Oregon Zoo, Portland, OR

July 13, 2007: It was Friday the thirteenth, hot, and the zoo was crowded with kids on field trips. The parking lot was full, there were long lines at the ticket booth and it was only 10:30 A.M. Mothers were lathering children with sunscreen and the kids were shrieking with excitement. I could tell it was going to be a fun day.

I was confused. The zoo is in Washington Park. City fathers decided they should call the zoo the Oregon Zoo so people wouldn’t be confused by calling it the Washington Park Zoo, perhaps thinking it was in Washington or somehow belonged to Washington. Maybe they should have called it the Portland Zoo.

The zoo has changed since I brought grand-daughter Ashley here about ten years ago. The entrance fee is closer to ten bucks a person, they charge a dollar for parking, and they also charge for entry into some exhibits in the zoo. Evidently poor people don’t go to the zoo. (I read that both fees are much higher now, since I initially wrote this article, so be sure to check if financing a trip to the zoo might be a problem.)

Take a map of the zoo (free) because otherwise you can get lost in the twists and turns and may miss some of the exhibits.

Western Tiger Swallowtail
Butterfly Western Tiger Swallowtail on Echinacea at the Oregon Zoo


I spent about two hours sauntering about and decided to call it a day. I’ll be back when the weather is cooler and the kids are in school.


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