Showing posts with label Hawthorne Bridge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hawthorne Bridge. Show all posts

Friday, September 5, 2014

Seen at the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival, No. 8, July 3, 2014 - One of my favorite guys to see out and about around downtown Portland



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Mr. Statue, since the first time I saw him years ago, remains my favorite Portland street performer. I like how this photo turned out.

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Usually you can see two or three balls at the same time. He keeps them in a fanny pack when he's being still. I'm so glad that he got to set up in the shade of the Hawthorne Bridge!

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I cannot imagine how much time that it takes for Mr. Statue to get ready for his performances. For me, he's a mesmerizing treat to witness.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Seen at the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival, No. 1, July 3, 2014 - Steve Cheseborough

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From the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival Web site: Steve Cheseborough re-creates the blues and hokum of the 1920s-30s, interspersing the songs with stories, history and humor. The author of Blues Traveling: the Holy Sites of Delta Blues and one of the stars of Last of the Mississippi Jukes, Cheseborough has the uncanny ability to turn any setting into a 1925 Mississippi jook joint.

Twice I've witnessed the memorable magic that Steve creates on the FedEx Crossroads Stage, nestled beneath the trees just north of the Hawthorne Bridge. See the leaves mirrored in his nickel-plated National? He's perfectly suited to the festival's smallest, most intimate stage, but I'll bet he holds onto an audience from a larger stage with the same skill and ease. Thanks, Steve!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Delivery bicycle shares the streets

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Waiting at the traffic signal at the intersection where the east-bound exit ramp of the Hawthorne Bridge joins the surface street SE Grand Avenue before continuing as SE Hawthorne Blvd.

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B-Line bicycle delivery, heading east on SE Hawthorne Blvd. In the background, you can see the public art known as Inversion: Plus Minus, by Lead Pencil Studio.

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Sustainable urban delivery--pretty good tag line, if you ask me.

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There he goes, making a bee line for the delivery site.

Found on their Web site, in the About tab: B-line is the missing link in the infrastructure of a sustainable city. Solving the challenges of the “last mile” of a distribution network, B-line delivers on the promise that business can be a catalyst for social and environmental change.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Of sunshine and shade and stringed instruments

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She pedaled through the sunshine, one musical instrument on her back, one behind her in the bicycle's basket--at least that case appears to hold another stringed musical instrument.

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She pedaled into the shade, on her way west across the Hawthorne Bridge over the Willamette River. Does the green instrument in the purple backpack make you think of a banjo? To me, there seems to be a circle-ness in its shape hidden inside the backpack.

The chartreuse-colored pavement marks a dedicated bike lane.




Sunday, May 18, 2014

What do you think made me take these photos?

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Cropped close-up. Gives you a great big clue, right? Across the street from her, I rushed up the sidewalk towards the intersection, hoping I'd get close enough to be able to stop, zoom, focus and get a decent photo of that golden, spiked backpack. Since I had noticed it before on a walk around my work building, I figured that I just might get a chance to take a photo of it another time. But, why take the chance that I'd have my Nikon in my hands? So I said to myself, "Step out, ol' lady!" With the traffic signal on my side, I caught up with her and her quirky backpack!

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Co-existing successfully, the joys of city commuting. Car stopped at traffic signal, waiting to go north. Bicyclist going east, pedestrian and her fascinating backpack going west. But, how far west?

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Ah, there she goes on the Hawthorne Bridge ramp. Downtown? Tom McCall Waterfront Park? This girl has options for enjoying the sunny afternoon.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

While cold and blustery weather lingers, I'm dreaming and knowing this too will come, No. 9



I took this photo on July 7, 2013, at 3:11 p.m. My first time to attend the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival went so well that I'm hoping to have much the same sort of blast this July. And I'm already praying for perfect weather on and before all festival days. The Blues Stage you see is the second-largest stage at the festival, one of four stages, all of which were loaded with talented performers for the crowd's enjoyment. That's the Hawthorne Bridge, raised to allow passage of a vessel pushed north and downstream by the tugboat you can see beyond the crowd. The tall building the background is in Southeast Portland, the Weatherly Building on the corner of SE Morrison and SE Grand, just a few blocks north of where I work. One of these days I want to ride an elevator to the top floor and look out at Portland and the Willamette River which divides the city into west and east.

I cannot wait to find out what the Blues Benefactor Pass costs this year--I'm saving up for it because having one last year was absolutely perfect.

