Cinco de Mayo 2023 Portland OR
Danza Hueca Omeyocan
A traditional Aztec dance group, the stamina of these 3 dancers was impressive. They performed for an hour, dance after dance, in continuous fast and fancy footwork to percussion and wind instruments (including a large sea shell). Their costumes were spectacular, especially the head dresses.
Ballet Folklorico Paplotl = mariposa = butterfly
This group performed a number of engaging dances in costumes of equal delight. The vivacious MC was so informative, while my rudimentary Spanish was lagging. Much of the program was given in both Spanish and English.
Mariachi Ciudad de Guadalajara & Ballet Folklorcio Mexico en la Piel
I got back late for this performance from exploring the carnival: what a mistake! It was a very popular show, and being height challenged, I could see nothing but backs, not the stage. A kind woman saw me taking a photo of a person taking photos, and offered to take a few fotos for me. Then she offered to help me move audience with my wheelchair. What goodness there is in the world!
It began with a few children, but soon the floor was full of dancers, and I couldn't see the stage. It was a long day for me, my body hurting, so I didn't stay for the entire performance. Not a reflection on the performance, but on my limited physical endurance.
Hispanic (and other) Foods at the Cinco de Mayo Festival 2023, Portland OR
Beside the performances, my favorite part of the festival is the food. Unfortunately, I couldn't try everything, but here's an idea of the foods on offer (alternatively there was Asian, Mediterranean, Indian Fusion, and other options, but of course for Cinco de Mayo, I was most interested in Mexican cuisine. I took some of the photos as I arrived, before the crowds.
Vendors, Activities, & Booths at the Cinco de Mayo Festival 2023, Portland OR
The Carnival (scroll down to the next section) was at the north end of the Festival, including the Battleship Oregon Memorial. At the other end of the Festival was the Performance Tent, south of Yamhill.
Carnival Rides, Games, Foods
Typical carnival games, rides, and food choices were available at the north end of the Cinco de Mayo Festival.
Portland Saturday Market
Tom McCall Waterfront Park
For more photos, scroll down to Japanese-American Historical Plaza atScroll down to Tom McCall Waterfront Park atU of Oregon branch campus
The sidewalk ramps on the south side of Couch St & Naito Parkway are steep with complex slopes. Additionally, someone had set a sign board at that corner, making it even more dangerous for a person in a wheelchair. The north side of that intersection is much better for disabled crossers.
After 3 years' cancellation due to COVID restrictions, Portland OR's 2023 Cinco de Mayo Festival returned to Tom McCall Waterfront Park. I decided to take the bus to avoid having to deal with traffic and parking, and not only was it less hassle, it was cheaper, due to my TriMet bus discount ($5 for the day, I think--I used my prepaid HOP card). The address listed for Tom McCall Waterfront Park puts you at the Japanese-American Historical Plaza, so TriMet had me take Bus 12 from Parkrose/Sumner Transit Center, along Sandy Blvd and across the Burnside Bridge. I found that route interesting, but a more direct entrance to the Festival was at Yamhill & Naito Parkway, so I could have taken the MAX Redline--get off at Morrison/SW 3rd Ave by Pioneer Place shopping mall & walk .2 mi east. I suppose one could park by Pioneer Place and walk from there. The Cinco de Mayo festival area was from about Pine St (or, the Battleship Oregon Memorial Marine Park & the Oregon Maritime Museum) south past Yamhill.
Some historical landmarks of PDX, including the White Stag sign:
On the way, west along Sandy Blvd
I happened to notice a bus at Parkrose TC labeled Clackamas Towne Center (#71), which caught my attention, but I see from the route map that taking the MAX (Red then Green lines) would be more direct and no doubt quicker.
I couldn't take decent photos from the bus, but noted some businesses & buildings that caught my eye as we traveled west along Sandy Blvd. I loved the architecture of the Churches I saw from the bus.
