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Walking the Road Less Driven

Monday, July 20, 2009
Yesterday, I thought I'd take a walk. (Yes, this behavior is quite strange for me.) What was just going to be a simple "walk downtown" turned into a 7-hour, 18.5 mile adventure that has left me a little sore today.

What I love about walking - and I'll say this a thousand times - is that you have time to notice things you'd never see while driving, and you're free to go places cars cannot. When driving a car, I generally try to stay on the road. When walking, I can go around "Do Not Enter" signs or past locked gates just to see what's on the other side. I can look down from an overpass, wonder what the road below is - and then find it. Walking takes me places that I like to go.

So I ended up walking down to the McCormick & Baxter Creosote Superfund site, where I was able to take a decent photo of the train bridge. I was also able to see some graffiti under a train overpass that I thought was amazingly colorful and artistic; how much time does it take to do something like this? Simple tagging, of course, is irritating, but this actually added value to the landscape.

Hidden graffiti: but it's damn near art!

Eventually, I ended up wandering south and, after a stop for water and StarBurst, I found myself downtown at Saturday Market. I hung out there, chilled out on the waterfront for a bit, then started walking again. It was then that I was reminded by a friend that the Sand In The City was going on. Being the curious sort, I walked up to Pioneer Courthouse Square just as they were going to demolish the sand structures and clean up. I managed to take this photograph moments before destruction!

Portland's Sand in the City in Pioneer Courthouse Square

Despite having left for my walk around noon, the sun was already starting to get lower in the sky as I walked home. I was up along Willamette Blvd when I spotted the following bench and snapped this picture:

A bench under a tree.

I think that came out well!

Anyway, Portland is a beautiful town to walk around and, as usual, I can't wait until my next one!


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