Marine Drive Borderlands

Delta Park East has plenty of ballfields, as I found out recently when a new friend played in a softball tournament.  It also has access to the bike path along Marine Drive.  I headed west with Jackie one fine day on said path.  It’s an interesting borderland for some urban hiking.

Approaching I-5.  Very noisy

Approaching I-5. Very noisy

Ah, Portlandia, the liveable city!

Ah, Portlandia, the livable city!

Traffic and the freeway seem everpresent for a while. The heat and concrete were not very motivating, and I was not very excited about our prospects.  After a while, however, the roadside debris and odd architecture became interesting in a odd way.

World's largest portable carport, I presume

Imagine Crocodile Dundee saying , “Now that’s a carport.”

The spot where the path gets interesting.

The spot where the path gets interesting.  Hiking is a gateway experience.  Never know what it’ll lead to!

Same spot as above, but angling along the path

Same spot as above, but angling along the path

Soon enough, however, we reach the glory of the Columbia River, one of the greatest American rivers.  Even beyond the famous gorge, it’s a powerful, amazing body of water.  The juxtaposition of roadside junk and ospreys soaring was quite something.

Roll on, Columbia!

Roll on, Columbia!

The bike and pedestrian path travels along the skinny part of the Columbia here, with Hayden Island across from us, and it’s still pretty.  I found it interesting to see how the development on Hayden Island stops west of the railroad bridge.   The western part of Hayden Island could hold some untold wild treasures!

Not the bird prey on the snag.  Osprey, I presume.

Note a bird of prey on the snag (old piling?). Osprey, I presume.

It was a hot day, and Jackie, as my regular readers know, is a bit of a wimp in the heat.  Not that he’ll complain, but he loses energy, and I worry about him getting seriously dehydrated.  We walk as far as the railroad overpass by Portland Avenue, probably a mile or so from the start.  The next cool spot will be another mile or so at least, and it doesn’t seem worth it.

Bird in flight, a beautiful sight

Bird in flight, a beautiful sight

After gawking a bit at the river and blackberry bushes, we headed back, checking out birds more on the return leg.   This is not an earth shattering walk, but given that you could keep walking on one path to Smith and Bybee Lakes or Kelly Point Park, it’s definitely worth investigating west of I-5.  It is probably even better on a bike, so you could bypass the industrial areas quickly.

Some lovely color scattered here and there

Some lovely color scattered here and there

About Josh Baker

"The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.” ― John Muir

Posted on September 2, 2013, in Flora and Fauna, General Hiking, Hiking with dogs, Outdoors, Waterways and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I particularly loved the “freshness” sign in the background of the roadside junk! 🙂

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