St. Louis has the Mighty Mississippi. Nashville has the Cumberland. New York as the Hudson. Portland? We have the Willamette (pronounced Will-lamb-it).
The major tributary of the Columbia River (the one Lewis and Clark made famous), the Willamette flows 187 miles from Eugene, Ore. to Portland. During the trip, the river absorbs agricultural runoff and city waste including recently-discovered forsaken cars, but despite about 200 years of mistreatment, this artery is regaining her health.
To celebrate and raise awareness, the Human Access Project (oh, so Portlandia-named) hosts The Big Float – the day when 2000+ people toss their rubber tubes into the water and jump in. Some are looking for a new view of the city, others want to cool off during a hot summer day, but most are looking to party and possibly hook up with the hottie in the inflatable kayak. Take a look at the fun and don't eat the fish.
Look just past the ladies... yep,that's a dog in a life vest.
In true Portland-style – there are food carts along the route.
2014: July 27.
Photos taken by Jedidiah Fugle