Sunday, July 27, 2008

Virtual Vacation: Urban Hiking

We aren't quite sure where we are in the whole timetable of the virtual vacation, but it must still be on and I'll explain why later on. We received our copy of the book Walk There!, issued by Portland Transport. It's a nifty little compilation of walks around the Metro area. About noon, we took off on a 4.7 mile jaunt from the Kenton Neighborhood, home of the really big Paul Bunyon, down the Columbia Slough, and back along a major thoroughfare.



The walk down the slough starts by crossing an industrial area on an old viaduct, still in use, but one of those pieces of American infrastructure that's Third-World bound. Heading west along the slough, a backwater of the Columbia River, we passed the Portland International Raceway where the Mazda MX-5 race was about to begin. We were walking along when the strains of O Canada drifted to our ears! It must still be the Virtual Vacation if we are hearing the anthem of our friends' nation and our beloved neighbor to the north! Hmm, hmm, hmm, O Canada we stand on guard for thee, protégera nos foyers et nos droits!


Then the race started and the book's recommendation to listen for the sounds of song birds and the sights of eagles and osprey seemed moot--or is that mute? We did spy a heron and we got to watch a bit of the race. There was a red car that was way back by the end of the 3rd lap--I hope he quite and saved both the fuel and the C-oh-two emissions.



We then passed by some other urban hikers paying a round of golf on what must be either the raceway golf course or the waste treatment golf course as it was right next to the waste water treatment plant. It certainly was green!



We crossed back over the slough, passed a canoe launch that has a very cool etching of tide tables in the steps so that you won't get stranded in the shallow water (if you pay attention). The trail provided great views of both the settling ponds and the treatment facility itself, complete with flaring methane gas from the process. We didn't see any wildlife in this phase of the hike although we had our eyes peeled for Winnie the Poo...



After about 1.5 miles of walking along a pretty noisy main road, we arrived at Kenton Park and back to our starting place. We passed Pacific Hide & Fur Depot, not a business you see everyday, although maybe another sign that we are still on Virtual Vacation with our Canadian friends...






All-in-all, a nice walk, plenty of exercise, no Golden Retrievers, and no overly padded and helmeted kids on all manners of wheeled transport.

2 comments:

griffiskc said...

Loved the walking tour guide. I can download the hikes from the website. Thanks for the tip.

Ronna said...

I think the Virtual Vacation should go on all summer. Since it might be sporadic (weekends for the most part), how about we do it for the summer.
And I can't believe you saw a "big thing" without me. Oh, this darn virtual vacation...