Sunday, April 24, 2011

Walk 47: Portland Heights to Zoo (5.5 miles)

Walk 47 started at SW 18th and Jefferson, headed up 18th and under Highway 26, and took an immediate left along I-405. Loved the typical Portland graffiti exhorting us (someone in particular?) to "make things better."





Heading up Vista Avenue, I was treated to a great view of downtown Portland with Mt. Hood in the distance. What a lucky break to have such great weather this day!



As I made my way up 18th Avenue, I read in the book that there had been a cable car along this very steep road back in the late 1800's. After "several runaway crashes" it was discontinued in 1903. I can just imagine how terrifying a ride that would have been! It was replaced later by the Council Crest streetcar, which ran until the 1950's.



Up Spring Street, I passed Ainsworth Elementary School, notable for a couple of "Auction Winner" parking spaces up front, and an artificial turf soccer field permanently installed on the playground. Very nice.





Leaving Ainsworth, I crossed a 60-meter pedestrian bridge, looking down for a quick rush of adrenaline (and a bit of vertigo). I'm always good for a cheap thrill...





I then headed again up picturesque Montgomery Drive, eventually passing a house who's yard reminded me of an Italian villa/vineyard:





Turning right on Patton, I proceeded past Strohecker's/Lamb's, which has been there for over 100 years. I now know what attracts 'em in Portland Heights...



Then came a sharp right turn onto the Marquam Trail toward the Zoo. I had come up from this trail in the opposite direction on an earlier walk (38, the '4T'), so things were starting to look familiar now.



After the trail took me up to the Zoo and the Max stop, I descended in the elevator to 800 feet below the surface, where they preserved some lava that was drilled out of the Sylvan Hills ("boring" lava, though I found it mildly interesting).





As I rode the Max back to my starting point, I noticed a gentleman with a cowboy hat made from an 18-pack Rainier beer box. I pointed my camera toward the middle of the train, trying not to be obvious, but as I snapped the pic, he flashed a sideways peace sign. Cool, dude.






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