Providence Bridge Pedal 2016

It was a glorious 24-mile bicycle ride over eight bridges in the 2016 Providence Bridge Pedal on Sunday, August 14.  The morning sun was shining and the air temperature was comfortable. This year’s event didn’t seem crowded and proven that the event wasn’t sold out when I registered online the night before.

The 8-Bridge ride takes riders over the Hawthorne, Ross Island, Marquam, Burnside, Broadway, Fremont, St. Johns, and Steel bridges. Sellwood and Morrison bridges are on the 10-Bridge. Most bridges except Marquam and Fremont are open to bicycles and pedestrians daily. 8-Bridge riders can unofficially cross the Morrison Bridge at the finish line.

TriMet did not allow the Tilikum Crossing to participate this year’s Bridge Pedal like they did in 2015 prior to the Orange Line MAX opening. The bridge is open for bicycle and pedestrian use all year.

This year also marks the inaugural ride over the new Sellwood Bridge span that opened up in March. The old 1925 span is now gone.

My only complaint is the carpet over the steel grating on the Hawthorne Bridge. The carpet would curl and bunch, sometimes making handling my bicycle more difficult. This practice started with the 2015 Bridge Pedal, replacing the plywood used in previous years.

Baldwin Saloon

Sometimes, I like to travel back into the past. Baldwin Saloon in The Dalles, Oregon, is one of those places where you do feel like you went back into the past. The 1870’s-built brick building I see standing aside from I-84 had me curious. Baldwin’s website tells the history of this saloon, dating back to 1876 with its founders James and John Baldwin.

Today, pasta, seafood, sandwiches, and burgers are served along with a good selection of wine, beer, and liquor. I ordered the 1/3-pound burger with cheddar cheese and fries. The burger was well prepared and satisfying, and the fries were very decent and not salty. The price range is around the $10-20 per person, but the food and atmosphere were well worth the visit. Baldwin Saloon is open Monday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (closed Sundays).

The Last Breakfast at Liz’s

In 2014, Liz Martin bought the former Milwaukie Grind coffee shop. The little coffee shop opened in August 2014 as Liz’s Creative Café. Today, July 31, 2016, the little coffee shop has closed for good instead of a passing of the torch.

Sunday morning, I headed to Liz’s Creative Cafe for one last breakfast and mocha. I live a few blocks from Liz’s, so it’s a short and easy walk.

I ordered my favorite breakfast: the egg and sausage breakfast burrito with cheese and onions, and sour cream and salsa on the side on a plate. I also ordered a 12-ounce mocha with whipped cream, which was served in a Tiki-style ceramic coffee mug.

I sat at the counter at the window, facing SE 32nd Ave. and Eric’s Market, also known by long time locals as Low Beer Open. Continue Reading/View Photos “The Last Breakfast at Liz’s”

Liz’s Creative Cafe is closing at end of July

Well, this is a real bummer. My local coffee shop has announced they will be closing at the end of the month.

Liz’s Creative Cafe in the heart of Ardenwald neighborhood in Milwaukie, announced their final day in business is July 31, 2016, after two years in operation.

Inside the old yellow and brown building on the corner of SE 32nd Ave. and SE Olsen St., coffee and delicious foods were served. Hand-crafted art pieces hung from the wall. One half of the room was for sitting, reading, or working on art. The other half of the room was a toddler play area. The cafe catered to both artists and children.

A mural on the north exterior, recently completed earlier this week, depicts the active social life inside the cafe.

I personally enjoyed Liz’s food and coffee. The artwork makes the atmosphere more enjoyable. Offering wine and beer is a bonus. I found it almost therapeutic doodling or typing away while sipping on a mocha, assuming the children in the play area are quiet and well-behaved.

Thank you for all you have done, Liz. I certainly will miss you.