Operation: Find all 52 Places

A few months ago, we were walking through Saturday Market – a weekend market of handmade items that sets up in downtown Portland each weekend from March through Christmas.  It’s full of creative people out peddling their wares among food carts and music.  It’s always fun to walk through especially when it isn’t too crowded.  We luckily hit the right part of the day to walk through without feeling like we’re swimming through crowds of people.

We passed a small table where a man was working on illustrations.  Around him in small stacks were playing cards – illustrations of Paris, illustrations of Seattle, illustrations of Portland.  One Portland deck caught my eye – 52 Secrets of Portland.  I looked at the sample deck Aaron Trotter had, then handed him my money for my own deck.

This screamed photo project in my head.

52 places in Portland to find – and not just find but find the view he drew – what inspired him.

He included a hand drawn map which also said which location was which.

Next week while on vacation, my plan is to do exactly this – find all 52 places.  I used four places in our neighborhood as a dry run to get a sense of what I’m in for.  And I learned a lot.

1. These places are hidden places.  Where I thought a few of these shots were – they were not there.  For example, Overlook Bluff is an overgrown lot with overgrown trees.  So it was almost impossible for me to take photos of the bridge through the trees because well….

2. He either did some of these illustrations at a time of the year where things weren’t as overgrown as they are in August (maybe spring for some) – or he took some artistic license when illustrating the places.

3. The first few places we found made me realize that I will really need to take someone with me – or take Maggie because, well, because some of these areas are remote has resulted in them being prime real estate for homeless camps.  Some are fine – kind of a “leave me alone, and I’ll leave you alone” but others are clearly not happy to have people coming by them.  Me going to certain places alone is not a smart idea.












The 5 of Spade photos were supposed to be of the Fremont Bridge as seen from Overlook Bluff.  Overlook Bluff was so overgrown right now that you could not see anything that direction as the trees were too thick.  This is nearby and the best I could do. If you look carefully on the top deck of this bridge, you will see thousands of cyclists doing the annual Bridge Pedal bike tour that allows people to bike across all the bridges in Portland.

King of Diamonds – The Oak Tree as seen at Overlook Bluff.  If you look carefully, you can see a yellow ribbon tied around it.

The 9 of Clubs – The View of Swan Island from Skidmore- Mock Crest Bluff.  Neat little hidden park.    6 of Spades – and one of my favorite places – Peninsula Park Rose Gardens.  We happened to be there as they were doing wedding photos before a wedding was going to be held in the gazebo.  This is such a neat place – I have taken hundreds of photographs here.

Four down – 48 to go!


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