Getting Healthy the Oregon Way: James overdoes it a bit in Downtown Portland.

Having been here for a while now, I realized I hadn’t done a staple activity of Portlanders, walking along the river front esplanade. As you probably know the Willamette River divides Portland right down the center. Along the river are some great parks and a set walking trail that follows the entire river in a 3 mile loop with nice wide paths and paved roads for bikes.

So of course, I decided this was too easy and wanted at least a 4 mile hike. I decided instead of crossing at Steel Bridge, which the path made very easy. I’d go further north and cross at the Broadway Bridge. Instead of returning to the West side of the river on the Hawthorne bridge like the walking path encourages, I want to try Tilikum Crossing for the first time. I thought this would maybe add up to four, maybe four and a half miles.

Well, it ended up being a lot longer. More on that in a bit. But the first part was a rather standard walk in the park. SO I took a whole bunch of pictures.


Then I hit Steel Bridge and that’s where things went down hill quickly for me. The trail to Broadway bridge wasn’t nearly as clearly marked and I ended up walking through an apartment complex on the water that was actually nice enough to not gate off the trail. Then I had to find the stairs up to the bridge which was about four stories up.


Going over the Broadway Bridge was fun and interesting. But it dropped me off in a part of town near the MODA Center that wasn’t really meant for walking. Lots of sidewalks with no shade and lots of hot asphalt. It was at this time that the weather decided to get a lot hotter too, so I was suddenly in a really hot part of town right when it hit the heat of midday.

I manage to get back to the river, and once I did the temperature dropped to a much more tolerable level and I was able to pick up the pace again. I found that the river is the place everyone goes on an exceedingly hot day. All up and down the river were sunbathers and people enjoying the water. Californians think they have a lot on enjoying the sun, but I think beaches make that too easy. It takes real dedication to enjoying the outdoors to find these spots.


It took a while to get through this part of the walk, but it was the nicest part. Once I hit Tilikum crossing I tried using that for the first time too. It suffered the same problem as the area of town near the Moda Center though. Lots of hot concrete and not a lot of shade. So on a bright day like today it was punishingly hot. I made it across and tried to focus on how great the view was.


All in all this was a great walk and I’m going to do it again. Just probably on a day when it’s not so freaking hot. I also found that I can reach one of my favorite restaurants on foot if I’m feeling up to it.

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