Info from the festival Web site: 2014 Blues Fest Highlights Many more to be announced! 
THURSDAY, JULY 3, 2014
LOS LOBOS
LOS LONELY BOYS
Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials
Blind Boy Paxton
Hoodoo Moon Cruise: Blind Boy Paxton, Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials

FRIDAY, JULY 4, 2014
JOHN NEMETH & THE BO-KEYS
The Soul of John Black
Chris O’Leary Band
Home Made Jamz
Bill Rhoades’ Harmonica Blow-Off: Chris O’Leary, John Nemeth
Journey to Memphis Competition
Fireworks
After Hours Allstars: Bo-Keys Soul Jam: TBA

SATURDAY, JULY 5, 2014
MACEO PARKER
Sugaray Rayford
Leo Bud Welch
Zydeco Swamp Romp: Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas
Rock the Boat Dance Cruise: Chris Bergson Band, Sugaray Rayford After Hours Allstars: Maceo Parker • Lee Fields & the Expressions

SUNDAY, JULY 6, 2014
GREGG ALLMAN BAND
Lee Fields & The Expressions
Chris Bergson Band
Zydeco Swamp Romp: Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Back to the Waterfront Blues Festival, July 5, at the FedEx Crossroads Stage

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You could hear him before you could see him. The stage, the smallest, most intimate one at the festival, sat beneath some trees off to the south side of the Hawthorne Bridge, enclosed in a chain link fence. Intrigued, I entered through the opening in the fence and found a seat on the front row of the portable metal bleachers. Am I ever proud of myself for doing that!
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Mesmerized, I stayed and witnessed Lloyd Allen, Sr. gather us all up in the palm of his hand, playing the blues with classy skills honed through the years. Here's what I found on the Waterfront Blues Festival Web site: Lloyd Allen Sr. is a charming, smartly dressed blues practitioner with over six decades of experience with the blues. He began his performance career at age 13 with the Vibratones and later became one-quarter of the blues foursome, the Cannonballs. Allen's guitar and vocal chops have yielded opening slots for the likes of B.B. King, Dinah Washington and more.
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I took 78 photos. These are my favorites.
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Easy to see why, right? And how's this for way cool. Mr. Allen played at the Blue Diamond on Friday, August 2! Right near where I live, as some of your realize. I am blessed.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Seen on the Hawthorne Bridge - don't blink, or you'll miss him!

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I've seen this man many times in the mornings before 8 a.m. while I wait to cross the intersection when the traffic signal changes. He pedals east on Hawthorne after he's come off the bridge that crosses the Willamette River. His slender legs quickly bend and straighten, and the recumbent bicycle skims the pavement at full speed. A tall flag attached to the back of the bicycle whips side-to-side, in unison with his pumping legs. There's a mouth-locked-open sort of a grimace/smile on his face, along with a look of concentration which reminds me of a man plotting his next move on a chessboard.  To change lanes, he uses side view mirrors with the certainty of a mongoose locked onto the movements of a cobra. Many days after 5 p.m. while I wait for the bus, I've seen him heading west at the intersection of SE Grand Avenue and SE Madison, looking just the same as he does in the morning. His energy level appears undiminished by however he spent the last nine hours.  

All of that is to say that it's fitting that the man on the bicycle is a blur in this photo. On January 8, as I stood enjoying the view at the railing near the bus stop on the bridge, I looked east and noticed him coming toward me. I knew he'd be on me before I could take a photo in that direction, so I put the camera up to my eye as I turned to wait for him and pushed the button as he blew by me. 

Now that I look at the photo on the iMac, I wonder where the bike's flag has gone.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Seen in downtown Portland

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After I had walked over the Hawthorne Bridge on January 8, I continued towards the bus stop at SW 2nd Avenue and SW Main so that I could catch my first bus of the two it takes me to get home. Before I got to that bus stop in the next block, I noticed the lights of a bus which had stopped behind this lady on the bicycle, shining on her. Naturally I had to take a photo, then when the light changed, I hot-footed it for the next corner because the bus behind her was the one I wanted to catch!

You can see how prepared she is for our usual rainy winter weather, with her hooded, bright green rain coat and her tall rubber boots. It alarms me that she doesn't have a helmet--mothers get alarmed by stuff like that. I'm glad to see that she has a light on the back of the bicycle--there near where her raincoat is reflected in the red bike's aluminum (I suppose) fender. What do you think about the angle of the handlebars? Pointed straight up, it seems to me. I hope I come across here again some time so that I can take another photo to compare with this one. 

Once I saw the photo on the iMac, I decided that it had turned out much better than I had expected. Here are the reasons I believe that to be true:

  • The headlights shine into the intersection, making a slight shadow of the lady and her bicycle.
  • The dashes that outline the bike lane follow the angle of SW Main as it departs the Hawthorne Bridge and continues westward up  the street. I'm usually up in a bus and don't get to see the street like this.
  • Also, it's neat that the trees still have lights on them--something left over from the holidays.
  • Finally, I like the pedestrians who've crossed at the intersection. I imagine each one feels as good as I remember feeling about no rain on that particular evening. The last woman in the group on the left of the intersection wears stiletto-style black boots. Amazing that anyone willingly puts those on their feet and heads out to work all day in them. Even when I was young and slim, I couldn't bear the thought of doing that to my feet. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Seen on the Hawthorne Bridge

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On January 8, I stood on the westbound approach of the Hawthorne Bridge and looked towards downtown, admiring the night sky and the lights, the bridges and the traffic--vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians. Intrigued by the various views, I noticed some of the  of the Hawthorne Bridge's truss spans between the upper and lower decks of the Marquam Bridge (which is also Interstate 5). Since I liked what I saw, I picked up the Nikon D50 hanging around my neck and took this photo.

