Despite my accident and my focus this year on recovery, I have kids at home. I am trying to make things as normal as possible. What is normal? I have done adventures each summer with my kids and am trying to do that this year as well.
This week’s Summer Outdoor Adventure with Kids kept us in the neighborhood. I had wanted to experience some new parks in West Linn with my son as part of my city’s new Summer Passport adventure program, but we had not had the chance yet. The idea behind West Linn’s Summer Passport is to get families to visit all 15 parks in the city as well as experience other activities this summer; and to add fun to the challenge, there is a short riddle to solve where a hidden container at each park can be found; and in the hidden container kids will find a stamp which they can use to “stamp” their “passports.” The passports can be downloaded from website and printed at home.
Truth be told — Part of the reason we had not begun this “passport” adventure yet is that my son was not thrilled about it, at first. But, then I found out that one of his friends, Carter, had been having fun with it. We had been talking about doing an adventure together with Carter and his mom Nancy this summer, so why not start local, and keep the adventure close to home.
So, four local parks in the West Linn passport became our destination for this week’s adventure:
Our first stop was Burnside Park accessed via 1375 Buck Street in West Linn. To get to the park you follow along a pretty steep terrain to find an amazing hiking trail that parallels the Willamette River. You can also access the park via a cul-de-sac off of Failing Street. Once you are on the flat trail, you can read the clue to find the hidden container for the stamp. The clue here was: “On the trail, taking a hike, stop on the bridge to take in the sights.” Not only is there a clue in the form of a riddle, but there are GPS coordinates. It was really fun to see our middle schoolers looking for the hidden container using the clue, and they were really excited when they found it and were able to stamp their passport. Note that these parks are not clearly defined in terms of where they begin and end.
Next my friend Nancy wanted to see if we could get to Goat Island, which is noted in the passport under Maddox Woods. It’s all in the same area as Burnside Park. We didn’t know exactly where Goat Island is, but knew it was down a steep hill toward Willamette River, which both of these parks line up to. I could not get down the hill as I am still dealing with post- concussion issues, but the boys wanted to traverse the hill down to the water. We were able to see Goat Island, but we realized that you definitely could not get to it without a raft. It was fun to see the boys throw rocks into the Willamette River and just explore the shore there. Gus’s friend said that the container with the stamp is missing at Maddox Woods, so we didn’t go as far as Maddox Woods. The adventure was seeing the kids make their way down quite a rugged piece of terrain.
Our third local park today was Sahallie-Illahee Park , located at 4300 Horton Road. But, like Burnside Park, it has two ways in. If you enter the park on Horton Road, be sure to go on the trails just down from the play structure to get to the long slide built into the hill. The clue to find the stamp goes like this: “Looking for a wild ride, try out the great big slide.” My friend Nancy decided to go down the slide after the kids did, so I decided to as well. The kids easily found the hidden container with the stamp for their passport.
The fourth (but third stamp) that we sought after was located at Fields Bridge Park, located at 821 Willamette Falls Drive in West Linn. This park has special meaning for me since it has a replica of the Willamette Meteorite in it. They added the replica to the park during the time I was writing my book, Images of America: WEST LINN, and I included a photo of the ribbon cutting in my publication. I just had to pose with my son in front of the meteorite.
I love being a tourist in my own city!
Here is the printable passport which you can also directly download from the link above.
For Rules and some notes regarding the West Linn Summer Passport, be sure to visit the website. When you have received all the associated stamps in your book, be sure to stop by Parks and Recreation at West Linn City Hall ( 22500 Salamo Road) to claim your prize by Friday, Sept. 4.
And, when posting to social media, use the hashtag #WLpassport.