Cathedral Park - In the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies - CycleBlaze

March 14, 2019

Cathedral Park

So, it’s settled.  At Rachael’s insistence I’m going to cram all seven of my Cycle Life Challenge rides into the two weeks before we leave for Palermo.  She says that I spend quite enough time on the journal as it is, without layering the Challenge on top of it.  I’m right on track though, thanks to our run of splendid weather - this is my fourth ride in six days, and the whole coming week looks pretty great for riding too.

Yes, this looks like a good day to ride alright. Keep them coming!
Heart 3 Comment 0

The plan for today is to bike up to North Portland to Blend, an attractive little coffeehouse near Willamette Bluff that I just discovered last year.  We have an afternoon film to get back for and I have a longer ride in mind for the day, so I get an early start.  I’m out the door just before sunrise, and make it to Blend about a half hour later.  It’s warmer this morning - 40 degrees when I leave home - so I’m surprised by how cold it feels.  The air is dampish though, and I’m biking into a modest headwind that steadily strips the warmth off.  By the time I make it to Blend I’m well chilled and happy to wrap my hands around a steaming mug of Stumptown’s best.

In Blend, a small coffee shop on Killingsworth I should make it out to more often than I do. Yes, that’s just the usual almond croissant and steaming mug - but the banana gives us some welcome variety in the diet.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Study Hall
Heart 2 Comment 0

My plan for the day is to continue north to Saint Johns, cross my favorite bridge, and then climb up Newberry Road to Skyline Boulevard.  I love Newberry now, because it’s closed to through traffic.  A chunk of the road washed away in a slide two winters ago, and they still haven’t repaired it.  I hope they never do, because you can still wheel your bike around the gap  and enjoy a peacefully carefree ride up to the summit.

I sat around for over an hour, and expected it to be warmer when I got out.  Surprisingly though, it’s every bit as cold as when I stepped in.  In the meantime, the sky has misted over and it’s really damp.  By the time I’ve biked a couple of miles I’m cold again and toy with stopping in at Cathedral Coffee to wait out the day a bit longer.  I continue on though, and a mile later, just as I near the bridge, the sun breaks through and the day quickly transforms.   On impulse, I decide to drop down to the waterfront in Cathedral Park to get a better look at the river and the bridge from below.

We seem to keep gravitating back to this bridge for some reason.
Heart 3 Comment 0

I’ve spent some time in Cathedral Park before, but today it really grabs me and holds on.  I find some spots and vantage points and haven’t seen before, and the place has a magical feeling.  There is the bridge itself of course, which is as wonderful as always.  Today though I explore a bit further and find two interesting nooks that are new to me.  

Rodriguez, always eager to lend a handlebar, buttresses the Saint Johns Bridge.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Same bridge, same bike, same spot, but a different perspective. It’s a good illustration of the scale of this magnificent bridge.
Heart 4 Comment 0
If I ever assemble a photo album, I’ll include a set of bridge photos in black and white.
Heart 2 Comment 1
Jen GrumbyWould love to see that album. Love your bridge photos!
Reply to this comment
7 months ago

On the northern edge of the park, by the boat ramp, there’s a curious little lot that is fenced in and almost looks private but isn’t marked as such.  I bike through the open gate and look around, mostly because I wanted to get a closer look at the old vessel moored there.  Once inside though, I see that it’s a small garden of delights - beehives, raised gardens, steel sculptures.  A great spot to poke around for awhile.

I’d like to know the name and story for this old craft. I thought it might be the Love, and we were trying to save it; but no. I think the Go Fund Me campaign is just to save the sign. From the evidence, it looks like the campaign is losing.
Heart 2 Comment 0
This is not the Love, I believe.
Heart 2 Comment 1
Ron Suchanek“Where is the Love?”
-Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway
Reply to this comment
7 months ago
In addition to B&W bridge photos, my album will include a nice assortment of tire shots. Such a fine subject!
Heart 2 Comment 0
An odd spot for a Via Verde.
Heart 2 Comment 0
It almost makes my ears hurt looking at this.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Love those beehives! This little apiary is a stop on the Tour de Hives, a self-guided tour of backyard apiaries and bee trees in and around Portland.
Heart 2 Comment 3
Bill ShaneyfeltThe apiarist said "beekeeping gives me hives." :-)
Reply to this comment
7 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Bill ShaneyfeltHe said, a bit rashly.
Reply to this comment
7 months ago
Bill ShaneyfeltTo Scott AndersonChuckle!
Reply to this comment
7 months ago
I’m really curious about what this little spot is, with it’s eclectic collection of beehives, sculptures and assorted junk. I thought looking up the name on this colorful bus might give a clue, but it didn’t. It was interesting to learn though that nanban-zuke is a Japanese seafood dish, and that the bus is a mobile sushi restaurant.
Heart 3 Comment 0
A Japanese sushi bus, so presumably this is a Japanese dragon too.
Heart 2 Comment 0

Leaving that spot, I work my way back through the park to its exit on the south side.  There, I’m pulled in by another little attraction I’ve missed until now: the Water Pollution Control Laboratory.  It has a pretty little riverside pathway that takes you a bit further south and gives a nice view of the railroad bridge.  Its best attraction though is its Rain Garden: a small wetland oasis that is sourced by runoff from the houses just above the hill: the runoff comes down through a flume and collects into a walled basin.  I think the idea is that this is a water cleansing facility, to purify it before it seeps into the river.

It’s also effectively a little wildlife sanctuary, filled with birds and I suspect small mammals.  As I bike up I see chickadees, warblers, juncos, sparrows and flickers.  As soon as I point my camera their way though they of course immediately scatter, leaving me feeling frustrated.  Then, unexpectedly, the flicker I’ve been zooming in on in the shadows high up the tree above me glides down and alights on the wall in the sun and proceeds to flip up the moss.  

That’s enough.  Newberry Road can wait for another day.  I’ve been here for nearly two hours and found more than I came for already.  Head for home, take a shower, go see a film, go to happy hour at Serrato’s afterwards.  Pretty good program for the day.

How can I have never noticed that this is what happens to pussy willows in the spring? What an explosion of color.
Heart 4 Comment 0
I feel so lucky today! I never manage to get a decent shot of flickers, one of my favorite birds. They’re always either too shy and far off or hiding in the shadows up in a tree. This one stood on the wall for quite a while, flipping up bits of moss looking for a meal.
Heart 7 Comment 3
Jen GrumbyExcellent shot .. makes my day!
Reply to this comment
7 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyThanks, Jen. It made mine also. Quite a gift to end the ride on.
Reply to this comment
7 months ago
Bruce LellmanYou even got the eye highlight. Perfect!
Reply to this comment
7 months ago
This has nothing to do with the day, but I liked it and wanted to stuff it somewhere. This is from Tuesday, when I drove down to Salem for my pretour haircut and to have coffee here at the Governor’s Cup with my old (but younger than me by a few weeks, so not so old really) friend Frank. I’ve come to the Gov Cup off and on for about 40 years, since about when it first opened. I remember the original owner stirring steaming beans from this roaster - it made me wish I could smell them.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Rate this entry's writing Heart 5
Comment on this entry Comment 0