For those of you who don’t know, Vera Katz was the first woman Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives as well as mayor of Portland from 1993-2005. Since 2003 there’s been a statue of her sitting along the side of the Eastbank Esplanade:
There are often various additions to the statue like this one of book and blossoms. Sometimes she’s wearing a hat–a beanie, perhaps, if it’s cold, or a pretty brim-ful hat on a nice day. Sometimes she has food in her lap. Once I saw an umbrella opened and somehow propped above her head.
This offering seemed particularly appropriate on this first official day of spring:)
When you bike over the Lewis and Clark Bridge that I mentioned in the last post, you might see something like this to the west side of it:
(so much evidence of logging!)
It’s a “complicated industry,” I say, because while the sight off all these used-to-be trees makes me intensely sad, I also know that timber sales fund a lot of public services in Washington. And that while I try to limit my consumption of wood/paper products as much as possible, wood used responsibly is at least a renewable resource, unlike some. Like most issues, it’s never as easy as “logging is bad, conservation is good.”
That being said, I do feel like if this were a sight that more people saw on a daily basis, maybe we’d be a little more conscious of the choices we make–not just for wood, but resources in general.
Though I was planning to get a whole bunch of work done yesterday, the relative sunshine enticed me out for adventure. When it’s sunny in February in Oregon, after all, you’ve got to take advantage.
Adventure rides often have no set agenda, I just turn in whatever direction seems most exciting at the time and see where I end up. Yesterday, it meant starting out on the Springwater Corridor down to the Sellwood Bridge.
In case you 1) don’t live in Portland, or 2) haven’t been following the bridgey news, the woefully decripit old Sellwood Bridge is being replaced by a lovely new Sellwood Bridge that will open in 2015 (you can read all about it here). The new bridge will be exactly where the old bridge was. But since people still need to get over the river between now and when the new bridge is done in 2015, the old bridge is still up–except that an amazing team of engineers managed to slide it downriver, 66 feet on the west side and 33 feet on the east, where it will be a temporary detour bridge for the next few years. (If you read this article you can learn all sorts of awesome tidbits like the fact that Dawn dishwashing liquid was the secret ingredient to getting the bridge to move smoothly.)
ODOT made a pretty amazing timelapse video of it, actually:
Anyway, biking up the Riverview Cemetery on the west side of the river gives you some pretty eerie views of it now:
(see the pillars on the right? That’s where the bridge used to be)
It’s definitely worth a look if you haven’t been down there. Also, I didn’t take any pictures of it, but the two sections that connect the old bridge to its new location on both banks are so much nicer to bike on than the bridge itself–they’re actually wide enough that you can, say, bike past another cyclist or pedestrian without one of you having to stop and squeeze yourself against the railing:)
And as for the work I was planning to do? You know what? I got it done, even with a lengthy sunshine bike adventure. Everybody wins:)