Sunday, September 5, 2010

Good Old Fashion Summer Fun

It's that time again. Travel & Leisure Magazine is conducting their annual internet survey for America's Favorite Cities. We'll have to wait and see how Portland ranks, but last year our lovely City of Roses ranked #1 for summer vacation. It's no surprise really, Portland is a great place to spend your summer vacation. There are so many great things to do in and around the city and the best part, most of it is free!

Portland has great city parks. Green spaces are everywhere, within every neighborhood and varying in sizes and facilities. During our friends Dret's visit a request for a nice disc golf course was made and we happily obliged.

A quick google search provided the link to an enthusiastic disc golfer's guide to disc golf throughout Oregon, which led us to Pier Park in North Portland with the following description: "Pier park has everything you ever dreamed of in a disc golf park. Downhill elevation, uphill elevation, tight technical gaps and breathtaking scenic beauty. Long holes, short holes, oh, I almost forgot, lots and lots of big Doug Fir trees to break in your bag and breakdown your score." With a description like that we had to check out the park for a hot sunny day of disc golf.

A few days later we were back in another Portland park, but this time for the annual Portland Soap Box Derby, an event we look forward to every year.

Every summer 42 homemade engineless racers hurl themselves down Mt. Tabor Park, an ancient volcanic cinder cone in SE Portland with beautiful views of the city.

It was wonderfully blistering hot that day, which didn't seem to keep the crowds away. We found a spot in the shade on a hilly slope that gave us a great view of the action.

This year seem to have more "serious" soap box racers who were gunning for the best time, but we still enjoy the creative ones.

The afternoon was filled with races, an intermission marching band and picnicing in the park. After a few hours we were ready to escape the heat and decided to trek up to the top of the park and check out the view. Once we got to the top we were pleasantly surprised to find a fascinating Native American ceremony happening.

We watched utterly mesmerized by the rhythmic dancing, colorful costumes and drumming.

The dancers seem to fall into a trance as the drum rhythms changed beats, slowing down and gradually picking up to a feverish momentum.

We were also lulled by the ceremony and lazily made our way down the park in a daze from the day's events.

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