Ain't nuthin like ridin' a fine horse in a new country - Augustus McCrae – Lonesome Dove

Monday, January 23, 2012

To Ring a Bell!

Over the weekend, we did visit the PNER convention in Portland - we took a look through the trade show & said "Hi" to friends!   Brian found me sitting on a saddle!  I got a big hug!  So very happy to see him looking so "sound"!  :-)  Also took a good look at the saddle that will probably be my next purchase, more on that later.  
The Church Spire
We met up with our VBF Bruce, to take a tour of the amazing church where he is responsible for facility maintenance.  Over our years together - (Bruce has known Butch & I longer than we've been married :-) one or the other of us three have been involved in some incredible projects.  We've taken each other on "tours" that others would pay money to see.  This time though - it was a trip back in time.
Butch & Bruce admire the view from the roof~
This particular church is the oldest in Portland, built in the early 1800's.  The "Spire" or Bell Tower is part of a building who's architecture has withstood the test of time.  To maintain this facility takes dedication & research. 
The Spire against a blue sky~
The Spire dominated the skyline.  Housed within is a Bell, molded from a Civil War cannon.  Of course...  wanted a picture of it!  Bruce just smiled - I know that smile - it means I'm "in for it"!
The drop down ladder~

 The drop down steel ladder was only the first of a series of obstacles that were enough to make some faint of heart - but I'd asked for it!   Next, was a spiral rod-iron staircase - that went up, up, up...
Amazing craftsmanship on a staircase few ever see~
Once at the top - we arrived in the room below~
Rope for the bell hanging down behind Butch & Bruce
This looked like a room from a medieval novel!  Since the old wood stairs are the the next phase of the climb - it was one person at a time!
Going Up!
We arrive at the first platform...  Next...  ladders...  did I mention that I don't like ladders?
Another platform & another ladder, more going up & up...
First view of the Bell
So...  I hear my husband say...  "I thought you wanted a picture of the patent date?"  Well...  yes I did...  but I'm NOT going to climb up there to get it!  Guess who does?
It's an old Bell!

Butch on the ladder
"OK" I say... now get the heck DOWN from there!"  (He's wearing cowboy boots!
"Oh no" he says - we need a photo of you!
Honestly?  Do I look even 1/2 way as scared as I was?  Bruce was below to catch me if a fell :-)
Bruce waits to guide me back through the hatch~
The thing I've never liked about climbing up, is going back down!  In the room below the bell - was the rope that can be used to manually ring the bell.  Bruce asked if I'd like to ring it?  OH!  YES!  So - I carefully pulled on the rope - the clapper struck the Bell - & it RANG!  What an amazing sound!  I'm sure people in downtown Portland wondered at the Bell ringing - not on it's usual schedule?  :-)  What an honor! 
History of the Bell
 A day I will never forget!  Thank you Bruce~!


  1. Wow that is one beautiful and cool place. I love old architecture! Looks like fun!

  2. Whew! Just the pictures of the ladders and the heights make me woozy:)

    I made it to convention and listened to the speakers, but didn't stay for the banquet.

    So which saddle are you considering?

  3. That is SO cool! Great pics too. Like you, I'm marginally ok with climbing up, it's the climb back down I can't stop worrying about :(


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