AIDS Walk Portland Oregon 2014

 

 

 

 

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With a friend, I joined hundreds of others and walked the 2.4 mile AIDS walk in Portland Oregon on Saturday September 6, 2014. Folks gathered at 11 a.m. at Fields Park and at 1 p.m. began the walk through downtown Portland in 91 degree weather.

AIDS Walk RouteV2

 

According to the Oregonian, at the end of the day, the total raised exceeded $407,000.

See http://www.oregonlive.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2014/09/aids_walk_portland_raises_more.html

 

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Katia displaying t-shirt earned through donations in front of main stage before event started

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AIDS Walks 2014

This year I will have done two AIDS walks on the west coast, one in the U.S. and one in Canada.

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The Portland AIDS Walk was held Saturday September 6th. It was a 2.4 mile walk through downtown Portland Oregon. A friend from Eugene accompanied me in the walk.

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I will also be attending the 6.75Km AIDS Walk in Vancouver BC Canada Sunday September 21st. It will begin at 11:30 am from Sunset Beach and encircle the Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park returning by 1 pm to Sunset Beach on English Bay.

After completing this second walk, I will post thoughts, photos and results from both the Portland Oregon and Vancouver BC AIDS walks.

 

The Echoes of the Vietnam War

Daniel Ellsberg

Daniel Ellsberg

Along with more than 600 others, I attended a panel discussion featuring Christian Appy, Daniel Ellsberg and Lt. Colonel Thuy Tran at the First Congregational Church in Portland Oregon on the evening of September 4, 2014. The program was part of the Wayne Morse Legacy series, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Sponsors included The Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, The Oregon Historical Society, The World Affairs Council of Oregon and the University of Oregon.

“Christian Appy and Dan Ellsberg both praised Wayne Morse for his dogged fight to have more public debate about U.S. involvement in Vietnam and his opposition to the war. Thuy Tran gave an emotional appeal for people to reach out to the large Vietnamese community in Portland and understand their complicated relationship to their new country. At the event link above, you can find photos, articles and an audio recording of the event.” – from Margaret Hallock, Director of Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics.”

At the conclusion of each speaker’s remarks, there was a healthy question and answer session.

The evening concluded with one-on-one conversations between members of the audience and members of the panel.

Learn more about the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics at www.wayenmorsecenter.uroegon.edu

Christian Appy is a history professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and author of several books including The Vietnam War Remembered From All Sides (2003.)

Daniel Ellsberg served in the Marine Corps for three years before earning his Ph.D at Harvard. He released the Pentagon Papers and is the author of three books: Papers of the War (1971), Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers (2002) and Risk, Ambiguity and Decision (2001.)

Thuy Tran is on the board of advisers for the Vietnamese Community of Oregon. She is an optometrist in Portland and a Lieutenant Colonel in the Oregon National Guard.

Plans: Sept-Dec 2014

 

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Current plans in September include:

  • Sept 18th (Thursday) Attend Eugene Symphony “Blue Danube & Brahms”
  • Sept 19th (Friday) Attend play “Becky’s New Car” at Oregon Contemporary Theatre in Eugene Oregon
  • Sept 20th-23rd (Saturday-Tuesday) Vancouver BC Canada to take part in the annual AIDS Walk and to visit with friends
  • Sept 28th (Sunday) Attend performance by Itzhak Perlman with Eugene Symphony

Current plans in October include:

  • Oct 3rd (Friday) Opening Party for The Queer Film Festival and  Film “Back on Board” with Greg Louganis in attendance in Portland
  • Oct 3rd (Friday) A Nathan Temby performance at The Barrel Room in Portland
  • Oct 15th (Wednesday) 50 year Celebration of Lane Community College Eugene Oregon
  • Oct 23rd (Thursday) A fundraiser for “Write Around Portland” at Holoscene in Portland
  • Oct 25th (Saturday) Attend play “I and You” at Oregon Contemporary Theatre in Eugene Oregon
  • Oct 30th (Thursday) Attend Lewis Black’s “The Rant is Due” at the Hult Performing arts Center in Eugene Oregon
  • Oct 31st (Friday) Halloween in Portland

Current Plans in November include:

  • Nov 13th (Thursday) Attend Eugene Symphony performance of Mozart’s Jupiter

Current Plans in December include:

  • Dec 4th (Thursday) Attend Eugene Symphony performance: Mendelssohn & Elgar
  • Dec 7th (Sunday) Attend Holiday Concert by the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus at the Newmark Theatre in Portland
  • Dec 11-18th (Tuesday thru Tuesday) Take Coast Starlight to La Dolce Vita Resort in Palm Springs California to celebrate the seventh anniversary of open heart surgery.

