I have 20 minutes before I have to jet over to work, and thought I’d share the photos I took yesterday at the Alpaca Western Extravaganza. In all honesty, I didn’t find it as entertaining as Heart of the Valley or Black Sheep Gathering.

Anyway. Opus and I met up and headed over to the Portland Expo Center, a place which neither of us had been and along a MAX line (yellow) neither of us had really used. A fun adventure for everyone. We actually arrived in the right place (crazily enough) on the first try.

When we got off, we paused to contemplate the Torii gates that had been put up over the entrances to the Expo Center MAX stop. Every MAX station has publicly funded art on display.

Torii gate at the Expo Center

A bit puzzled, since Torii gates traditionally indicate a sacred area, I wandered over to inspect them more closely. The closer I got, I realised that the chiming was coming not from prayer-tablets but from dog-tags hung across the crossbars. And, as my eyes scanned downwards, this caught my eye:

Torii inscriptions


Oh. Much subdued, the chiming didn’t seem as pretty anymore, we made our way through the gates and into the Expo Center, a place that didn’t seem quite as pleasant either…

Alpaca Western Extravaganza

Less than thrilled by the history of the place, Opus and I made our way through the show quickly, stopping only to pick up a couple of things. Which I’m afraid I’ll have to show you later, since it’s time for me to go. I’ll try and pick up the rest of this story tonight.

1 comment

  1. Wow, a mind bending historical monument. It is still a beautiful testament to the fact that people want to remember, as it is still standing. I often wonder what it is like to live in Europe, a place where so many things were done that we consider atrocities now, where history is all around. Humbling.

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