Sunday, February 17, 2008
Since it's 50 degrees in the middle of February, and the sun is shining out of a clear blue sky, I thought it was a good idea to get outdoors for a bit. So, after living in Portland for 24 years, I finally got around to actually visiting Rocky Butte State Park, which turned out to be nothing at all like I expected. Well, it was high up and provided a panoramic view of the Columbia River, Mt Hood, and Mt St Helens (and IKEA and a lot of industrial land and two freeways), but I anticipated something wild and more natural. Instead, I drove up a long winding road, through a tunnel, alongside a number of stilt houses eagerly awaiting a good quake, and some of the biggest and ugliest McMansions I've seen in town.
Then, at the very top, I found the Joseph Wood Hill "Park" which was originally the site for a military academy built in the early 20th century. What it looks like, really, is an old stone fortress. Guarded today by the biggest Great Dane I've ever seen. The forest-y portion of the park is downhill and to the east and for all I know there are trails through it. In general, I wasn't overwhelmed.