Please check back for posts related to these trips, people and events.

Four Nights on The Canadian Train – Toronto to Vancouver: Aug 2014

Wednesday August 6, 2014 (First morning on train – The Canadian)

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Today is the birthday of my late friend Tom. He was a dear friend who, in 1971, helped me to “come out” at the age of 26.

In Room 4, on Car 110, on The Canadian, I awoke at 6 a.m. from a good first night’s sleep in my bedroom and quickly wobbled my way to the dining car for breakfast.

Later, by walking the full length of the car and then double checking from the observation section on the last car of the train (Park Car), I discovered that this train has a total of 21 cars: 2 engines, 1 baggage car, 2 coach cars, 3 observation cars, 2 dining cars, 10 sleeper cars and one park car. As a result the train is about 1/5 of a mile long.

I spent the morning finishing my reading of “The Four Agreements”, lunched on a salmon cake, napped for two hours, hand wrote in my travel journal (snippets of which are found in these blog posts) and walked outside (two round-trip lengths of the train) for the first time since we left Toronto.

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I spoke at length several times with the owner of Collins Tour and one of his staff, Margaret. Both were delightful company. They were taking a group of nearly 30 folks from Toronto to Jasper (and to Banff, Lake Louise and Vancouver; some were going further on to Alaska.)

I dined on a wonderful medium rare Veal Chop, showered and then listened retired to my cabin to listen to a few readings from Walden on my smart phone. I fell asleep around 8 p.m. while listening to songs from Evita.

Thursday August 7, 2014 (Arrived in Winnipeg for 4 hours off train)

Awoke and headed to breakfast only to realize that overnight there was a time change and it would be another hour before the dining car opened.

Susan, a fellow passenger, dropped by my room and gave me an article by Kevin Baker from Harper’s, titled “21st Century Limited: The Lost Glory of America’s Railroads.” Excellent read.

With a four-hour layover in Winnipeg Manitoba, I walked a bit and went online to check email, words-with-friends, text messages, Facebook and my blog. Several passengers took a 3 hour tour of Winnipeg.

Lunch was a Cobb salad shared with a lovely couple from LA, Dorothy and Mike. They have traveled the world: Some places I remember them talking about included: New Zealand, Australia, the Panama Canal, Churchill Canada (Polar Bear Territory) and all 50 states. They are now heading to Alaska.

Again a long afternoon nap began with listening to music while stretched out in my bed next to a window movie of the rolling prairies.

Before dinner I entered into my laptop each of 14 insights about life that I think I became a bit clearer to me during this extended, multi-stop and rather busy 28 day trip.

My evening meal (rack of lamb) was shared with two graduating high school students from Germany. They shared their views of politics in the US and Germany, their visit to Detroit, University education funding in Germany, the European Union, Angela Merkel, The Ukraine and Russia. We also talked about same-sex marriage in Germany.

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I spent a few hours watching the sunset with John and Susan from Toronto in the nearby observation car.

Friday August 8, 2014 (Last full day and night on train) 

I awoke at 7:30 a.m. and wrote a bit in my journal and soon realized we were running three hours late and had not yet arrived in Edmonton Alberta.

I sat in observation car which was full of hearty conversation.

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In Edmonton a brief stop to update my smart phone via a wireless connection. Within minutes my email was current, apps updated, photos uploaded, news updated, text messages received and Facebook checked.

Via Rail added two more cars to the train (now 23 cars long) and dozens of new passengers.

As soon as the train pulled out of the station, I was dining with Susan and John once again. I ordered and loved the lobster ravioli.

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Back to my room for a two-hour nap, before heading forward to the observation car for the much-anticipated 1.5 hour ride into Jasper, perhaps the most wildlife rich stretch of the entire trip.

As we headed into Jasper, we spotted three bears, an elk, a mountain goat, an eagle and several magpie.

