10 July 2018

The Saint Johns Bridge: Coming Back To Town

Got another snap before we left the parking area on Bridge Avenue: as I said earlier, the west end of the bridge runs right into the hillside. At that end, the roadway makes a T-intersection with Bridge Avenue which allows a good viewpoint for a straight-on view up the road.

The pavement makes it easy to snap this POV without having to walk out into traffic to do it and really puts the gothic arch details of the tower into viewable aspect, letting them be the star.

This corner of Portland is quite far out from the city center, nearly seven miles out. Views south and east from the roadway, both NW Bridge Avenue and NW St Helens Road, reveal the working harbor of Portland, the lowest few miles of the Willamette River - wide, cool, and mighty.

That lift span bridge in the middle distance is Portland's hidden bridge, which doesn't even have a name really, and carries the railroad main line north into the cut through the North Portland peninsula and to Vancouver and points north.

Though the area on the west side of the river does have a rather descriptive name: Willbridge. 

NW Saint Helens Road travels between industry and tank farms on the left as you're inbound to city center, and on the right, the towering, forested hills of Forest Park. Old, careworn industrial lots and orphaned gas stations predominate on the right hand side of the road as well, with a handful of homes (including two rather incongruous vintage fourplexes) scattered amongst, and a few avenues intersecting numbered in the NW 60s running back only about a block before dead-ending into the hill.

Very soon on the end of this district, at the cross street of NW Kittridge Avenue, the main road swerves and assumes the name NW Yeon Avenue, Saint Helens Road assuming the role of the old highway and straightlining amongst the industrial district toward the center of town. It's then, more than three miles out, that you notice the great arch of the Fremont Bridge, one of the other iconic river landmarks.

It's somewhat intimidating when you get to the point illustrated here:

... and you're still more than a mile away.

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