Friday, December 15, 2006
Well, I was one of thirty "randomly selected" OHSU employees chosen to ride the tram this morning on its inaugural trip (although, the media got a ride yesterday, so we weren't really the first to go).
We gathered together on the 9th floor of the Kohler Pavilion at the construction zone that is the tram terminus. We filed out onto the platform, which fully lived up to its billing as "open to the elements" (today's morning weather report: raining, 36 degrees Fahrenheit).
Out there, next to the car, we joined together in a rousing chorus of "This Tram is Your Tram, This Tram is My Tram" (full lyrics available upon request: I'm way too excited to sit here and type them all in!). That took long enough that we missed our ride! The first car headed out of the station, and we had to wait for the next to arrive.
Car having arrived, the doors opened and we started piling in: all 60 or so of us. I was hoping someone was keeping track of the load limits so we wouldn't stress the cables... Doors closed, a small lurch, and off we went!
The car was absolutely silent; as conversation quieted, we could hear someone's dog barking down below. The rain rolled down the windows, steamy from the bodies packed inside, but the view was amazing. A small bump and roll going over the support tower was the only distraction from the sensation of floating through the air, high above the city.
I turned around as soon as we got to the Center for Health and Healing (I needed to secure a cup of coffee to warm my camera-laden hands), and the ride back up was even more pleasant with a smaller crowd. The cabin attendant let us look at her control screen, which shows car speed, wind speed, and other diagnostics.
We slipped into the berth at KPV and disembarked. As the rain tapered off and the light came up on the city, it was a glorious view. For those of you who ever have a chance to experience it, I highly recommend the ride.