Walk # 8: Multnomah Village to Vermont Hills Loop

We did this 3 mile walk on the 4th of June, which was a Tuesday.  Before the walk, I watched our friendly borrowed Do Jump baby while Davan helped to teach class with said baby’s mom.  We ended up driving over to Do Jump and parking the car.  Then I took Kai to the park while Davan and his mom taught, meeting back up with Davan after so we could jet straight to Multnomah Village for our walk.  We had to go through all that to make sure we got done in time for me to get to work!

While Multnomah Village isn’t far, maybe 8 miles from us, we really haven’t spent any time there to speak of.  When Davan was little, a relative of a friend lived there and had a swimming pool, so we got invited to swim there a few times.  However, we never made it into the cute little downtown area or sprawling and lovely Gabriel Park.  We just love how these walks take us to places we just wouldn’t go otherwise.

The walk started at the corner of Gabriel Park, but we didn’t actually enter the park until the end.  First we made out way to the commercial area, which, sadly, is undergoing some major street renovation, but we could still see it’s charms.  Davan was drawn in by a store selling middle eastern handmade crafts, but we decided she was better off waiting until she’s actually in the middle east to buy middle east trinkets.  Ranger and I had to wait outside, but I was able to get a picture through the open door.


We then wandered through some residential areas, making some pretty good hill climbs.


At the high point, we came to a park that was all around these water towers.  Davan was pretty excited when she realized she could get on top of one.


A descent through more neighborhoods…


…took us to the opposite end of Gabriel Park and right by the Southwest Community Center, which was a lovely building the author suggested we go inside to see.  However, we had Ranger and didn’t do that.  We did, though, very much enjoy the hills dotting that side of the park.


After romping on the hills, we passed some tennis courts and entered the wooded area you see behind Davan in the above picture.


We then passed into a more manicured part of the park.

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It was there that Davan found a tree she just had to spend time with.


Once she came down, we were very nearly back to the car for our drive home to lunch before it was off to work for me.



As you can plainly see, I did not complete the goal of posting all the walks before Davan got home.  I’d decided that I was going to wait for the book to come, as it should have only taken a day or two.  It’s still not here.  Sigh.  Waiting for that and wanting to finish those walk posts have keep me from blogging about anything else.  However, lots has been happening!

Davan had a pretty good time at the PDO, an excellent time visiting my friend, Trista, who lives in DC, a wild time visiting her three young boy cousins and an interesting time doing some solo sight seeing in the DC area.  Then she came home and guess who was here?!?!?


Yup!  We’ve got a Lena.  This, of course, is not the airport, but Lena came with us to pick Davan up.  I simply forgot my camera.  Lena had hers, but I have not yet been given those pics, so here’s another shot of them.

Davan got home on Wednesday night.  Thursday (on the 4th), Lena came over and we got the girls ready to go on their big adventure.  They rode their bikes to the coast!  It was 100 miles over three days.  They camped along the way and then I went and picked them up.  The above picture is them at the beach after completing their ride.  There are a lot more pictures and I promise to post at least some of them.

On, at least partially, a whim, I signed up for a sprint length triathlon on Saturday.  I did as well as I was hoping to do, which is good, considering that I hadn’t been specifically training for it at all.

I forgot my goggles and we stopped at Fred Meyer’s on the way there where my choices were youth, toddler, adult or Spiderman youth goggles.  I ended up with a pair of $4 youth goggles, which actually worked just fine.  I borrowed a wetsuit from a friend to see how I liked swimming in one (I didn’t).  The biggest bummer was that we (Anthony came for support), along with at least 20 other people got parking tickets from being poorly advised on parking.

Overall, though, I had a lot of fun and want to do another tri very soon!

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Walk #7: North Portland/Mississippi Ave Loop

North Portland is pretty darn generic, but I can’t for the life of me remember the name of this loop.  We did walk on Mississippi for a bit, so I’ll go with that.

We did this walk in the evening on Monday the 3rd.  Mondays were (things are changing now) pretty darn busy, leaving evening as being the best time for a walk.  The nice part about that is that Anthony got to go with us on this 3.5 (I think!) or so mile loop.

We started out near the Matt Dishman Community Center on the east side of I-5, but quickly crossed under I-5 and headed downhill.001 003

Above:  Anthony got that cap on his ride.  After it was over and the raffle was held, all the people who didn’t win anything were invited to move up close to the stage to catch swag being tossed to the crowd.  Anthony caught a water bottle, but the lady next to him got this cap.  Turns out, they each coveted the other item, so a swap was made.

Davan and the Fremont Bridge.  Davan and I will be up on the bridge at 6am on August 11th to start the Bridge Pedal, so we’ve been taking a lot of interest in it this summer.