The Grotto (scroll nearly to the end of
Ed’s Rock & Gem
Calvary Presbyterian Church, 71st north off Sandy on Fremont
Lots of Asian & other restaurants, including Ben & Esther’s Vegan Jewish across from Safeway
Rose City Park United Methodist Church, 58th Ave south of Sandy Blvd
German American Society (estab 1871) 57th/Alameda St
Our Lady of Lavang Parish, Giao Xu Duc Me Church west of the German American Society
St Rose of Lima Catholic Church 54th Ave off Sandy, though not visible from Sandy Blvd
Then there's a pretty steep hill (for those who may need to know, eg those in a wheelchair)
Rose City Food Park https://www.facebook.com/RoseCityFoodPark/
US post office, 50th Ave
Personal Mobility Ctr, right next to the Post Office, on 49th
Portland Symphonic Choir, I noticed on the map, 45th
Rose City Park Presbyterian, 44th
St Michael & All Angels Church, 43rd
Sandy Blvd passes through more than one neighborhood on its way west . . .
Hollywood https://www.travelportland.com/neighborhoods/ general map of neighborhoods
Portland Urgent Care, 42nd
Old Hollywood Theatre—41st St
Piccone’s Corner butcher shop—3434 NE Sandy Blvd https://picconescorner.com/
(amusingly right across Imperial Av from DeVita Oregon Kidney Center)
Petite Provence Boulangerie & Patisserie—3420 NE Sandy Blvd
7th Day Adventists, 30th Ave
Hollywood Vintage/Market (weekends, though I couldn't see any action as I passed)—27th
Kerns Neighborhood https://portlandneighborhood.com/kerns a bit more detailed map of NE Portland neighborhoods
Albertina Kerr non-profit for persons with disabilities & challenges https://www.albertinakerr.org/
Oregon Irish Dance Academy—1625 NE Sandy Blvd https://www.oregonirishdance.com/ on the map
Portland Rock gym—Couch St https://www.portlandrockgym.com/calendar/
Portland Tennis Center 12th Ave, Portland City United Soccer Club w/big field(s) I saw on the map
Burnside Bridge (Burnside & Burnside bus stop)
I had traveled to Seattle in Feb of 2022, hoped to see the Lunar New Year celebration. But that was postponed until the end of April, so I determined to return, this time by train.
Day 1--Friday, 29 Apr 2022
Riding the Rails north to Seattle WA
I tried to label all the train stations we stopped at or passed: some on the way north, some on the return trip south. But I'm going to order them here from south to north.
As an experiment for an anticipated later trip Vancouver to Vancouver, I decided to leave from the Amtrak station in Vancouver WA.
Sample Amtrak trip Portland OR to Seattle WA
Downtown Kalama is a tiny place split by the Highway and the RR. But the community has a wider reach up the bluff to the east. The Kalama River is a great stretch of fishing, even including a tiny accessible spot. See 3rd link below (scroll down to “WDFW wheelchair Fishing Access, Kalama River WA”).
I was so delighted by all the waterways along the trip, at first I intended to name them all. But that proves challenging, there are so many, and they wiggle to and fro.
Castle Rock-Vader WA
Here's where the train route and the highway route have gone their separate ways. The train was moving fast and the towns not in sight. Lots of rivers to cross, parallel for a bit, or meet from time to time as they weave their way and gather to travel toward the eventual ocean.
Centralia has such a charming train station, but from the train I couldn't adequately take it in. This is a different view of Centralia than can be seen driving I-5.
Naturally, as with all the towns heretofore touched upon, there is much more to see and do in Lacey and Olympia than observed from the train traveling by. In 2022 we went to the Northwest Pirate Festival there, but it appears that will no longer be held. I hope to explore and publish more about both Lacey and Olympia in future posts.
JBLM—Joint Base Lewis-McChord, just south of Tacoma WA
Every time I’ve traveled I-5 as far north as Tacoma and beyond, I’ve been so intrigued by the historic buildings of this joint army and air force base. Tough to get a good photo in a moving vehicle, but I finally managed to visit and get some still shots . . . see the links below.
