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Paula, Suzy Liz and I flew from Warwick to Portland, Oregon on Tuesday evening, July 5th arriving at 12:15 AM Oregon time (3:15 AM in Rhode Island time). We would have gotten more sleep after leaving Midway in Chicago but there was heavy turbulence that delayed the beverage service for two hours! No lost luggage, a quick taxi ride to our hotel, and sleep.

Day 1

First stop today was Fred Meyers (think Target on steroids) to get some basic supplies. You could get lost in that store! I got a case of water and a pretty purple top because I didn't pack enough clothes….yeah, right.

Fabric Depot was our next stop. It is a huge store and everything was 30% off. We were there quite a while. That evening at our hotel we arranged our purchases on our beds for a show and tell – great choices. The lens fell out of my driving glasses, but some scotch tape fixed that just fine.

Suzy had seen a pizza place on the Food Channel so we set off to track it down. It took a few extra turns through a beautiful neighborhood with gorgeous gardens before we found it. It opened at 5:30 – darn – but across the road was a Thai restaurant that had incredible food. I had my very first taste of Thai food and loved it. The owner was so gracious. This was also when we learned that Liz has a thing for condiment sauces. She tried all the sauces at restaurants throughout the trip and got the rest of us to try some delicious ones we might have bypassed without her adventurousness.

My friends who live part time in Oregon had told us about a bakery named VooDoo Donuts. There was quite a long line, but the donuts were wonderful. There were actually some donuts that looked like voodoo dolls. Portland is a beautiful city but since Oregon has recently legalized pot, it was a little disconcerting to see people smoking pot on the street and seeing the stores where you can buy it.

Since the time change was playing with us, we headed back to our hotel – Pony Soldiers Inn. I decided to go to the restaurant next door for a simple dinner of soup, but thanks to an enticing poster in the lobby, ended up eating prime rib. It's almost the same thing, right?

In a long line for Voodoo Donuts

Day 2

We started out a little early since today would be a full day with lots of driving. Thanks, Suzy, for signing up to be our other driver! Heading east we turned onto Historic Highway 30 which parallel the Columbia River Gorge. It is a winding, tree shaded road with spectacular views starting with a stop at Vista House. From there you can see up and down the Columbia River and across the river to Washington state.

Columbia River Gorge and Vista House

Further along there are spectacular waterfalls. The first is Latourell Falls where there is a path leading down to the bottom of the falls. The rock has broken off in cube shaped chunks giving it an unusual look. The second falls are Wahkeena Falls. Part of the way up is a bridge that you can hike up to that allows you to cross from one side of the falls to the other and you can stand in the mist generated by the falls. We decided not to do that hike though I have done it in the past and have to admit it is my favorite.

The third falls is Multnomah and is both the tallest and the most commercialized of the three. Suzy and Liz hiked up to the bridge on this one. We had a late second breakfast on the second floor of the visitors center there. It is a beautiful room surrounded by windows and you can see some of the falls from there.

At the town of Hood River we turned south into an area where the there are a lot of orchards. It is part of the road that is called the Fruit Loop. We could see snow topped Mount Hood along this stretch. Visiting a lavender farm was next – beautiful scenery and fragrance and then an alpaca farm where there was a two week old baby alpaca and they sold yarn made from the wool of their alpacas.

Hunger struck again in time to go to a BBQ restaurant in Parkdale. They must have had a busy day since they ran out of brisket and pulled pork but the ribs were delicious pear with coleslaw.

Next was the long ride through the Mount Hood forest and then ,with a huge change of scenery, through a native American reservation. It took about two and half hours to reach our hotel – the Rama Inn – in Redmond. But the day was not done. We had tickets for a program at the high school in Sisters. The people who taught the quilt classes that week in Sisters all showed one of their quilts and then some of the quilting students showed theirs – remarkable skills! The presenter was Kathy Doughty from Australia who shared a number of her quilts.

Day 3

Another busy day which started with us heading back to Sisters for a morning program called Dot to Dot Quilting with Angela Walters. What an interesting way to plan a quilting project!

Next we drove to Black Butte Ranch for a quilt show and buffet lunch. Because the weather was cool with some small showers, it was held indoors this year. It was great to see quilts made by the local quilters and their lunch was delicious.

Back to Sisters where Paula and I headed to the post office to mail some of our purchases home. The cars poor trunk was not going to keep up with our luggage and purchases! Suzy and Liz went off the explore the town while Paula and I started our exploration at the post office. Suzy and Liz spent a bit of time at a group of vendor tents and found a farmers market that they said was gorgeous.

Paula and I went into the town hall to see a set of small quilts made by different members of the local quilt guild. It showed the path a river took out of the mountains and through the land….absolutely awesome!

We all went to the Stitchin Post which is the local fabric shop that started the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show 41 years ago. We knew that tomorrow the shop would be packed. Paula and I also found a lovely tea shop and sat and had a bit of a break.

That evening was supposed to be Picnic in the Park but turned into Picnic in the High School because it was quite cool and drizzily outside. We were amazed at how the planners of the event made such a smooth transition to the new locale. We shared a table with quilters from the mid-west and from Washington. The evening program was fabulous!!! The presenter was Laura Wasilowski who presented her whimsical quilts along with songs she had made up. Our favorite was five quilts that she had made featuring her favorite blue velvet chair. Each quilt was unique – one had the chair tilted back with the front legs on a foot stool entitled Nude Blue Chair Reclining. Her songs were such fun; she even had the whole audience singing along with her.

Day 4

Quilt Show Day!!!

We were in Sisters just after 8:30. I can't believe how nice and comfortable the weather was! Paula and I went in one direction and Liz and Suzy another so we could see as much as possible. Two of my quilts were on sail so one of the first things I wanted to find were my quilts. I found the Birch Trees by 9:15 and it was already sold. I was so excited. My other quilt also sold before noon – wow!

The town of Sisters is amazing!

We saw so many amazing quilts.

A little after noon Paula said that all she needed to make today complete would be to meet Rob Appell whose quilt tutorials she follows on You Tube. We turned a corner and there he was signing autographs and letting people take pictures!

This quilt was made byRob Appell.

We had arranged with Liz and Suzy to call each other around 2:00 to see if either group was ready to “say uncle”. When Paula's phone rang at 2 that is the first thing that was said by both groups.

Now was the long drive down from the mountains in the high dessert near Sisters to our hotel in the Willamette Valley.

Day 5

After taking a walk along the Riverwalk in Corvallis our goal was to get the coast. We followed R 20 out to Newport and went to their Old Harbor which had lots of little shops along the street where we could shop for gifts...and taffy….and chocolate truffles…. Lunch was on the second floor of a local seafood restaurant looking out over the harbor. There was a pretty aqua and whiteboat there named Judy. We all got Dungenese crab soup or crabcakes which were wonderful. There was also a coleslaw with fennel that was a big hit.

On the way up the coast on the Pacific Coast Highway we stopped to see an area where the ocean had carved into the rocks called the Devil's Punchbowl. We saw a wedding there along the cliffs.

Our hotel that night, Landmark Inn, was in Lincoln City. The beach there is my favorite along the Pacific coast because the water is a bit wild and the beach is huge. There was a wedding there too. I got up early the next morning and walked to the beach and stayed there a while by myself. Would you believe I had on a heavy LLBean sweatshirt and was still a little cold?

Day 6

First stop was Captain Dan's Pirate Bakery….the best pastry ever! This was our quilt shop hop day. We were out to collect the Row by Row challenge patterns. The quilt shop from the last few years that was in a woman's basement had moved into town. I missed seeing all the quilts attached to the ceiling.

Cannon Beach was a big hit! Liz wants to stay there if she goes out to Oregon again. We drove out to the lighthouse on Cape Meares – what incredible scenery! Theinto Tillamook to the Cheese Factory. It is a huge tourist stop where some of us got the Tillamook grilled cheese sandwich. There are stores inside for souvenirs, cheeses, ice cream, and – oh right – we have to admit to the fudge!

Cannon Beach - Third largest monolith in the world

Cape Meares

Our lodging that night was a retro motel called the Astoria Crest which overlooked the mouth of the Columbia River and the bridge connecting Oregon and Washington. What a beautiful view; it reminded me of a place in NH that my husband and I had gone to a few time. In the morning there were two deer in the yard outside our rooms.

Day 7

After mailing more boxes home, we headed back to Portland. On the way we stopped at the Berry Patch for a yummy second breakfast. Our destination in Portland was Washington Park, the home of the Rose Gardens and the Japanese Gardens. They are both so beautiful! Liz's favorite rose turned out to be called the Betty Boop rose.

Day 8

We got an early flight home, but with the time change it was near 5:00 when we landed in Warwick. We were a tired group, but ,boy, did we see a lot!