Archive for the ‘Willamette River’ Tag

A Walk on Portland’s Waterfront   4 comments

The Willamette River flows through Portland, Oregon, as viewed from atop the Broadway Bridge.

The Willamette River flows through Portland, Oregon, as viewed from atop the Broadway Bridge.

Regular readers of this blog might wonder why on earth I would be hanging around so close to home for this long.  After all, most of the posts on this blog have been made from the road, either around the American West or in some of the world’s other beautiful places.  I am currently recovering from broken ribs.  I was thrown from a horse, and when I landed there wasn’t much doubt; the cracking sound was quite obvious!  So I’m trying to avoid cabin fever and getting out to shoot (in a mellow way) when the pain isn’t too bad.

Portland's downtown area nestles in behind the trees and grass of Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

Portland’s downtown area nestles in behind the trees and grass of Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

This post will continue the occasional series on Stumptown’s highlights (it’s a cute nickname, don’t you think?).  I recently posted on some of our parks, and also on using urban photography as a way to shake things up .  In this post, I want to make a simple recommendation for any visit to P-town:  simply go down to the east bank of the Willamette River, just across from downtown.  Park somewhere close to that river, and then take a walk for views of the city.

A spiral bike ramp allows bicyclists traveling on the Eastbank Esplanade in Portland, Oregon to access one of the many bridges over the Willamette River.

A spiral bike ramp allows bicyclists traveling on the Eastbank Esplanade in Portland, Oregon to access one of the many bridges over the Willamette River.

You can park near or even at OMSI, the science museum on SE Water Ave. not far from the Hawthorne Bridge.  If you park at the museum, technically you should visit or else you could be towed.  Leaving time for a visit to OMSI is a great idea (I recommend the submarine), but if you don’t have enough time, just park near the museum to the north.  Then walk towards the river until you run into a pathway called the Eastbank Esplanade.  You can stroll north along this pathway and cross over to Tom McCall Waterfront Park (and downtown proper) on one of the several bridges along the way.

The setting sun in Portland, Oregon creates interesting interplay of shadow and light.

The setting sun in Portland, Oregon creates interesting interplay of shadow and light.

If you’re after photographs, shooting over to the city from the Esplanade is ever popular.  But getting up on one of the bridges will give you a multitude of other viewpoints.  My two favorite photos in this post, the Convention Center (below) and the picture immediately above, were both taken from atop bridges.  There are plenty of options, so just explore.  Using Waterfront Park on the west side, it is easy to do loops of varying lengths.  Just cross a bridge on the way to shorten the loop, or walk all the way down to the Steele Bridge to cross.

The twin glass towers of Portland's convention center stand against a deep dusk sky.

The twin glass towers of Portland’s convention center stand against a deep dusk sky.

Don’t expect foodcarts or other such options along the way, that is unless there is a festival of some kind going on in Waterfront Park.  This is a bicycling/walking/running path and is kept deliberately uncluttered so as to allow folks to stroll and enjoy the views of the city.  If you get thirsty or hungry, just strike “inland” away from the river and in a few blocks you should find something.

The Convention Center towers are in the background as I focus on the cherry blossoms on the cusp of nightfall.

The Convention Center towers are in the background as I focus on the cherry blossoms on the cusp of nightfall.

I hope you enjoy the pictures, and that you’ll get a chance to visit Portland soon to see for yourself.  And if you’ve already been, come back soon!  It really is a nice city, very walkable and in the right light quite pretty with its bridges and riverfront.  If you’re interested in purchasing  prints or high-res. downloads of any of the images, simply click on them.  When you get to an image you need to click “add image to cart”, then you’ll have a tabbed list of prices.  The images are copyrighted, and so aren’t available for free download, sorry.  Thanks for your interest, and thanks for reading!  Stay tuned for a more nature-oriented post next time.

Portland, Oregon is a town of bridges, like the Steele Bridge here spanning the Willamette River at dusk.

Portland, Oregon is a town of bridges, like the Steele Bridge here spanning the Willamette River at dusk.

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Bridges   6 comments

Portland, Oregon is a town of bridges, like the Steele Bridge here spanning the Willamette River at dusk.

Portland, Oregon is a town of bridges, like the Steele Bridge here spanning the Willamette River at dusk.

The theme of the post is bridges, as inspired by Ailsa’s blog.  Check that out for many more bridge posts and pictures.  I live in a city with the nickname (among others) of Bridgetown: Portland, Oregon.  Most bridges span the Willamette River as it runs through the center of town.  But a couple cross the much larger Columbia  just north of town heading into Vancouver, Washington.

The view south from central eastside Portland takes in the Hawthorne and Ross Island Bridges.

The view south from central eastside Portland takes in the Hawthorne and Marquam Bridges.

The Morrison Bridge in Portland, Oregon opens for a pleasure boat.

The Morrison Bridge in Portland, Oregon opens for a pleasure boat.

When I go hiking out in the nearby Columbia River Gorge, there is a very interesting bridge I often cross in order to access trails on the Washington side of the river.  This is called Bridge of the Gods, named after the American Indian legend that tells of a natural span across the river at this point in ancient times.  It’s fascinating that geologists have, at this precise point along the river, determined that a landslide hundreds of years ago may have temporarily dammed the river.  In fact, if you climb up and view the area from above, you can see the remnants of this old landslide as plain as day.

The Bridge of the Gods crosses the Columbia River from Oregon to Washington.

The Bridge of the Gods crosses the Columbia River from Oregon to Washington.

The California Coast is the attraction to driving Highway 1, the Pacific Coastal Highway.  The Bixby Bridge is near Big Sur.

The California Coast is the attraction to driving Highway 1, the Pacific Coastal Highway. The Bixby Bridge is near Big Sur.

Along with scenic bridges such as those along the Pacific coast (such as the Bixby Bridge in California above), my travels have taken me across some great examples of foot bridges.  Take the suspension bridges along the trekking routes in the Himalayas, for example.  They receive constant traffic, both human and yak, and are just as important as highway bridges where roads not trails connect communities.  All of the supplies (not to mention the trekking tourists) that mountain villages rely upon must pass over them, so they are generally maintained.  I love any foot bridge, especially of the suspension variety, since you can make them sway and bounce so easily.  Strange that others on the bridge often get upset when I do this.

One of the main footbridges spanning a deep gorge on the way to Namche Bazaar in the Everest region of Nepal.

One of the main footbridges spanning a deep gorge on the way to Namche Bazaar in the Everest region of Nepal.

Mount Rainier's Wonderland Trail crosses a high suspension bridge over Tacoma Creek.

Mount Rainier’s Wonderland Trail crosses a high suspension bridge over Tacoma Creek.

I like how on some bridges the builders took some time to decorate the abutments, or bridge ends (as in the image below).  Also the bridge itself is often decorated.  I have seen and crossed many bridges that unfortunately I haven’t photographed well.  The bridges over the Seine in Paris, Florence, the ones in Venice of course.

A bridge abutment in Thailand is carved into elephant heads.

A bridge abutment in Thailand is carved into elephant heads.

I live in an area with many old covered bridges relatively close-by.  It is sad that I have not spent the time to photograph them well.  This challenge has given me a kick in the pants, and when I can get down there (hopefully very soon) I will post an addendum to this.

The red light of a stormy sunset illuminates the Willamette River as it flows under the Steele Bridge in Portland, Oregon.

The red light of a stormy sunset illuminates the Willamette River as it flows under the Steele Bridge in Portland.

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