Friday, April 27, 2012

Last stop in Oregon...Portland

We made a quick 2 night stop in Portland on our way to Washington so we could check out the Columbia River Gorge.  However, Portland has so many things to do we could've stayed a week.  It was raining during our day there, so we decided to check out the 
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

There is so much to see and do at OMSI.  The kids loved all the hands on activities that they offered to help kids (and adults) explore and understand the world around them.

We started with the Lego gallery:
The Art of the Brick

Mt. Rushmore:  We're hoping to stop and see this next month.
The Solar System-the Sun is the base
(In the background on the right-is a flat portrait made of Legos, too.)
My favorite
There were many stations with logic games...some we solved, many we didn't.  

This was a fun exhibit that explained how salmon find their way back to the correct spawning grounds.  They use their sense of smell!
First, you roll a dice and select the spice shaker that has the corresponding number on it.
Next, you smell it and then try to find your correct spawning grounds.
Each spice container represents different areas of OR and WA spawning grounds.
It was a challenging task!

There are many areas to explore at science, physical science, turbine hall, planetarium, IMAX, a submarine, and more.

Earth Science Section
Learning about watersheds and earthquakes.
Here, the kids are building a functional watershed area with dams. 

We had a blast playing with the infrared machine.
It's a scientifically proven fact:
Monty is a hottie :)

Physical Science Area
I think this is where we had the most fun!
We learned how quick the monkey's short term memory is.  Then, we got to
try the experiment they used on the monkey.
Numbers 1-9 were shown quickly on a grid.  You have to memorize it quickly and as
soon as you start, they blank out the numbers and you have to remember the order.
Um... the monkey beat us most of the time :(
We learned about other amazing animals and the skills God gave them, for example the Lyre Bird.
Lyre Bird-You tube

And then we learned about humans :)
Our favorite in the humans area was about balance.  We got to stand on a balance board with a timer.
It was an experiment that revealed how good kids balance is compared to adults.
Jolie stood on the board for a minute without any problem before we made her get off so we could try.
Jon and I didn't even last 5 seconds!

The Turbine Hall:
Robotics, holograms, water power, 
chemistry and physics labs

Learning how rockets work
The chemistry lab
Learning how the sun makes impressions on paper.
Experimenting with different metals that are used in fireworks.
It was the kids first time using a bunsen, fun! 
Physic lab
Learning how static electricity actually runs through your body!  Jolie is spinning the wheel, Faith is touching the static ball while holding pie tins.  As the static builds, the pie tins go flying from her hand!
We also watched the movie "Born to Be Wild" in the IMAX theater.

The SS581 USS Blueback submarine also calls OMSI home.
We got to tour it. :)

Checking out the periscope
Torpedo Room
Chow Hall :)
The crew of the sub includes 3 chefs and 1 baker.

On moving day we woke to a gorgeous sunny day!  Since we only had a short drive up to Tacoma, WA we decided to spend the morning exploring the Columbia River Gorge.  We only had a couple of hours, so we drove scenic Route 30 and stopped off at a few waterfalls.

Stunning view!
That is Brutus in the photo...without his buddy.  We left the RV at the RV park.
Faith spotted this BALD EAGLE flying overhead at the overlook!
A unique trail to the waterfall on the right side of the photo.
We love all the moss and ferns that call the northwest home.
The end of the trail above.
A little friend that Daniel found on a trail.

Goofing off at the Multnomah Falls Visitor Center

The Grand Pooh-ba of the many waterfalls along the Columbia River Gorge
Multnomah Falls
The view to the bottom of the falls taken from the bridge in the above photo.

It's time to head north.  
This is how Oregon said good-bye...
Mt. Hood standing guard behind the Columbia River.
This is the first time we saw Mt. Hood during our visit...we glimpsed it as we were crossing the bridge between the states.
(Sorry the picture is so blurry, I didn't expect to see the mountain and I barely got the camera out in time to snap this!)


  1. Beautiful scenery .. being from the southwest, all that greenery looks like a paradise!

    1. I LOVE all the greenery, too! It is paradise, especially when the sun is shining :)