PDX Pipeline’s fireworks viewing question got me thinking about 4th of July this year. In the past, the plan has always been to go to a friend’s house in North Portland to watch fireworks that may or may not have been obtained in the fun places in Washington. Since said friend is out of town, the responses to the question were quite illuminating and useful. The two times I cared enough to watch the waterfront fireworks show were both from the east bank esplanade — both times fairly crowded (although one of those times we lucked out and set up a picnic blanket in what was effectively a large grassy planter). Going to Mount Tabor never even occurred to me.
After a little bit of planning and supply gathering, I packed up my picnic-backpack. This thing is awesome. It is a large backpack with a compartment for food, one for a bottle of wine, and one for fancy supplies — real cutlery, thick plastic plates, a cheese board and knife, salt and pepper, wine opener, plastic wine glasses, and everything you would expect at a fancy picnic.
With everything packed, we headed to the park. It is only a mile or so, but the heat and heavy backpack made it a little more difficult than usual. It turned out that there were a number of people already there, but not nearly as many as I expected. We set up our picnic and as it got darker, more and more people showed up. Toward the end, it did end up being a little crowded.
The park rangers were around, but oddly, they were not citing people for what were probably rule violations: alcohol, smoking pot, lighting off sparklers, lighting off other fireworks (some illegal), and some guy even carried in a BBQ and was grilling food. I expected them to let the alcohol law slide, but the rest was a (not entirely unpleasant) surprise. I think that they were mainly worried with people screwing with the reservoirs.
Overall, it was a good experience. The view from where we sat down was a little obstructed by a treeline. (I’ll know for next time.) The sandwiches, cheeses, salami, and berries were tasty. The company was great. Overall, it was a nice night out that just happened to also include fireworks.