Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge

By Bryan Dorr, 21 Jul. 2014 at 21:58 PT
Filed under: Hike, Outdoors

Hiking Oaks Bottom

Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, a flood plain tucked between the east bank of the Willamette River and the bluffs of the Sellwood neighborhood, is one of the most spacious and beautiful natural areas in the Portland area. It’s one-mile dirt trail offers a quiet, shaded hike on the eastern edge of the flood basin, with a couple of creeks, footbridges, boardwalks, and an overlook.  The basin is filled with wildflower and grass, except when it’s flooded from high water levels.

As for wildlife, I saw a squirrel and a few ducks perched on a log. My dog saw the squirrel, too, and I just went along for the ride being raked over the gravel.

After the Oaks Bottom basin hike, I hiked west on the paved pathway and under the Oregon Pacific Railroad tracks to the Springwater Willamette path. Look both ways for high-speed bicyclists before crossing the Springwater. A half-mile dirt nature path that runs between the paved pathway and the Willamette River. Most of this hike is in thick wooded area with very few overlooks of the Willamette River and dead-on at Ross Island. The river bank is unstable and may collapse if you get too close to the edge. The nature path is an enjoyable walk, isolated from the busy Springwater Trail.

The dirt nature trail are not ADA accessible. Bicycles are prohibited on the dirt trails. The paved path is open to bicycles and is used for connecting Spingwater Corridor with Milwaukie Avenue.  The paved trailhead parking on SE Milwaukie Ave. at SE Mitchell St. has water fountains, but there are no restroom facilities.

View Photographs

Bike Milwaukie History Tour

By Bryan Dorr, 20 Jul. 2014 at 18:02 PT
Filed under: Bicycling

Bike Milwaukie History Tour

If there is one way to learn about the history of your city, take a history tour by bicycle.

Bike Milwaukie’s Greg Baartz-Bowman led the forty-rider Sunday ride through Milwaukie neighborhoods, pointing out key historical landmark tour. The ride started out at Milwaukie City Hall approximately 9:30 a.m.then returns to City Hall a few hours later.

The key landmarks were Kellogg Dam and “Milwaukie Bay” riverfront park, historical mansions near along the Willamette River, Pioneer Cemetery, a farmhouse in Ardenwald, former Wichita Elementary School (now Wichita Center for Family & Community), and Milwaukie Museum (opened today only on special request).

The ride was about 10 miles and lasted two and half hours. I volunteered on this ride to take the back to keep the group together.

View Photographs

Boring Bike Ride

By Bryan Dorr, 20 Jul. 2014 at 00:06 PT
Filed under: Bicycling

Boring Ride, July 19, 2014

Saturday’s bicycling journey takes me on a 35-mile round-trip journey to the end of the Springwater Corridor  Trail in Boring, Oregon.  It wasn’t until last December when the trail paving project between SE Rugg Rd. and Boring Station completed and opened to the public. This ride is very much straight forward with easy access to Springwater Trail from my house to the end. The Not So Boring Bar & Grill cheeseburger and tater tot lunch was delicious. Cartlandia food cart Melt It’s cherry lemonade was refreshing and sweet.

View Photographs

Tommy Tutone at Wine:30

By Bryan Dorr, 19 Jul. 2014 at 20:22 PT
Filed under: Events

Tommy Tutone at Wine:30

Tommy Tutone’s lead singer Tommy Heath performs a live solo acoustics street performance at Wine:30 in downtown Milwaukie on Saturday night. What a fabtastic night and thank you Tommy Tutone and Wine:30 bar! I love it when downtown Milwaukie becomes lively on summer nights.

View Photographs

Lunchtime River Cruise on the Portland Spirit

By Bryan Dorr, 18 Jul. 2014 at 17:36 PT
Filed under: Commentary, Photos

Lunch Cruise on the Portland Spirit

Of all the years that I’ve lived in Milwaukie, I’ve always wanted to take a cruise on the Portland Spirit. Today, I finally booked reservations, hopped on the TriMet bus to Hawthorne Bridge and boarded the Portland Spirit. The lunch cruise idea sparked yesterday afternoon when I stopped at the Salmon Street Fountain and Portland Spirit’s ticket office during my 50-mile bike ride.

The two-hour, slow-pace journey takes us upstream towards Milwaukie, under the Hawthorne, Marquam, Tilikum, Ross Island, and Sellwood bridges before making a U-turn at Elk Rock Island near Milwaukie. Downstream journey takes us under the same bridges, plus Morrison and Burnside bridges. The Portland Spirit makes another U-turn between Burnside and Steel bridges and back upstream to dock at the Waterfront seawall.

Passengers have a choice of entrees that are included in the meal excursion (the sightseeing excursion does not include the meal). My entree choice is the Parmesan crusted chicken breast roasted in garlic cream sauce, rice pilaf, and sauteed seasonal vegetables. For drink, in spirit of our turn-around destination in Milwaukie, I select a pint of Breakside Pilsner lager. I normally skip desserts, but today I go for the Snickers Bar-crusted cheesecake. Everything was fantastically prepared and delicious, and the service was exceptional.