An 18-wheeler zooms south on the lower Marquam Bridge deck. On the upper deck, a light-colored van or SUV heads north. The Willamette River ripples and shines between the Hawthorne Bridge supports, reflecting the well-lit Willamette River. The cone-shaped top of the KOIN Tower and the upper floors of the Wells Fargo Building stand tall in downtown. At the western end of the street with the cars parked along its north side, there's a single story building with a sort of patio in front of it, a low railing at the edge of the patio to keep folks from falling into the Willamette, and a very tall evergreen tree right across the patio from the building. That building is a fire station. The firefighters serve Portlanders on dry land and river water. 

About the Hawthorne Bridge, from the Multnomah County Web site:

Hawthorne Bridge 

Originally constructed in 1910, the Hawthorne Bridge is the oldest operating vertical lift bridge in the United States. The 1,383-foot long Hawthorne Bridge is one of Portland’s busiest bridges, safely carrying approximately 30,000 vehicles and untold pedestrians and cyclists across the Willamette River. Vertical clearance for river traffic is limited and approximately 200 openings per month are required for this vertical lift bridge.

Like other vertical lift bridges, the Hawthorne Bridge uses a system of counterweights and cables to move the lift span straight up and down. The operating system is mostly original, but the electrical power and control systems—which were installed in 1975—were upgraded in 1999. Hawthorne’s counterweights each weigh 450 tons and are supported by the bridge’s two towers, which rise 165 feet above the bridge deck. The Hawthorne Bridge’s main span can be raised 110 feet to allow vessels to pass underneath. On average, an opening of the Hawthorne Bridge is 8 minutes long.

Major structural modifications on the truss spans have included: 
  • Removal of the original timber deck and sidewalk.
  • Installation of open steel grating deck and concrete and aluminum sidewalks. 
  • Widening the sidewalks from 6 feet to 10 feet to allow greater room for pedestrians and cyclists. This resulted in the overall deck width extending out to 72 feet.
The Hawthorne Bridge was designed by Waddell and Harrington, Consulting Engineers from Kansas City, MO and constructed by the Pennsylvania Steel Co and United Engineering and Construction and Robert Wakefield. It opened to traffic on December 19, 1910. 

Hawthorne Bridge statistics
  • Year built: 1910
  • Overall structure length (main span, approaches and ramps): 3,552 ft
  • Width: 73 ft Center height above water: 49 ft
  • Designed by: Waddell and Harrington, Kansas City, MO
  • Constructed by: Pennsylvania Steel Co., United Engineering and Construction, and Robert Wakefield.
  • Main river span: The main river span is made up of six spans for a total length of 1,383 ft. The three spans east of the lift span section are each 209’3” long; the lift span is about 477 ft long; the tower spans (which flank the lift span) are each 244’3.5” long. The towers rise 165 ft above the bridge deck and support the bridge’s two counterweights, which each weigh 450 tons. 
  • East approach: Consists of three separate ramps: the Madison Street Viaduct, the Hawthorne Street Viaduct, and the Water Avenue Ramp. The Madison Street Viaduct is 1,290 ft long, carries two lanes of westbound traffic toward the bridge and is constructed of simple-span steel girders supporting a concrete deck on reinforced concrete columns and caps. The Hawthorne Street Viaduct is 1,250 ft long, has construction similar to the Madison Street Viaduct and carries two lanes of eastbound traffic away from the bridge. The 549-ft Water Avenue Ramp is a two-lane, two-way ramp built in 1992 that allows eastbound traffic to exit the bridge to Water Avenue, and allows westbound traffic access to the bridge from Water Avenue.
  • West approach: Approximately 330 ft long, the west approach is made up of a series of short ramps that connect the bridge with SW Naito Parkway and SW 1st Avenue. The structure is made up of reinforced concrete columns and caps supporting a concrete deck and prestressed concrete beams. In 1999 sidewalks and ramps were added to the west approached to improve access for the handicapped, pedestrians, and cyclists.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Seen on the Hawthorne Bridge

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Cyclists use the Hawthorne Bridge all of the time, day and night, weekdays and weekends. Here's the photo I took of the counter on January 8, 2013, at 5:38 p.m. when I walked over the bridge--it's at the west end on the sidewalk which is used by bicycles as well as pedestrians. As you can see, the number is at 2176. According to the report available online, the total for that date ended up being 4426. (Info found at http://portland-hawthorne-bridge.visio-tools.com/)

I suppose that makes sense, but I found it implausible that several thousand more people crossed the bridge after the time that I took the photo, until I read that it's counting eastbound and westbound trips on the multi-use sidewalks on each side of the bridge. And January 8 was the highest count day for 2013, thus far.  About the Cyclists to Date, I have to believe that the counter is still counting from the day it started, August 8, 2012, after I looked at the data available at http://portland-hawthorne-bridge.visio-tools.com/. 

Here's an article I found at Bike Portland dot org http://bikeportland.org/2012/08/09/new-bike-counter-tallies-7432-hawthorne-bridge-bike-trips-on-first-day-of-operation-75744 
that explains the counter, the day after it started counting: 

New bike counter tallies 7,432 Hawthorne Bridge bike trips on first day of operation Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on August 9th, 2012 at 11:36 am 6,038 as of 7:49 pm last night. (Photo © J. Maus/BikePorltand) 

Portland's new bike counter had its first full day of operation yesterday and it logged 7,432 bike trips across the Hawthorne Bridge. That number is relatively close to 8,044, which is the average daily number of trips PBOT tallied in their official 2011 counts.

