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Another Portland Blog

Saturday, June 30, 2007

 

Bottoms up

On a recent Monday I made my first trip to Oaks Bottom, the wildlife refuge on the outskirts of Oaks Park. I headed down through Sellwood Park and found myself looking across the wetlands at this:




At the time, I had no idea what that facility was or the story behind it. Despite or maybe because of the heron mural, it's a wee bit creepy. Naturally, I hiked over for a closer look down a dark hiking trail along the edge of the wetlands. Since it was a weekday, no one was else was on the trail. Just the scary bird mural and I, a 25-minute walk from the car without a soul around for at least 300 yards.




I’ve spent hours wandering through Forest Park but that edge of Oaks Bottom feels incredibly isolated, despite being a stone's throw from downtown. The lights were on inside the building but I didn’t see anyone moving around. It looked like Arkham Asylum or the set of a horror movie. If memory serves, it may have once been the set of a horror movie. Anyone out there remember Dr. Giggles (link)?




A quick Google search reveals that it's the Portland Memorial Funeral Home. It definitely looks the part.




I booked and continued up the trail past park benches covered in pro-GW graffiti until I came back around to the Springwater Corridor, a virtual freeway for bike traffic. I stuck close to the fence as I made my way back to Oaks Park.




The velocipede equivalent of the Authobahn? Something like that. Area bicycles definitely don't approve of the "no bike" rules pertaining to the hiking trails around the wetlands.

As for the wildlife refuge side of Oaks Bottom, I did finally see a blue heron flying overhead as I headed back to the car.

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