Bike Ride to Smith & Bybee Lake

It’s sunny, it’s warm, it’s February.  Whereas my former roommate in Somerville, Massachusetts spent this weekend getting walloped by yet another snow storm, I took a lovely bike ride.  Go Portland! (Although I’m worried about the lack of snow pack and am hoping for a wallop of our own–rain here, snow in mountains–to begin soon.)

Cuts in the hill for a new house going in.

My guess is that it will look like these ones.

This is Columbia Boulevard, which on weekdays is chock full of cars and trucks doing their industry thing.  But on weekends is lightly traveled. And we have a dedicated bike/walk path, which makes traveling alongside it quite pleasant.

I was going to ride out to Kelly Point Park to see if the Willamette was still flowing into the Columbia, but I got sidetracked by Smith and Bybee Lake.  They had a bike rack, so I locked up and set off on foot.

Smith & Bybee lake is a “wetlands natural area” which means that while it is surrounded by the heavy industry of North Portland, it is an area to see all sorts of wildlife including birds.  This picture is my stealth shot of the woman who was not only on her cell phone, but had her dog with her, clearly ignoring the many signs explaining why dogs weren’t allowed. 

This looks like a quiet and peaceful scene, but it was actually a croak-feast with seemingly hundreds of frogs chattering away.  When I walked by they quieted down, but I had a seat and they were soon chatting it up again.  I used the zoom on my camera to try and see one, but no dice.  They blended too well.

When I first moved to Portland it was a wetter than usual winter.  We nearly broke the record of consecutive days of rain, stalling out at 38–three short of the previous record.  I was still emailing with a friend from Massachusetts at the time and he asked what it was like there. 

Green.  Green was my reply.  Not just the evergreen trees or the grass watered by the endless amount of rain, but the moss growing on every static surface painted the entire city green.  I thought of that conversation when I saw this informational sign, completely covered by moss along the upper lentil.

First budding.  Here comes the green on the bushes.

See that moss?  Everywhere.  Green.

Here is the shelter that overlooks Smith Lake.  I had it to myself and it was very peaceful.

Broken tree.

A robin among the moss.

Another picture that looks silent.  But the wind rustling through the dead grasses made quite a lot of noise.  This is Bybee Lake.

And here’s Bybee Lake from the Bybee Lake Shelter.


Red among the brown.

This plaque once upon a time said something.  But we will not know what, thanks to (I’m guessing) some meth-head who pried it off to sell.  I was interested in how the UPC code and some other information were still viable in the glue.

I’ve always loved these snag/art pieces.  It’s not the first time I’ve taken a picture.

2 thoughts on “Bike Ride to Smith & Bybee Lake”

  1. Oh boy! I am rather jealous. A lovely bike ride on a sunny day. Oh boy. Perhaps in 2 months!!!

    What a great day!

  2. Seems like it was a lovely little bike ride/walk. I think it’s nice that you had a lot of it to yourself. There are few things I enjoy more than a nice, quiet nature stroll on my own.

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