I traveled to Tacoma and vicinity several times by car to explore and gather info and photos. Indubitably, there’s yet more to investigate, but you can get teasers at
Tukwila & Puyallup WA
King St Amtrak Station, Seattle WA
It took some courage to take the train to Seattle on my own, because 1) looking at online mapping again and again I couldn't tell if I'd run into trouble wheeling between the train, sites to see, and the nearest hotel, and 2) without my vehicle, I wouldn't have all my backups and things I take for granted that I always have with me. So I bought and brought back-up batteries for my chair and cell, packed to be able to carry all my baggage for 4 days on my electric wheelchair, and decided to stay in just one place all three nights. There were challenges: it was a learning experience, but mostly all went well. I was happy.
King Street Amtrak Station, Seattle WA
Embassy Suites hotel & Zephyr restaurant--255 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104
This is an exceptional choice for location as well as comfort; not inexpensive. It's right next to the King Street Amtrak Station and Lumen Field. It's within walking/rolling distance of Chinatown (via the elevator inside the Amtrak station), the waterfront, and sights to see/things to do around Pioneer Square and the flat part of downtown Seattle. The Zephyr is accessed from inside the hotel.
Where to park and eating options
See also "In the Vicinity of Embassy Suites & King Street Station" below.
13 Coins Restaurant--associated with (and can be accessed from) Embassy Suites, 255 S King St, Seattle, WA
Reservations recommended. Not really wheelchair friendly. Rather overpriced, I thought, but the food was good. I took my order back to my room. See link above about dining at Embassy Suites.
Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park, Seattle Unit--319 2nd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104
When I first became acquainted with this venue, I was expecting a park. There is such a park in Alaska, but it seems now they have updated the name of this place as the Seattle Unit. It’s a museum, not a park. But it is a wonderful place to go, with 2 floors of exhibits (connected by steep stairs, but an elevator as well) and 20-25 min films. The Kerr room has rotating exhibits. FREE. It's only a block (easy walk) north of Embassy Suites.
Waterfall Garden Park—219 2nd Ave S, Seattle WA (and the Fire Dept Museum)
Only a block (easy walk) north of Klondike Gold Rush Park/Museum is this tiny park. Really interesting brief history at the link below. (Click on the “Getting Here” tab and scroll down to find 5 neighborhood public restrooms). Across Main Street from the Waterfall Garden Park is the Fire Dept Museum/Seattle Fire dept Headquarters, 301 2nd Ave South (at S. Main St) in Pioneer Square.
Occidental Square & Occidental Ave--117 S Washington St, Seattle, WA 98104
Half a block west of Waterfall Garden Park (on Main St) is Occidental Square, and across from it, Occidental Ave: restaurants, shops, play areas for young and old . . .
Chinatown/Lunar New Year--2022 Year of the Tiger
More info, links, and photos about the International district, scroll down at
Preamble perambulation to & around Chinatown-International District, Seattle WA
I was worried about getting a good spot to see the performances for the Lunar New Year Celebration, so left early on the cool and moist morning. When I arrived, I saw that I had time and opportunity to explore a bit, and I thought I should try to find something to put over my lap and legs.
Historic Union Station
Lunar New Year Performers, Seattle WA 2022
The sun turned out to shine on a beautiful day for the performances. More and more folks arrived, and it seemed to be a great success, after having been cancelled for COVID previous year(s). For additional photos and info, including some of the many offerings of food, scroll down to "Chinatown, Seattle WA 2022" at
Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience--719 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104
With all my wheeling around Chinatown, my wheelchair used up all its juice. I had brought a battery, but wasn't familiar enough with how to use it for it to be of any help. I also had a charging cord, and the staff was so helpful that I could plug in to get enough charge to get back to my hotel. It was too late to see all of the exhibits at the museum, and the assistant director was kind enough to issue me a pass for the next day. It's a place really worth taking the time to tour thoroughly! Of course there's more to see than what is shown here.
Parting shots of Chinatown, Seattle WA
International District/Chinatown transit station
Wheeling the Waterfront to Centennial Park & beyond
I covered the Seattle Aquarium on my previous trip
The Seattle Waterfront
(See also "Wings over Washington" below.)
