A Springwater Ramble, 31 Jan 2018

I had a nice bike ride on Sunday, January 28th. I noted in that post that my next two days off were Tuesday and Wednesday, and the weather looked like it’d be okay enough for another ride. Well, as those days approached, it looked like Wednesday would be the better day, and a ride would work out better, as I could ride eastward and end up at Emee’s house. So I decided Tuesday would be my “get stuff done” around the house day.

Of course, I woke up to sun on Tuesday morning. Despite a prediction of rain, it was clouds and sun with a high of 53F. Nice out. I did manage to get a short ride in after house chores and before the sun went down. In fact, I caught a very lovely sorta-sunset from my favorite spot to do, The Dog Bowl.

Wednesday? It was grey and the high only got up to 48F. So much for relying on the weather report for which day would be the better one for a ride! But it remained dry, so no complaint there.

I decided to head south first, just like on Sunday, but then take the Springwater Corridor east, maybe as far as Powell Butte. While the Springwater is probably the most obvious easy “long ride” destination in town as it’s our longest MUP/rail trail, I don’t go there as much as I used to, especially during the winter. It’s about 10 miles from my house. On my off days in winter, I’m more inclined to hit up the lands of the Slough as they are close at hand. But I wanted some variety and I wanted a long ride.

I wandered southbound through the neighborhoods east of the Willamette to get to Sellwood where I’d pick up the Springwater. I made a point of hitting up Westmoreland Park, since Crystal Springs Creek flows through it. There are very few free-flowing and “daylighted” brooks on the east side of the city, so its mere existence is a big deal to me. The course of the creek through the park used to be a very manicured thing in a mid-20th Century kind of way (read: channelized and walled), but a few years ago the parks department did a beautiful full restoration, returning its meander and making wetlands around its banks. This had the benefit of making water colder and more inviting for the fish, and less inviting for Canada Geese since they loved all the lawn-like areas around the creek. (Ducks do like the creek, however.)

The creek runs about another mile south to its confluence with Johnson Creek. Here it meanders through Sellwood, the only place on the eastside where a brook runs through the city grid. (The rest of its course is pretty much parkland.) Johnson Creek Park is a nice hidden gem between the two streams. I love going down here when I can. It reminds me of my childhood when I’d explore the brooks that were close to my home.

I rode east on the Springwater. It was a bit too late in the day to tackle Powell Butte (unless if I wanted to do it in the dark), so I rode as far as I could, stopping by the WPA era “waterfall” on Johnson Creek and Cartlandia for a bit of late lunch. (Banh Mi!) I also hit up the Foster Floodplain and detoured south of the path for a mile, where I crossed back over Johnson Creek via the closed bridge on SE 122th. (Closed to cars, that is!) I headed north on 122nd then west on the Springwater until 111th, then meandered northward through Lents to hook up with the I-205 path. I met up with Emee at East Glisan Pizza in Montavilla where we had a lovely pizza.

The days are getting longer and nicer. I know I’ll be heading further east on the Springwater soon, hitting up the awesomeness known as Powell Butte. And hey, a lot of the campgrounds will be opening in March…

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