New Butte, Old Butte

Wednesday, September 30.  A nice last day of the month, sunny, and about 75F/23C. Perfect weather. I was itching for something like a ride, since it had been a couple weeks since tour. But where to? Maybe somewhere I hadn’t been for a bit, or at least, hadn’t been with the Bantam Rambleneur? Well, I hadn’t been to Rocky Butte in a bit, and the view would be good, so I went there. And it was good.

But from there, where? I had a vague idea of grabbing a beer in Montavilla. I could go out to Powell Butte, I guess. I headed out that way, but after crossing I-205 on SE Powell Blvd I noticed the brand-spanking-new service road snaking up to Kelly Butte. They just installed new water tanks there, and the area had been off-limits until now. It’s been a long time since I had been to Kelly Butte, and that was to the more accessible east side (and calling that “accessible” is a bit of a stretch.) Since I wasn’t that committed to going to Powell Butte (horrors!) I decided to ride to the top of Kelly Butte instead.

Getting up the steep service road required going around a gate (there were no signs prohibiting me from access) but it was a short ride up. Most of the area was fenced off and barren, as grass hasn’t taken hold yet. From the top of the road I had a good view to the south, Mount Scott the most prominent hill in the distance. But on the other side of Kelly Butte was a stairway down into the woods! I had never seen this before, was it new? So I schlepped my bike down. The stairway led to a gravel path, and then SE 101st Ave, where I bombed back downhill.

I’ve been in Portland for 14 years. Whenever I feel like I’ve seen it all, something new or undiscovered surprises me. And it reminds me that there’s still plenty more of this town I have not seen yet!


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