Rebels By Bus

Slow Travel With Low Carbon Footprint

Mary and Gail: 4Ts (sort of) in Portland

Mary was in Portland town, so we spent the day on buses, street car, Max and the Tram.  Not quite the 4T trip of guidebook fame; we skipped the 4-mile  trek from the zoo to the tram because the trail is still muddy.

We began our trip in Sellwood–the cute neighborhood in the south east corner of  Portland along the Willamette River. Our day began with breakfast of course–at Bertie Lou’s around the corner from where I live. Can’t get much more local! With a great breakfast to get us through our adventure, we walked the half-mile to the catch bus 19 at the corner of Bybee and Milwaukie.We had all-day passes, so we would not have to deal with Trimet fares.

We got off at Portland State University stop and walked around the corner to 5th avenue to catch the street car to the south waterfront area.  Our tourist destination: the Portland Aerial Tram. It’s main purpose is to transport people to Oregon’s Health and Science University (OHSU) campus on Marquam Hill.  $4 for the round trip ride that goes up 500 feet.  As it turns out, they collect tickets at the bottom; no tickets are required for the trip down. (note: you can take Bus 8 from downtown to Marquam Hill and hop on the tram for free).


Once at OHSU, there is a viewing deck with beautiful sculptured water fountains.  We hung out there for awhile, enjoying the views on this lovely day, before getting back on the tram to head to the waterfront.

We caught the waiting streetcar that took us to 10th and Couch–by read the poky little puppy online Powell’s bookstore. We wandered around there for a bit and caught another streetcar  to take us to NW 23rd avenue.  A woman told us about Salt and Straw for ice cream, which has recently opened its 2nd location on NW 23rd.–sea salt with caramel, lavender honey, pear with blue cheese–all sounded appealing. We were not the only one’s with ice cream on our mind on this hot day, but with the line out the door, we decided to keep on walking.

We hopped on Bus 15 on Burnside that headed down Salmon toward the Morrison bridge.  We got off at 6th avenue and walked to Pioneer Square where we took the Red Line Max to Skidmore Fountain.  On the weekends, it is the site of Portland’s famed Saturday Market and also close to the the McCall River Front Park.

We strolled for awhile along the park. Then we began to make our way to Union Station. We opted to follow the walkway along the river that goes past a small enclave of condos. We crossed the bridge over the tracks and arrived at Union Station for Mary to catch a train back to Olympia.

Next time, when the trails dry out, we will do the full 4-T trip. From Union Station, it means taking the Green or Yellow Max (or bus) to 5th and Yamhill (Pioneer Square) and then catching the Red or Blue Line Max train to the zoo, hiking down to Marquam Hill, catching the Tram to the waterfront, and then catching the Streetcar back to downtown Portland.  Many places to eat along the way!




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