A one hour tour on the Sternwheeler

Somehow I got left behind on my parent’s excursion to the Gorge with my Auntie Carol on Friday. I guess I wasn’t moving fast enough in the morning and they assumed I wasn’t coming. But in reality, I was trying to get my buns moving and out the door so I could go on an adventure. Instead, I’m calling over there trying to figure out if they’re waiting for me and no one is answering their phones. I got left behind. I was a bit bummed. They must have assumed since I wasn’t bright eyed and bushy tailed in the morning that I didn’t want to go. So, I’m not a morning person. I was up. I was moving. I was trying to get my little butt out the door. But nope, the early birds were out to get some worms, apparently.

 

 

Life preserver on the Sternwheeler
Life preserver on the Sternwheeler

 

And then, just when I was thinking it was after noon and my other Auntie should be up by now and maybe I should call over to the hotel and see if Auntie Leilani and Uncle Bill were up and wanting to do something, my phone starts ringing. They’re calling me. Ready to go on an adventure. Can you believe it? So, off we head to the Gorge several hours behind my parents and Auntie Carol. I tried texting the early bird expedition to see where they were, but didn’t get an answer while we were on our way there.

 

The captains cabin
The captains cabin

 

We decided we were going out to the Sternwheeler to see Sasquatch and the Sacagawea  statue. We passed by the East-Wind drive in, looked right over at it and noted that we were going by the ice cream place. Then kept on going to the next road down to Marine Park and the stuff we wanted to see. As we are getting ready to board the boat, I finally get a text back from my Auntie Carol that they had just left the ice cream place and were on their way home. We’d passed right by them and didn’t even see them!

 

You can ring my bell
You can ring my bell

 

So, off we went on a one hour cruise (Yes, if you must know,  I’m singing that to the Gilligan’s Island theme song tune. Feel free to join in!)

 

Look to the sky
Look to the sky

 

Supposedly there were dolphins in the river. But they were just old pilings or poles used to support fishing nets. What a disappointment. Auntie Leilani and I heard the word ‘dolphins’ and were hoping we’d see real live ones. Or at least some pretend ones jumping out of the water for us to see.

 

Life boat
Life boat

 

Apparently, Pocohontas lived on one of the little islands in the river. She got there by way of the zip lines on the Washington river side by putting her hair over the lines and then zipping down.

 

The prow
The prow

 

Auntie Leilani and Uncle Bill would make great tour guides. They came up with all sorts of funny little side stories for what we were seeing off the side of the boat.

 

The side deck of the Sternwheeler
The side deck of the Sternwheeler

 

So, it sucks to be left behind. But you never know when a new adventure is waiting for you just around the corner!

 

End of the cruise
End of the cruise

 

Sometimes, you’ve just gotta roll with the punches!

 

Take life the way it comes at you quote
Take life the way it comes at you quote

 

The Witch’s Castle

I’ve been wanting to go see the Witch’s Castle for a while now and finally got to go see it – right in time for Halloween!

While the Witch’s Castle has never had any witch’s actually living in it, it is near the spot of a love story gone wrong. Back in the 1800’s, a man named Danford Balch owned the property the stone cabin was on. He hired a man named Mortimer Stump to help take care of the land. Mortimer Stump fell in love with Balch’s daughter Anna and asked for her hand in marriage. After Balch refused to give Anna’s hand in marriage to Stump, the two eloped.

They came back to the stone cabin a few week later. Danford Balch was furious and shot Mortimer Stump in the head.  Balch claimed that his wife, Mary Jane, bewitched him. Balch was arrested, then escaped. Eventually he was caught again about six months later, was tried, found guilty and eventually hung in October of 1859, becoming the first legal execution held in Oregon. Mary Jane Balch, the ‘witch’ in our story, continued to reside on their property.

Although the stone house was not the original site of the Balch’s home, it was built on their old property in the 1950’s as a ranger station.

In the 1980’s, high school and college students started using it to hold parties on Friday nights and named it the Witch’s Castle because of it’s rundown appearance and remote location in the Upper Macleay Park. (Which explains the two busloads of college age students being dropped off as we reached the top of the trail while rushing to get to our car during the sudden deluge of rain that started pouring down on us while out at the Witch’s Castle.)

The Witch’s Castle is located on the Wildwood trail near the junction for the Lower Macleay Park trail in Forest Park,  a huge wooded area in NW Portland.

 

The trailhead leading to the Witch's Castle
The trail head leading to the Witch’s Castle

 

The Witch's Castle
The Witch’s Castle

 

The Witch's Hat
The Witch’s Hat

 

Looking through the Witch's Castle
Looking through the Witch’s Castle

 

A lonely witch's hat
A lonely witch’s hat

 

A forlorn witch who lost her broom and can't go out and play today.
A forlorn witch who lost her broom and can’t go out and play today.

 

 

* To any of my praying friends out there, please keep my mother – also a Mary Jane, who oftentimes dresses up as a witch for Halloween – in your prayers. The doctors have discovered her cancer traveled to her lungs.  Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers as she is preparing to start chemo soon.