Up and about Portland in wintertime

Within the wet winters of the Pacific Northwest, can be the best fresh air and beautiful blue skies. Gazing high, I see freshness and the gentle passing of new time, bringing light and hope to a world that can feel pretty dark sometimes.

Below, I enjoy the often quiet breaks after the bursts of wet, gloomy, rough weather. That goes double for me when out of my big city, and into a neighboring city. Because then, I find more of what I miss.

Recently, I was Portland (Oregon), enjoying some beautiful hours from the weekend. In the morning after a heavy night of heavy showers, I enjoy its calm feel under the bare trees, vintage architecture, setting upon its often quirky gluten-free option heavy atmosphere.

The streets seemed almost empty last Saturday morning, with fewer humans walking about. I stopped by one of the many food truck blocks, seeing them all mostly closed until after the noontime hits.

And you can walk around easy, aimlessly enjoy the open streets, hum a little song, because “Keep Portland Weird” is a community push. I had my usual destinations before my business to do here. I don’t come often, but I never forget my sense of direction through the the central downtown. I know all the main spots I love, especially the Courthouse Square, Cameron’s Books, Ground Kontrol Arcade, Voodoo Donuts, Multnomah County Central Library, a bunch of favorite quirky stores and restaurants through all over the city, and some great parks to let that fresh outside air sink through to the heart.

And, I can never forget Powell’s Books, a place I end up often spending an excessive amount of time indoors. It’s also here, where I easily forget how pleasant the outside is.

I will have to talk more about Powell’s Books, in a feature to its own someday. But for now, here is a picture that best represents me in the Portland moment.

– Orion T

The momentum of the abstract view


Sometimes, I look up. And, I take a picture with a camera.

Sometimes then, I forget to switch a setting meant for the night. The original shot was kind of boring, while the overexposed revealed a weird dimension of countless angles and forgotten math.

I love it.

The actual shot is below a fixture inside the Oregon Convention Center, in Portland. Further details of the moment are unimportant.

– Orion T

The wonders of Cape Perpetua, coast of Oregon

photo by Orion Tippens

I want to go back.

To Cape Perpetua, south of Yachats, of the Oregon Coast.

I was there for about one hour. That was not enough two summers ago, last since exploring its beautiful scenery. I could love so much, during my break from a southbound day drive to Eureka in Northern California, from Tillamook, Oregon.

The distant scenery is beautiful, especially up high through various lookout points. This is the very best of the Oregon Coast, of which I have seen so far. I plan to eventually witness the giant sea lion caves and Cannon Beach in time. The Oregon coast is amazing. But, I think Cape Perpetua represents the accessible U.S.Pacific Coast at its raw, most powerful, and a bit dangerous.

Come closer, go down a few trails. Do some exploring, and watch your step over the shore rocks. There are many slippery areas, tide pools, deep holes. Some rocky areas extend far out, and more visible during low tides.The high tides can be violent, crashing, surprising, warning you to stay back. If here, study your maps, know the tides, and be careful. With patience, you will find some amazing and unique wonders.


Devil’s Churn

Cape Perpetua Devil's Churn

Here, a large deep crack accessible via a short, curvy forest trail. You can walk the edge if careful, watching every step, and walk slowly. If you find your way down, it’s best to find a good spot in the back area, and gaze at the incoming ocean motion. Watch the water fill and retract in constant repetition. During the high tide, the waves can be intense in their crashing. The video below better captures that excitement.

Thor’s Well

Memorizing, boggling is this nature-made well. The timing of the tides must be perfect, otherwise, it’s too dangerous or too calm to witness its full effect. Away from the shore among the scatters of rocks, you will find this strange hole in the ground. The water seeps in, fills up, spits out, and then sucks back in the nothing. Sadly, my timing was off and missed out. There are pictures online, mostly a bit unreal; the stuff of strange fantasy. Watch this found video clip:

Cook’s Chasm


Similar to Devil’s Chasm, and below a bridge. I missed this place but learned of something that makes this very worthwhile; a spouting horn to the side. What is a spouting horn? I can’t find much on the physics of a spouting horn. I assume it’s some pressure within the rocks, push forth by the crashing waves. Here is another video found:

There are many tide pools, sand dunes, and nature trails. There is a stunning vista point overlooking Yachats, an old stone observation building lookout shelter, and a lighthouse; all of which I missed. The inland area is also interesting, full of dense forest and lakes. There is definitively more to see and discover on your own.

I will be back.

For more information on Cape Perpetua and the surrounding area, click here.