Monday, December 28, 2009

Favorite rest stop on the Slog

If you drive south to Eugene and back to Seattle as often as I do(both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year) you look for any alternative to the bleak rest areas spotted every 45 miles along The Slog (click here for Alaska Airlines' very witty map/ad) If there's a place to walk the dog, so much the better. There isn't one here, but it features a Starbucks, a grocery store and a Sonic drive-in where you actually get served at your car window. I can't vouch for the burgers, because I only needed caffeine--and to pick up some last-minute giftcards at the Albertson's. It was Christmas Eve, after all.

Wilsonville is now synonymous with traffic congestion. A while ago it was just a snoozy suburb of Lake Oswego, itself a sleepy suburb of Portland. Development seems to have leapfrogged over Lake Oswego and landed here. It's just off I-5, so if you're headed south, stop here after slogging through the congested Terwilliger S-Curves or if you're headed north take a breather before it gets too intense.

As an afficionado of supermarket parking lots, I give this one highest marks. Permeated with through-roads, it's village-like, and easily navigated.

Up one road

and down the other

A church appears to have been moved here, or perhaps it was always here. A much-needed historic landmark, in any case.
Public art, which makes me think that this is part of a planned transit station. Click here for Portland regional transit map showing Wilsonville as WES terminus of MAX. Very nice.
Site marker for Wilsonvile School. Not sure where it is now--demolished? But still, nice.

The brick "windows" provide a place to sit, a sense of unity, and boundaries. They give you a feeling of safety, guiding you around and through. This is something very rare in a parking lot.

And if you get lost, follow the puffballs!


K. said...

When we moved to South Texas in 1967, a highway rest stop consisted of a couple of picnic tables and an awning. There was no guarantee of even a bathroom. My parents thought we had relocated to the Third World. But once there, they never left!

RobinB said...

Wow! No bathrooms? K, how did you survive?!