Bad Boys Revisited

Everybody sing along! "Bad boys, bad boys / Watcha gonna do / Watcha gonna do when they come for you?" That’s right, if I’m quoting lyrics from Inner Circle then I must be talking about the long-running television show COPS again. Apparently more 12MC readers are fans of COPS than I ever imagined when I first posted 132 and Bush last September. I admitted at the time and I’ll affirm once again that I’m more than a casual observer of this program.

I didn’t expect to focus further attention on the topic. However I was presented with an opportunity that was simply too good to ignore. Long-time reader "Matthew" visited Portland, Oregon recently. He thoughtfully emailed a nice packet of photos from 132 and Bush and generously allowed me to share a couple with you. That’s right, the 132 and Bush (map). Feel free to read that earlier article if you don’t understand the monumental significance of my statement. Then let it sink in. Personally I believe the preponderance of evidence support Portland’s claim to 132 and Bush, albeit with full disclosure in mind, there are competing theories.

COPS 132 and Bush

Here’s the sign that marks the famous intersection, an address announced countless times over the last twenty years. I’ll bet it’s well into millions of repetitions given relentless syndication on just about every cable and satellite channel except perhaps Lifetime and the Oprah Winfrey Network. Matthew described this area as "a nice little working-class neighborhood, but not so nice that holding someone at gunpoint would not be out of the question." He also reports that one of the houses at the intersection appears to be vacant. I haven’t checked any of the online real estate websites but this could signal your opportunity to own a home at one of the most (in)famous addresses in the United States.

COPS Cover is Code Three

This is another great example of the lengths 12MC readers go to during their hunts for geo-oddities. I always enjoy hearing these kinds of stories so please keep them coming. Thank you for sharing Matthew, and congratulations on your visit.

An Update

View Larger Map

I was particularly pleased by Matthew’s on-the-ground report because I hope to repeat that feat this summer. Awhile back I mentioned my upcoming trip to Oregon. It was included as a "totally unrelated" non sequitur at the bottom of the Shortest International Bridge article. The trip is coming closer to reality and it will happen in July. I’ve been culling ideas from your suggestions and from earlier articles such as Geo-Oddities of Portland, Oregon and of course 132 and Bush.

The map above is a very preliminary route. It will change as details fall into place so for now I consider it a basic guide. We’ll start in Seattle primarily because that was the only affordable airport selection for a family of four traveling across the continent during the peak of summer. We’ll remain on holiday for two weeks, including a full week in Bend, Oregon where we’ll radiate out to places like Crater Lake for day trips. I could use some suggestions on the eastern edge of the loop in particular, focusing on spots along the Columbia River. The segment between Seattle and the Oregon border on the eastern loop will probably be non-stop unless I uncover some fairly remarkable geo-oddities. The town of George, Washington is tantalizingly close to that route but I don’t know if it’s worth an 80-mile round trip for what’s essentially a play on words. Don’t bet it hasn’t crossed my mind though — it has — but the family probably won’t appreciate it. I generally get one wacky geo-detour per vacation so I want to select it carefully.

I’m also going to try to arrange the route to hit as many new counties as possible (the blank spots on my Oregon and Washington maps). Also, I’ve been to the Olympic Peninsula a number of times in case you’re wondering why I seem to be skipping an otherwise remarkable area. I may swing out that way to catch a couple of new counties, though.

You all know what I like. Am I missing any obvious weirdness along my approximate route that’s worthy of Twelve Mile Circle coverage?

8 Replies to “Bad Boys Revisited”

  1. Please let me know which days you’ll be in PDX. I would love to meet you in person and explore some of the Geo-Oddities here.

    Also noteworthy is that George, Washington is home to the Gorge Amphitheater. You could check to see if any summer concert is being played out there when you drive by. It’s an amazing venue with an amazing backdrop. Before I moved out here my wife and I were driving by there on 90 and left the highway to check out the amphitheater. Little did I realize that there was a Dave Matthews concert a few hours later, and by the time we figured out what was happening it was too late and we couldn’t just turn around and drive out. Woops.


  2. Perhaps Puget Island, WA: the only town on the Washington/Oregon border where one can cross the Columbia River from the north and still be in Washington. Plus, you’d take care of Wahkiakum County on your county list AND potentially hit a ferry (the ferry from Puget Island, WA to Westport, OR).

  3. Thanks for all the great suggestions, everyone. I’ll definitely be spending a couple days in Portland and a detour through Puget Island seems to hit a trifecta of different interests for me. Hanford B sounded fantastic until I saw that children under 12 couldn’t take the tour. Maybe I could leave the kids outside the gate? 😉

  4. Being a naturally curious sort I did some online research into school quality in order to get an idea of what the 132nd and Bush neighborhood is like. Gilbert Heights Elementary School (in the David Douglas School District, not the Portland district) serves the area. Using an elementary school rather than a high school gives a better neighborhood snapshot given the former’s smaller cachement area.

    In terms of achievement test scores Gilbert Heights is somewhat below statewide averages, though not drastically so. Given that 79% of the school’s students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, as compared to a statewide average of 46%, it’s pretty clear that the neighborhood is relatively poor. To put things in perspective, my local elementary school has only 29% free or reduced-price eligibility, even though it serves a distinctly non-affluent Joe Sixpack area.

  5. I’ll think about this some more, but my first thought, for some reason, was the Maryhill Stonehenge, along the Columbia River. I haven’t been there, so I don’t know if it is worth seeing. But I seem to recall you mentioning Carhenge before…

    As far as plain gorgeous scenery–I don’t know if you’ve been to Mount Rainier, but it wouldn’t be *too* much longer a drive to take 410 instead of I-90 from the airport to Yakima. That route has some nice & close views of Rainier. The Chinook Pass area is rather spectacular. Time permitting a jaunt up to the Sunrise Lodge area in Mt Rainier NP would be high on my list. That place blows my mind every time I visit.

  6. Oh another misc thought. Instead of taking I-82 from Yakima to the Tri-Cities area you could take 97 via Goldendale. It’s more scenic and probably faster. The somewhat twisty 142 from Goldendale to Lyle along the Klickitat River is fun, if a bit twisty.

    Another misc thought–some years back I was in Bend for a few days and took a little road trip in search of a crater called “Hole in the Ground”. I didn’t find it and don’t know if it is worth finding, but it certainly looks cool on a map (there’s also a Big Hole nearby):,-121.19808&z=13&t=T&marker0=43.40530%2C-121.19808%2C12.9%20km%20WxNW%20of%20Fort%20Rock%20OR

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