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    Free Tees!

    Free Tees!
    "I set up a 10 foot table and arrange the tees by style and size. People line up, and wait patiently to select their tee. Some of these people haven't had a new item of clothing in their possession for years. To have a clean, new tee with tags on it...unheard of. Tears roll down their faces as they realize what I'm doing...and in turn, I end up teary all day as I am filled with their joy and gratitude".

    Read more

    Belknap Hot Springs

    Belknap Hot Springs

    We recently took a weekend birthday trip to Belknap Hot Springs. We usually like to camp, but we had already winterized our little trailer, so we got a lodge room and brought our little 4-footed friend, Rogen along for the ride.

    ACCOMODATIONS
    The reviews on the lodge and service were not so great, so we arrived with somewhat low expectations. When we pulled up, we saw huge timber beams at the front of the lodge and wood carvings of bears on the benches outside, where people were taking selfies. People were having fun, so thumbs up already. We checked in, with great, friendly service (contrary to reviews), and headed to the room. The room had a lot of potential with a huge stone fireplace on the back wall. It was not wood burning, but instead filled with a small electric heater. Its cord couldn't reach any outlets though. The bed was comfy, and the bathroom was doable, but if you're a clean-freak, like me, you'll find things to activate your OCD. It's no Hilton, just be warned. It's a spa lodge room straight from the 80's.

    Because there is also a campground here, and there's not really any food close-by, we will surely opt to camp here next time (oh yes, we're going back). Bringing our own food and accommodations. The campground was fantastic looking, with some great sites. It is perched up on a hill behind the lodge and also houses many cabins (that seem to have better reviews). The upper tier has another, smaller hot pool, access to the McKenzie River trail, fields for play and a Japanese garden to explore. It would have been the perfect trip if we had the trailer. That said, it was still pretty magical. Read on.

    GROUNDS
    This place is beyond-words beautiful. The grounds are so expansive and there are so many trails that it's really easy to get lost, even within the campground. We crossed the bridge to explore some of these upon arrival. We came across many hike-in campsites that were so secluded that I'm sure you'd never even know anyone else was out there next to you...even with the leaves off the trees.

    There's a secret garden, which, oddly and awesomely, they tout, but don't tell you where it is, or show it on the map. With the light getting low, we headed past the camp sites and found grassy fields in the middle of no-where, and trials that split upon split upon split. It was getting darker and we weren't too sure of where we were, so we started to head back. We ran into a huge cement turret overlooking a stream, seemingly for no reason. Then I saw a cement wall, all covered with ivy and moss, and I screamed "Hang on!". I ran past the wall to reveal the beauty of the secret garden. It's so huge, you'd wonder how we (or anyone) missed it. It's truly secret, so I only shared a couple photos.

    HOT SPRING POOLS
    Okay, so the room was meh, but the pools are what we are here for, right? Well, the pools are magical. There are two pools. One pool is at the main lodge and the other is up the hill with the trailer sites and cabins. The lower pool is larger. We never made it up to the upper pool, but the lower pool was perfect for us. During the day, steam rose up and the rain came down, keeping us the perfect temperature. In the evening, the pool lights change color and create a really dreamy atmosphere with all the steam rising in it's varying colors. It's a bit more mellow past 8pm or so, as the kids have gone to bed, and the day users are mostly back on the road. Adults had beverages. I asked about that, because the literature stated "no alcoholic beverages at the pool", but the front desk said it's a "don't ask, don't tell" kind of thing. So red-cup it! Don't bring glass, so much stone, and bare feet.

    HIKE TO THE BLUE POOL
    There are quite a few trailheads around Belknap Hot Springs if you're up for some activity. The trailhead for the Blue Pool hike is just a couple of miles away, as is Tamolitch Falls. We see a lot of waterfalls being so close to the Columbia River Gorge, so, we opted for the Blue Pool. I've always wanted to see this. Check! Easy hike along the river with a little bit of scrambling over lava flows and some puddles. Like 200 feet of elevation gain. There were people running the trail, as well as mountain biking and hiking. We hit a great sunny afternoon and the view was worth it. You can hike down below, but once again, we were running low on light, so we turned around.

    Hope this helps you get more familiar with just one more of Oregon's wonders. Let me know if you have any questions I can answer! 

    Parking. Like everything else in Portland, it's weird.

    Parking. Like everything else in Portland, it's weird.

    Parking in the wrong direction.
    A one block walk around my Alberta Arts neighborhood revealed 4 wrong-way parkers. You'd never see that downtown, but in Portland, we take it for granted that our City Parking Enforcement doesn't patrol residential neighborhoods, like mine...unless it gets a complaint. So long as you've been neighborly, you should be in the good to park in whatever direction you want.

    But it's weird, right??

    Gorge Fundraiser Update

    Gorge Fundraiser Update

    September has come and gone and so has our Columbia Gorge fundraiser. We wanted to thank the 50 or so people who participated in our fundraiser. We were able to donate almost $1000 split between the Search and Rescue efforts of Hood River County, and the American Red Cross.

    Today, Brenden is off to present the check to the sheriff of Hood River County. They're so thankful for the support because Search and Rescue funding is finite and not nearly enough. The donations will help protect the safety of their search and rescue personnel. It  is paramount in these events and your donations will be utilized to enhance their safety.

    Thank you to all who participated!

    Upcoming Events

    Upcoming Events

    Viewpoint 2017 User Conference
    Oct. 9-12, 2017. Semi-public event at the Oregon Convention Center
    We will be vending in the lobby, so you can get to us even if you're not attending the conference!
    Collaborate 2017, the construction industry’s premier technology conference, will see a record number of attendees converge on the Oregon Convention Center for 3 solid days of incredible sessions, speakers, and celebrations!

    Animal Aid PDX Artisans for Animals Craft Fair
    November 19, from 12:00-4:00 at the Multnomah Arts Center Dance Studio.
    50% of our sales will go to help Animal Aid's efforts...no kidding!
    Animal Aid has been passionately serving animals and the people they love since 1969. In addition to a shelter for free-roaming cats and a foster program for cats and dogs, Animal Aid operates two community programs: the Animal Aid Cares Fund, a partnership with local vet clinics to offer funding for urgent veterinary care, and C-SNIP (Canine Spay/Neuter in Portland), a partnership with Portland Animal Welfare (PAW) Team to provide spay/neuter assistance to homeless or low-income Portland-area residents.

    America's Largest Christmas Bazaar
    November 24, 25, 26  and Dec. 1, 2 & 3 2017 at the Portland Expo Center.
    Shoppers looking for all types of Holiday gifts will find most of them here! 33,000 people attended last year over the 6-day stretch of the show. Come shop hundreds of local and commercial vendors. It's not your average gift fair!

    Crafty Wonderland
    December 9 and 10 at the Oregon Convention Center
    Meet the makers! 250+ NW artists selling their goods! This is the craft show of the year, folks. Customers flock from all around the NW to see what kind of locally-made gifts they can find. The holidays are coming!  

    Squatch Fest
    Januaury 27, 2018 at the Cowlitz County Convention Center.
    First Annual Sasquatch Festival! A day full of fun activities for the children in the Kids Cave, Speakers such as Author Dr. Jeff Meldrum and Researcher Derek Randles from the Olympic Project for the true believers, Food & Craft Vendors and a Beer garden with fire pits to sit around and tell your Bigfoot Story! Stay tuned for updates.