Portland

Arriving in Portland on Tuesday gives a slow transition to the next part of this extended time away. Activities for the Western Orthopaedic Association starts on Wednesday.

I spend most of Wednesday morning touring the Portland Chinese Garden 蘭蘇園, taking time to follow the self-guided tour explained in the brochure. For the last stop, I have chili bamboo shoots, seasoned tofu, and tea eggs at the quaint tea house overlooking the Zither Pond. I also meet Dr. Yang JiYu, who performed the erhu for me. He wanted to write me some calligraphy, and he asked me to pick a poem.

On Geese Turning Back 歸雁
Why do they turn back when they reach the Xiao and Xiang?
The water is green, the sand is bright, and both shores are mossy.
Twenty-five strings echo beneath the moon at night;
Unable to bear such melancholy, they all fly away.
瀟湘何事等閒回
水碧沙明兩岸苔
二十五絃彈夜月
不勝清怨卻飛來

Afterwards, I meet Jim Binkley at his home. He talk about the guqin, and he shows me his workshop. It was through his translation of the 與古齋琴譜 that I was able to construct the instruments.

Then, there is the Orthopaedic Research & Education Foundation (OREF) event that first day. As always, it’s good to renew friendships.

The main meeting starts on Thursday. Chad’s poster is up. The Howard Steel lecturer weaves a captivating story about the Lewis and Clark expedition from the point of view of medical care. After the meetings, I drive out along the Columbia River Gorge and take the scenic route from Horsetail Falls, beside Multnomah Falls, and ending at the Portland Women’s Forum. I return just in time for the outing to the World Forestry Center for the dinner reception.

Friday is similar, with most of the meetings ending by early afternoon. The healthcare policy talks are interesting.  Then, Barth and I drive down to Silver Falls State Park and do a scenic 10-mile loop hike—Trail of Ten Falls, including side trips on spur trails. This place is a photographer’s paradise. We end up being late to the gala event.

I had originally thought I could do the 17-mile Benson Ridge to Eagle Creek loop, but Sabbath morning is lazy, and I make it to the trailhead at 11:00 after taking pictures of Barth presenting his paper. Instead, I hike the Eagle Creek trail, out-and-back to Tunnel Falls. Several areas of vertiginous cliffs are fitted with a mini version of the via ferrata. Although it’s more about the journey than the destination, Tunnel Falls is quite the climax. There, I cool off in the fall’s spray. On the way back, I watch guys jump into Punch Bowl Falls and survive.

On my way to the airport this morning, I stop by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI). The most interesting is the demonstration of probability theory and the Gaussian curve; set up like a pinball machine, I think this is the best illustration I’ve seen. The ferrofluid station on nano materials is fascinating. There is also the National Geographic exhibition, titled Ocean Soul, featuring the works of Brian Skerry. His underwater photography is breathtaking and inspiring at the same time.

Back in California, I step off the plane to 93°F temperature. After being away to the northern latitudes for nearly two weeks, welcome back to Southern California.

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