Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Willamette Cove

Yesterday CK and I went to St. Johns to explore Willamette Cove. Our plan was to take on a walk featured in Portland Hill Walks, which we recently picked up at Powell's. The walk was from Willamette Cove to the St. Johns Bridge. We decided to call it after coming out from along the river, we'd spent a lot of extra time walking along the edge of the cove under the railroad bridge. We fully intend to do the full walk sometime soon.

The sun was shining and the wind was pretty mild, since it was in the 40s we were grateful for less wind. The day was clear and bright when we started walking at around 11:45. Very quickly we were able to get some great views of the St. Johns bridge.

We continued through the neighborhood to the Open Meadow High School, in the Benson-Chaney house, and spent some time appreciating the stunning views.

And the Oregon white oaks, which are over a couple of hundred years old and are fantastically limbed and grand in the bright, winter sunlight.

From the top of the bluffs we descended down to Willamette Cove. First we pass the reminder of the designation of this as a SuperFund site. We're headed somewhere beautiful, fragile and hopefully eventually restored.

We walked along the curved edge of land. The guidebook noted the need to appreciate, but not to play in the still contaminated sand and mud here.

The view of the railroad bridge was amazing.

Without question we knew we wanted to continue our way underneath it. Making our way along the old, concrete blocks that line the shore we headed to the railway bridge.

At the bridge we had several exciting moments. First was when the Amtrack Cascade Runner went past. I experienced technical difficulties in trying to take a picture while CK succeeded in getting people to wave at us. Then a fast moving barge and tug made their way underneath the bridge, requiring it to be lifted.

An unfortunate sturgeon in these busy waters; this dead fish had been struck by a propeller.

The extra walk around the bridge rewarded us both with a very interesting and new perspective of Portland.

This detour from the walk in the guide is what lead us to not continue on to Cathedral Park, but we had such an excellent time exploring. It was a marvelous couple of hours on a chilly, December Saturday.