27 June 2008

[bike_diary] Ron Tonkin and The MIlestones Of Stark Street


Yeah, I keep going off count. This is post number 1640.

Anyhow, today's ride was early in order to avoid the heat. It is both harder than and easier than I thought it was going to be. Leave it at that; I don't think I could make it any clearer.

I enjoy living out near 122nd Avenue. Geographically-speaking, I just dig on numbered avenues and especially when those numbers get big. You just don't get that in Salem. And when growing up in Salem, the catchphrase counterpart to Canyon Strip Auto Row ... It's the only place to buy (remembering Barney Keep) for the proletarian heavy east side was simply "... out 122nd way!".

Well,  now I live out 122nd way. And it's not the same place it was when I was but a neat thing, but some charming things are still left.

Ah, yes, Ron Tonkin. Sure, Marv (a little more than a mile up the street and on the other side ... Courtesy Ford is there now) had the cool jingle, but Ron had the sign. Still does have the sign. This sign is gorgeous at night.

Backing up, we have a better view of 122nd and Stark, this time, not on Macro. Much better. Sadly, Soobie's strip club is still there. It's not a perfect world.

Now, going back toward home took me by the corner of SE Stark and 117th and ... what, ho ... what's this little thing, at the corner of Ventura Park, with my machine parked alongside for size comparison?

What it is, is a small milestone, marked with the inscription "P7" ...

And a plaque alongside with the following explanation:


Sometime after 1854, stone obelisk
Markers were set along Baseline Road.
They were engraved P for Portland,
and numbered for each mile from the
old Multnomah County Courthouse
to the Sandy River.

Mileposts 1, 3, 8, 10, 11, 12, and 15
have been lost.

Mileposts 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 13, and 14
can still be seen along
Stark Street – originally called
Baseline Road.

Now, we already know what baseline we're talking about when we talk about the baseline of Baseline Road (today's SE Stark Street) ... we're talking about the Willamette Baseline, which starts at the Willamette Stone, in the West Hills off Skyline Blvd near the big cemetery.

What I didn't know was that the county put up milestones along the base ... which is pretty nifty, moreso that so many of them are still extant. This'll be worth another photodocumenting project!

And, last but not least, a hand-done sign from the other corner of 117th and Stark. I'm sending this in the Blog of Unnecessary Quotation marks so they can ignore this submission too.

Bed time ...

Tags: , , , , ,


Dale said...

It should go without saying (... well, I guess it should. Should it?) that these sights are all very familiar to me as well, as I am a far-east-sider myself. I tend to ride the MAX from Gateway these days, but I've used the 122nd park-und-ride a few zillion times -- I've even had the Very East Portland experience of having a car stereo stolen out of a car parked on that lot.

And the cops were a) useless and b) kinda assholeish about it. But I digress.

I took my son to Ventura park to play many times when he was smaller.

What's wrong with Soobies? Of course I ask that never having actually gone in. I've always made certain assumptions about what it would look like (and smell like and sound like etc.) on the inside. I see no reason to confirm or disconfirm those -- some things are best left assumed. ;-)

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

I've even had the Very East Portland experience of having a car stereo stolen out of a car parked on that lot.

Ironically, the only place in more than twenty years of living in Portland that I've had something stolen out of a car was when I got my stereo stolen from the corner of NE 10th and Mason.

Some would hold that that is Very North Portland, but that's a relative thing I suppose.

I'm finding that, from what comments I'm getting on this photo series, they really resonate with some people. I can relate. I've lived in almost every section of the city, but I have never (and still never) felt more at home than in the flatlands just east of I-205.

And Ventura Park is a great little neighborhood park. I was thrilled when I found that milestone there. I have actually been missing those.

What's wrong with Soobies? Of course I ask that never having actually gone in.

Fair question. The patrons and the staff there are amongst the stupidest people who patronize strip clubs. I don't patronize Soobies ... as a matter of fact, I've been in a strip club exactly once in my life. I have to deal with Soobies every so often as part of a job I have (which has nothing to do with any naked people at all) over the phone. I'll leave it at that for now.

Judy said...

The milestone is very cool! I had no idea they still existed. Were they only set on the east side?

I've always been a west-side gal myself, except for a few years when I first moved to Portland in the '70s and lived in far North Portland - and that was way before it was trendy. I don't get out to the east side much. But I do get to Ron Tonkin's every now and then because that's where I bought my car.

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...


Apparently they just exist along SE Stark Street. I presume that it has something to do with it being on the Willamette Base Line and a long, straight road of some importance.

I love the east side. No matter how much it changes, it stays the same in some ineffable way. The east side rocks that way.