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Posts tagged ‘Oregon’

Nostalgia

Yeah, it’s been a dry winter and I’ve been worried about forest fires, beings as how I live in the forest!! But a few days ago the rain started. I think it’s been wetter the last few days than all of winter. And our freshly chip sealed driveway is taking a beating by the constant downpour.

And yet….

I was coming up Beaver Hill around 5:30 AM and there was the clouds kissing the tree tops, and getting mighty slobbery at it too. A feeling comes over me. Sometimes I feel it in the heat of summer.

I am taken back I don’t know how many years, probably not too long after we moved to Oregon from Missouri. These states are so different from each other. I’m sure it rained in Missouri, but in the summer fields turn into dirt. Here in Oregon, it usually rains well into June, and though we might have a warm summer, rarely does it top 90, let alone 100. Our fields turn into, well. less green. The grass will turn a lovely golden color if left to grow long. The best descriptor of Oregon summers is pleasant.

Oops. I think that’s supposed to be a secret….

Many people don’t care how lovely it is here in the summer, because they know most of the year it is, ahem, damp. Except this year. I was off work for 3 weeks the beginning of April and it was acting like August. We made the appointment to get our driveway chip sealed. Well, that’s another blog, I think.

I have this memory, so clear. Being in some sort of truck, wet to the skin, feeling the heat coming up from the floor boards. It felt so heavenly. Chime in sisters, if you remember similar. Seems like it could have been a return from skiing, but I believe it had more to do with target shooting on Mt. Hood in a clear cut. Maybe it’s the culmination of hundreds of rainy day hikes.

And when I see those clouds come down to touch the earth the nostalgia is so visceral.  It’s like a peek into another world. It’s the past thrust into my lap. I am overtaken. In the best way.

So, rain on!

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You decide, Darlin’

My guy has a fabulous sense of direction. Me, not so much. One time I thought we should go a certain way on Mt. Hood, and they ended up mounting a rescue before the night was out. John had an idea where we were, but when the moon rose, he figured he was as lost as me, so, in the early days of cell phones, we called to get some advice about where we might be. As we waited for the snow mobiles to rescue us, that moon never crossed the sky. It wasn’t the moon, it was the highest night ski light at the nearby resort! Turns out, John did know exactly where we were.

Another time, he wanted to get to a place in St. Helens  from Hillsborro and thought he would just do it in a straight line. We ended up on a featureless plain in thick fog. Again, John was not certain. I wanted to turn around and go somewhere with street signs, but he pressed on and then, magically it seemed to me, there was Lance’s house.

Today, we decided to go further on a hike we took last Friday. John had to knock a bunch of brush down with the machete, made in Columbia, and finally we decided to come back very soon, to go further, before the brush grew back up.

The going was a lot easier this time. We were able to cover ground that took us nearly 3 hours last time in an hour. We strolled up an old county road that ran between two lovely creeks, then we set out for Blue Ridge, which has good views of the country either side of it.

There was a lot of bushwhacking and tromping around the woods, following random ancient roads. Finally we found one with a solid gravel base that was obviously being maintained. I had John mark the trail where we came out, because it looked no different than anything else growing along side the road.

We walked for about half a mile, and I made a comment about going back, but John just wanted to see where this road might lead. Though we live in an area with no cell phone coverage, I brought mine along, thinking once we were atop the ridge, we should get some bars, but, no joy.

We walked and walked and walked on this lonely gravel road going through the woods, just to see where the road led. I wasn’t so thrilled about this, but John insisted it would be fun.

Along the way,we had discussions about where we thought we were, and where we thought the road would end. At each fork in the road, I deferred to John’s choices, because, as explained above, his sense of direction is proven, where mine is…not.

Turns out, this time it was me who had the better idea where we were! Not that it did us much good. We probably walked 6-8 miles before we got to the main road, looking at another 4 miles to home. We decided to hide the machete and stick my thumb out.

While we waited, and waited, for a ride, we watched a pair of Bald Eagles fly up and down the river, several times passing right over our heads. That made all those miles through monotonous woods worth while. So did having our neighbors stop to give us a ride back to our car. (That is important, because since they live past our house, we didn’t have to go home first to get the other car, which would have required walking up our steep driveway!)

Earlier this week, my sister had a hike planned for today in an area close to me here, but I declined, saying I wanted to focus on my yard work. What happened? I went on a pretty long damn hike anyway, and now, I’m too tired to go work in the yard!

I told my neighbors about this blog, and they suggested I needed to change the title, and leave out the “not”. What do you think?

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