It’s been tough ‘round these parts. Normally September in Portland is “the end of summer” with sunny days, temps 70F and higher, and few rainy days. In a word: Nice. The weather this September, though, especially during the past half of the month, has been anything but, with cooler temps and lots and lots of rain and stormy weather. Last weekend (Sept 28-29) we got high winds which led to power outages, and 2.5 inches of rain. The average for the month is 1.5 inches. Yeesh.
Yet there have been some breaks, and sometimes they aligned when I had a day off. Wednesday September 25 was one of those days. I took a chance and pulled out the fenderless Bridgestone XO-3 and decided to go on a ride. With not much of a plan, I decided to head out on the Springwater to at least the 205 path and see what I wanted to do. Familiar territory, but it didn’t require me to think much about the destination.
I took a quick break at Tideman Johnson Park, which features a small dam and retaining stone wall crafted by the WPA back in the 1930s.
I also took a detour on the “field-with-mounds” off the path just before the SE Flavel crossing. On the map this is audaciously called “Johnson Creek Property” but right now it’s fallow with no amenities, a good place to hang out if you don’t want to get bothered. Or dump stuff. No one was around today, but I noticed evidence of a bridge over Johnson Creek. Since the road that would have crossed it would dead-end, I’m guessing there was some sort of dumping of fill operation here, which would explain the dirt mounds.
Not long after that, I reached the junction with the I-205 path. Should I head north, towards the Columbia River, or keep going east on the Springwater? I opted to keep going on the Springwater with the idea of going to the end in Boring and maybe explore the small segment of the Cazadero Trail that continues from there. But I also decided to take some detours to spice up the mix. The first detour was at Leach Botanical Garden, where SE 122nd crosses Johnson Creek. I haven’t been here in years. The Leach family were botanists who bought this creekfront property (christened “Sleepy Hollow”) and built up the place over the years. Now it’s a city park. It’s not a large property, but I stuck to the area right around the creek, which featured paths winding through ferns, a cool old stone house, and a fire circle.
The other detour was in Gresham, just after the junction of the Gresham-Fairview Trail. The Butler Creek Greenway trail is unpaved and rises up into the hills following its namesake creek. It was mostly ridable, but there were a few sections I needed to get off and push. Yet another spot I hadn’t been to in a long time!
|Public art in downtown Gresham.|
From there, I ended up riding the Springwater through Gresham and all the way to the Clackamas County line (3 miles before its end.) Construction has closed the trail beyond that. I could have tried to push through the construction zone but it was pretty rough the last time I was out this way in July. And the road route would have promised some fast traffic as it was just around rush hour, something I wasn’t that into with such a narrow road. So I turned around and headed back into Gresham, where got an early dinner and happy hour beer. After the refueling I headed back to Portland via the Gresham-Fairview Trail and the Mill-Market-Main route.
Overall, I clocked 45 miles on this ride, not too bad for a ride with no plan. And once again, the Portland area continues to amaze me. Every time I feel like I’ve seen it all here, I find some new nooks to explore.
Now if the rain would stop…
More photos here.