Friday, October 12, 2007

High above the city

Have you ever had a dream where you were flying—soaring silently over the city? In this dream you see people and cars like toys, down below. You see rooftops and backyards and people working, unaware that you are looking down. It always reminds me of the Grant Wood painting of "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere."

It's a recurring dream that I have had since I was a child. It is my favorite dream and I always feel sad to wake up from that weightless, free feeling. So it was the next best thing to take a ride on the new tram this morning.

The tram was built to connect the two parts of the Oregon Health Sciences University Medical School and hospitals. The newest part of the campus is this 16 story building near the Willamette River.

The rest of the campus is miles away at the top of "Pill Hill." The tram was built so the doctors, patients and students could easily travel between the two locations. It has been a controversial project, costing a lot more than was budgeted and as you can imagine, the people living under the tram are not happy. But the people at OHSU love it and it gets a lot of use. The general public can take the round trip ride for $4, which is what we did today.

That's the OHSU campus at the top of the hill—our destination.

I am sorry for people who have a fear of heights and don't enjoy being up high. You get such a different perspective on things. Ray and I always seem to want to see things from above wherever we go. It's just a thing we do. The last time we went to Ecuador we rode the new tram system, called the Teleferico, in Quito. It goes to the top of the volcano Pichincha. Dizzying elevation there. You can see our pictures here. We discovered this mutual interest in high-up views early in our marriage on a trip to Europe. Some of the places we climbed were to the top of Notre Dame, to the top of the bell tower in Florence and to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa. (I don't think you can do that anymore and it was very disorienting.) We've been to the top of the Empire State Building several times and I'll never forget the view from the top of the World Trade Center. I'm glad we did that.
Today was a perfect day for flying—er, tram-riding. Beautiful fall colors and a little haze, but sunny and crisp.


  1. wow, just very neat! I love the fall colors! Thanks for sharing the gift of flight!

  2. This is amazing. What a fantastic commute to work for the doctors! I just viewed your other tram ride to the volcano. Hey lady, you get around in the air more than Mary Poppins :>)

    My meager comparison is taking the Duquesne Incline in Pittsburgh and another incline in the mountains of Zakopane, Poland. These were more like cable-cars traversing sides of mountains but I still grabbed front seats and super window views.

    Feeding your high for only $4 is right up there (er, pardon the pun) with a Starbucks sugar-free vanilla latte.

    Continue to fly high, my dear, and thanks for your wonderful comments at my and Jenn's blogs.

  3. how stunning. I love your autumn colours, our climate is too temperate to bring out the best in them. check todays post, it links to your one about grey hair!

  4. Anonymous9:29 PM

    In solidarity with the neighborhood (where we used to live) we haven't boarded the tram yet. But of course we yearn to do so. A good friend who lives very close to where one of your photos was taken has sworn never to set foot in it and I know she'd see me if I did...

    I too love heights. I wonder if you could paint from the tram. Hmmm, might cause some hassle.