As the counter rolls out, I'm still learning more about it and clarifying some confusion surrounding it.

First, I want to share that contrary to what I understood from PBOT staff, the daily and annual bike trip data is available online. The company we purchased the counter from, Montreal-based Eco-Counter, has a website up for the Hawthorne Bridge counter which displays the data in a few different formats. (UPDATE: According to PBOT bike coordinator Roger Geller, the website is updated once a day at 2:00 am.)

Last night, unable to sleep without knowing the first day's final tally (and didn't realize it'd be available online), I rolled down to see it at around 11:45 pm. Unfortunately, the counter had already been reset. I've shared that glitch with PBOT and they're looking into it.

I have also heard that some eastbound bicycle trips are not showing up on the display. I have confirmed that PBOT is aware of this issue and that the manufacturer is shipping out a new antenna to solve the problem (it will be installed next week).

What's important to remember is that, even with the slight timing/reset glitch and this antennae issue, the actual counting of bicycle trips has remained rock solid. In other words, these issues are with the display only, not the underlying data collection. 

Speaking of the data collection, I've learned a bit more about that as well. Turns out there are two counting mechanisms. Yesterday I explained how the air hoses create a pulse when depressed by a bike tire and then send that pulse via radio frequency to the counter. Today I learned the data from each bike trip is also sent via modem to a server in France, where it's then beamed onto that website I linked to above.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the Eco-Counter website only offers basic information to the public; but according sources at PBOT, they get to see a much more detailed view. They can analyze and download the data based on direction of bike travel, traffic volume by hourly increments, and more.

One last thing (for now) that I want to clear up is all the confusion about whether or not this is the first such bike counter in North America. A Twitter friend of mine from Ottawa pointed out yesterday that they have a bike counter with a public display; but it turns out that display wasn't permanent and it has since been taken down. This means that Portland's bike counter (according to both PBOT sources and officials at Eco-Counter) is the first permanently installed bike counter with a public display in North America. All right then. I hope that's finally settled.

I'm sure many of you rode past the counter on the way into work this morning. What do you think? 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Four runners

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DSC_0490_cropped On Tuesday after work, I decided to walk west across the Hawthorne Bridge. Why not, I thought, it's around 50 degrees and not raining. Little did I know that gusts of wind would buffet me every time I stopped to take a photo--I pulled up the hood on my raincoat, thankful that I had layers underneath it, a sweater set and a sweatshirt jacket. 

Still, I enjoyed myself quite a bit, happy for the walk and the photo opportunities. I noticed these four women running, two eastward, two westward. My hope was that no one would come around my left side and get in the way of the photo I wanted to take--this one of the four of them side-by-side. I've cropped it a bit, otherwise, it's straight out of the camera.

DSC_0490_BeFunky_fill_light Here's the same photo, with a bit of fill light added. Which version do you prefer? I like the lighting in the SOOC, but I wasn't certain you'd be able to see the runners well enough, so I added the fill light at BeFunky. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Seen in conjunction with The Big Float, No. 3

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Bubbles, bubbles everywhere, even on this dog's nose! I know you're wondering what this photo has to do with The Big Float. Before I realized I was standing in the wrong place to see any close-up float action, I stood with a couple and their two dogs just south of the Hawthorne Bridge, thinking eventually the float would go by right in front of me, well to the back of me if you look at the perspective of this photo. I call it serendipity because I got to watch this dog have such a good time trying to catch the bubbles being blown by a little girl. Not once were they close enough for a good shot of the two of them together, but I still like these two in particular.

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I tried here to crop and alter the photo in order to make the bubble more visible. Not sure I succeeded.It's right there where the nose meets the dog's coat, just on the right side of the snout.
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Here's one more. I think there are two bubbles on the nose this time!

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See two? I do.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Seen in conjunction with The Big Float, No. 2

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Here's the official finish spot, near shade created by the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge.

From the big float dot com:

What’s the BIG idea? This second annual Willamette River event, benefitting Willamette Riverkeeper, is a celebration of our river – including the recreation it offers as well as the restoration it has undergone in recent years. The idea is to enjoy the river and also inspire positive aspirations for the river’s protection and improvement.

New Features for TBF II * Outlandish Watercraft Award * Best-of-Cruise Costume Award * Paddlers parade - kayakers, canoeists, dragon boaters, crew teams, SUP’ers * Floating barge with live music The Big Float II is open to all ages. All floaters must wear a life jacket. It's a safe voyage, not a race. Join the flotilla. Share in the "great crossing" and participate in the grandest pool party Portland has ever seen!

Pre-Float Inner-Tube Waterfront Parade

THE BIG FLOAT is an opportunity for the people of Portland to partake in a public display of affection for the Willamette River. In grand style, the event will begin with a “parade of floaters”. 

