Wednesday, February 22, 2012

From the archives: Willamette Park

Willamette Park


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A few old photos from Willamette Park, on the river south of downtown, just north of the Sellwood Bridge. The park's home to a popular boat ramp and hosts lots of big group picnics, softball games, etc. And that's nice and all, but it doesn't offer a lot in the way of hip quirkiness, quirky hipness, or other blogworthy qualities. That's probably why these 2007 photos haven't made it into a post until now. And now I have to admit this post is mostly to fill a gaping hole in this humble blog's map of geotagged posts. Which is a pretty poor reason, and one of no probable interest to anyone other than myself. I figured I'd go hit the Oregonian Historical Archive and find some fascinating historical anecdotes, but park's generic name works against us here, and sadly I have no anecdotes of interest to share. Such tales may exist somewhere, but I'm afraid my Oregonian-fu has failed me this time around..

Willamette Park

Willamette Park

Willamette Park

Willamette Park

Willamette Park

Willamette Park

Willamette Park

Willamette Park

Willamette Park

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"TriMet" (sculpture)

"TriMet" (sculpture)

Today's stop on our ongoing tour of Portland's transit mall art is a piece called simply "TriMet", by the sculptor Robert Maki. As you can probably tell from the angular Cor-Ten steel and so forth, it's yet another mid-1970s holdover from when the bus mall first went in, but this one is not in its original form. Prior to MAX construction, it was the centerpiece of the large so-called "Bathtub Fountain", one of several fountains along 5th & 6th Avenues that were permanently removed when MAX went in. Now the sculpture sits by itself in front of the Standard Plaza building. (Ring of Time is in front of the building's 6th Avenue entrance, if that rings a bell at all.)

"TriMet" (sculpture)

Or I should say "sat" rather than "sits". I'm not sure when it left, but "TriMet" is gone right now. I don't know whether this is permanent or temporary, but either way it's not there, and it hasn't simply moved to another spot on the bus mall as far as I know. I mention this by way of an apology for the fair-to-middling Blackberry camera phone photos. I went back later with a Real Camera, but the thing was already gone by then.

"TriMet" (sculpture)

"TriMet" (sculpture)

"TriMet" (sculpture)

"TriMet" (sculpture)

"TriMet" (sculpture)

"TriMet" (sculpture)

"TriMet" (sculpture)

"TriMet" (sculpture)

"TriMet" (sculpture)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Wahclella Falls

Wahclella Falls


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A few photos of Wahclella Falls, one of my favorite waterfalls in the Columbia Gorge. At some point last year I realized I hadn't been there in quite a few years, and had precisely zero photos of the falls, so I made the trip, did the easy hike in to the falls, and took way too many photos. And as is usual when I take too many photos, when I start trying to sort through and pick a few to post, I get a headache and quit iPhoto and don't look at them again for six months or a year. Which is more or less what happened here.

Wahclella Falls

The one upside to this is that I always have a backlog of reasonably bloggable photos sitting around for times like this when I feel like doing a new post, but the trees are bare and grey and the weather's uncooperative. So there's that. I mean, some people might take this opportunity to go without photos and write about life, art, or politics instead. But I've already tried the political blogging thing once and I found it stressful and unrewarding. Meanwhile life is pleasantly boring, generally speaking, and would make for blog posts even more uninteresting than the stuff I do post about. And I always seem to need photos when I talk about art here (and those photos tend to sit around in iPhoto for months first, just like everything else).

Wahclella Falls

So anyway, Wahclella Falls at the same exit off I-84 as Bonneville Dam, but on the opposite side of the freeway. A short drive gets you to a Forest Service parking lot, which has a fee of a few dollars. It's annoying, and I should point out that they do actually check now and then whether you're parked legally. Besides, if the Forest Service has a revenue shortfall, the difference just gets tacked on to the federal debt; you'll end up paying eventually one way or the other, so you might as well just pay now.

Wahclella Falls

The initial segment of the hike is on a flat service road, until you get to a weir or flood control widget of some sort. After that it's a regular old trail. You'll pass little Munra Falls early on. Then you continue hiking in until you get to the main event, where the trail ends. There are a couple of forks in the trail, but they all end up in the same place and form a loop. It's really that simple. There aren't intersections with other trails to worry about, or any steep technical sections, and it's only 2 miles in and back, and the scenery stays interesting. I did it as a kid a few times & never thought it was a big deal. What's more, the place gets overlooked a lot, and I don't recall it ever being remotely crowded when I was there. And I can say with a fair bit of confidence that nothing has ever become fashionable or popular after I wrote about it here in the 6+ years this humble blog has graced the interwebs. So it's likely to still be uncrowded if you take my advice and go.

Wahclella Falls

Wahclella Falls

Wahclella Falls

Wahclella Falls

Wahclella Falls

Wahclella Falls

Wahclella Falls

Wahclella Falls

Wahclella Falls

Wahclella Falls

Wahclella Falls