Best Western Plus Pioneer Square--77 Yesler Way, by Alaskan Way & the waterfront
Bell Harbor Marina
Myrtle Edwards Park---3130 Alaskan Way, Seattle WA
Centennial and Elliott Bay Parks
Walk or roll/bike through these parks, along the flat, paved trail . . . can be glorious! Fantastic views of the Olympic Mountains when the skies permit. I had no problem with my electric chair running out of power. Places to picnic or ponder, restrooms . . . the fishing shelters were closed when I was there. Beside the small rose garden, amenities include: shoreline, run, bike, picnic, photo, fish, pet walk, minimal exercise equipment, interpretive signs, Native American art, memorial . . .
Elliott Bay Trail
Wings Over Washington & Miner's Landing--Pier 57 on Alaskan Way, downtown Seattle Waterfront
I had some time before boarding my train for home, and decided to check out the attractions at Miner's Landing. Having a fear of heights, I didn't try the Seattle Great Wheel, but thought the "Wings over Washington" experience would be fun. Well, I'm so glad I did it (they can accommodate wheelchairs, though getting into/out of the theater was challenging in a wheelchair). I knew I was perfectly safe, yet some of it was a bit unnerving for a person with acrophobia. The theater seating actually moves into a position to make the flying experience as nearly real as possible. Naturally, I couldn't take photos of the actual ride, but see what you can see at this link:
In the Vicinity of Embassy Suites & King Street Station
As I wandered about Embassy Suites, I found an interior entrance to the parking garage and Hawk Tower. I continued my wanderings in the vicinity.
Hawk Tower--522 Stadium Pl S, Seattle, WA 98104 (address of the parking garage)201 S. Jackson St., Seattle, WA 98104
Seattle at Night--Aug 2022
University of Washington--Aug 2022
Hiroki, Japanese & European desserts--2224 N 56th St, Seattle, WA 98103, not too far from UofWA and Woodland Park Zoo.
There's More to Explore--Seattle WA
Folks were always looking for ways to make easier traveling to the rich Willamette valley in Oregon country, as well as to California. So the trail changed considerably over the years, and more and more variants became options. Here's a link to a great article:
At the end of this post you'll find The End of The Oregon Trail.
On my way home from Biggs Junction OR one time (on I-84), on a whim I made my own "Decision at The Dalles" to try to drive the Barlow Road. There's a sign to get you started up the hill from The Dalles for traveling the Barlow: take Hwy 197 south towards Dufur. Up above the gorge of the Columbia River are beautiful orchards and rolling grain fields.
About 15 mi south of Dufur turn right onto Tygh Valley Rd (opposite Hwy 216), unless you want to take a little detour to White River Falls State Park not far east on Hwy 216. I missed my turn, and turned around at a wide spot off the road where stood a stack of hay, interrupting a deer making the most of it. Thus, the photo above right is coming back up from south of the right turn.
The little community of Tygh Valley is at the base of the hill that takes in a splendiferous view of the Valley as you drive up Wamic Market Rd. Bend with Wamic Market Rd though town (Wamic) until it straightens itself out to become White River Rd (aka Rock Creek Dam Rd?) to continue traveling the modern equivalent of the Barlow Road. But there are events, places to go/things to do about these tiny towns as well.
White River Falls State Park—about 15 mi south of Dufur turn onto Hwy 216, it’s not too far
Historical Smock Prairie School, now a museum
I had more than one adventure on this trip into the dark! My tank had plenty of gas, but eventually I was down to 19% phone battery. I had an annotated map, but still came to an unexpected fork in the road and fortunately chose the right one, which was left. I made it to Rock Creek Reservoir.
It was wonderful country for a drive, but then winding up into the mountains, I began wondering how far my destination lay ahead, and when it would be too far to turn back. Some rather rugged roads, with signs warning "Not maintained for winter driving", seemed apparently not maintained for spring/nearly summer, either. Beside being rough riders, shrubs were invading the edges. There was no stopping for pictures.
Then suddenly I faced a detour. With no familiarity with the roads or terrain, hardly knowing where I was, I was relieved to find reassurance from another traveler (few and fairly far between). Next, a warning, "Single lane ahead". Since I was driving solo, I took photos with my cellphone and sent them home in case I had to be rescued (as it turned out, they didn't get them until I was already home). As I drove I felt some small notion of what it might have been like traveling through the tall trees up the thickly forested mountain in a covered wagon for days and days in the cold and probable snow.
