Not for drinking. A fountain on the McCall Waterfront
Sunday, July 31, 2011
PORTLAND, OR — What loudly tromps up and down the hotel hallway at 6:30 a.m. while most others are sleeping?

Kids from the Midwest visiting Oregon whose internal clocks are hours ahead of the host population.

Despite a full day of traveling and a near-midnight dinner the day before, the kiddos are up early and ready to explore. We load up at the free breakfast and hit Portland’s McCall Waterfront Park.

We are part of the few walkers in the throngs of bicyclists and joggers scooting along. Some people appear to be camping. The 8 year old leads us across a bridge to the Willamette River’s east bank, and we stumble into The Big Float, a buoyancy fest set for later in the day. Everyone has kayaks, canoes, tubes or water wings and is amassing at the base of the bridge where a stage is set up.

Back across to the west side, we pass the time playing at the fountain where the parkway meets Salmon Street. The 4 year old notices the high-pressure jets blasting water and simply says “I’m thirsty.”

She bends over, mouth agape, and I pull her back before the torrent knocks her across the park.

Later that morning we hook up with my brother and his family at Enchanted Forest just south of Salem. The attraction started with a man who carved tableaus of storybook characters and evolved into an amusement park with a rollercoaster, log ride and miniature themed villages commemorating the wild west, the middle ages and so on.

More Oregon photos in our gallery.