Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I drive through her streets, 'cause she's my companion. I walk through her hills 'cause, she knows who I am...

So, you're kinda not feeling all that great, and you are hot, and cranky as hell.  What do you do?  Take to the hills, of course!  Oh, and don't forget that camera!

The kids and I were bored the other day, so we decided to see where the bridge at SW 12th street went.  I think, when I lived in these hills, about 12-14 years ago, I did explore this once then, too.  But I was a still kind of a kid then, and I think I was more nervous about driving my new car through there, and getting hit.  (The streets really only allow for about a single car width.)  But last year, we discovered Gleall Castle, and we have been fascinated with it, since then.  I told Ladybug to look for it, since we have been doing a bit more exploring as of late, and she spotted it, on the bluff, just to the left of the bridge we were on!

The adventure was set.  It was on!  We HAD to find that damn castle, from that side!   Without a map!  And without GPS, because GPS gets all kinds of fucked up when you are trying to find things in the hills.  Lord... I could write quite a story about that, and may, some day.

Last summer, when we did this, I went up SW Broadway, and took a very confusing, and also quite narrow series of switchbacks up to the castle.  It was still semi-intimidating, because the streets are very narrow, and very curvy, and some people do drive fast on them. 

I also learned the hard way, not to take Broadway back down.  They (sort of) have a system for that particular intersection, but it is still a bit daunting if you aren't used to it, and you have to really pay attention to two mirrors, as well as a flashing light, to get out safely.  Conversely, there are also lights that flash for oncoming traffic, when a car is waiting to turn onto Broadway from there, but my experience has been that no one pays any attention to those flashing lights, so... well?  You really have to.  It is up to you to watch both mirrors, and that damn light, simultaneously.  I'm guessing this is probably a lot like what Amelia Earhart went through, and why she was never, ever found.  There are some wackadoo intersections in Portland, but I think this may be the absolute worst one I have ever seen.  I wish I had thought to get a photo of it.  It really must be seen, to be believed, and it probably also might need to be staged properly, so you can understand the full wonder of it.

Good times... I digress.

Anyway, the first time we tried to find the castle from the bridge, it was a fail.  Why?  Because I was convinced that the castle was still up hill from a particularly narrow crest on SW Rivington.  This crest... oy!  If you fail to hit it right, your car could very well get hung up on it by the undercarriage.  It really is that steep, and that narrow.   I just did not believe the castle was on the other side, and so I took Myrtle.  Sadly, that just looped around stupidly.

We decided to just consult a map, later, and discovered that yes, indeed, you must stay on Rivington the entire time, and it just becomes Buckingham, where Gleall is located. 

So, about a week later, we set out again!  Lo, and behold!  Success!

I also noticed a few very cool vistas that I hadn't, before, because I was so intent on finding that goddamned castle, and staying safe on those wacked-out streets.

Anyway, today, I felt like exploring even more, and while at first, I thought the photography portion of this trip would be a bust, (it was really crowded up there, and I could not find a good place to park,) I decided to loop around and see where the roads took me.

Turns out, the connectivity on the hill is pretty glorious.  I found my way to SW Vista, and then back down Montgomery Dr.  And then I tried again.  I just parked in one spot, and we walked all over the place.  Found lots of neat things to photograph, and not everything ended up being vista-related.

Well, without further hyperbole on my little hill adventures, here are some photos!

Fremont Bridge

Broadway Bridge

Tilikum Bridge

As I walked through here, the sun hit the blackberries, and it was just intoxicating.  I wasn't sure if they were sprayed though, so I didn't eat any.  Sigh...

Damn, Spider!

Sumac trees.


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