What’s a travel blogger to do when she can’t travel? Take a break and stop posting? No, I did that after my surgery. Change the focus and write about other topics? How about politics, global warming, news of the day, or writing tips? Naw. Too much noise out there already and I don’t have anything unique to add to the discourse. Besides, I like writing about travel.
I’ve got it. Let’s go back in time. Back to 2014 to the trip that started it all.
Cue the time machine sounds. And away we go . . .
We were in a hurry when we left the San Francisco Bay Area on April 21, 2014. The tulip-watch websites declared the flowers in prime condition and visitors streaming into Skagit Valley to experience the colorful displays. Our goal was to arrive before the farmers chopped off all the tulips.
The second goal of the trip was to test out our new travel trailer (a 23′ 2013 Aluma Lite 207QB) and determine if the RV lifestyle would work for us while exploring America.
A quick stop in Medford, Oregon, for a night stay, then on to Portland, Oregon. Arriving early in the day gave us plenty of time to explore the Pittock Mansion and enjoy the Pacific Northwest rainy weather.
Henry and Georgiana Pittock began building the ‘mansion on the hill’ in 1912 and moved in during 1914. The couple met in Portland after they each crossed the country on the Oregon Trail. They helped shape the great City of Portland from a stump town in the 1850s into the industrial city that prospers today.
Henry worked as a typesetter for The Oregonian and in 1860 became its owner. He also invested in real estate, banking, railroads, and many other industries. Georgiana, meanwhile, founded several charities and cultural organizations.
The last Pittock family members to live in the home moved out in 1958 and planted a for sale sign. On October 12, 1962, the Columbus Day Storm arrived with its hurricane-force winds. The storm hurled tiles off the roof and smashed windowpanes. Water seeped through, damaging the interior.
Developers came sniffing around two years later. They wanted to tear the mansion down and build a housing development.
Many thanks go out to the dedicated residents of Portland for raising the funds to purchase the property, save the mansion and restore it to its earlier glory.
It’s hard to believe that the restoration took only 15 months. It was ready for its public debut in 1965. And to think the developers wanted to tear down such a beautiful historic building.
Wandering around exploring the inside of historic homes is one of our favorite past times when traveling. We found a beauty of one such home in Portland, Oregon. Both guided and self-guided tours are available. We recommend the guided tour to learn the inside scoop and gossip.
Next up: The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival