Exploring Beaverton, travellers home to Apr 3

Trip Start Mar 14, 2006
Trip End Mar 15, 2007

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Flag of United States  ,
Sunday, April 2, 2006

I set off from Seattle at about 11 after a marvelous breakfast of veggie omelet, bacon bread, bread and fruit salad to head to Portland. Nothing much to see along the way that I haven't seen before. I followed the signs in to Beaverton at least until I was convinced I was within shouting distance and called Kay, another online friend. Her directions were excellent and I drove straight to the house which she shares with 5 cats.

It is a lovely two (or three depending on whether you count the basement) story 3 bedroom house with huge rooms and amazingly high ceilings. She has stocked it is chock a block with wonderful and exciting things collected from all over the world: jungle sized chairs, pillows and throws everywhere (which the cats love as they use them to sleep and pose, etc), orchids, both real and artificial, a small decorator-style orange tree, metal worked vases, interesting little boxes of wood, metal, paper, stone, pottery, more plants (huge and tiny), a lovely collection of blue dishes, more vases (large and small), and china, more cabinets with things in them, lots of small elephant forms and other things elephant related including a covering with elephants on it, an elephant bell and a carved part tusk which must be very old, a marble table with a collection of balls, eggs (ostrich, stone, carved), carved griffon, metal-work deer, lovely eagle in stone, many, many more fascinating things

After tea I was introduced to my room. I will call it the "world traveller's room" and it had: (of what I could recall: a 19th century weapons cabinet with swords and fencer's gear including hats) Victorian or early Edwardian photos, lamps, tables, books, doodads, vases, marble bookends, a huge variety of different lamps (including one with a dragonfly on it), stuffed animals, pictures of animals, dragons, fans, candles, elephants, brass and crystal balls, plants (and more plants - the largest avocado plant I have ever seen), tropical throws, pillows and a huge number of more things. The bed is a magnificent one with a futon type mattress on an Indian bed with I think I counted 8 eiderdowns on top of it. The top one is wildly red in colour and sets the room off brilliantly. The instruction I received was to "toss them off until you're comfortable". This was advise which worked extremely well. The bathroom continues the theme of travel with a huge photo of the building of the Golden Gate Bridge - a 3 masted sailing ship on the right side of the photo, one span of the bridge (and rigging) on the left with one piece of decking on it and Fort Point below it. In addition to the photo, there are many candles with a diversity of holders, vases, a fossil of a trilobite, a stone form (about 2 feet long and high) on the floor of a ram with wonderfully curly horns, little marble containers, a small pottery owl, interesting boxes, more books with vaguely Arabic cover, a replica statue of one of the Chinese Teracotta soldiers, an abacus, a bag from the Orient and a small framed photo saying "Tibet".

After a chat which ranged from books to animals to collectables and her marvelous house, we went out for dinner at a very fun place called Outback Steakhouse. It is supposed to recreate, I think, the Australian eating experience. I had a "Victoria's 'Center Cut' Filet - No worries! A 9-ounce or a 7-ounce tenderloin is always 'Just Right'" and we shared a "Chocolate Chocolate Tower - Layers of moist chocolate cake and smooth chocolate filling towering high atop our raspberry sauce. Add a 'Hooley Dooley' scoop of vanilla ice cream." Not sure that it quite met the Aus eating experience; however, it was certainly very good food with enough for leftovers the next day. http://www.outbacksteakhouse.com/

Back home again, was able to check in on some email (computer in the garage shared with Cinder who lovingly entwined her cat self all around my hands and chin as I typed. I slept wonderfully well in the "world traveller's room" with a variety of cats. There were so many comforters that I felt rather like the princess and the pea: I rolled all of them off but one, I think. Shared the night with a variety of cats. I think I started out with Zoe (who fended off all comers) and wound up in the early morning with Bessie who, in my sleepy stupor, I poked in the head leading her to initially leap off the bed in deep offense but came back shortly. Just before I woke up for good I discovered I had Snuzzer with me. How do I know, well he makes this "snuzzing" sound as he sleeps.

Next day, after birdwatching off the deck (chickadees, tohees, scrub jab, steller's jay, a number of assertive squirrels) taking a breakfast stop (I think at the Village Inn - nice rib sticking meal), we made a visit in the rain to the Jackson Bottom Wildlife Preserve (http://www.jacksonbottom.org/). It is a 710-acre wildlife preserve located within the city limits of Hillsboro, Oregon. The Preserve is a tranquil sanctuary for both people and animals. The quiet open waters, rolling meadows and upland ash and fir woods are homes to thousands of ducks and geese, deer, otters, beavers, herons and eagles. They are very well organized and supported by volunteers and the community offering not only wildlife viewing but also school and summer camp programs. It was a truly lovely experience. Walking in the wetlands with a person of similar interests, talking when talking was called for and silent otherwise. Soggy to begin with, the weather improved as the day went on so that by about 12:30 the day was getting to be cloudy but without rain. Bird calls from every tree, grass and shrub, not to mention the masses of ducks on the ponds. Many, many red tailed hawks hunting the grasslands surrounding the marsh. Also Blue Heron fishing silent but deadly in the near-ground with mallards, coots and other ducks minding their own business a short distance away. Canada Geese flying over by the thousands and landing noisily at a pond just beyond the willows in the distance. We walked out to a couple of wildlife viewing platforms where you could see water and birds in every directions. I think my highlight of the day was seeing a Great Egret (could it have been a Snowy Egret? I was too far away to tell) at a distance. We had nice views of many little wildlife flowers as well, though the only one we managed to identify was "Self Heal" a nice little purplish flower - a member of the mint family

After Jackson Bottom we walked around the Rock Creek Greenway Park. Another lovely walk in the woods with birds singing, plants beginning to flower and a brook chuckling as we walked. We went off looking for the beaver dam and after peering off bridges and grassy bits we found the beaver dam with stick bits everywhere. It looks a bit of a mess but I gather that it quite effectively blocks up the works and controls the water levels exactly like a man made dam.

We stopped off at the Veterinary clinic where Kay works and I met Roger, the office cat (a beautiful marmalade) and Su-Lee, a Seal Point Siamese who is looking for a home.
Dinner that night was leftover meat from last night with a lovely twice baked potato and asparagus with more pifflechat. As we'd done rather a lot of walking we went to bed about 9 and I had another lovely sleep with cats.
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