4th of July? Extra day off? Super summery weather? Itching for a bike ride? The ever-present summer desire to eat my weight in ripe berries? That’s a recipe for a trip to Sauvie Island if I ever heard one!
Sauvie Island is a pretty sweet little gem just far enough outside of Portland to make either a great day trip or simply a few hours’ bike ride if it’s only the riding and not the stops that you’re after. For that matter, the number 16 bus takes you right to the Sauvie Island bridge, all you have to do is cross the river and BAM! Tons of miles of pleasant, flat, farmy island riding. (Though the 16 doesn’t run on Sundays).
Without taking the bus, there are bunches of nice ways to ride out there–including ways that almost entirely avoid biking on Highway 30, which, if safe, is fairly loud and unpleasant.
Since James had never biked on Syline Blvd before, we opted to take the long, beautiful, hilly, and Highway-30-avoiding way out to the island, then the shorter way back:
It turned out to be just over 50 miles for the whole ride, with a long stop around 30 miles in at Columbia Farms where we picked about 15 pounds of blueberries (and probably ate about three pounds on the spot. heh).
On the way back, St Johns would generally be an awesome lunch stop–but since it was the 4th of July, everything except for Burgerville was closed. (But I guess that’s what the three pounds of blueberries we’d already eaten were for;) On non-federal holidays, though, that would be a good option.
Like I said, there are many, many ways to get out there, and other than picking berries–or pumpkins, depending on the season–there are also tons of other things to do. There’s a nude beach, for one, as well as non-naked swimming beaches, tons of bird watching, natural areas, a Metro park (Howell Park) with heirloom apples you can pick for free, a boat launch, hiking, and, apparently, Oregon’s smallest lighthouse (I’m going to have to go back to see about that last one;)
It’s a great way to get the heck out of the city without too much effort. And with lots of berries to show for it:) Put some extra tupperware in your panniers!