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A Boomer Walk

Take A Walk On The Wild East Side Of PDX

The Landmark

The Landmark

The Eastbank Esplanade is the place to start.

To get there, find a distinctive landmark, like a huge pile of broken concrete.

You’ll see it looking east from the north bound lanes of the Marquam Bridge.

Take the Water Ave. exit and turn right. If you’re on the west side, take the Hawthorne Bridge.

Find a parking place and head toward the river to find Vera.


Vera The Lucky Charm

Watch out for fast bike riders when you hit your stride.

Give Vera’s nose a rub for good luck. You might need it. Besides, why not start a new Portland tradition.

The Butchart Gardens has a lucky pig’s nose to rub.

Ireland has a Blarney Stone to kiss.

We’re got Vera Katz. Let’s put her back to work. Any Votes?

After you break away, start walking north.


The walk south is beautiful, but save it for another day.

Once you get to a higher spot and look back, you’ll wonder if you made a mistake.

You didn’t.


Marquam Bridge

Aim for the black towers of the Steel Bridge and you’re on the right track.

From the local news you might expect to find a few bodies on the river bank.

If you play a game of I Spy With Little Eye, washed up bodies won’t win.

The first to spot sewage overflow pipe scores.

Look for a sweet memorial, too.


Imagine a kind hearted giant with a fishing pole in his hands.

For all the positive virtues of yoga and zen, I get a calm feeling just thinking of Kevin Duckworth with a fish on.

Would he be excited, or just reel it in like he’s been there before?

Was he a catch and release fisherman, or catch and cook?

While you ponder an answer you’ll walk up to an unusual transportation hub.


Where can you find a river way, a sky way, and a freeway beside runners, bikers, and you the walker?

Portland baby boomers, along with everyone else, joins the excitement of the big city in a small way.

Put your troubles on hold for a few hours.

Hum a song like Bye, Bye Blackbird:

Pack up all my cares and woes,
Here i go, singing low,
Bye, bye, blackbird.
Where somebody waits for me,
Sugar is sweet, so is she,
Bye, bye, blackbird.

Steel Bridge With Rose Garden Right

Steel Bridge With Rose Garden Right

After crossing the Steel Bridge, look back. Are you surprised how far you walked?

Was it easier than you expected?

I hope so, because you’re only halfway there.

Your car is on the other side of the river.

Time to step it up, NW Boomer style.

This is your walk south. This is your day.

About David Gillaspie
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