Sunday, February 08, 2015

The Old Trail

My friend Beth and I walked this trail almost every day for about 6 years, then I moved and we moved our walk to a different trail. Actually, they are both sections of a 15 mile long trail called The Fanno Creek trail. This is the Garden Home section of the trail and in my opinion the more beautiful section. It feels a bit hidden and secret from the outside world, running through the hidden interior of a neighborhood, past backyards, open spaces and the back of the Portland Golf Club. Accessible on foot, back in where the streets have ended. This morning Ray and I, bored with the gym, decided to walk the trail instead. It has been several years since I was there and I wondered what might have changed.

It was as beautiful as I remembered. The trail has been widened in some areas and there are some new benches, one near the site of our protest of the ugly razor wire the golf club had there. Some trees have been removed—recently it appears.

We stopped to admire some interesting fungi...

And to play our old game of dropping pennies from the bridge onto the top of an old piling that sticks up from the creek.

There are some nice new signs about the history and features of the trail.

All was good until I spotted this:

One of the parts of the walk Beth and I loved was past a lovely house, hidden away back along the creek. It had a curved driveway and big trees and a glorious garden, filled with flowers and art. The garden was huge, with the trail following along it for awhile. And it had been right here, where now there was a huge hole in the ground, earth moving machines and piles of construction materials. As we continued around the corner, I saw that the house was gone. We asked a man walking by what was being built and he said, with anger in his voice, it was a water treatment facility. The neighbors had fought it. The people who owned the house and property had been forced to sell to the water district. No one was happy, said the man. Further along there was a sign explaining the project. Progress. Clean water for all. I felt sick.

Below, the old driveway that curved up to the house. Every spring this drive was lined with daffodils.

We contined on to the end, then turned around and walked back. We got our coffee at the Starbucks where Beth and I had spent so much time and money that we figured we owned the chairs. The Starbucks has been remodeled. It is fancy. None of the old baristas are there anymore.

Starbucks then (2007)

Starbucks now

Time marches on, now doesn't it?



  1. I find the destruction of that home very sad. Yes, clean water is lovely but so was that HOME. I was seriously jealous of you having a path to walk that wasn't covered in 30 inches of snow as all our walking paths are this morning.

    I feel like going outside and shouting to the heaves--ENOUGH!!

  2. Anonymous11:04 AM

    I keenly feel your disappointment in what has happened. I didn't even know the area "back when" but it still makes me feel sick.

  3. How very sad. I can't even imagine how the people who owned that home must feel.

  4. I am so sorry the house is gone. My partner is working on a project in Newport--the water facility needs more space from a motel's grounds. They are trying to do this well, so the motel doesn't get upset, makes a bit of a profit, and the government isn't forced to grab and go. There needs to be a balance between our societal needs and needs of ownerships.

  5. Anonymous1:41 PM

    Paula B and I hike from GH rec ctr to the Women's Health(???) just off Denny on M,W,F morning if you ever need a substitute walking partner. a beautiful trail.

    In Summer, My hubby and I bicycle home to Cook Park (also Fanno Creek trail) on Monday afternoons. It's about 22 mi round trip. (Also an open invitation : >

    I agree, we are so lucky to have such a beautiful path; so close to so many.

  6. Yes, time marches on. Sometimes for the greater good, but sometimes just for the greater greed I'm glad you still have lovely parts of this trail.