Last Thursday, the 18th of June, I decided to go on a little local adventure. I knew about Elk Rock Island, and knew it was in the river South of Milwaukie but had no idea how to get there. I looked it up, figured out how to access it and then called to see if my 12-year old nephew wanted to go with me, so he agreed and I went and picked him up. The island is accessed via a short trail at 19th & Sparrow, just off River Road in Milwaukie.
In the winter, when the water is higher, it is only accessible via the river because a slough fills in the land bridge. But now, because the water level is so low, it was easy access. Apparently, based on the parks & rec site, the island "represents part of an ancient volcano that erupted about 40 million years ago. The large, jagged rocks (Waverly Heights basalt) found throughout the island were formed by lava flows, and may be the oldest exposed rock in the Portland area. The island contains seven distinct habitats, including wetlands, forests, and grasslands. Across the river, there are high cliffs which are Elk Rock proper. A Native American legend holds that this was a good spot to stampede a herd of elk over the cliff. The island gets its name from being near Elk Rock." Also I apparently said "basalt" wrong because my nephew corrected me and then proceeded to launch into a monologue about the different kinds of rocks there are.
It was a pretty cool place to visit. There are so many places around the Portland area I have never even been to. The island is criss-crossed with little trails, and takes maybe an hour or so to walk around. There are beachy spots you can spend the afternoon if you so like, and there were a few people out doing that. We decided to call it a day and go do some more urban exploring in Milwaukie. I made a deal with my nephew I would take him to a game store to trade in some games. That was his reward for agreeing to go with me to the island. We also decided to go visit the chocolatier in downtown Milwaukie, Enchante. And, if you have not been, go! The store is gorgeous. Not only do they have chocolate, but old-fashioned candy and Paris inspired decor and vintage treasures.
After that we visited the old soda fountain/antique store in Milwaukie, Main Street Collectors Mall. It is rumored JFK (I think) visited and sat right at the counter. Connor loves going in there to check out the knives and cool stuff they have. And we made it to the game store and then rounded out our day at Cha Cha Cha, eating chips and salsa and quesadillas and tacos out in the sun. For some reason, I love Mexican food on a hot, summer day. And this was definitely that! Mission accomplished for the day. Where am I off to next? Boise, Idaho for the 4th and maybe just maybe sneaking off to Montana to see my Dad. We'll see where my travels take me.