The lunch cruise with entree meal and certain beverages is $40.00 (plus $4.00 landing fee) for adults. Appetizers, desserts, wine, beer, and other beverages are extra. Portland Spirit’s website www.PortlandSpirit.com has various packages and excursion information.

View Photographs

Capsized Sailboat in Willamette River

By Bryan Dorr, 18 Jul. 2014 at 15:55 PT
Filed under: Uncategorized

Capsized Sailboat In Willamette River

After spending a good two-hour lunch cruise on the Portland Spirit today, I walk back across the Hawthorne Bridge to catch my bus back to Milwaukie. As I’m walking, I look down and spot a yellow and white sailboat capsized and a life jacket floating along the Willamette River east bank. Next to is a salvage barge likely planning on the salvage operations. I don’t know how the boat capsized, but I hope that all on board are alright (likely so with a short swim to shore on a warm day).

Bicycle Ride: 50-Miler for July 17, 2014

By Bryan Dorr, 17 Jul. 2014 at 23:03 PT
Filed under: Bicycling

50-Miler: July 17, 2014

It’s been a long time (actually, since March 2013) when I last rode my traditional 50-mile loop. What I can tell you is the nice, warm and clear day brought a smile to my face. The ride also allowed me to make a few critiques about my ride. Indeed, I do need to start riding more and start getting my body back into shape. I certainly felt it in my legs for sure.

The ride turned out nice and uneventful. The only real issue I faced was the freshly laid gravel connecting Springwater Trail and SE 28th Ave. in Milwaukie that about caused me to crash (I’ll save that for a whole another post).

I certainly need to start riding more and get my body back into shape. How would I rate this day? It was “suntastic!”

View Photographs


Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Crash in Ukraine

By Bryan Dorr, 17 Jul. 2014 at 09:14 PT
Filed under: Commentary

At 8:13 a.m. Pacific Time today, I received the first Tweet indicating a Malaysia Airline passenger jet had crashed in Ukraine near the Russian border. As more information became available, the alleged cause of the crash is the Boeing 777 jet was cruising at 33,000 feet when it was shot down by a ground-to-air missile. What is not known at this time is who was responsible for launching the missile that took the lives of 295 passengers and crew. Launching a missile at a commercial jetliner filled with innocent passengers a senseless evil act, and it doesn’t matter if the one firing the missile is a private individual or a government organization. This incident has me looking back at the similar event of Korean Airlines Flight 007 that was shot down by a Soviet fighter jet on September 1, 1983. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family and friends of those who were lost in this crash.

Lunch and Short Hike at Timberline Lodge

By Bryan Dorr, 16 Jul. 2014 at 22:24 PT
Filed under: Hike, Outdoors, Photos

Timberline Lodge

Today’s outgoing adventure takes me to the historic Timberline Lodge at the 5,960-foot level on Mt. Hood, the tallest peak in the state of Oregon. I started off with a fantastic and delicious lunch buffet in the historic lodge’s Cascades Dining Room (and a waffle mishap). After lunch, I shot a few photos from inside the lodge, then took a short hike for some more photos. There were a ton of people up on the mountain for summer skiing and snowboarding today. Several wildfire smoke plumes were also visible from the lodge today.

View Photographs

TikiKon 2014

By Bryan Dorr, 15 Jul. 2014 at 10:27 PT
Filed under: Events

TikiKon 2014

This is my first year attending TikiKon. I worked Friday night, so I missed all the fun during the Mysteries of the Deep festivities at Star Theater in downtown Portland. TikiKon started for me late Saturday morning at the Red Lion at the Quay in Vancouver, Washington.

Registration check-in in the vendor’s hall process went smooth and flawless. Tiki clothing, artwork, books, and paraphernallia filled the vendor hall. Many of the Tiki items I saw fascinated me, but I also needed to stick with my budget. I spotted and purchased a framed canvas print Valentine’s werewolf from Devon Devereaux Illustration (apparently my werewolf intrest still trumps the Tiki interests).

Lunch at Red lion’s Quay Restaurant turned out disappointing. With seven people in our party and a nearly empty restaurant, we felt the server neglected our corner. The waiter and waitress rarely checked on us, especially when we needed water refill. It was almost an hour by the time the waitress delivered our food to our table, if it was our food. The waiter completely forgot about my beverage. I made a note to myself to skip the restaurant next year.

The Rock Lobster Pool Party was entertaining. Wigs On Fire performed the B-52′s tracks fairly well under the blazing sun on the concrete pool deck (they had no shade). The performance was fun to watch from the balcony shade and access to an air-conditioned room. Marina the Mermaid dove into the pool, swimming around and splashing her fin.

Read More »