We were able to get an early start and meandered towards Portland on Highway 22. There are several lakes and campgrounds along the way, which warrant more exploring, but we wanted to get to Portland by night fall. I'm sure we will return to Detroit Lake or Suttle Lake sometime down the road.
Gateway Elks has overnight parking with hookups and is located close to the train and bus. We settled in and then hopped the train to downtown Portland. Us "old people" pay only $1.00 for a ticket that has a time limit, but there was plenty of time to head downtown and see some sites before it got too dark.
The Grand Floral Parade takes place every June in downtown Portland and it just happened to be on Saturday. Joel's daughter agreed to meet us at 8:30 A.M. at the Rose Quarter Square which is where the train stops. Yikes! That meant we should be at the train station near Gateway by 7:30 A.M. because we were not sure how crowded the train would be due to the parade. It turned out extra trains were running and we were just a head of the crowd. Also, because we are considered "old" we qualified for an all day pass for $2.00 each. What a deal!
The parade didn't start until 10:00 so we had plenty of time to wander around and find a good spot after the train arrived at the square and met up with Jennie. We found a great viewing spot. For the first time in a very long time I didn't have anybody standing in front of me and blocking my view. So get ready for lots of pictures. Just kidding. I'll just post some of the highlights.
While waiting for Jennie to arrive we saw this little plane buzzing along with the Portland skyline in the background.
Alaskan Airlines was one of the major sponsors and their float was pretty impressive, but
We headed over to Pioneer Square and caught a nice concert by the Gay Men's Choir. Very impressive.
Tomorrow is Joel's birthday so we will be returning to the city to pick up Jennie and meet up with Bradley for birthday celebrations. Stay tuned.