Friday, June 01, 2012

Walking Around Portland

I picked up a book called Portland City Walks: 20 Explorations In and Around Town at the library recently.  Davan picked it up and was flipping through it a couple of days ago.  She asked if we could do a walk together from the book.  Of course.

Wednesday morning found the both of us awake early, so I suggested doing one of the walks together for Ranger's morning walk.  I'd noticed one of the walks came within 5 blocks of our house.  I wrote down the turns and off we went.  It was just under 6 miles.  We had a nice walk, but we agreed that we probably should have just brought the book so we could read about our walk as we went.

Later, as we looked through the book, we decided to try to do all 20 walks.  I don't know how long that will take, as our trip to Colorado is coming up soon and Davan is supper busy all summer after that.

We're off to a good start, though, because we did our second walk this morning.  It's another walk that comes even closer to our house, so we picked it up at that point.  However, this time, we brought the book and read about the walk as we went.  With a bit extra from our house and a couple of off route meanderings, we did 7 miles today.

There was a lot of stopping to read out of the book.  Davan and I each did this some while the other was in charge of the dog.

We were out for hours - about 3.5 to be precise.  We had a great time.

Even though we were in our neighborhood for much of the walk where we walk quite often, we went down streets we don't usually go down and noticed things we never have.  We learned things about places we see all the time.  For example, a house we've wondered about that doesn't really look like it fits in was built in 1992 by the inventor of Gardenburgers.

Of course, with it being a 7 mile walk, we did journey somewhat from our usual stomping grounds.  We walked through places we've ridden bikes or driven though, but walking, particularly with our book, opened our eyes to things we hadn't noticed.

Ladd's Addition is an interesting neighborhood with angels at odds with the rest of Portland and centered around Ladd's Circle - a traffic circle with a garden in the middle.  We've been there before, but we never realized there are park benches in the middle.

And Rhododendron bushes big enough to climb in.

There are four additional diamond shaped gardens radiating out from the center.  We walked past two of them.  They were bursting with roses.

We saw something not mentioned in our book and not just because the book is a few years old now.

I guess there'd be no way to know for certain if one would see this mobile garden while on this walk.

We were mostly in very pretty residential areas,

but one thing I really like about our neighborhood is how quickly you can go from residential to hopping urban centers with coffee shops, restaurants and shops.  That sure makes for easy hiking.  I only planned ahead by bringing a water bottle. We got food a few times as we had the opportunity and desire.

We each got a bagel, shared a bag of cherries and, at the coffee shop behind this bench where Davan went in to use the bathroom, I found they had vegan baked goods and, just because I didn't want to freeload, of course, we got a strawberry-rhubarb bar to share.

Ranger had a great walk...

She enjoyed sharing a few bites of our treats, but I didn't plan ahead for water for her and she got really thirsty.  We found a restaurant with a dish for water for dogs, but it was empty.  I went in and they were kind enough to fill it with their lemon spiked ice water.  Ranger drank so much so fast she threw a bit back up.  Yeah, I bet you're glad I shared that bit of trivia.

We saw a convent that has actual nuns living there.  Who knew?  Just a couple miles from our place.

We passed two playgrounds.  Davan, who's shoulder/back is suddenly feeling much better today, was happy to check one of them out.

She didn't linger long, as there were many, many little kids about.

The other park is one she goes to all the time with Lena, though, and she opted to just walk by today.

Of course, Davan doesn't really need a playground to play.

Yup.  Feeling much better.

Right by the park where she goes all the time, though, we found something we'd never seen before.  It's just a little off of our usual walking routes.

Someone built this little lending library for their front yard.  Davan found a book about the Three Investigators, which is a series I really enjoyed as a kid.  She picked it up to read and will take it back when she's done.  She'd contribute other books, but we get our books from the library, so rarely have any to pass on.

We really enjoyed ourselves and are really glad we've decided to take on this project.

Two down, eighteen to go (or maybe nineteen, as we're thinking we should redo the first walk with the book to get the full experience).


  1. That black iron bench that Davan's sitting on in front of the little restaurant on Ladd Circle? That's where my physical therapist and I had lunch the other day.
    His office is right there.

  2. What a great idea! I would love a book like that! I love all of your pictures and that lending library is great! I can't wait to see the other 18!!

  3. Glad Davan's back is feeling better. You know how those injuries can come out of no where it seems, as you have had a few yourself recently. Cool walks. Nice to discover more about your neighborhood and then more of Portland as you do more of the walks.