Then we walked back to the east side of I-5, along an area that the author described as surprisingly pleasant in spite of being so close to the freeway exchange.  We did not agree.  Well, we did agree about the being close the the freeway exchange.  That was quite obvious.  Anyway, we soon started climbing and passed this awesome mural.  In fact, this picture only shows about half of it.


We walked through some neighborhoods.

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We also walked along Mississippi for a while, past the ReBuilding Center and a nice business area.  Were we not vegan, we’d have totally stopped for ice cream.

We passed this cool building, which is two Victorian houses connected together.


We also passed the Title Wave Bookstore, which is a store run by Multnomah County Library with donated books and books that they are cleaning off their shelves as a fundraising venture for the library.  While I knew of it’s existence previously, I’ve never actually been.  Davan was, again, bummed it wasn’t open.  We’ll have to go back.


We found this memorial for Gladys Sims McCoy who was a politician here in Oregon, instrumental in civil rights, but we’d never heard of her before.


While Davan was checking this out, Anthony was stretching.  The was the day after his big ride, after all.


And, of course, loving on the pooch.


This was a pleasant evening walk, but no one was overly high energy that evening, so the moods were rather so-so.  Still, it was nice to get out and good to check off another walk done!

Walk #6: Reed College Loop

I’m pretty sure this walk had another name, but this will do.

As we’d been doing the 5th walk, Davan and I had been talking about if we were going to do another walk and, if so which one.  The dilemma was that the Mt Tabor walk had been kind of a long one and we were iffy about being up for another, not to mention the transportation issue.  Anthony, you’ll remember, had the car.  We also wanted to make sure we were home before Anthony so we’d be home to congratulate him on his ride and celebrate a job well done with him.  However, we knew we had several double days to do and not many great days for doubling up between work and graduation parties that were happening the following weekend.

We ended up deciding we’d do a walk that required a bus ride (even if you drive – you ride the bus back to the starting point) if the bus schedule didn’t require too much wait time.  We figured we’d take the bus there, do the walk, then bus home.  It would be a good walk for Ranger to miss with the bus ride aspect and she was tuckered out from the Mt Tabor walk.  However, when we got home, we discovered that the bus we needed didn’t even run on Sundays.  We went back to the drawing board.  What emerged was the plan for this walk.

We rode our bikes to the start, which was about 4 miles, and then did the walk, which was a short one at something like 2.5 miles.  That made our mileage for the day about 11 miles of walking (by the time we walked to pick up pizza for dinner and took Ranger out for her evening walk) and about 8 miles of bike riding.  While that was no 117 mile ride like Anthony did, we still felt pretty good about having pizza for dinner.

This was a fun little walk with a good portion of it being on trails in a canyon along water.  For fun, we did a little bit of trail running on that part.  Most of the rest was through the Reed College Campus, which is pretty, with some dips into the near by neighborhood.

Davan was disappointed that the library was closed.  Reed College was already out for the summer and has no weekend hours during the summer.  Other than that, though, the walk held few disappointments.  We were very glad we’d gone and done it and that we had yet another two walk day under our belts.

Walk #5: Mt Tabor and Neighborhood Loop

First the bad news.  I seem to have lost all the pictures taken on this day.  That means pictures for two walks.  And on one of those walks, this one, there was a great find which meant that I took just tons of pictures.  Sadly, none of them are in existence.  I’m bummed, but trying to move on.

We did this 5 mile (I think) walk on the 2nd of June, which was the day that Anthony was riding the Oregon Gran Fondo and, thus, had the car.  So, in addition to the 5 miles walk, we walked to and from the starting point, making it more like a 6.5-7 mile walk.  This was one of our favorites.  We really like our neighborhood and Mt Tabor.  Even though we were looking forward to it, we didn’t expect anything new.  After all, this is our stomping ground.  Boy were we surprised!

We went into areas of neighborhoods we never had and even discovered a little pocket of businesses that we had no idea existed.  There was a true neighborhood cafe.  I say that because probably no one who doesn’t live right by it even knows it’s there.  At a house just next to this little business area was a yard with one of those directional signs on it.  It had locations, distances and a name.  Davan and I figured that it must be friends and family of the home owner’s that traveled to those places.  It was really cool.

We went into little corners of Mt Tabor park that we’d never been in before.  We found a big tree on the top of drastically sloping hill that some neighborhood kids (it seems) tied a rope to.  Of course, Davan had to try it out.  It didn’t seem like it would be much, but it turned out to be really awesome because of the ground dropping away under it.  I tried it, as well, and agree that it was lots of fun, but I had even more fun photographing Davan enjoying it.  Sigh.  I’ll get over it.

We had packed a picnic and we ate it at the top of Mt Tabor, overlooking downtown.  It’s one of our favorite spots and we go there often.  We enjoyed it that day, as well.

