Technically, it’s called Marquam Hill (part of the “Tualatin Mountains”??) but I didn’t know that until I recently googled “Portland’s Pill Hill.” It’s the hill just south of downtown Portland, and it’s the home to Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), Portland VA Medical Center, and Portland Shriners Hospital.

Tucked into the very small space at the crest, you’ll also find Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, Casey Eye Institute, a Dental School, Physician’s Pavillion, Outpatient Clinic, the Kohler Pavillion, and a bunch of other buildings I can’t remember off the top of my head.

It is an amazing place. As in “A-MAZE-ing.” The twisty-turny roads, the one-way access in some places, and the panic of “where am I and where am I supposed to be?” Adds to the stress of visiting this area, even if you’re not the patient!

Just when I felt pretty confident about navigating in and out of the VA Hospital, Rick was transferred to OHSU, “just across the sky bridge,” but up an entirely new access road, and I went into stress overload trying to figure it all out. Plus parking!

Suddenly I had a whole new set of elevators to master, some of which don’t connect to the floors you need to go to. And how come if you come in one door of the Kohler Pavilion, you’re on the 7th floor, and another lands you on the 9th?

Basic skills in reading maps and asking for help are mandatory. Thankfully, I’m not bashful, and I’ve managed to find my way, sooner or later, to where I need to be. I’ve discovered lots of tucked-away waiting rooms with cushy seats, and some relatively under-used spots actually have cell service.

And the view from a lot of these spots… well, there’s none better.