crossing the hill – not as the crow flies
RATS #00150

If I were a crow, a flying crow, that is, getting from the 16th Street Bridge to the Birmingham Bridge would be a piece of cake. Start on one of the 16th St Bridge globes, go up about 300 feet or so, fly directly over the Hill District and coast onto some light post on the Birmingham Bridge. Getting there on foot is another matter, with railroad tracks, the East Busway and a cliff standing in the way.

16th Street “Globes” – picture taken on an earlier run

Instead, I went up Liberty Avenue with a Steel City group. A Thanksgiving Day Parade, was starting up, so bands and floats stretched far down Liberty Ave. I saw Santa’s Sled, but Santa was AWOL. Probably checking on kids or something. Anyway, just past Santa’s Sled and to the right, I went up 28th Street. This curves and starts to ascend a slope before crossing an old metal bridge, the 28th St Bridge, which takes you over the tracks and busway.

Now, when I’m driving, I always go left after the bridge. Today, I went right. It took me to a warren of dead-end streets perched above the Strip District and just below Bigelow Boulevard. There was a mix of houses; some fairly nice and well-maintained. I was hoping there would be some stairs or other way to get past Bigelow’s fifteen foot retaining wall. Alas, I did not find any. So I had to retrace my steps and run through Polish Hill. I caught Herron Ave, trudged up the steep slope, took the stairs UNDER Bigelow Blvd and kept on Herron.

I zig-zagged a little bit in the Hill, eventually making it to Kirkpatrick Street, where cars were parked on every inch of the sidewalks as a little league football game got underway in Kennard Playground. Crossing the Birmingham Bridge, I scaled the barrier between the empty bike lane and the sidewalk, preferring to get something between me and the cars. Then it was just about circling around the South Side because you can’t walk directly from the Birmingham Bridge to UNDER the bridge. Damn railroad tracks! If only I were a crow!

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