Participants will gather with their inner tubes or other watercraft in a parking lot near the Eastbank Promenade beneath the Hawthorne Bridge. Shortly after high noon, they will sally forth across the bridge and head south along Waterfront Park to the put-in point at Marquam Bridge beach, below the Marquam Bridge.

Start time is 12:30 at the gravel parking lot due South of the Hawthorne Bridge. The Crossing After signing waiver forms (register online for convenience), floaters will enter the river from Marquam Bridge beach and cross in groups of 50, under the supervision of Coast Guard personnel. Kayaker chaperones will also provide escort help. Floaters will head east across the river and proceed downstream to the landing area, where swimming will be allowed. All floaters must have a flotation device and wear a life vest. No alcohol is allowed on the float, but will be available at the after-party.

Is THE BIG FLOAT big on safety? Safety is a critical component of THE BIG FLOAT. The event will be supervised by the Coast Guard, Portland Fire Department and the Multnomah County River Patrol. Safety kayakers will line the route to provide additional visual survaliance. Floaters will be debriefed before launching by Willamette Riverkeeper volunteers and Coast Guard staff. Unsafe, unlawful behavior (and alcohol consumption) will not be tolerated and will be enforced by the Multnomah County River Patrol and the Coast Guard. THE BIG FLOAT reserves the right to reject any "craft" deemed unsafe to float on.

Do I need a life jacket? Yes, all floaters must wear a life jacket. This will not only help keep you safe, it will make our friends in the local Coast Guard very happy. And we want everyone to be happy.

Why do I need to register? Participants are encouraged to pre-register to help organizers plan for the event. By filling out the registration and waiver form prior to the event, you won’t have to do it at the start point of the float, saving time. So please be a peach and register. THE BIG FLOAT will cap participation at 2,000 people, register early.

Are air mattresses allowed? Water wings? What other types of watercraft? Air mattresses – yes. Anything float-worthy you can sit on or lie on is allowable. You may swim across but must wear a life jacket. Where can I get an inner tube? THE BIG FLOAT sponsor's Popina Swimwear Portland and Les Schwab Tire Centers will be selling inner tubes.

Can we tie our watercraft together and go as a group? Yes, but everyone tied together must have a life jacket. Can we bring alcoholic beverages with us on our voyage across? Negative on that. The Multnomah County River Patrol and Coast Guard will be keeping a close eye out for alcohol.

Are kids welcome to float? All ages are welcome to participate in The Big Float.

What if it rains the days before or day of the event? Weather could be a factor in postponement or cancellation of the float. Check this website for last-minute updates.

Where does the name Willamette come from anyway? Wikipedia states that Willamette derives from the French pronunciation of the name of a Clackamas Indian village. Other sources say Willamette is thought to mean a long, beautiful river. There is no definitive answer. However, it is a fact that the Willamette River is the largest U.S. river lying entirely within one state.

Where’s a good place to get a pirate costume? Aye, Portland has many good costume outlets, including Hollywood Portland Costumers, Helens Pacific Costumers, and the Lippman Company. Pirates should not board, sink, or pillage other vessels.

Who invented the inner tube? In 1911, Philip Strauss invented the first successful tire, which was a combination tire and air-filled inner tube. It is not known who the intrepid individual was who first sailed down a river in one.

How does one gracefully board an inner tube? Forget graceful. Just plop your butt in the center of the tube and start paddling. There will be inner-tube handlers in the water to help you plop on your inner tube and push you on your way for your historic maiden crossing.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Seen in conjunction with The Big Float, No. 1

I'm back. Thank goodness, right? DSC_0398

Sunday, July 29, I spent several hours downtown either walking back and forth across the Hawthorne Bridge or walking along the west or east banks of the Willamette River. My goal, to see as much as I could of The Big Float. Today I'll begin to share photos with you, in no particular order. All of these are of the same man, after he'd completed The Big Float course. I saw him walking back and forth on the east bank of the Willamette River, still wearing everything he'd worn while floating.

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First I saw him walking south.
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Then I saw him walking north.

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Then I saw him talking with the ice cream vendor, putting away his paddle so that he'd have both hands available to open his valuables plastic bag.

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Here's a good shot of the ice cream vendor's set-up--her bicycle, trailer, and ice chest. I'll bet she's done this at other outdoor summer events.

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And here he is, heading south again, ice cream sandwich in his left hand as he prepares to zip shut his valuables plastic bag.

From the big float dot com:

What’s the BIG idea? This second annual Willamette River event, benefitting Willamette Riverkeeper, is a celebration of our river – including the recreation it offers as well as the restoration it has undergone in recent years. The idea is to enjoy the river and also inspire positive aspirations for the river’s protection and improvement.

New Features for TBF II * Outlandish Watercraft Award * Best-of-Cruise Costume Award * Paddlers parade - kayakers, canoeists, dragon boaters, crew teams, SUP’ers * Floating barge with live music The Big Float II is open to all ages. All floaters must wear a life jacket. It's a safe voyage, not a race. Join the flotilla. Share in the "great crossing" and participate in the grandest pool party Portland has ever seen!

Pre-Float Inner-Tube Waterfront Parade

THE BIG FLOAT is an opportunity for the people of Portland to partake in a public display of affection for the Willamette River. In grand style, the event will begin with a “parade of floaters”. 