Snow still lay along Rd 48 near the intersection (at last!) with Hwy 35. My original intent was to travel south from Hood River to meet Hwy 26 and the Barlow Route. Yet when I reached Hwy 35, I didn’t know which way to turn, so took a guess and watched for mile markers. Once again, I was fortunate to have made a choice choice.
South of the intersection of Rd 48 with Hwy 35, turning off to see the Pioneer Woman’s Grave (also near the intersection of 35 and 26), did not turn out to be a good choice—the road much less taken at that time of year was paved, but narrow and shady, the snow wet & slippery. My vehicle (with me in it) nearly got stuck trying to turn around, and it was getting dark. My thoughts were chilled at the possibility/prospect of having to spend the night alone on a cold snowy mountain road off the main highway. I had emergency supplies, but it would mean climbing clear to the back of the car, as I daren’t get out into the snow. I could only hope I had enough battery and coverage to call for help if needed (now I have a car with cellphone charging). Thankfully I did finally get some traction, got turned around, and headed home along Hwy 26.
Government Camp OR--50 mi east of the End of the Oregon Trail in Oregon City
The map app says that it takes an hour and 20 min to travel those 50 miles: mind-blowing for a pioneer on the Oregon Trail, despite road improvements since then, or should I say beside road improvements! This little jewel community near historic Timberline Lodge features skiing and other tourist activities one would find on a mountain, including a Chalet theme. The small museum at Government Camp has a bit about the Oregon Trail.
Government Camp OR
Laurel Hill--only accessible eastbound, and not that accessible at that
To find the little monument for the Oregon Trail, watch for the sign for E. Little Brook Lane, and the Barlow Road marker, west end of town. The little monument is right there off Hwy 26. It’s historic in its own right, erected 1916.
Wildwood Recreation Site—39 mi east of Portland OR, near Welches
Right at the entrance, behind a fish art gate is where we saw an inconspicuous marker for the Barlow Road.
For more photos and info, scroll down to the bottom of the first link below, and check out the others as well.
Sandy OR--27 mi east of downtown Portland OR, but it takes about an hour's drive due to traffic (at best)
I was attempting to check out places to go up on Mt Hood too early in the year, and ended up with some time to explore Sandy, to my delight. Only the gift shop of the museum was open, due to COVID restrictions, but they had beautiful displays for the Barlow Road of the Oregon Trail, and I got vital info about other places: Jonsrud in particular was an excellent sight site. Second site below shows and tells more.
Phillip Foster Farm--22725 SE Eagle Creek Road, Eagle Creek OR 97022
What a wonderful place to go! They have annual and special events like apple cider pressing and various camps, tours, living history . . .
Baker Cabin--corner of South Hattan & South Gronlund Roads, Carve OR (18005 S Gronlund Rd, Oregon City)
We went for an event day, and how glad we did! The pioneer, Horace Baker, was a stone mason, and I got a chance to give it a little try 😊! The place is not super accessible for a wheelchair, but we managed most of it. The people/volunteers are very friendly and helpful.
Barton Mercantile (Store) with Oregon Trail mural--19009 SE Barton Park Rd, Boring, OR 97009
aka Clackamas Hwy 224
The Applegate Trail
The Applegate Trail cuts off The California Trail and heads northwest from what is now Nevada. I became aware of it while traveling I-5 in southern Oregon, and was intrigued. The furthest south I got was the Valley of the Rogue State Park east of Grant's Pass OR, so that's where I'll start.
Valley of the Rogue State Park—13 mi east of Grant’s Pass OR on I-5
I stopped here on my way back from Mt Shasta on a rainy day. The park just happened to be hosting a chainsaw carving event in conjunction with Oregon State Parks centennial--all the more delightful for me! Not many had come on such a day, but I was glad I did. Apparently it is a very popular park in the summer. I thought it would make a good place for a reunion gathering, and of several yurts, one is accessible. For more about this park, see links below.
Manzanita rest area, just up the hill north of Grant’s Pass on I-5
This is such a pleasant place to stop, rest, picnic, potty, run off some energy . . . for more about this place:
Applegate Trail Interpretive Center—Sunny Valley OR, 14 mi north of Grants Pass
Such an intriguing place, but still closed since COVID, “until further notice.”
