Don’t you just love Americans? I found this card on the ground in Portland.

Welcome sign at the Sumas boarder crossing.

This past Saturday there was a camera show and swap meet in Portland, Oregon. When I expressed my intention to go Joe said he was going to come along. This was our third show together and we have a great time at these things.

The plan was to go down on Friday, be at the Show early Saturday and then drive back on Sunday. Joe booked us into the Ramada Inn near the Jackson Armoury where the show was to be held and he wanted to drive. Well, that was great by me.

So last Friday, we got into his van and set out around 9 in the morning. The weather was beautiful and, except for a little heavy traffic around Seattle, the trip was pleasant. We got into our hotel around 6:00 that evening. Thank goodness for the GPS in the car. We were able to drive right to the hotel.

Joe drove all the way there and back. It was great to just kick back and enjoy the scenery.


I wanted to be at the show early so that I had the widest selection possible of the goodies to be found. So we got up around 7:00 and decided to walk to the Jackson Armoury where the show was being held. Google Maps said it was 1.8 miles. A beautiful day, sunny, and morning cool. It was a pleasant walk. Again, thank goodness for GPS. We were able to walk straight there in about 40 minutes.

We were early and had to wait a while outside the hall but that was fine. We sat outside and enjoyed the morning until 9:00 am when we went in.

A sign in the grass on the way to the Show.

The Jackson Armory in on an American military base.

It’s this way Joe!

We found lots to do while we waited outside for the Show.

I was surprised at the size of the show. Americans usually put on huge trade and hobby shows but this was smaller than our show in April in Burnaby. We talked to one of the organizers, Rod Sager, and he explained that this is the first camera show in Portland in many years and they will have to build up a following. Also, summer is not the best time. People are away on vacation. Next time, he said, it would be in Spring or Fall.

This is the kind of table I like! At one such display there were cameras like these for a dollar each! You can see the prices here are around $15 to $30 dollars. Not bad considering cameras like these when they were first bought were probably in the hundreds of dollars.

The tables were spread out because there were not enough of them to fill the floor.

But they did have some good stuff on them!

Joe and I have worked out a routine. We power through the tables quickly to get an idea of what is there. Obvous bargains or good items are bought and we move on. Then, once we have done that, we can relax and go through a second and third time looking in detail for little bits and pieces.

For instance, on our first round, I picked up a very nice Canon Model IIF and 100mm Serenar lens for a good price. Then on our subsequent go arounds I found some instruction booklets which I like. I post them on my camera website “”.

There was lots of stuff to look at. I don’t collect old cameras like these but they are great to see. On my second and third walks around the hall I have time to look at all of the stuff the other guys are interested in and chat with them about the things they collect.

To ride the transit system all day is only $5.00. A really great deal! We wished we had a few days to really explore the town using the transit system. No such luck.

The Kells manager’s business card.

By around 1:30 we had had enough and walked back to the hotel. The restaurant in the hotel did not look that good and the bar was closed. So we jumped on the local transit line and went downtown to find some lunch. And we did. Right where we got off the train was an Irish Pub called “Kells”. Well, it was hot and we were thirsty so in we went. For lunch Joe had Bangers and Mash and I had the Shepherds Pie. Both were fantastic!

Joe and I felt right at home at Kells. We agreed they decorated exactly the way we would like to have our homes decorated.

So what do two young men do for the afternoon in Portland?

The Hefeweizen beer t Kells was excellent. We had our share of that with our lunch. While there we noticed they have music in the evening so we planned to take it in on our way back to the hotel.

Portland had a lot going on. There was a food fair down by the river, an artists market, music in the Court House Square, even a street protest! We walked around for a couple of hours in the down town core. Portland is a really pretty city. They have used a lot of red brick in their sidewalks and it is very attractive. And the streets are very pedestrian friendly.

However, it was not long before our minds turned to thoughts of pasta. So we began looking for a decent Italian restaurant. To our surprise it was not easy to find one. We had to walk up and down streets for an hour before we found one. But it looked real fine. We went in and ordered beer. They had Peroni from Italy on tap and it was real smooth! We sat for an hour just talking before we finally ordered our dinner. I had basil pesto and my only complaint was that I could have eaten three times as much. Pasta is my favorite food!

Soooo…. where shall we eat?

My Pesto Pasta. God, I do love pasta!

Joe with the elephant he found in the park.

Joe finds a lot of stuff. Here he is with a blueberry he found!

Joe with the boat he found in the river.

Well, it was getting late and the music was about to start back at Kells so we found our way back to the pub. More beer, of course. And we rounded the evening off with Irish Nachos – made with ………. potatoes!!! Well what else would an Irishman use?

And that was our very busy day in Portland. We went back to the hotel and in the morning began the long trip home. But we had a great time. So we are planning our next adventure now. Maybe we will go to Abruzzo and pick olives!

Irish nachos.

The band at Kells Irish Pub. Not really an Irish band and really so good either. But a great way to end out our very busy day.