Participants will gather with their inner tubes or other watercraft in a parking lot near the Eastbank Promenade beneath the Hawthorne Bridge. Shortly after high noon, they will sally forth across the bridge and head south along Waterfront Park to the put-in point at Marquam Bridge beach, below the Marquam Bridge.

Start time is 12:30 at the gravel parking lot due South of the Hawthorne Bridge. The Crossing After signing waiver forms (register online for convenience), floaters will enter the river from Marquam Bridge beach and cross in groups of 50, under the supervision of Coast Guard personnel. Kayaker chaperones will also provide escort help. Floaters will head east across the river and proceed downstream to the landing area, where swimming will be allowed. All floaters must have a flotation device and wear a life vest. No alcohol is allowed on the float, but will be available at the after-party.

Is THE BIG FLOAT big on safety? Safety is a critical component of THE BIG FLOAT. The event will be supervised by the Coast Guard, Portland Fire Department and the Multnomah County River Patrol. Safety kayakers will line the route to provide additional visual survaliance. Floaters will be debriefed before launching by Willamette Riverkeeper volunteers and Coast Guard staff. Unsafe, unlawful behavior (and alcohol consumption) will not be tolerated and will be enforced by the Multnomah County River Patrol and the Coast Guard. THE BIG FLOAT reserves the right to reject any "craft" deemed unsafe to float on.

Do I need a life jacket? Yes, all floaters must wear a life jacket. This will not only help keep you safe, it will make our friends in the local Coast Guard very happy. And we want everyone to be happy.

Why do I need to register? Participants are encouraged to pre-register to help organizers plan for the event. By filling out the registration and waiver form prior to the event, you won’t have to do it at the start point of the float, saving time. So please be a peach and register. THE BIG FLOAT will cap participation at 2,000 people, register early.

Are air mattresses allowed? Water wings? What other types of watercraft? Air mattresses – yes. Anything float-worthy you can sit on or lie on is allowable. You may swim across but must wear a life jacket. Where can I get an inner tube? THE BIG FLOAT sponsor's Popina Swimwear Portland and Les Schwab Tire Centers will be selling inner tubes.

Can we tie our watercraft together and go as a group? Yes, but everyone tied together must have a life jacket. Can we bring alcoholic beverages with us on our voyage across? Negative on that. The Multnomah County River Patrol and Coast Guard will be keeping a close eye out for alcohol.

Are kids welcome to float? All ages are welcome to participate in The Big Float.

What if it rains the days before or day of the event? Weather could be a factor in postponement or cancellation of the float. Check this website for last-minute updates.

Where does the name Willamette come from anyway? Wikipedia states that Willamette derives from the French pronunciation of the name of a Clackamas Indian village. Other sources say Willamette is thought to mean a long, beautiful river. There is no definitive answer. However, it is a fact that the Willamette River is the largest U.S. river lying entirely within one state.

Where’s a good place to get a pirate costume? Aye, Portland has many good costume outlets, including Hollywood Portland Costumers, Helens Pacific Costumers, and the Lippman Company. Pirates should not board, sink, or pillage other vessels.

Who invented the inner tube? In 1911, Philip Strauss invented the first successful tire, which was a combination tire and air-filled inner tube. It is not known who the intrepid individual was who first sailed down a river in one.

How does one gracefully board an inner tube? Forget graceful. Just plop your butt in the center of the tube and start paddling. There will be inner-tube handlers in the water to help you plop on your inner tube and push you on your way for your historic maiden crossing.

Friday, April 6, 2012

666 pounds of doughnuts and Voodoo Doughnuts' boxes used to be in here!


voodoo doughnuts box on ne sandyOn August 18, 2011, I stood on the sidewalk with Milton and Kay, totally surprised to see through the plate glass window of a building a couple of blocks from my building the giant pink box which had held a a world-record heavy helping of Voodoo Doughnuts earlier that month. I leaned toward the window and said, "I cannot believe this! Look at this, y'all!" Needless to say, they stopped to look with me and I explained what I had heard on the news about the attempt by Voodoo Doughnuts to break the record for the largest box of doughnuts in the world. And here we stood, looking at it 10 days later! How cool is this serendipity? Way cool.

Here's a write-up I found at Bites on Today: "World's largest box of doughnuts weighs in at 666 pounds" By Keith Wagstaff 

How much does the world’s largest box of doughnuts weigh? About 666 pounds -- a sign that eating 3,880 doughnuts might put your arteries through hell. 

The giant pink box of doughnuts -- a stunt from Voodoo Doughnut's owners Kenneth "Cat Daddy" Pogson and Tres Shannon -- was unveiled on Portland, Ore.'s Hawthorne Bridge during an event called Brunch on the Bridge. 

To help Voodoo achieve its goal of making it into the Guinness Book of World Records, Portland’s mayor Sam Adams, a notary and a scale master were on hand to verify that Pogson and Shannon had indeed constructed the world’s largest box of doughnuts. 

“I think we must have set another record when we handed out 666 pounds of doughnuts in just 45 minutes,” said Shannon. “It was a good way to give back to the city of Portland, which has been pretty good to us over the years.” 

