Portland – part one – a Gothic cathedral in the park

portland oregon cathedral park

One of the reasons I’ve been missing from blogging for a while was a trip to Portland, Oregon for a photography workshop. One of our assignments was to photograph some iconic spots in the city.

portland oregon cathedral park

Jennifer, one of the participants I became friends with, had her camera bag stolen when we went out night shooting. As serendipity will have it, a lovely gentleman named Bob, who was sitting next to me at the workshop, lived in the area and offered to drive her to the camera store to replace it. I went along for the ride.

portland oregon cathedral park

After purchasing the new bag and filters, Bob took us to some of his favorite spots to take some photographs. Our first stop was St. Johns Bridge in Cathedral Park. As soon as I saw the arches supporting the bridge I was in heaven as whenever I go back to England I visit as many Gothic cathedrals as I can.portland oregon cathedral park

Do you like Jelly Bears, I asked Bob? Somebody had lost a whole bag on the ground. Let me tell you, if those were my bears I would have picked them up and eaten them. It’s called having a strong immune system!

portland oregon cathedral park

Dandelions are a childhood memory from England that I don’t see too often in Los Angeles.

portland oregon cathedral park

This shot was crying out for black and white so I went for it. I like the foggy hillside in the background.

portland oregon cathedral park

According to Wikipedia, the park contains several walking trails, picnic benches, as well as a floating dock that extends onto the Willamette River. It also is home to a small outdoor stage, where the city has held an annual summer jazz festival since 1980.

portland oregon cathedral park

The St. Johns Bridge connects the neighborhood to the Linnton and Northwest Industrial neighborhoods in Northwest Portland across the Willamette. (Pronounced Will-A-mette, accent on the hard A.)

portland oregon cathedral park

St. Johns Bridge has two 408 ft (124 m) tall Gothic towers, a 1,207 ft (368 m) center span and a total length of 2,067 ft (630 m).

portland oregon cathedral park

Again borrowing from Wikipedia, designed by internationally renowned engineer David B. Steinman (1886–1960) and Holton D. Robinson, of New York, the St. Johns was the longest suspension-type bridge west of the Mississippi River at the time of construction. It is the only major highway suspension bridge in the Willamette Valley and one of only three major highway suspension bridges in Oregon.

portland oregon cathedral park

Cathedral Park is supposedly haunted as in the summer of 1949, 15-year-old high school student Thelma Taylor was abducted and held by her captor, Morris Leland, under the east side of the bridge (which was undeveloped at the time, now the location of Cathedral Park), and was eventually murdered there.

Maybe it has to do with the weather but I heard of more hauntings in Portland than I have ever encountered. I was looking forward to meeting a ghost but no luck there.

Some more photos for your enjoyment. Click on a photo for the slideshow.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


21 thoughts on “Portland – part one – a Gothic cathedral in the park

  1. DG MARYOGA April 29, 2015 / 2:27 am

    What a nice feeling to start my day with your Portland post Roslyn!
    I did enjoy your photo series!You have stunningly captured the arches of the imposing bridge and the pleasant walking trails in the park.Only the stolen camera of your friend and the murdered st in the place spoilt a bit my disposition.I keep in mind only your wondrous photos and the virtual walk in the park 🙂


    • RMW April 29, 2015 / 7:36 am

      Thanks Doda, we have to take the good and the bad in life… it was actually her camera bag (and her coat) but she had a good attitude and didn’t let it spoil her day! That’s all we can do under those circumstances.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Amy April 29, 2015 / 8:59 am

    Really enjoy this tours, Roslyn! Thank you for sharing the information. Great photos. 🙂


    • RMW April 29, 2015 / 9:19 am

      Thanks, Amy… I always enjoy seeing new places.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jill Weatherholt April 29, 2015 / 10:19 am

    The park looks too beautiful to be haunted. Great photos, Roslyn! You lucked out with the sunshine. 🙂


    • RMW April 29, 2015 / 10:32 am

      Jill, sunshine didn’t last long but at least we had it that day!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. markbialczak April 29, 2015 / 10:52 am

    Bravo on the bridge of part one, Ros. High and far-reaching. No, I wouldn’t have eaten the gummy bears. Who knows which ghost licked them first? I am looking forward to more scenes. I hope you got to the Rose Garden, looking down over the city, with Mount Hood past that skyline. 🙂


  5. RMW April 29, 2015 / 10:58 am

    Only if they were my gummy bears! We did get to a rhododendron park…. oh yes, I believe I did see a rose garden but not the right time of year I think….oh, I’ll have to check my photos and see what is in there!!!!!!!!!


  6. anotherday2paradise April 29, 2015 / 7:43 pm

    Fabulous photos, Roslyn. What a shame about the camera bag, and those poor gummy bears look so forlorn lying there in the dirt. 😦 The haunting story would make sure I wouldn’t visit Cathedral Park at night. What an awful tale!


    • RMW April 29, 2015 / 10:24 pm

      Thanks Sylvia… yes if I am going to see a ghost I would rather it was during the day….. I think!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Indah Susanti April 30, 2015 / 6:12 am

    Wow, photography workshop sounds cool and you must take a lot of images 🙂 Great images already!

    I am so sorry for Jennifer. I can feel her pain…I left my camera bag (with camera and lenses) on the train couple years ago. I was so frustrated and sad, more sad on the images on the camera especially. Later on that night, a lady called my mobile number and said she found my camera bag and I could pick it up at her house. Gosh, she did not even ask for anything in return! Oh sorry, I talked about something else..


    • RMW April 30, 2015 / 7:24 am

      Indah, there are some good people out there who balance out the bad. But this is a good lesson to put your phone number on everything so some good person can have the opportunity to call and return your belongings. I need to put contact info on my camera. So glad this worked out for you!


  8. Britt Skrabanek April 30, 2015 / 9:12 pm

    Hey, you were just in my neck of the woods. I never get tired of looking at the bridges here. Or the entire city and all around it as well. Love it here! 🙂


    • RMW May 1, 2015 / 6:24 am

      Britt, I just wish I had time to see more of the bridges… and to walk over them… but I’m happy I at least got to see this one up close.


    • RMW May 2, 2015 / 9:38 pm

      Maria, I feel very privileged that I got to see it.


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