Sauvie Island Ramble

Sauvie Island (Portland, Oregon)
~27 miles

*Whew.* I passed my finals. (And to those of you who would scoff, yes, there was doubt).

Most of my classmates would agree, it was the quarter from hell. There was just Not. Enough. Time. To think that until last week I hadn't been hiking since April 1st flabbergasts me. With finals done, the rest of this week has been about pulling together the loose ends of my life I've neglected over the last ninety days. With obligations and chores finally, finally finished, I woke on Friday morning in something of a daze of what to do? After putzing about, still somewhat stupefied from my week, I called a friend last minute for a bike ride. 

Deliriously. Happy. To. Be. Done. With. Finals.

Ten miles north of Portland, sitting smack-dab in the middle of where the Willamette River, the Columbia River and the Multnomah Channel meet, lies Sauvie Island. At 26,000 acres, it is one of the largest river islands in the United States, and Portlanders love what has become a cherished recreational area. Sauvie boasts a plethora of U-pick farms (it's STRAWBERRY SEASON!), hikes, wildlife sanctuaries, waterways, and beaches (one of them for nudies). 

Although I've been on Sauvie a number of times (kayaking, fruit and veggie foraging and buttock hunting on the nude beach), I've never biked around the island. And anytime you find yourself on the island, you are sure to be greeted by little, colorful jersey parades pedaling the rolling, agricultural landscape. It's absolutely charming. Time to try it out.

Mount Saint Helens from Reeder Road

Marut met me in the little parking lot just off where the Sauvie Bridge spits you out onto the island proper. It was hot. I layered in sun block, then hopped over to the one port-a-potty in the lot (apparently reserved for TriMet bus drivers only) and somehow convinced Mr. Nice Bus Driver to let me use it. There are plenty of public honeypots along the island, but I suffer from hamster bladder syndrome, and this couldn't wait.

Business taken care of, we headed north on Sauvie Island Drive and connected with Reeder Road, ultimately headed towards the northeast end of the island, then retracing our path back to complete the loop via Gillihan Road. The afternoon passed in miles spent admiring rolling farmland, and watching the herons and ospreys contrast sharply with the giant barges making their lumbering way across the Columbia. 

bike picnic on the beach

Oh. And RULES OF THE ROAD: stay single file. Or you might get pulled over by a sheriff like Marut did for yakking at me too much while enjoying the day. [GRIN].