Day 15: Downtown Portland, Forest Park

Day 15

Tuesday was my only full day in Portland, so I knew I had to make the most of it. I woke up bright and early and biked to Forest Park, after receiving a recommendation for it from a local the day before. The long, northwest-running park runs through beautiful forest land outside the city. I wound through a long, woodsy bike trail, but there were also tons of hiking trails within the park. After my bike was sufficiently muddy, I headed down to the roadside and crossed the Williamette River on a suspension bridge. While the view was fantastic, the bridge was super dangerous for cyclists. It was marked as a bike lane route on the pocket cycling map I had for Portland, but the sidewalk was too narrow to feel comfortable on a bike, and the bridge had heavy truck traffic that was driving well over the posted speed limit. Needless to say I was relieved to get off at the end.

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I continued my bike ride by closing the loop – I biked across the north side of the river into North Portland, and crossed the Broadway Bridge to get back to downtown. I got to ride even with an LRT vehicle for a chunk of the way so I got all the green lights!

After a nap and shower, I made a spaghetti dinner with a couple other people from the hostel, and I was energized and ready to go again! I headed to the Mission Pub and Theatre around the corner from my hostel and for $3, attended my first ever “Science Pub”, a themed night with an educational speaker. I watched a pretty interesting talk about green infrastructure and how it can help deal with runoff pollution, but even more excitingly, I won the trivia contest before the talk! My prize was an admission for the OMSI Portland Science Museum, which I planned to use the next morning before I left.

Just as the show was ending, I noticed it was just before sunset; a perfect time to ride the Portland Aerial Tram. I biked south from where I was staying along the river, and about 20 minutes later I made it there. The tram was built within the last ten years to transport people to and from a major hospital and school on the top of the hill. It offers direct, frequent, all-day service, and also makes for a great tourist activity, I quickly discovered. I caught a tram up and down and got a great view of the city in the sunset.

Just when I thought I was done with my day, I ended up going for drinks with a newfound friend from the hostel, where we enjoyed more of Portland’s wonderfully cheap beers.

Between my morning ride through Forest Park and evening ride to the aerial tram and back, Tuesday’s ride was a total of 46km.

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