2005 Convention (Portland OR)

Tuesday, July 5th to Sunday, July 10th, 2005
Portland, OR USA

Reigning Gesneriads

Portland, Oregon is located on the banks of the Willamette River near where it meets the mighty Columbia River that divides Oregon and Washington. Located across the Columbia River from Portland is Vancouver, Washington. George Vancouver’s British Expedition came this far up the Columbia in 1792.

In July 1805, Lewis & Clark came down the Columbia River on their journey to the Pacific Ocean. 2005 is the 200th Anniversary of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, and there should be several events celebrating this. Later, the wagon trains that started from Kansas City (where we held our 2001 Convention) made their treacherous journeys to Oregon. These started in the 1860s and followed the Oregon Trail to bring the early, non-native settlers to the wonderful Willamette Valley. Many Indian tribes inhabited the area, and you will often find native Indian words used here.

Portland is in the very fertile Willamette Valley that is located between the Cascade Mountains and the Coast Range. It is a little over an hour’s drive from Portland to the Pacific Ocean, to snow (Mount Hood), and to high desert (eastern Oregon). Mount Hood is famous for its year-round skiing and Timberline Lodge, a National Historic Landmark that was built in the 1930s.

Convention 2005 Trips

Thursday – Tour of Gardens

Portland Classical Chinese Garden – Dubbed the “Garden of Awaking Orchids”, the Ming Dynasty Chinese Garden opened in 2000. It was built in authentic Suzhou-style as Suzhou is Portland’s Sister City in China. Architects and sixty artisans were brought to Portland to plan and build this walled garden that combines the elements of plants, water, stone, architecture, and poetry. The garden contains almost a hundred specimen trees and shrubs, water plants, different varieties of bamboo, and orchids. In the small space of one city block, there are nine pavilions and a teahouse where you can stop for a snack and cup of tea. There is also a nice little gift shop and a plant sale area.

The Japanese Garden – This garden sits on 5-1/2 acres in the West Hills overlooking the city of Portland. Designed by Professor Takuma Tono, the garden was completed in 1967 and is considered to be the most authentic of its kind outside of Japan. There are five formal gardens: a Tea Garden, Strolling Pond Garden, Natural Garden, Sand and Stone Garden, and Flat Garden. Three primary elements are used in every garden design: stone (the “bones” of the landscape), water (the life-giving force), and the plants (the tapestry of the four seasons). Other important elements include pagodas, stone lanterns, water basins, arbors and bridges. The gift shop contains a nice selection of gardening books and other items.

International Rose Test Gardens – Located in Washington Park, just below the Japanese Garden, this garden offers a spectacular view (on a clear day) of the city and Mount Hood. The Rose Gardens were started in 1917 and contain over 8,000 rose plants. A walkway features stepping stones for all the “Rose Queens” of Portland Rose Parades. There is also a Shakespeare Flower Garden containing plants from Shakespeare’s writings. The gift shop is stocked with all kinds of “rose” items. There are many nice places where we can sit and enjoy our box lunches, one being the amphitheater where concerts are held during the summer.

Saturday – Tour of the Columbia River Gorge, Cruise and Dinner
On Saturday afternoon we will board the buses that will take us to see the spectacular Columbia River Gorge, a volcanic basalt chasm carved by the mighty Columbia River which begins in the Canadian Rockies and empties into the Pacific Ocean 1,200 miles away. Our first stop on this scenic drive will be at Crown Point Vista House perched 733 feet above the Columbia River. Next we will stop at Multnomah Falls which is an amazing 620-foot waterfall – the second highest year-round waterfall in the nation.At Cascade Locks, we will board a riverboat and continue further into the Gorge National Scenic Area as we enjoy a buffet dinner. The Sternwheeler, a triple-decker paddlewheel boat, was built in Hood River, Oregon and launched in 1983. The Captain will narrate our trip with interesting stories about the river and also point out interesting sights, including bald eagles’ nests, along the way.