August 14, 2016
So this past weekend (September 3-4) I was looking through my pictures, cleaning things up and what-not when I came across a set of pictures that reminded me: I never blogged last months Providence Bridge Stride! I’m not sure how that happened.
Back in late June, early July when we were on our trip I received an e-mail reminding me of the annual Providence Bridge Pedal (and Stride). We e-mailed Carla’s sister asking her to get us registered (we walked with her last year) – and she did. Then Carla realized she had made other plans for that weekend – no problem: Linda and I went without her. The bridge ride is put on every summer; the city of Portland closes down most of the bridges across the Willamette River to car traffic, opening it up to bikes and walkers. Bike riders get a choice of how many bridges they want to cross, while walkers get two bridges – with one usually being one of the tall Interstate Highway bridges. Last year we walked across the Marquam; this year we crossed the northern I405 bridge – the Fremont. There are twelve bridges in Portland from the old St Johns Bridge on the far north side of town down to the newly revamped Sellwood Bridge on the south side of the city.
The event kicks off the downtown core with different rides kicking off at different times. Linda and I took the MAX into town and found our spot for the striders. Funny thing – walkers took off heading north while all the bike rides headed south.
We got to the starting line early and were near the front; there were plenty of others behind us.
As we walked through NorthWest Portland toward the Fremont Bridge we saw some road history. Old trolly tracks and cobblestones. A few years ago when they tore up the street in front of the building I worked in to put in light rail it was ironic to see them pulling up old trolly lines. It looks like there was a rich history of light rail in Portland.
It wasn’t long before we were on the approach (normally an exit) of the top ramp of the Fremont Bridge.
Once on top we stopped to take in the gorgeous views. Here we are looking south toward the Broadway and Steel bridges.
The next bridge north of the Fremont is the St. Johns Bridge which is about 5 river miles away. You can make it out in the far distance.
There was a party on the bridge with a band, bike repair and all around celebration.
As we headed down the other side of the bridge we got a nice view of the bikers coming west while the walkers head east.
I couldn’t resist getting a picture of the trains in the Union Pacific Albina rail yard just north of the east side of the bridge.
We worked our way south for a bit and crossed back over to the west side of town via the Steel Bridge. I captured more river views and bridges looking south. The Burnside Bridge is immediately south of us with a fire boat starting to pass under it. In the distance you can see the high arch of the other I405 bridge – the Marquam. If you look closely you can see parts of three other bridges. Off on the left side, near the ramps of the Marquam are the white spires of the new Tilikum Crossing – which we walked across last year. On the far right side just above the tree canopy is the bridge raising mechanism for the Hawthorne Bridge. and you may also see the pier supports for the Morrison Bridge poking out under the roadbed of the Burnside.
The Bridge Stride is a little more than five miles, so it wasn’t long before we reached the finish line.
Linda and I got pins to commemorate the day – I have mine on my camera strap. We hopped back on MAX to the Sunset Transit Center and headed home. If you live in Portland – or visit in August, take advantage of this wonderful activity – you get some of the best views of the city that speed by when you are in your car.