As the Mrs. and I headed out to Wahkeena Falls for an evening picnic about 6:30pm tonight, we were witnesses to full traffic chaos at the east side of the Troutdale bridge. We also witnessed a near-tragedy about 100 feet north of that spot on Columbia River Highway.
The traffic chaos at the east and of the Troutdale bridge consisted of cars blowing right through the stop sign southbound on Columbia River highway at the turn onto the Troutdale bridge. One car blew right in front of me- only Providence saved us from being T-boned by the madman driving, and another close behind him swerved behind us. They were both dashing for parking spots at the south side of the bridge.
The near-tragedy we witnessed was a tiny toddler, no more then 18 months to two years old, dashing toward the Sandy river in front of the car in front of us, which managed to stop just in time. This was no more than 100 feet north of the chaos at the Troutdale bridge. All traffic stopped, wondering what this little girl would do. We were all looking for the little girl's parents. There was a pickup parked on the east side of the road with several folks fiddling with inner tubes, rafts, etc. But they didn't seem interested in the little girl. After a full two minutes, a woman from this disinterested bunch finally looked up and ran across the street to fetch the little girl.
Unbelievable. How could anyone let a small child out of their sight, let alone their car seat, or holding someones hand, or holding the little girl? She was a 1/2 second away from being run over.
We avoid going down to the Sandy River when it's hot for this very reason. The few stupid, irresponsible folks who make bad choices ruin the river for everyone else. The only time I go down to the river this time of year is very early in the morning, when the irresponsible folks are still sleeping off their hangovers.