The sweet crate, a giant version of the doughnut shop’s regular pink box, contained 380 smaller boxes filled with glazed doughnuts, all arranged nicely into a pyramid. The pair piled on an assortment of their signature treats, from apple fritters to their Fruit Loop-crusted Loop doughnut, until they reached the magic number to break the current recordholder's total of 297 pounds. But why aim for 666 pounds? 

“The current record is a little less than 333 pounds, so we just decided to double it to 666 pounds, which kind of goes along with our voodoo theme,” said Shannon. “It’s the mark of the ‘yeast’.” 

Voodoo is waiting for official certification from Guinness World Records. After the tally, more than 1,400 people in attendance got to share the doughnuts.

And here's a link to an article at KATU TV Channel 2 about Brunch on the Bridge and the Voodoo Doughnuts participation in the event. If you look here, you can see the inside of the box with the pyramid of doughnuts and lots and lots of regular-sized pink Voodoo Doughnuts boxes!

P. S. I've figured out how to get blank lines where I want them! Now, if I can just get this to work as my post. You see, I work on my post, editing and getting it exactly like I want it, in my practice blog. Then I copy and paste it onto my blog. Here goes! Copy. Paste. I'm crossing my fingers! This is a great development, a stunning start towards figuring this out! Hooray! Thanks, Karen, for those words you put into a comment on April 4--they're the reason I'm on the way to figuring out what to do! Thanks!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Bridges: Hawthorne Bridge, the towers in the sunrise

See more Sunday Bridges at San Francisco Bay Daily Photo.

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February 20, 2009, the sun provided a golden background for the Hawthorne Bridge towers. There really are two towers here--the large rectangles you see are the counterweights which, when lowered, raise the center section to the bridge. The higher one was closer to me when I took this photo. The Hawthorne Bridge is special to me for several reasons--it's the first bridge I road a bus over, in June, 2004, when we first visited my sons here; it's the first bridge I walked over, in January, 2007, through a thick snowstorm; it's the bridge I cross most often.

Here's what I found at Wikipedia: The Hawthorne Bridge is a truss bridge with a vertical lift that spans the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon, joining Hawthorne Boulevard and Madison Street. It is the oldest vertical-lift bridge in operation in the United States and the oldest highway bridge in Portland. It is also the busiest bicycle and transit bridge in Oregon, with over 4,800 cyclists and 800 TriMet buses (carrying about 17,400 riders) daily.

Size

The bridge consists of five fixed spans and one 244 ft (74 m) long vertical-lift span. It is 1,382 feet (421 m) in total length. The 880,000 pound (400,000 kg) counterweights are suspended from the two 165 ft (50 m) tall towers. While the river is at low level the bridge is 49 feet (15 m) above the water, causing it to be raised an average of 200 times per month. As of 2001, the average daily traffic was 30,500 vehicles. The bridge was designed by John Waddell, inventor of the vertical-lift bridge and also designer of the Steel and Interstate bridges.

History

The current bridge was built to replace Madison Bridge No. 1 (1891) and Madison Bridge No. 2 (1900), which was destroyed by a fire in 1902. It cost $511,000 to build and was opened on December 19, 1910. Hawthorne Boulevard (and thus the bridge) was named after Dr. J.C. Hawthorne, the cofounder of Oregon's first mental hospital and early proponent for the first Morrison Bridge.

The deck was changed from wood to steel grating in 1945. In 1985 the lift span sheaves, the grooved wheels that guide the counterweight cables, were replaced. The bridge went through a $22 million restoration from 1998–99, which included replacing the steel grated deck and repainting. The original lead-based paint was completely removed and replaced with 3 layers of new paint that is estimated to last 30 years. During this upgrade the sidewalks were widened to 10 feet (3 m), making it a thoroughfare for bicycle commuters. Due to the replacement of the steel deck during this project, the channels which used to carry the rails for streetcars and interurban trains were also removed. In 2001 the sidewalks were connected to the Eastbank Esplanade. The estimated cost to replace the bridge is $189.3 million.

The original color of the bridge was black, lasting until 1964, when it was repainted yellow ochre.[7] During the 1998-99 renovation, the color was changed to green with red trim.

The 2003 film, The Hunted, included a scene set on MAX on the Hawthorne Bridge. Since MAX does not cross the bridge, the movie company connected two articulated buses remodeled to resemble a MAX train, complete with fake overhead lines and a sprinkler system to simulate rain. Light-rail (interurban) service did cross the Hawthorne Bridge until 1956. The new deck put in place in the outer lanes during the 1998–99 renovation was designed to be strong enough for possible use by modern, heavier streetcars or light rail trains in the future, which was proposed at that time, and TriMet was still considering a Hawthorne Bridge routing for its future MAX Orange Line, to Milwaukie, in 2002. However, following the transit agency's later decision to build a new bridge for the Milwaukie MAX line, which bridge could also be used by the Portland Streetcar, it became unlikely that rail cars will ever again cross the Hawthorne Bridge.

