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Hop on the bus, leave your worries behind

The city of Sandy offers guided adventures using public transportation


The city of Sandy provides opportunities for elderly or retired residents to get out of the house — to stop those four walls from closing in.

Who wouldn’t want to leave the confines of their home behind and travel safely to interesting places such as the chocolate festival or the culinary institute, where they have lunch prepared by the chefs in training; the Laurelhurst neighborhood, where they walk amid Portland’s oldest homes and perfectly landscaped yards, learning about the historic trees; and Portland’s “White House,” an elegant bed and breakfast that looks like the President’s residence in Washington, D.C.

Transit Adventures is a program that provides planned, monthly trips; a knowledgeable guide who researches each trip in advance; and help with the use of public transportation to and from each site.

This winter and spring, Transit Adventures will take people to the Portland Aquarium and Tebo’s Restaurant, the Portland Spring Home and Garden Show, Portland State University’s bowling alley and billiards room, shopping for antiques and treasures in the Hawthorne district with lunch at the Hawthorne Fish House, and a walk by historic homes in the Sellwood and East Moreland areas with lunch at the Jade Bistro Teahouse and Patisserie.

Bernice Powell is the guide for this program, and she not only travels with each group, but also plans each trip months in advance.

Powell says there are hidden values to this activity that are only seen or felt by anyone up in years.

“They (elders) are happy to know that when and if they have to give up their cars,” she said, “they can still travel — fairly simply.”

The trips are confidence builders, Powell said, because while they are traveling with the group they gain knowledge and often say to themselves, “I could do this alone.”

Still others find the most desirable part of the program is in relationships.

“Some will establish friendships,” Powell said, “and they always look forward to seeing each other again. I have six or eight regulars from Gresham who go with me, and they become good friends with people (from Sandy).”

Somewhere between a dozen and 20 people will sign up for each trip, depending on the amount of walking or the general interest in the site selected.

But while they are on the trip, the participants often comment, Powell says, that they are so glad they don’t have to fight traffic or sit in a freeway that can become a parking lot.

Each trip begins on SAM and continues with MAX or a TriMet bus, followed by a streetcar, tram or a walk. Powell says she often plans the routes with help from her husband, who works for TriMet.

To register for the first winter trip Thursday, Jan. 10, to the Portland Aquarium and Tebo’s Restaurant, contact Powell by Monday, Jan. 7.

“People from 10 to 100,” Powell said, “have enjoyed the fun and freedom gained through transit.”

But anyone 16 and younger requires a parent or guardian on the trip.

For more information, read the city of Sandy’s Recreation & Leisure Guide or call Powell at 503-668-5569.