A three speed ramble up to Children’s Arboretum, Ricky Point, and St. Johns: 4 March 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE: I’ve been behind in blogging, so, while this adventure happened before the Leif Erikson ride, I’m getting around to posting it afterward. So sorry.

Another week, another adventure. Part of my challenge for my adventures this year is to go to places I have not been to, or places that I haven’t been to in awhile. This time I decided to head back out to the lands of the Columbia Slough, because they practically start from my doorstep. (Read: So I can get going later in the day.) While I’ve explored this area many a time, even recently, there’s still spots I hit up infrequently. On this day (Wednesday March 4, 2015) I wanted to hit up the Columbia Children’s Arboretum, which is barely two miles from my house. So after some putzing around the house in the morning, I got on the Raleigh Wayfarer and headed out.

The Arboretum is an interesting park. It was once surplus land for the Columbia School District, so someone had the idea to make it an arboretum that the children could work in. Then Portland Parks took it over. (See link for full info.) The theme is the State Tree from all 50 states. There doesn’t seem to be much of a rhyme or reason to the arboretum: many trees are unmarked, there is no map, and I’m pretty sure there aren’t all fifty state trees. (For example: I didn’t see a palmetto, so South Carolina is not represented. North Carolina’s pine is here, though.) Of course, I was happy when I spotted my home state tree, the white oak for Connecticut.

And it’s a bit of a forelorn park, hidden away from central Portland, so most people don’t know about it. While the park looks quiet from photos, on one side of it is a truck park for Jubitz, so there’s constant noise from that. The other sides of the park are surrounded by the East Columbia neighborhood, which has the feeling of remoteness. But the neighborhood cherishes this out-of-the-way spot, and I saw several residents walking their dogs through here.

After a respite of snacks and tea, I took off for Ricky Point, a spot that I hadn’t been to since the summer. I’ve written about this obscure little spot at the east end of Tomahawk Island before, check out full info here. It was a beautiful day to be out at the point, and a great view of Mount Hood over the Columbia River awaited me. Another rambler, an older gent on foot, asked me if we were “okay” being here, as any traveller to the point has to pass through a gate marked “No Trespassing”. I said I’ve seen many a person down here (in fact, there were folks down on the beach as we spoke) and no one has ever said anything to me before. He seemed satisfied by my answer, and promptly got to work watching birds.

I didn’t stay for long, as there wasn’t much daylight left and I wanted to do some more riding. I headed further east via the Peninsula Crossing Trail to St. Johns where I enjoyed food from a tacqueria and beverage from Occidental Brewing. It was dark by the time I left, and the almost full moon greeted me. What a wonderful night to end a wonderful day of riding.

 

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