Today was an unexpected and gloriously sunny day–and with not much work scheduled, it gave me time to go for a much needed bike adventure! When the weather’s crappy, I still bike everywhere, of course, but I’m not as overly enthused about it as I am on a day like today, when everything is bright and the air smells fresh and even flowery.
Since I was going to be up in Northeast Portland anyway, I took the opportunity to grab my binoculars and take a trip out to Smith and Bybee Wetlands, where I sometimes volunteer and where one can scope out a pretty impressive amount of bird variety. There’s nothing like listening to birds and watching them flit about to celebrate spring, right?:)
I’ll admit I did not take a direct route to get there. I wanted to get off the big streets and take the trail by the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant–which often smells a little questionable but is quite visually lovely:
From there, I crossed the Columbia Slough to the appropriately named Columbia Slough Trail. Sadly, it was closed in the direction that I wanted to go (west):
…but the easterly direction is lovely too, so no worries. This is not a ride-fast-on-your-nice-racing-bike path though, as perhaps you can tell. It’s not evenly paved, and in some parts it stops being paved at all for a few feet at a time.
The end of this path is where I often find myself somewhat lost. I say “somewhat” because though I’m never lost in the sense of having no idea where I am, I also don’t necessarily know where a certain street will take me, nor do I have a great sense of what streets to take to most efficiently get to a specific spot. Here, I always end up bumbling around until I eventually get to where I’m trying to go, and I’m pretty sure I never take the same way twice. (I should add that this place is around the Expo Center and the Portland Meadows racetrack, and the ensuing mess of large, fast-moving streets are not particularly pleasant to bike on.) So imagine my pleasure to find new signs pointing me in the right direction:
I love Portland bike infrastructure!
Suffice it to say I made it to Smith and Bybee and was able to birdwatch like a champ.
This kind of day is exactly what I want when the weather starts turning nice, even if it’ll still only be nice in spurts for a while. After a few months of biking almost exclusively for commuting/pragmatic purposes, it’s nice to really sink into a joyride, just for the sake of exploration and being outside.