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by Fred Dunn

Day 3

Thursday, June 12

I woke up early, showered and dressed, and went over to the Mark Spencer Hotel for breakfast.  The self-serve breakfast consisted of coffee, juices, hot and cold cereals, fruits, muffins and rolls.  

I decided to head over toward the Museum of Science and Industry, which is on the other side of the Willamette River.  I walked four blocks from the hotel to SW Yamhill St., where I caught the MAX trolley to SW 1st Ave., near the river.  From there I walked to the Hawthorne bridge, where I was going to cross the river.  As I started walking out on the bridge, the alarm sounded indicating that the bridge was about to be raised for a passing boat.  I stopped and watched the bridge being raised and the boat passing underneath.  While standing there, I decided that I didn't really like being on the edge of the bridge, 50 feet above the water, so I decided to cancel the bridge crossing, and stay on the West side of the river.  I turned around and left the bridge, going back to the river walk, where I headed South.  On leaving the bridge, I encountered a large flock of geese, apparently enjoying themselves on the grass along the river.

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Cyclists waiting on raised bridge
Geese taking a break from their travels

I walked to the South end of the river walk, where I got a good view of the Hawthorne Bridge, from which I had recently departed, as well as the Museum of Science and Industry, across the river.  The decommissioned submarine USS Blueback, SS 581 is docked in the river next to the Museum, and is one of the Museum exhibits.

Hawthorne Bridge
SS 581 at Museum of Science & Industry

The Blueback was the last diesel powered fast attack submarine built by the Navy.  It was a Barbel class submarine which was the first class of fast attack submarines to use the tear drop hull design, now common to nuclear submarines.  I was interested in this submarine because in 1969, I participated in several weeks of sea testing aboard the USS Albacore, AGSS 569, which was the first submarine built with the tear drop hull design.  The Albacore was launched on August 1, 1953.  The USS Nautilus, SSN 571, the first nuclear submarine, was launched on January 21, 1954, having a traditional hull design.  Subsequent sea testing of both vessels showed that the Albacore had vastly superior speed capability to the Nautilus, due to its tear drop hull shape.  Thus the tear drop hull shape has been used for all subsequent submarine designs.

After reaching the Southern end of the river walk, I turned around and headed North.  A southbound tugboat pushing barges was going under the Burnside Bridge, which had been raised.  Shortly thereafter, the Morrison Bridge was raised for the same passage.

Burnside Bridge
Morrison Bridge

I passed the steamer Portland, which is the home of the Oregon Maritime Museum, now closed for renovation.  Walking to the North end of the river walk, I came to the Steel Bridge.

Steamer Portland
Steel Bridg

Having finished the full length of the river walk, I headed back to Morrison St., where I caught the MAX trolley to SW 10th Ave, and then walked the three blocks back to my hotel.  Since it was almost lunchtime, I decided to go to Jake's Famous Crawfish Restaurant, which was about one block from my hotel.  Jake's has been a popular Portland seafood restaurant for over a century.  For lunch, I had the blue plate special which was barbecue wild Alaskan Keta Salmon, served with mashed potatoes and young asparagus spears, for $6.95.  It was excellent, and I washed it down with a Full Sail Amber Ale.

In the afternoon, I went back to my hotel room and started working on this trip report.  Later in the afternoon, I did some more walking around in downtown Portland.  I enjoyed my lunch so much that I decided to go back to Jake's for dinner.  The happy hour menu has some incredibly inexpensive food items, the only requirement being a minimum $2.50 beverage purchase.  I had the Northwest Salmon Cakes for $1.95 (with another Full Sail Amber Ale).  The person sitting next to me at the bar had Jake's Cheeseburger and Fries, which was also $1.95, and was huge.  After dinner, I went back to the hotel, worked on my trip report, watched TV for a while, and then went to bed.

[ Next:  Day 4 ]