Mississippi Ave. Visit

We were having a rain free weekend so I got out to check out another neighborhood. This time I went back to Mississippi Ave. This was another turn around neighborhood that went from slum to trendy a decade ago. I was greeted with a massive new housing complex in the area I normally park. The blocks that were being built on were vacant before so these projects were just putting the land back to use but I was afraid of what else may have happened to Mississippi Ave.

As I walked down the street I found most of what had made this district special had not change. The popular eateries were still open. And many of the small retail shops were still surviving. A lot of the redevelopment of the Avenue had happened a number of years ago, in fact long enough ago that they now blend with the old. Even on an early Sunday morning there were folks out and the coffee shops were full. So all looked well here with plenty for a visitor to Portland to enjoy.

Alberta Street Fog

I ventured out this morning with plans of doing a longer urban walk and covering several Portland neighborhoods that I thought would be of interest to visitors. I found the fog to be so thick I could not even take a picture across the street without it being hazy. The fog cut my plan short. I did walk up and down NE Alberta Street to reacquaint myself with this neighborhood and try and get some photos. Alberta St.was the last of the larger Portland neighborhoods that became “the next NW 23rd. I think it has been four years since I last walked the whole area. At that time it was still rapidly changing and becoming the next up and coming star. It was sad to see that it has stalled. It was in a mature market phase. Some businesses have closed and the store front are empty. Some of better restaurants were still doing well. It was more the fringe ones that looked like they were having a hard time. There was some new construction going on and that may lead to what has happened to NW 23rd. NW 23rd has moved from Portlandia to Portland. For now there are still many murals on buildings and some of the arts and crafts movement lives on but it look like the place is ready for a new chapter.

Vancouver Walk Route

I got out for a Sunday morning walk to work out my final route for my Fort Vancouver – Vancouver walk. I did a track on my Garmin GPS and had the route come in around 5.5 miles. There is so much to see on this route it could be a whole day event but done on the quick could be done in 3 to 4 hours. This time out I got more photos of the Ester Shore Park and made sure Firehouse Glass Studio would welcome visitors. I also found that the whole length of the new Water Front Park was open. Now I need to get the route mapped and up on the website.

Magness Memorial Tree Farm

As a follow up to my visit to the discovery museum I went for visit to the World Forestry Center demonstration forest. Magness Memorial Tree Farm is situated south west of Portland in the Chehalam Hills. It has several miles of trails passing through second growth forest and a built up area for hosting groups. As part of my “when timber was king” tours I was curious if this place would work in as part of that and if it might replace the Hopkins Demonstration forest. I walked most of the trails in the place to be sure I covered it all. It appears at one time to have signage by the trails to explain some point about the forest in that spot. Most of the signage is gone but the sign post remain. One trail did still have signage that spoke in general terms about the nature. I found today it is used by folks near by to walk their dogs or take a run. So pretty much like Forest Park. Looks like it’s initial purpose has been abandoned.

Trying to stay objective

Yesterday I got over to the World Forestry Center/Discovery Museum. Overall it is a nice museum but if you have been watching the battle with the big forest industries for last 50 years you see the propaganda everywhere. Now I have a love-hate relationship with the timber industry. I have worked house construction so I love my 2x4s but I also love our large natural forested areas and sustainability. I hate when the forest industry works to “get the cut out” and make as much profit as it can and leaves hills baron eco disaster areas and never replant (this happened a lot 50 years ago). The museum portrays the timber industry as the great friends of the environment. When they harvest timber it is only done in an eco friendly way with sustainability in mind. If you have been around for more than a half century you know they only portray this role because they are force to by hard won laws that make them do it. The museum portrays a picture of forest and logging today and is better then 50 years ago. But we also know if you turn your back on the timber industry for on second and they will be back to their scorched earth policies.

So I am trying to stay objective on adding the forest museum to the website. The museum has good information that is presented in a modern, attractive way and with good interactivity of kids. For folks who haven’t been through the eco battles they may think everything they see is all facts and the only way things can be done. I hope folks visit the museum but I also hope they question what they hear and see and ask why are there almost no 350 year old trees any more and is this the only way. There are getting be other ways of doing things that are not business as usual. In my “when timber was king” tour I am trying give a complete story. This museum will be part of it but just one part.