Friday, May 11, 2012

Adventure Day...

Fridays is usually the day I got out and explore on Trimet. Today because my wife had a doctor's appointment, this would actually be a short day.

I started on Route 44 a route I ride every day. However, today instead of heading to Portland Community College Sylvania Campus I head toward downtown but still had the same driver I normally do every morning.

Today I rode the east on the 20 from downtown to Gresham, back to downtown on the 4, then on the 10 out to Foster/94th to the 71. While I have driven these streets on several occasions you are able to so much more on the bus when you don't have worry about driving.

The 20 is an interesting route. It starts and the Beaverton Transit Center travels do downtown then all the way to Gresham. I have ridden the 20 a couple of times west of downtown but this will be my first time east of NE 11th on the 20.

After the 20 leaves downtown and crosses the Burnside bridge. The east side is a gritty neighborhood but does have some character if you look for it. At 9th Avenue sits the Eastside Lodge where I stayed when I attended Railvolution back in 2010 which was also the time we decided we were going to move to Portland.

In front of the Eastside Lodge is a former Denny's that is now a scary Chinese Restaurant. Kitty corner across from the Eastside Lodge is the Jupiter which is a 60's motel that has been "coolized" and is now a popular hang out.

The next major neighborhood the 20 travels through is the Laurelhurst neighborhood which is fill with nice and very expensive homes. You wouldn't expect to find such nice homes on a major street like Burnside but here they are.

At 82nd you see a definate change as you enter the sad part of town. Sadly 82nd is best know for its gang activity and where the ladies of the night walk. The first block past 82nd you see a lot of homes with bars on the windows but within a couple of blocks you have some nice homes. The bus then crosses the freeway and is joined by the Gresham MAX line for a couple of blocks before the 20 turns down 102nd and heads to Stark.

Sadly this entire area is know for its gang infestation and mostly run down areas. You find some nice areas here and there but not many.

Stark seems a mixture of commercial, single wide trailer parks and apartment buildings. Once you get to the Troutdale area you start seeing more suburb type development before the bus turns onto Kane to service Mount Hood Community College then turns onto Division to reach the Gresham Transit Center.

Route 4 travels along the major street of Division. Most of eastern half is typical run down suburban development. Once past the infamous SE 82nd you start running into smaller homes plus some nice court yard apartments. The mast fascinating piece architecture was a school that was colonial style with a clock tower and very large.

Once past 40th heading toward downtown Division turns into a street with lots of neighborhood businesses. It is amazing to think how different things would be if the Mt. Hood Freeway would have been put through here and all these nice little shops would be gone.

The most remarkable part of the 10 route is right after leaving downtown as it travels through Ladd's Addition which is a very nice neighborhood with lovely homes and a very interesting history. Once past Ladd's Addition you past Reed College a very exclusive school then its mainly small homes all the way to the end of the line. Once section near 60th was interesting as you had a scary house, nice house, scary house, nice house, scary house, and so on.

That was my adventure for today, tomorrow will be a who different adventure as I am going to the coast for a school project with a mini van loaded with my wife, kids and a child we are watching for the weekend.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Its the beginning but not the beginning...

I have decided to start this blog about my daily adventures riding transit. I have had so many interesting encounters I have decided it was time to start publishing them. I first got the idea from a book I recently read on a topic that has nothing to do with transit riding but was almost a dairy and that gave me the idea for the blog.

Currently I ride Trimet in Portland, Oregon on a daily basis. However, I have also ridden transit across the nation in such cities as Seattle, San Francisco, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Reno, Las Vegas, Spokane and Miami. However, my transit riding adventures started a few years ago (o.k. more than a few years ago) growing up in the Los Angeles suburbs of Pasadena and South Pasadena.

When I was 11 years old (how things have changed, I would never allow my 11 year old to ride alone), I started riding the bus from school to home and eventually in both directions. Thus began my never ending connection with transit.

Today I ride Trimet everyday to school, to do photography work and to just explore and get to know Portland better. You will soon start hearing about all those interesting things I come upon while riding Trimet plus I will also do postings on any trips I take including those by car.

So sit down and enjoy the adventure...