Carries vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists
Crosses Willamette River
Locale Portland, Oregon
Maintained by Multnomah County
Design truss with a vertical-lift span
Total length 1,382 ft (421 m)
Width 72 ft (22 m)
Longest span 244 ft (74 m)
Clearance below 49 ft (15 m) closed, 159 ft (48 m) open
Opened December 19, 1910

Friday, December 2, 2011

#9, Hawthorne Bridge, focus on the circle between the eastbound & the westbound ramps and/or the intersections of the ramps with the surface streets

I took these photos on Thursday, December 1, about 7:30 a.m.

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A close view of the finished sidewalk around the edge of the circle. This sidewalk is a massive improvement over what used to be there. I imagine its being there will encourage people to walk on that side of southbound MLK. The trees next to the sidewalk were planted early this week--the holes were dug last Wednesday, a day of high wind and rain. No one worked on Thanksgiving Day, plus I noticed that the trees were still lying on their sides, just like they'd been left on Wednesday. The street that goes out of sight beneath the westbound ramp of the Hawthorne Bridge is SE MLK. If you look closely, you can see the Big Pink rising in the distance at the left side of the photo.

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Another edge of the circle where you can see three of the built-into-the-curb drains, the rock placed between the plantings strip and the curb. That angled strip of gray is the rock-filled run-off from the drain you can see in Wednesday, 11/30/2011's post, the third of three photos. In this photo the cars and the truck with Milky Way written on it are stopped at the light at SE Grand Avenue and SE Madison. The traffic goes one way north on SE Grand.

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And here we have the completed sidewalk across from the circle. The crosswalk is completely new, the handicapped ramps, the truncated domes matts, and the stripes on the street. The Hawthorne Bridge with the arrow pointing left takes drivers around the circle and onto the westbound ramp--that's where the white car is headed. The white tractor is headed south on SE MLK. By the time the streetcar is operational next September 21, the traffic signal will be functional so that people who exit the streetcar on the far side of SE MLK will be able to cross safely. The streetcar stop is just out of sight to the right edge of the photo.

Now, the posts about this transformation are finished. Until something else major happens, we'll say good-bye to this subject which totally intrigued me throughout.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

#8, CDP Theme Day, Action Shot(s) related to the work on the circle at the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge ramps

It's Theme Day at lots and lots of City Daily Photo Blogs. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants who have posted an Action Shot for your enjoyment and/or edification.

A - Angle of the raised dump truck bed.
C - Circle being reworked for to the fall, 2012 arrival of the Portland Streetcar Eastside Loop.
T -Tamp Tightly like the man with the shovel in the top photo.
I - Interest I have taken in these goings on.
O - One of these days this series of posts will be complete.
N - Not a moment too soon, I'm sure some frequent visitors will testify.

S - Smoothing accomplished by that wheeled contraption in the bottom photo.
H - Hot asphalt.
O - One more sidewalk to finish; take a close look at the bottom photo.
T - Tell me what you think of my ACTION SHOT, please and thank you!

DSC_0747p-pThe person closest to the back of the dump truck operated some sort of latch which opens some sort of chute and allows the hot asphalt to stream out onto the street, in a narrow, elongated hump-like shape. Looks to me like the next man is tamping it down with a shovel, tight as he can get it against the new curb on the new sidewalk on the inside of the circle.

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Next thing I know, the first-laid asphalt has been rolled over by that wheeled contraption the man is riding and driving. See how smooth it looks up against the curb? You can sort of see the slight dip for the truncated domes matt at the handicap section of the sidewalk, too. Now the wheeled contraption is flattening the asphalt up against the newly formed curb across the street. And asphalt is being dropped out of the dump truck to complete the entire surrounding of that point of curb. There is still no concreted sidewalk completed there, though. Up on the eastbound Hawthorne Bridge ramp you can see two men working with a traffic diversion sign of some sort, so you know that work surely continues at or close to the intersection of SE Hawthorne and SE Grand.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

#7, Hawthorne Bridge, focus on the circle between the eastbound & the westbound ramps and/or the intersections of the ramps with the surface streets

I look outside on November 17.

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At first I didn't see anything other than lots and lots of black cylinders, tossed everywhere on the green grass in the circle.

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Then I saw these three men, working at gathering what turned out to be black pots. It makes sense to plant as much as possible on a slope, in addition to the trees which had been planted days before. Hopefully the roots will soon grab hold of the freshly placed dirt and remove the chance that it will erode during Portland's wet winter. You can see the gray-colored path the men made, walking back and forth from their white trailer parked on SE MLK to the bottom of the slope. It says Valley Growers on the side of the trailer.

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They or some other nurserymen returned at some other point and planted even more on the slope which goes up to the westbound bridge ramp, on the right of the photo where the dirt is bare. Notice the puddle beside the pile of rocks near the bottom edge of the fall foliage? There is a pretty-good-size pipe resting on the rocks. Your view of it is blocked by the man stacking black pots together, but you can see it in the photo above this one. I am assuming that is the drain for at least one of the several small-box-culvert-looking drain devices built at intervals into the curb--you can see one at the bottom right corner. I believe that bale of hay helps slow down the flow of water which enters through oval-shaped hole in the curb.