There may have been even more interesting things, but without the pictures to jog my memory…well, it’s gone now.  Oh well, I still remember it as a great walk.

First an Update

The deadline for completing the walks was June 14th because Davan and I left on June 15th for a trip to California for both fun and some family visiting.  We were extra speedy and finished on the 13th.  We had, again, a great time doing the walks.  In fact, I think it was even more fun this time around.  Maybe that was because the walks were shorter on average (although more intense with lots and lots of elevation change), maybe it was because Davan was a year older and more mature, or maybe it was because a lot of the walks spent time on trails.  I’m not sure, but we sure had a blast.

I’m planning to post more about our trip, but, for now, I’ll just say it was fun, but a whole lot of driving and we had to cut it short a bit due to Ranger issues.  On the plus side, that gave Davan more time to get ready for her trip to D.C.  She’s flying out for the pre-departure orientation (PDO) as I type.  In addition to her blog, she also now has a You Tube channel of her own.  If you’re interested in checking it out, you can do so here.

She’s been both super excited and a bit stressed about this trip.  However, also attending the PDO, although for Turkey, not Oman, is her friend, Amelia.  Once Davan saw Amelia at the airport, she couldn’t say goodbye fast enough.  That’s okay.  She’ll be home in a week and I’m very glad she’s excited.

While Davan is gone, I have goals.  Our reading challenge is still underway and I have not been keeping up my end as well as Davan has.  She had a lot more reading time prior to us leaving for California due to being pretty much off the week before we left.  All she really needed to do was the walks, whereas I was working as well as fitting in the walks.  Anyway, this is my week to catch up and even get ahead in the reading count.  We’ve got a combined book total goal, so it doesn’t really mater who reads more, but I want to do my part.  Also, she’ll barely read at all this week except maybe on the plane ride home, as she won’t be flying with Amelia.  While it won’t count toward my book total, I do also want to catch up on some of my blog reading.  I haven’t read anybody’s in weeks!

I also want to get all the walks blogged.  I’ve just realized that this will be a little challenging, as I’ve returned the walk book to the library and I know I won’t remember the official names or distances.  I shall not let that stop me, however.  I just went and put a hold on the book, so hopefully I’ll get it soon.  Meanwhile, I’ll just do the posts as best I can.

Additionally, I need to get back on my bike.  Between the walks and the trip to California, it’s been weeks.  I’m signed up for a century ride at the end of summer, so I really need to keep on it.    Also in the physical realm, I’d like to get in the pool.  I’m considering doing a sprint triathlon toward the end of summer, as well, to dip back into that sport.  My running is going okay as far as the ankle goes, so a sprint should be okay for that.  That’s about a half a mile swim, a 20K bike ride and a 5K run.

We’ve also been spending like crazy with the travel and with booking things for Lena’s upcoming visit (Lena, you have to wait to hear details from Davan!), so it’s also a goal for me to be economical this week – no eating out and inexpensive activities.

So, there it is.  The next post will be a walk post.  When I’m done with them, I’ll move on to the California trip.

Walk #4: Willamette Park to Terwilliger Loop

This walk came right on the heels of walk #3.  It’s 3.75 miles, but it turned out that part of the loop toward the end was closed.  To go around it, we had to backtrack quite a bit.  I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing we walked more like 4.5 miles.  It was a bummer, but we still mostly liked the walk.

We started in Willamette Park, right on the Willamette water front.  It’s a nice park with plenty of space for many activities.  We saw two women playing frisbee in a performance sort of way – interesting moves up into the air and passing back and forth.  They were working hard and still at it when we were back about two hours later.  There was also a playground.


Then we moved through some neighborhoods, including a street called Miles that has a row of houses that used to be house boats, while working our way ever more up.

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From that last one we could see the many hills that were yet to come for us over the course of completing the book.  And one we’d already done – Rocky Butte.

We went through a park and a community garden.

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Then we got up to a large park with trails.  It was at this point that we realized the pedestrian underpass we were supposed to take was closed.  We had to walk back to the way we’d crossed I-5 to get back to Willamette Park and our car.  At this point, we also stopped taking pictures.  Ah well.

Luckily, we still made it home in time to have dinner with Anthony before he left to spend the night in Springfield prior to his Gran Fondo ride on Sunday and to make desserts.  Davan and I hosted a dessert and game night at our place that evening, which was great fun.  I got to meet two of the young ladies that went to Washington DC for the In Person Selection Event, which was really nice.  One of the two is going to Turkey.  The other is an alternate, but is also the sister of a friend of Davan’s by complete coincidence!  Small world, no?

