"…By what stretch of arrogance do you think a life form that looks like you is more important than a life form that doesn’t?”Joel Salatin

Nothing is more beneficial to your wellbeing than to look for and acknowledge those parts of everyday life that you enjoy.

"If you are happy where you are now, why does it matter how painful it was to get there?" -- Abraham

"It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life." -- Bilbo Baggins a.k.a. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

"And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet, and the winds long to play in your hair." -- Kahill Gibran

“And forget not

Friday, August 15, 2014

Day Three of Paula and Dotti's Trip

Strawberry Mountains
Where we entered Oregon looked about the same as the last three states we'd been in, but it soon began to change. The pine trees started gradually and got bigger and taller.  The forests got denser and soon we were winding our way through green lush beauty like I have never seen before.  The forests in Colorado are thick and beautiful but there is something different about the Oregon forests. The trees are taller and the under growth is mossy. Rocks have mossy coats. Fallen logs are covered with moss.  So are the trunks of the trees.

moss covers everything
When we topped this hill, I saw the picture to the left. It took my breath away. It was one of those humbling experiences that we have a few times in our lives that brings us into full awareness and appreciation of how beautiful this Earth of ours really is.  I have seen the Rockies in the distance many times but never from this awe inspiring view.  The Strawberries are not as high as the Rockies but they are one of the least explored in the U.S.

When we came to a place where we could see the trees in the distance, I thought I saw smoke but we continued on.  In John Day, Oregon, we stopped to eat.  We struck up a conversation with the waitress. She asked where we were going and when we told her, she redirected us.  She said the road we had lined out was closed due to the wildfires. I didn't get her name and I don't remember the name of the restaurant she worked in but she saved us a lot of trouble. She said there had been eleven fires  in the past month due to lightening strikes. Later we saw the flames of one off to the north east as we traveled north west.

flowers in John Day, Oregon
If I had time, I'd love to retrace part of that scenic drive. One of the most memorable places was an area where the two lane highway zigzagged through a mountain.  I think the waitress referred to it as Picture Monument but I can't find anything about it on google. This looked like the mountain had been ripped in two parts.  It was breath taking to drive through with the jagged rugged sides of the torn earth rising hundreds of feet on both sides. Of course there was no place to stop with a blind curve in front of me and behind me at all points, so I didn't get any pictures.

flowers on the curb in John Day
Then it got dark.

Pitch dark.

Darker than any place I have ever been before.

Cell service was intermittent.

It was cloudy, raining on and off, so there was no  big full moon or stars to light our way.  I think during the whole 300 miles of that road, three cars went around me, and that was at the beginning.  About four cars total came toward us.  It made me very uneasy. But Kia brought us through with flying colors!

There were few straight-a-ways so the going was slow.  All the towns we went through were closed for the night. I didn't need gas but I needed to pee.  With absolutely no clue that there was an appropriate pit stop anywhere in my near future, I did something I haven't done in thirty five years. I got out and wee weed at the side of the road.

Of course the next open civilization appeared around the next curve.  We had finally reached the interstate.  It was still 120 miles to Portland.  We got to our motel around one am.  What a trip. Much to our consternation, we were booked for three nights up stairs with no elevator.  That was a bitch!

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