MLK Day Walk.

What better way to celebrate MLK Day than to take a walk? Actually, I can think of a few better ways, like doing service, or going to an MLK celebration, but I did neither of those, so a walk was my better way. Kelly and I cracked open the new City Walks book I got for Christmas and began a walk that took us from the Kenton Neighborhood to the bluffs above Swan Island, to Swan Island itself. It was a pretty long walk (6.2 miles) and so we got a lot of talking done, too. New Mayor Sam Adams came up in conversation as he does from time to time. (This will be important a few blog posts from now.)

This is Kenton School. Or it was. Now it is a branch of the De La Salle North campus. Very near the school is the Lombard Transit Center and it is always fun to contrast the neat appearance of the De La Salle students with many of the other riders waiting for transit. I don’t think the early 21st century will be remembered fondly for its grooming.

Anyway, Eagle Eye Kelly asked, “What’s that, way up there?”
And then, Eagle Eye Kelly, who was been doing a lot of walks and learning about architecture identified it as most likely where the flag pole used to be. I was pretty impressed. Both with the old flag pole and with Eagle Eye Kelly.
Outside the Historic Kenton Hotel, now apartments, is this hitching post-themed bike rack.
It was a beautiful day, with a wind, but the wind brings clear blue skies, giving us this view of the Portland Skyline with Swan Island in the foreground.
A beautiful view of Mt. Hood.
“What the heck is this square thing?” we both wanted to know. The book refers to it as a “maw” and apparently, it is Freightliner’s Wind Tunnel. Although I’m not sure what will become of it once Freightliners closes their plant on Swan Island.
After that there were some lovely walks along the Willamette. It was interesting to contrast the river setting with the heavy industrial that is Swan Island. But then, Swan Island was built when the river was used almost exclusively for industry. Now that the industry is leaving, more and more the percentage of recreation increases. I just hope that we can afford to recreate, that is, that something is replacing those industry jobs.

The last leg of the walk is up Greeley Avenue. That’s a pretty busy road with a lot of truck traffic and it was an uphill walk. Still, Kelly and I planned our inauguration festivities if we were elected president, namely who the poets, ministers and performers would be. Mine were poet: Marge Piercy, minister: Tom Disrud. (although since I get two, I would also have Robert Fulghum). For performers I picked women, The Indigo Girls were mentioned. Then we were brainstorming other women. I wanted a figure of longevity. Kelly was explaining one of her picks I hadn’t heard of and she said, “she’s on that Dolly Parton cover album…” and both at the same time we exclaimed, “Dolly Parton!” So Ms. Parton would definately be at our inauguration.

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