Today started with an early run to the Portland airport to deliver two friends for a trip to Mississippi to see their new granddaughter. I love driving I-84 at 04:30… round trip in one hour. After a bit more sleep Di and I set out to hike one of the routes documented in Portland Hill Walks. Looking at the map of the route I thought we’d be in pretty familiar territory but the narrative added so much history to the travel path that I felt like I was entering a totally new part of the city. For the most part that was true. The hike is an amazing 4.5 miles of diversity… starting urban we walked through some of the older neighborhoods of Portland and quickly entered into Forest Park at a point I’d never been to before. We got to walk across bridges I didn’t know existed, see lots of older homes where the owners are pouring money into wonderful restorations and walk through shaded trails in full canopy. It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed the time out. Stopping to take photos and explore a bit we finished the walk in about 1.5 hours. Certainly not a record pace but very refreshing.
As we neared the end of the route, following Balch Creek down toward town, we ran into a group of young kids who had been out pulling English ivy. They looked like they’d been working but didn’t seem too interested in talking. One of the leaders of the group was plenty friendly though. At the edge of town Balch Creek gets put into a culvert for the rest of its journey to the River. Pretty dismal way to treat a creek and I have to wonder what people might hear if their houses or businesses are above the waterway. Another time for sure… we’d never do that today… would we?
Good bye Balch Creek!