This was a short, 12 mile ride. I decided to explore Hayden Island, home of Jantzen Beach, (a mall that seems to be rapidly approaching Dead Mall status) several big box stores and expensive condos as well as some floating homes.
When I think of Hayden Island I think of the woman who wrote a letter to the editor explaining that she was going to do us all a big favor and take public transportation to an event in the Rose Quarter. But she called and there was no bus that came to her house! So she drove. This caused a tremendous eye roll on my part as the idea that the buses come to each person’s door seems to be a very wide misconception on the part of people who don’t use public transportation. Living on Hayden Island there are couple very easy ways to get to public transportation. You can walk or bike over to Jantzen Beach where you can grab the #6 to Portland (it leaves every 15 minutes). That will take you to the Lombard Max stop. You can then ride the Max to the Rose Quarter. If you want to involve your car and at the same time avoid Rose Quarter parking fees (as well as the #6 bus which can be a bit colorful) you can drive–or ride your bike–to the Delta Park Max stop and park there FOR FREE and take the Max to the Rose Quarter.
Suffice to say that I don’t have a high opinion of Hayden Island.
I-5 cuts the island in half. I tackled the right half first. It was just what I know Hayden Island to be. Lots of big, ugly, modern houses on the water, many of them protected by their precious gates to keep the riff-raff out. Side observation: how are the buses supposed to get past all the gates to pick up the hoards of Hayden Island people who are dying to take public transportation once every six months?
The left side (probably known more properly as the west side) held a nice surprise: trailer park! I rode around the loops of various manufactured homes. They were very well kept up–I’m guessing that a lot of active retirees (ones not able to afford gates to keep the riff-raff out) live here. But then I found the surprise of the day.
There is a small asphalt path that runs along the Columbia River for the length of the park. It was quite lovely and peaceful and deserted.
It occurred to me riding home that the other side of the island might also have a similar path, but I, lowly bike rider with no friends in high places, will never get to see it.
Gated communities. Really annoying me since 1974.
Exciting Internet Discovery! deadmalls.com. From the main page, click on Dead Mall Features. Jantzen Beach is listed, as are two dead malls near and dear to my heart: Mt. Farms Mall in Hadly, Mass, where I went to college, and Assembly Square Mall in Somerville, Mass. I used to ride my bike to Assembly Square Mall to go to the K-Mart there and treat myself to a trip to the always delightful Building 19. Felicia and I, and maybe Jenna? saw the so-bad-it’s good movie Whipped at the movie theater near there.