Wolf Creek OR—20 mi north of Grants Pass, off I-5
I finally got to see the Oregon Trail part of this place, on an “island” in front of the Inn. I didn't see a ramp for the curb, or it was blocked, but by parking my vehicle next to the curb where the gravel path was, I could deploy my ramp onto the path. The gravel was angular, so though not easy, I was able to traverse it around the loop of interpretive signs & exhibits in my electric chair it wasn't the death of me.
Canyonville OR--42 mi north of Grants Pass, 203 mi south of Portland
"As I drove south on I-5, on a sudden I saw a sign about Applegate info, and took the exit to Canyonville. A Google search and a call to the local Pioneer & Indian Museum furnished me with directions to Pioneer Park (E 5th St & Canyon Ave), where the highway department has built an attractive open structure to house excellent information about the Applegate arm of the Oregon Trail." I wrote in my post, which see for more pics and info about the park, the museum, and the community (will be updating with more about Stanton Park):
Roseburg OR—26 mi north of Canyonville, 178 mi south of Portland on I-5
I loved the Douglas County Museum of History and Natural History! Only a part of it is dedicated to the Oregon Trail--it has lots of other great exhibits--but here I'll just focus on the Oregon Trail. For more about Roseburg:
Cottage Grove OR—51 mi north of Roseburg OR, 128 mi south of Portland on I-5
"Several times I’ve seen a sign about Applegate (one branch of the Oregon Trail) information at a Cottage Grove exit. I had a chance to take that exit on my trip to visit the Redwoods and Crescent City. Unfortunately, it was the back way in, and 6 miles from the city itself. I suggest taking exit 174 straight on to Gateway Blvd and follow it until it meets Main St, then turn right onto Main Street. The Veterans Park has the interpretive signs about the Applegate (Oregon) Trail. It’s on W Main St and River Road." I wrote in my post. More about Cottage Grove at the links below.
End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, Oregon City OR (metro Portland)
For years I have wanted to get to this place, and at last I made it!
More and More about the Oregon Trail!
Videos of traveling the Oregon Trail--a 15-day trip traveling along the Oregon Trail from it's beginning. More about that (eastern) end than the Oregon end, but that's the part I could not travel myself. He does a good job of showing where he's going on the map and tells/shows some interesting details. Might want to pause or watch again to take it all in.
“In Search of the Oregon Trail” aired PBS Apr 29, 1996 (imperfect copy)
Landmarks or Stops on the Oregon Trail (and related articles) by USA Today
National Historic Trails Interpretive Center—Capser WY
Oregon Trail sites in Wyoming
National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, Baker City OR
Grant’s Getaways: The Oregon Trail (Hell’s Canyon & the Baker City OR area)
Dam Awesome Sites
Bonneville Lock and Dam
As with every river, there are 2 sides, and Bonneville Dam has a visitor center on both the Oregon side and the Washington side. Both sides have recreational opportunities and historical displays (more extensive on the Oregon side). I think both are worth visiting.
Recreation on Robins Island and Bradford Island--on a wet day
Bradford Island Visitor Center, Bonneville Lock & Dam OR
Bonneville Dam Bookstore/Gift Shop and Info
Bonneville Fish Hatchery on an overcast, sometime rainy day
My own little Sturgeon Fest, Bonneville Dam & Beyond
2.5 min video of 100 year old sturgeon caught in the Pacific Northwest
Bonneville Dam--WA Hwy 14
The Dalles Dam--built 1952-1957
We take for granted the reasons the dams were built on the Columbia River, one of which was flood control.
John Day Dam--east of Biggs Junction & Hwy 97 on I-84 in OR, and Maryhill on Hwy 14 in WA
McNary Dam--off Hwy 730, east of Umatilla OR
The visitor facilities was closed for so long for COVID, but at last I was able to visit, and I made it with only an hour to take in the Visitor Center. Sorry that I have a fear of heights which curbed my chance to take photos from the walkway at the top of the Visitor Center. So desperate for a restroom, I was extremely grateful for the accessible facilities.
McNary Dam fishing videos included walleye, shad, steelhead, salmon, sturgeon.