A sunny, summer day in Downtown Portland is hard to beat. I parked near the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry on the east side of the Willamette River.
Walking north I soon reached the Hawthorne Bridge where the Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade begins. The Esplanade extends 1 1/2 miles and includes a floating walkway, the longest one of its kind in the United States.
At the Steel Bridge, the north end of the Esplanade, there is a walkway under the Bridge only 30 feet above the Willamette River. Being so close to the water, even small boats cause the “drawbridge” section of the walkway to be lifted often to allow the boats to pass. Still, it’s pleasant to be close to the River and the cool breezes.
Upon reaching the west bank of the River, I turned north following a wooden pathway next to the condos along the River. On the other side of the River there were unloaded sea-going vessels, tug boats and other signs of commercial activities. It provided a good historic sense of the industrial foundation of the city, and a nice reminder Portland once was defined by its vibrant deep-water port activities. In fact, the motto of Portland “The City that Works” certainly comes from that era.
Heading south, I began the loop back to OMSI enjoying the views along the way. During the walk seven bridges could be seen; Marquam, Hawthorne, Morrison, Burnside, Steel, Broadway and Fremont from south to north.
I sometimes think Portland ought to be called the City of Bridges, instead of the City of Roses.