Monthly Archives: May 2012

Rocky Butte and Joseph Hill Park

I drove up to Rocky Butte this weekend to walk around Joseph Wood Hill Park. Rocky Butte is a 612′ tall extinct volcanic cinder cone, which is part of the Boring Lava Field. In the last ice age, it parted the massive flood waters as Glacial Lake Missoula spilled into the Willamette Valley. Today, it parts the freeways that enter Portland.

I’ve been coming here all my life and have always had an affection for the strange, wonderful, and seemingly useless stone structure at the top. Built in 1937-39, it features an aircraft beacon and panoramic views of the city.  On this visit, Portland was very hazy so I plan on returning soon to snap some better pans of the city and the mountains.

Here are my pictures and some diagrams I made:

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Laurelhurst Park

This week I’m posting some pictures of my neighborhood park, Laurelhurst!  The park was built in 1912, around the time the Laurelhurst neighborhood was developed. It occupies 26.8 acres and features a beautiful pond (which is actually called Firewood Lake, everyone calls it a pond though).  I grew up just north of the park and have been lucky enough to ice skate on the pond once (a rare treat).


Here are the frozen pond pictures from 1989. It was my first time ice skating…

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Union Station

Union Station is one of Portland’s oldest and most iconic structures. It was designed by Van Brunt & Howe and opened in 1896. The Station is located at the Northern end of the transit Mall, which serves as downtown’s transportation hub, linking light rail, city buses, greyhound, and Amtrak.

Here are my sketches and photos. I’ve created a map of the various rail routes throughout Portland as well.

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Portland Japanese Garden

A few weekends ago I had the chance to visit the Japanese Garden with friends. I hadn’t visited since elementary school and I was happy to see that it was every bit as beautiful and impressive as I remember. Even with the weekend crowd, there were many chances to be alone and enjoy the scenery. Here are some sights and sketches:

Strolling PondHeavenly FallsThe Sand and Stone Garden

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Waterfront Loop

The past weekend was beautiful here in Portland and I had a chance to visit a few places around town.  Here are some sights from the East and Westside waterfronts. I parked near Water Avenue and walked North, crossing at the Steel Bridge (my favorite in Portland) and crossing back over on the Hawthorne Bridge (the oldest in Portland). The signage for the pedestrian/bicycle infrastructure is great. It’s clear, organized, and well-observed.

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