Walk #3: Dunthorpe Gardens

Once again, we’ve been so busy with the walking that I haven’t had much time to blog about it.  Additionally, Davan and I are doing a reading challenge.  While we both love reading, we’ve both let our reading time slide and be taken up with watching various things (Amazing Race, VlogBrothers), so we decided we’d try to read a combined 100 books before she leaves for Oman.  It’s a fair chunk of reading to do and, in fact, I feel like I should probably be reading right now.  Still, though, I want to blog while things are more or less still fresh.

The Dunthorpe Gardens walk was short at a little over 2 miles.  It’s called Dunthorpre Gardens because it’s in the Dunthorpe area and visits two gardens.  The part that is over 2 miles is walking in the gardens.  However, it turns out that one of the gardens is no longer open to visitors or even, it would seem, a garden.  So, it should probably be called the Bishop’s Close Walk.  Anyway.

We set out Saturday morning after having Sunday morning pancakes for breakfast.  The whole Sunday breakfast on Saturday was because Anthony was going to be out of town on Sunday, doing the Oregon Gran Fondo.  He debated going with us, but opted to stay home and save his legs for his ride.  So, it was just us girls (Davan, Ranger and I).

After a short walk up a steep hill, followed by a meander down a nice lane (many of our Trailblazers live in this area, if that gives you any indication of spiffyness of the neighborhood), we got to Bishop’s Close.  It was a surprise!  I’ve never even heard of it, but it’s a lovely gardens with a lot of rules – no games and no picknicking for example – which seems to keep the crowds down.  It’s free to enter.  There are lots of nice paths, areas to sit and enjoy and some views of the Willamette.

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We came across a lovely pond just full of newts.


Luckily, they allow dogs on leash, ’cause Ranger thinks she’s people.  Here she is, enjoying the view.

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We were amazed at how long she stood there, looking around.

After enjoying the close for a while, we headed toward Berry Botanic Garden.  The walk up was so-so mostly due to the lack of side walks, but there were a few nice views and some lovely homes.  When we got to the high point and apparent entrance to the Gardens, there was just a chain across the road with a “Private Property” sign on it.  Okay, then, back down we went.


We got back to the car feeling like we still had a walk in us and knowing we needed to do several two walk days, so we stopped for a second walk before coming home.  That’s a whole separate post, though!

Walk #2: Alameda Ridge Loop

Friday morning, also known as day 2, we set out to knock out a walk before work.  We’ve actually done nearly this exact walk out of another walking book.  That was back in January just before Davan went to Switzerland.  I wrote about it here.  This route was a little different, though, and it was warmer.  🙂

This route was 4.75 miles, making it one of the longer ones from our current book.  Over the course of the walk, you climb up and drop off of Alameda Ridge frequently.

We enjoyed all the stairs and the neighborhood in general, which has lots of interesting houses and gardens.

I’ve been going back and forth about which camera to take on our walks.  I’ve been taking our little one, rather than the new, big fancy one.  I like the fact that I can put the little one in my pocket.  I don’t particularly like the pictures it produces.  I’ve been taking the little one, but, now that I’m actually going through pictures…well, I may have to take the other camera even though it adds significantly to the bulk of our walking gear (bag with water and sometimes snacks, the guide book, Ranger – that sort of thing).

Anyway, here are some pictures from this Friday.  If you want to see some nicer pictures of the Alameda Ridge area, follow that above link.  I definitely took more that time around.

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Walk #1: Rocky Butte Base to Peak

We chose this walk to do first because it’s relatively short at 2.5 miles and, when we took on the challenge, it was already mid-morning on Thursday and I had to work in the afternoon.  And I had a cold.  So.  Still, we got right out and did one.

This was an interesting walk in that a long stretch of it is on a trail that, sound aside, seems like you’re in the woods.


However, it’s hard to set sound aside because you’re walking next to I-205, which is very loud.  After a while, you climb up the butte partially on a trail and partially on a road to the top.

Along the way, you pass under this pedestrian tunnel.


I’ve never been to the top of Rocky Butte before which is apparently quite common for Portlanders.  It’s kind of crazy, though, because it’s really pretty cool up there.  There is a park at the top that, along with the access roads, was built by the Depression-era WPA.  It was the second most expensive works project in Oregon, after Timberline Lodge.  The park is quite nice looking and provides lots of great views.

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I’m realizing that I didn’t get any good pictures of the park itself, so I’m going to borrow a couple for you.

Cool, no?  The thing you see sticking up in the middle of the top photo is an airway beacon, which is pretty much a light house for airplanes.  This was the system used for night time air navigation prior to ground to air radio transmission.  It was built in 1931 and decommissioned in the 1960s.  It’s one of the few still standing.

The rock walls in the area make for great rock climbing, particularly for practice, as both top and bottom are so accessible.  Other than a brief boulding, though, we didn’t do any rock climbing this day.  It was a very interesting walk, with a great destination, though, and we’re really glad we did it.