Thursday, May 23, 2013

Where to Go: International Rose Test Garden, Portland, Oregon

The first time I ever visited Portland, Oregon, I was dead tired from waking up at 4am to catch my flight. After I got lost on my way to the hostel and plopped my backpack down there, I took to wandering the city, viewing everything through a daze and getting increasingly paranoid that I was being followed.
My feet drew me further from the city, headed up a road that led up one of the mountains (later I learned they were considered “hills”). After a few blocks I discovered a small but official-looking hiking trail that wound up under the fir trees. I followed it through several switchbacks until it spilled out onto a wide paved path, which soon opened up to a huge open space. And that’s how I discovered Portland’s Rose Test Garden.

It was early September, so the blossoms were in full bloom. Although my jet-lagged head didn’t clear, I found this colorful area restful after the grungy busyness of the city below. I wandered around like a little kid, thinking of nothing but petals and colors and sunlight dappled on dewy leaves.

So should you ever find yourself wandering Portland, Oregon in late summer or early autumn, find your way to the rose gardens. You’ll be glad you did.

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