Willamette Falls - 2nd largest waterfall in North America by Volume

14 May, 2018; Willamette Falls, Oregon City, OR

Almoat hidden from view by all it's commercial uses . . . . 

An ancient fishing center and native village for probably a thousand years,  Willamette Falls began a transformation in the early 1800's as Lumber Mills, Woolen Mills, Paper Mills, Flour Mills, and eventually electrical generation plants reduced, then eliminated public access.  

The power of this waterfall in such an urban setting is hard to recognize.  I have stood at this spot during periods of extreme flooding and seen HOUSES floating over the falls.

Notice the big pile of log debris in the foreground

When the paper mill closed in 2011, plans started to emerge to return this magnificent waterfall to the community.  I'm looking forward to visiting in the future when the falls have been restored and the public has more access.

Portland Thorns - Women's Soccer!

12 May, 2018; Portland, OR

Other teams have mascots . . . .

The professional men's soccer team in Portland, the Timbers, get, well, a log.  Nevertheless, professional soccer commands a near religious following in Portland.  

Saturday, I went to a Portland Thorns, the women's pro soccer team, game.

Of all the possible sections in this big stadium, we chose one of the two where members of the 'Timber's Army' (also, apparently, the 'Thorn's Army') choose to be.  What this meant was that for the entire (ENTIRE) game, everyone in those 2 sections was on their feet yelling, screaming, and singing.  Holding up flags, waving or holding up big scarves (think Dr Who), depending on the field position.

The whole experience was incredibly loud, tribal, and very fun!  One very noticeable thing for me was the age demographic.  Most of the time in the SW, I'm surrounded by retired, white-haired RV people.  In contrast, the stadium was filled with young people (hair-dyed, tatooed, skin pierced) and young families.  I found it invigorating and very colorful!

I didn't get a photo of the giant red plume of smoke that gets set off when the Thorns make a goal - silly me, I thought I'd get another chance.  Unfortunately, Orlando held the Thorns to 1 goal.