Brian's Photo Blog — Article 534
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Portland’s MAX Orange Line Grand Opening
Tuesday 22 March 2016   —   Category: Outings
September 12, 2015 was a significant day in Portland, Oregon. It marked the grand opening of the Tilikum Crossing — the city’s first new bridge across the Willamette River since 1973. It was also the grand opening of the MAX Orange Line, which routes over the Til­i­kum Crossing and is the first major expansion of the metro area’s MAX Light Rail system since 2009.

On that special day my wife, daughter and I made the 75-mile pil­grim­age from Albany to join in the Grand Opening Cel­e­bra­tion festivities. There were ac­tiv­i­ties, entertainment, food and drink to experience at most of the ten new sta­tions along the Orange Line. With mul­ti­ple tens of thousands turning up to ex­plore the new Line, there were some long waits for trains, and very crowded conditions once on a train, as TriMet struggled to cope with the huge hordes of riders.

The highlight of the day for me was to see up-close the amazing, one-of-a-kind, keep-​Portland-​weird Unipiper, who fa­mous­ly rides a unicycle while wearing a Darth Vader costume and playing bag­pipes which spout flames. Those orange flames were a great way to celebrate the opening of the Orange Line!

A couple of Portland businesses made special Orange Line editions of their wares. Artisanal ice cream company Salt & Straw introduced another exotic flavor to add to their portfolio: Olive Oil and Bitter Orange Marmalade. It was so “special” that I don’t think I would ever want to taste it again!

With a name like BridgePort Brewing, it shouldn’t be surprising that they created the official beer of the new bridge, while honoring the new MAX Line as well: Tilikum Crossing Orange Line IPA. I normally don’t care too much for India pale ale type beer because of its strong hops taste, but this one was OK. Perhaps the brewer’s description explains the taste difference:

“Dry-hopped with Lemondrop hops for aroma, this beer is made with 25% wheat [in place of the usual barley], giving the beer a hazy light color. This new brew also uses Belgium yeast and is infused with orange peel, delivering a slightly sweet, lighter and more refreshing take on an IPA.”

I took 100 pictures during the festivities, which for me is not a large number — it was kind of hard to photograph such a spread-​out event. The best 26 images are presented in the new Portland Orange MAX Début 2015 album.
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 534
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