One thing I’ve been trying to do is take a little bike ride any day that I have a chance. Too much emphasis is put on a “big” ride, but a small ride of 5-10 miles when one has the time is definitely a mental boost. By their nature, these are going to be local affairs, wherever I can ride to within a 3-5 mile radius. And what better option than Mount Tabor, my friendly neighborhood (extinct) volcano? It’s only about 2 miles by bike to its closest reach, so easily attainable. But there’s a climb, so I have to be in a mood for that.
Thursday January 28 was a fairly grey Portland winter day, mild and slightly damp but no rain. I decided to head out on the Bantam in the late afternoon from my house, loading up my Minolta Hi-Matic 7s with some expired Fuji Neopan 400 gifted by a friend.* (The Olympus XA2 loaded with my color standard, Kodak ColorPlus 200.) I hit up a local banh mi place for late lunch. (I had also hoped to get coffee from a local shop, but they were closed by the time I got there.) I aimed the bike for the east side picnic area. The abundance of picnic tables and lack of people here means I can eat my lunch peacefully without worrying about interacting with the population. Mount Hood wasn’t going to be seen, alas, so I had to be satisfied with the view of the eastern urban hinterlands.
While I come to Mount Tabor frequently, I don’t often go all the way to the top. It’s where most of the people congregate, and in these COVID times that’s a liability. Still, I felt like riding to the top, so I did a quick loop, avoiding most people. I then bombed down to the west side, where the extant reservoirs are. This is the best spot for the “city” view (from the top you have to squint through the trees), so I lingered here a bit. The sun was going down, and even though the day was overcast, there was a few minutes of golden-red sun peeking through the breaks. Even in the most leaden-sky days here, we often get a quick glimpse of our star before it retreats for the day. I made sure I snapped up a bunch of shots with the XA2.
The sun gone, I headed back down towards my house. It was a good little ramble. I need to get back here soon.
For photos of this ramble, please see my dynamic flickr album below. Or, click here.
*This was my first, and probably only, time shooting with this stock. I know that NeoPan is sorely missed by many, but I wasn’t blown away by my results. (Blasphemy!) It didn’t look much different from Kodak Tri-X Pan or Ilford HP5. Of course, I was shooting in fairly low light, so that may be something. But I don’t know if I’m going to try to hunt down for this stock again.