Quick! How can you tell when it’s spring, and not winter, in Portland? As any long-time resident knows, the answer is: The rain is warmer. Walking downhill through Portland State University in a constant drizzle, I couldn’t help think about old rain jokes. It kind of comes with the territory during April in Portland.
Rain, or no rain, it was a good day to make an nine-mile loop hike, exploring some of Portland’s attractions. After passing through the PSU campus, I continued to the Willamette River. It was still somewhat high due to the recent rains, but many boats were in the river fishing for spring chinook salmon, the best tasting fish known to mankind. (It’s not the best fighting fish though. That mantle belongs to summer steelhead.)
Turning north, I enjoyed a nice walk along the Waterfront, sharing the scenery with bicyclists and runners. After crossing the River on a walkway below the Steel Bridge, I turned south on the Esplanade which extends 1 1/2 miles and includes a floating walkway, the longest one of its kind in the United States. After crossing the Hawthorn Bridge the next stop was the Tram Station. I bought a $4 pass to ride the Tram to the Oregon Health & Science University where I took a break and partially dried out.
From there I connected with the Marquam Trail, ascending to Council Crest in about two miles, the highest point in Portland. In another 1 1/2 miles I was home.