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sprig to twig » Blog Archive » a view from the tram

a view from the tram

the pod from the ground

Every time we drive by the overhead tram in the south waterfront district I get the itch to experience it first hand. When I found myself with time on my hands, I decided to do just that.

lower station

All of the support structures at the base station are delightfully space age-y.

close-up of pod

The pod itself is sleekly aerodynamic, with plenty of windows to take in the view.

view from above

And quite the view it is…especially with the aerial perspective of a foggy day.

bumpy ride

Be forewarned: the car swings wildly as it passes through the towers. It was enough to knock me off my feet, but the crowd was packed in so tightly that an embarrassing pratfall was avoided. I did miss some good photo ops, though.

top station viewing platform

At the top terminal there is a bridge to a viewing deck.

terraces and roof gardens

Look at all those terraces and roof gardens. I find it so encouraging to see health care facilities incorporating gardens into their buildings (this is Oregon Health Sciences University on what has long been referred to as “Pill Hill”).

drinking fountain

Sculptural elements have been incorporated into the gardens.

raven

frog

city view

Another view looking down at the city’s east side, across the Willamette River.

return trip

Time for the return trip and once again becoming earthbound. If one has business with the hospital, the trip is free. I was happy to pay the $4, and once they determined that I was a sightseer, they positioned me right by the front windows for the best view and steered me to the points of interest on both ends of the round trip. This immediately shot to the top of my tour for out of town visitors…most especially my cousin Billy, who has always longed to fly. I then took a walk around the new gardens around the lower terminal, but will save that for another time.

14 Responses to “a view from the tram”

  1. Jane / MulchMaid Says:

    Great photos! It’s a fun ride. Did you see the plantings around the lower tower? I took a few photos when we walked there months ago now - maybe I’ll compliment your post with one one those plants.

  2. Shirley Says:

    Beautiful views even on a cloudy day. The sculpture is just right for the mood of the garden.

    Look forward to your views of the lower gardens soon.

  3. Loree /danger garden Says:

    No matter how strongly I brace myself that jolt and the corresponding swings always make my heart skip a beat and my stomach do a little flip. Still, I love it.

    BTW, off topic, but I loved your essay for the HPSO Bulletin!

  4. Scott Weber Says:

    I agree…the view is spectacular…and I’m glad to see I’m not alone in almost getting tossed off my feet at those towers!

  5. Heather Says:

    I’ve never done this–you make me realize I need to change this.

  6. ricki Says:

    Jane~I was running out of battery, so I couldn’t get pictures there. Sounds like between the two of us we can cover the whole experience.

    Shirley~The fog even seemed to enhance the ride and the views.

    Loree~Thanks! The bulletin is going away, so I’m glad I got in on the last issue.

    Scott~It caught me by surprise, but I was braced for it on the return trip and found it quite fun.

    Heather~ Yes, you do.

  7. Peter/Outlaw Says:

    Sounds like you had fun - well, after the initial wild swinging. Thanks for sharing this delightful way to get high in Portland.

  8. ricki Says:

    Peter~I knew you would make me pay for that comment I left you (you know the one).

  9. James Says:

    I’ve seen trams like this in theme parks or on mountain slopes that turn into ski runs, but the location of this one is pretty interesting and unusual. Very cool. Trips to the hospital aren’t usually fun, but the tram would make add some fine viewing opportunities on the way.

  10. ricki Says:

    James~Lots of controversy around the dollars required to make it happen, but I’m a big fan of the results….and I didn’t even have to ski down.

  11. Grace Says:

    Hi Ricki. What fun. The results are indeed impressive but the money, ugh! OSU is another one. I work right across the street from the campus. Tuition is always rising, (ditto for health care) yet you don’t seem to see these mega-organizations scaling back in any way. Makes you wonder.

  12. ricki Says:

    Grace~I hear you, but years from now we will have forgotten about the money and this very special thing will still be here.

  13. Wendy Says:

    sooo space agey! Was that a water fountain in there? THat’s so cool.

  14. ricki Says:

    Wendy~Yes, the swan-like thing is a drinking fountain. Two percent of all public building costs must be spent on art.

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