Sunset/Moonrise, Sunday May 3

I’ve been managing to catch the full moon rising the past few months, which is a miraculous feat in often-overcast Portland during the winter-ish months. The full moon for May was on Sunday the 3rd, and we had summerish weather, sunny and a high of 76F/24C. Rather than go to the Vancouver Avenue Viaduct, the spot I’ve gone in March and April (it’s just a 1/3 mile from my house), I decided to get more ambitious and go somewhere where I can see both the sunset and moonrise, since on full moon they happen pretty close together.

I decided to hit up Ricky Point, a great spot on the end of Tomahawk Island that would give an over-the-Columbia-River view for both. But this time I made a startling discovery: Ricky Point had been locked up! Now I always knew that Ricky Point was on private land, but it had always been open, a quasi-public space. This time the gate was chained. Not only that, but they managed to fence off the entirety of the peninsula to the waters edge with fencing and barbed wire. The only way to get through would be a very full thicket of blackberries. No thank you.

With not much daylight left, I had to act fast. I swung by Lotus Isle Park on the way off the island. While the view to the west would be great for a sunset, the view to the east wasn’t as good (no Mount Hood!) so off the island I went. I hightailed it east along Marine Drive to Broughton Beach where I caught sunset/moonrise back in October. There was a good bit of activity at the beach and on the bike path, so it wasn’t going to be as secluded and by-myself as Ricky Point, but no point in complaining.

At about 8:15pm I got my first glimpse of the moon rise. It wasn’t obvious at first because the sun had just gone down (technically the moon rose a full fourteen minutes before sunset, but because of the mountains to the west and east, it doesn’t appear that way here) and it wasn’t really dark yet. So the moon appeared faint. But it was actually rising over the shoulder of Mount Hood! Wow! Within ten minutes it was higher in the sky and much brighter. On the way home it shone brightly over the Columbia Slough as I crossed it. Nice.

Here’s hoping I can catch it in June!

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