Gabriel Park and Woods Memorial Natural Area: Portland Parks

We had no trouble finding Gabriel Park. It’s located along a major SW thoroughfare and sprawls over hill and dale, with lots of room and lots of components, including a community center and a relatively new skateboard park.

We came over a hill on one of the paths, and whoops — there was the skateboard park, an elegant setting with what was clearly a very popular play space. Nice to see. Jer caught one of the skateboarders in mid-flight, but I alas wasn’t patient enough. I kept admiring the sun on the trees and forgetting to watch the antics.

This guy, sitting on the top of an isolated knoll at Gabriel Park, made me chuckle a bit. The sun was lovely and golden, but I didn’t think it made for good reading light. But he was intent on his book — and his Vitamin D uptake. Quintessential Portland.

We were about to quit for the evening, when I saw on the map that our route through the SW would take us past a park that neither of us knew existed: the Woods Memorial Natural Area. It looks like it was the abandoned highway, put aside when some curves were eliminated. A stream ran in a ravine along the narrow parkway, apparently containing the headwaters for Woods Creek, part of the Fanno Creek watershed. It felt dark in the woods, so we didn’t hike down the ravine. However, I got enchanted, again, by the late sun pouring through the trees.

Most of my photos of the Woods park were fuzzy because it really is a natural area, containing some big, old trees —  dark below while lit above. But this photo came out well enough for a blog entry; it captures something of the time of day. –June

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