Happy New Year!
Our holiday celebrations are over, guests have returned home, and house emergencies have been dealt with, so now’s a good time to get back to blogging and to catch up on a few things.
Back in October or November, before Portland broke records for the rainiest December and we didn’t want to leave our house, we had some fun exploring our new city. Through some local friends we had heard about the Four T Trail and decided to give it a try.
The first T is for train. We actually started with a bus, but that’s not part of the official tour. The bus took us from near our house to Downtown, where we caught the light rail MAX train to the Zoo. The Portland MAX is frequent, and clean, and a great way to get around town.
From the Zoo, we headed to the second T, the trail. This one made me laugh because it almost looks like we’re supposed to walk onto the freeway.
But no, the well marked trail leads you into the forest. Portland is kind of awesome in that you can be in the middle of a large urban area and still feel like you’re hiking deep in the woods. Well, for a city girl like me it’s a nice change of scenery without a lot of effort and that counts for a lot.
Partway through the Trail section, hikers are rewarded with a spectacular view of Portland from Council Crest Park. This park was a great find for us since it’s an easy 10 minute drive from our house and has now become a definite stop on our “places to take guests” list.
From Council Crest, the trail dips back into the forested park. Or, if pressed for time, one can stick to residential streets and knock some time off the trek. We did this, but while the houses are fun to ogle, the streets are narrow and winding and without much shoulder, which meant we really had to watch for cars. We’d not choose the shortcut again.
At the end of the trail is the third T, the arial Tram. This ski-resort style gondola shuttles people between the two OHSU (Oregon Health and Sciences University) campuses — one at the top of a hill, one at the waterfront.
Once again, the views were superb.
At the bottom of the tram was the Trolley, AKA Portland Streetcar, and the fourth T on the trek. The trolley took us back downtown where we started. Had we not needed to get back home by a certain hour, we would have stopped along the way for some of the great food Portland is famous for. No fear, we enjoyed this interesting way to see the variety that Portland has to offer, so we’ll definitely be doing it again. Summer visitors, you’ve been warned. Bring comfy walking shoes!