Pulling out of Jasper we entered the high Canadian Rockies (clearly the most scenic stretch of the trip.) Fairly shortly all in the observation car were in quiet awe of the majestic and mighty Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Camera’s were clicking wildly.

I dined on prime rib and decided to stay up late (til 10 p.m.) since this was last night on the train. I wanted to spend several hours viewing the sights offered in our ride through the spectacular mountains of western Canada.

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Pyramid Falls (photo taken by fellow passenger) – only view-able by passengers on the train

 

Mt Robson

Mt Robson, highest point in Canadian Rockies, 12,972 feet

 

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Mt Robson from rear of an observation car on The Canadian Train

Saturday August 9, 2014 (Arrived only minutes late into Vancouver BC Canada)

We arrived into Vancouver ViaRail station only about 15 minutes late after four days on the rails. What a pleasant surprise I had when I reached the baggage claim area.

My friend Rick, whom I met at a FrontRunner’s event a few years ago in Vancouver BC, was waiting for me.

He drove in from his home in White Rock, nearly an hour away, to drive me to the YWCA and to have lunch together. His being there made me feel like I had come “home.”

He also offered to drive the Susan and John, with whom I spent a good amount of time on the trip, to their son’s home.

During lunch he invited me to join two of his friends the following day (Sunday) for an afternoon by his pool in White Rock.

When I checked into the YWCA, I was surprised to find out that Pat, the hotel front desk person whom I had known for the dozen or more years, had retired. She always made a special effort to make my visits to the YWCA and Vancouver BC a real pleasure.

It was finally nice to return to my “green drinks” after all the rich food on the train.

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Thanks for reading the blog posts about my trip from Oregon to New England on Amtrak and my return west on ViaRail.

 

Toronto: Remnants of World PRIDE 2014

Vermont to Toronto: Monday August 4, 2014

I have been “on the road” since July 15th. This trip has involved some major visits: Ana and Mark’s wedding in DesMoines Iowa, some time with nephew Eric and friends, Lura and Rex, in New York City, five days with friends and a cousin and his family in Ogunquit Maine, three days with Joe and Cath and other family in Rye New Hampshire and Joel and Sabrina’s wedding in Burlington Vermont.

The 4:20 a.m. Greyhound bus to Montreal did not arrive into Burlington until 5:45 a.m. but I had planned a six hour layover in Montreal before catching the train to Toronto. I was able to exchange my ticket at no cost and jump on the 11:50 a.m. train (vs the 5 p.m. train.) So I ended up departing Montreal a lot earlier than expected.

The trip took 5 hours so at 5 p.m. I was in downtown Toronto. Having been on a bus and train for over ten hours, it felt great to walk the half mile through the streets of downtown Toronto to the Marriott Courtyard, located in the heart of the popular Church Street area, dotted with a large number of primarily gay establishments. The city had recently been host to WORLD PRIDE 2014. There were still many signs of the celebration. See photos below.

 

World PRIDE 2014 Toronto

World PRIDE 2014 Toronto

 

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I dined at a Thai restaurant , stopped by a gay pub for one drink and returned to the hotel for a long night’s sleep.

Day One (Boarded The Canadian in Toronto): Tuesday Aug 5, 2015

I strolled Church Street taking photos and had breakfast before checking out of the Marriott and heading to Union Station where I arrived at 2 p.m. and spent the next 7 hours in the nicely appointed ViaRail Business Lounge.

ViaRail Business class (Sleeper Passengers) Lounge

ViaRail Business class (Sleeper Passengers) Lounge

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At Union Station in Toronto I took time to repack my backpack and suitcase, so as to only take what I needed onto the train and check the rest of my belongings all the way through to Vancouver BC. I rested my weary legs, used wireless to update facebook, play word-with-friends and send a final email to friends and family as there will be no internet access on the train.

When I checked in, I was told ViaRail had upgraded my sleeping accommodation from an upper bunk to my own room with a wash basin, toilet, window and locking door, all at no charge. This was a most pleasant and much appreciated surprise.

Champagne and desserts were offered in the observation car from 10 p.m. until 11:30 p.m.

I slept on and off and awoke at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday morning I was in the dining car having breakfast.

More about the four day train ride across Canada in my next post.