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Bike tour of Portland’s Waterfront

October 18th
20 miles*** 5 bikers ***

Cloudy & breezy, but nice

We started at Sellwood Riverfront Park near Oaks Park and rode north to the Steel Bridge where we crossed to the west side of the Willamette.

We then rode north, passing under a couple of bridges till we came to a "trail closed" sign. We headed for the Union Station Towers where we could see the pedestrian overpass,

but couldn’t find any access till we noticed an elevator and decided that must be the way. The elevator holds either 2 recumbent bikes,

or 3 regular bikes, so Dave & I went first, then the others followed us up 3 flights to the overpass. You never know what you’ll find on an Upward Trails trip.

Across the overpass, we took another elevator down to street level where we passed a little garden, then had lunch in front of the station. The building blocked the cool breeze as we sat on benches eating.

After lunch, we returned to the Steel Bridge where we rode south along the waterfront. Dave & I had tried a few times before to come this way, but there was always so much foot traffic or concert crowds that we never explored this area before.

Fortunately, Ruth is familiar with the area so she took over leading. It’s nice to come in the off season. Along the way, we passed the Salmon Street Fountain which was spouting a little, but Ron & Ruth informed us that it really puts on a show in the summer. I’d like to see that if we can avoid the crowds.

We rode past a grassy field of geese to a pretty little garden with ponds and some Asters still in bloom.

On the way back, Ruth showed us a pedestrian path which crosses the Hawthorne. This saved us a few miles from having to go back to the Steel. We’ll have to remember this shortcut for future rides.

A couple of miles south on the Springwater, we rode a trail up to Milwaukie Avenue, then to Keana’s Candyland. This little candy shop/bakery/restaurant has been featured on some TV shows and has received some national recognition. Every square inch of every wall in this 2-story house is covered with the owner’s own artwork.

After eating stuff we shouldn’t have, we continued south to a large, Spanish-style mausoleum overlooking the Oaks bottom pond.

This is the building with the giant heron painted on the side which can be seen from the trail around the pond.

From topside, we explored a little garden with a waterfall & fishpond.

We then rode through Sellwood Park and out to some cliff-top views of Portland before returning to our cars.

On the way home, we stopped at the News Seasons in Sellwood for dinner.

Previous Trip reports....

  • March 15th:
    Lost Lake..........

    August 16th, 2008
    About 8 moderate miles
    6 people

    Nice day; clear & warm
    After changing a few trips this year due to snowpack, this one was relocated because of forest fire. All the trails on the east side of Mt. Hood were closed this summer due to the Gnarl Ridge fire on that side. For a map of the extent of the fire, check out this website: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/1465/

    I did a last-minute scramble to come up with an alternative in the Mt. Hood area. We had a request for "some place shady with water", so I thought Lost Lake would fit the bill. The road up is so long and winding, we had to stop a time or two, so people wouldn’t get car sick. Once we finally got there, we were told to turn left away from the store to find a parking spot. We didn’t have a map of the campground, so I wasn’t exactly sure where we were when we parked, but I figured we’d find the lake eventually.

    We hiked up a road, turned through someone’s campsite, and down a steep hill to connect with the lake trail. We turned left and walked along several boardwalks, passing several places where the lake could be accessed. Every single one of them was full of people. When we got to the south end of the lake, we turned left to start up the Huckleberry Mt. Trail.

    It was good to leave the crowds behind as we headed up the hill. After a couple of switchbacks, we were able to look back down on the lake which had a few boats on it. Lost Lake Butte loomed high across the lake. As we approached the ridge, we could see the Gnarl Ridge fire to the north of Mt. Hood. The fire was hot enough to give the smoke a red glow thousands of feet in the air. Our destination was the Pacific Crest Trail where

    Dave fixed the sign with his trusty multipliers. On the way down, as we stopped to watch the fire a little more, we said a prayer for the safety of the firefighters.

    Back at the lake, Dave & I crowded in amongst the other people and managed a short swim. At the north end, we found more boardwalks among

    the feeder creeks and wetlands where Seth found a geocache near a bench.

    Another short swim for me as the others explored the store. After 25 years of guiding, it finally happened; I got the group lost. Where? At Lost of course. After leaving the store, we walked back on the boardwalk a ways, then turned up the right trail through the right campsite, but we took a wrong turn at the top of the hill. This is where I was wishing I had a map of the actual campground which the guide books and forest service maps don’t have. As I said earlier, I didn’t exactly know where we were in the parking lot in relation to the store and by now I was too tired to think correctly, but after wandering in the wrong direction awhile, we turned around and went back to the car.

    We stopped for a hot meal at Zig Zag Inn on the way home.

    I’ve since found a map online so I’ll know where we are next time.

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