Walking with Wendy
Downtown Portland, Oregon and Tualatin, Oregon
April 12-13, 1997
Betty and Donna
invited me to walk with them on the Portland downtown year-round route hosted by the Rose
City Roamers Volkssport Club on Saturday morning. I drove to Good Samaritan Hospital in
northwest Portland and easily found a parking space on the street. The walk start cabinet
is located just off the lobby in the switchboard room. We signed in, took the excellent
map and hit the trail under clear skies. Also joining us were Norm and Ida Lieb, Betty's
father and stepmother. This is an AVA Year-Round Event,
a trail which is walked self-guided using a map and directions.
The walk proceeds through northwest Portland down to the river, passing by the Norm Thompson store whose motto, "Escape from the Ordinary," used to be the checkpoint question on the walking route. The Willamette River trail was pleasant, with many tulips blooming along the condos. The river level was much lower than the flood stages we have seen lately. The route hugs the river all the way up Waterfront Park to the Riverplace Marina. The checkpoint is a deli at Riverplace, a great chance to stop and snack or get a drink.
The route then leaves the river, going past the fountain in front of the Civic Auditorium, past the large Portlandia copper statue on the Portland Building, and then up and over the freeway. From there it is a pleasant stroll back to the hospital, passing through trendy 21st Street. It is a lovely 10K walk.
The weather turned to rain, but we all met again for the Tualatin Arbor Week Walk on Sunday. I live in Tualatin, which is south of Portland, so it was an easy drive over to the Senior Center. Unfortunately the walk didn't go past my house as it did last year, so I couldn't just walk to the start point. The Lake Oswego Puddle Jumpers hosted the event, which is an AVA weekend event with manned start point and checkpoints and a marked trail. Betty, Ida and Norm got a head start on Donna and I. We first walked around the Lake of the Commons, the new artificial lake in the middle of town. The lake replaced the dogfood factory and is a great civic improvement. There are lovely benches and pocket gardens around the lake, and paddle boats to rent during the season. Shops and restaurants line the lake. We circled back past the park from whence we began.
At this point, the walkers around us took a turn that I knew could not be correct. I saw markings going to the left, whereas the markings on the right were obviously meant for the return route. I convinced Donna to come with me and we were correct. We were way ahead of all the other walkers although we started 15 minutes after several groups. The walk went past the golf course and then through new housing developments. Trees and tulips were in bloom. The checkpoint was at the middle school and featured toffee (my favorite) and water.
Sam Korff, who runs the route, finally passed us at about 6 kilometers - admitting that he had taken the detour. We finally arrived back at the detour and took it the correct way. The route led into the park and around the nature trail bordering on the river. Donna wanted me to point out any poison oak so she could learn to identify it. I saw no poison oak, but plenty of trilliums.
We finished the walk, met back up with Betty and family, and enjoyed the cake provided by the Puddle Jumpers. The hatpin of the day was a pewter branch and pine cone, in keeping with the Arbor Week theme. As a March for Parks, proceeds go to support the park. The club also gave away Douglas Fir seedlings and had Tualatin Historical Society items for sale. Over 250 walkers participated.