): White fir, Atlas cedar, Cedar of Lebanon, Endlicher pine, Dawn redwood, Umbrella pine.

Group 7 (6 species): China Fir, Blue Atlas Cedar, Eastern White Pine, Ponderosa Pine, Sitka Spruce, Yellow Bellflower Apple.

Group 8 (5 species): Himalayan Pine, Gray Pine, Apache Pine, Italian Stone Pine, Loblolly Pine

Group 9 (6 species): Sycamore Maple, Japanese Larch, Spanish Chestnut, Weeping Willow, Oregon White Oak, Oregon Myrtle.

Group 9.5 (4 species): Southern Magnolia, Empress Tree, Saucer Magnolia, Yoshino Cherry.

Group 10 (4 species): Apricot, Weeping Cherry, Rhododendron, Gravenstein Apple.

Group 11 (10 species): Common Horse Chestnut, English Walnut, European Hornbeam, American Persimmon, Silver Linden, Sasafrass, Southern Catalpa, Bigleaf Maple, Pacific Dogwood, a California Buckeye.

Dropped (3 species): Paradox Maple, which I couldn’t find and may no longer exist; and the Lacebark Pine and Bald Cypress, both of which were unapproachable and hidden in the middle of a large private woodland.

Rate this entry's writing Heart 6
Comment on this entry Comment 8
Jen GrumbyI love that this Quest is one activity that remains unaffected by Pandemic Pandemonium.

Wise old trees still grow, provide homes for countless critters, and smile down at those humans who recognize their Great Worth.

And you got to have coffee with Bruce!
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Bob DistelbergI'm having a little trouble wrapping my brain around a $59 ER bill. Surely there must be some zeroes missing.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Bob DistelbergThat’s what I expected too. I’m still waiting for the other shoe. It reminds me of the time I was so sick in the French Pyrenees (https://www.cycleblaze.com/journals/sete2017/in-foix-a-medical-emergency/) a few years ago. After spending all day in their emergency room, they eventually sent me a bill for 50 euros that was waiting for us when we got home.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyPandemic pandemonium! Brilliant. Did you just make that up?
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Jen GrumbyThank you! I've been using that expression since mid-March. I don't know if I was the first, but I'd gladly take credit.

I thought of another one today .. Pandemic Paralysis.

Looks like the Pandemic Pandemonium will be around for a while .. so it's to our advantage to creatively emerge from the collective Pandemic Paralysis.

With an abundance of caution, of course!
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyThat really is impressive. As near as I could tell without browsing a real dictionary, you pulled together the only two words in the English language that begin with pandem. A pandem tandem!
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Suzanne GibsonTo Scott AndersonBe careful - that was almost a pun!
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Suzanne GibsonYes, good point. Not over that line, I don’t think. A good reminder though.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago