We overstayed the 4-5 day rule for relatives! Peggy said she was just getting used to us, so we stayed another week! John and I highly recommend Peg’s Bed and Breakfast & Lunch & Dinner! We walked around Vancouver and explored downtown Portland, which is just across the bridge. They are both vibrant, exciting towns. We got some exercise–biking and walking around the nice, flat streets of Vancouver. Also, Deb took us for a hike in Indian Heaven Wilderness to Blue Lake —overlooking Mt. St. Helen’s — Deb’s dog,Chili, is adorable and entertained us with his stick retrieval in the lakes and ponds along the way.
We visited the Unitarian Church in downtown Portland–one of the biggest in the country–seems like a very supportive community. The sermon was about “Forgiveness”–later, we saw a bumper sticker that said -”forgiveness –letting go of the hope of changing the past” –what a coincidence! what a theme! We visited the famous Powell’s bookstore after church–John said that any city would be envious of the amount of people in downtown on a Sunday afternoon. John got a quick view of the famous statue of Portlandia and we explored the riverfront–they have walking and bike-paths all along it.
Later that week, I attended a lecture at the church by the author, Gary Eberle, who wrote “Dangerous Words, Talking about God in the Age of Fundamentalism”–he says that we have to learn to talk to each other or else we are going to kill each other! Wew! He did offer ideas and has a”hopeful vision for genuine dialogue in the future”.
John went to a waterfowl identification class. He found out that the Bybee-Smith Wetlands at the junction of the Columbia and Willamette rivers has a amazing assortment of birds and is right there in the city! We went there later and I saw a bald eagle resting on the top of a pole—it had a nest next to it and the next pole had another bald eagle! We would have missed them if another birder hadn’t said–”did you see the bald eagle? “and then he led us to them.
Peg also invited us to meditation class at the ashram. It was wonderful and we went back several times. It isn’t easy to sit for an hour–and clear your mind (ha!)–John says that he has nothing but admiration for the people who practice on a regular basis and I do, too! I have met several of the group on my previous trips to Portland and it felt like seeing family members again. Hello,Meg and Riley!
Peggy and I agreed that we indulge in too much debauchery when we are together–food, sweets, and wine !!! We sure had fun doing it–but we both agreed to get back on the wagon of good habits—how’s it working for you, Peg? I’m not back on the Road-trek diet yet!
Debbie had some business in Bend and invited us to stay with her for 2 nights there–the house she rented has a hot-tub! What a great way to see the city! We biked around town and then walked in Shevlin Park with Chili again. Lovely!
John says everyone in Bend is good looking and fit—-so we would definitely fit in, right? The weather was gorgeous–blue skies and warm! When it rains in the west of Oregon, just head over the Cascades and it’s a different world!They call it the high desert…
We then headed to Corvallis, home of Oregon State University(Go Beavers!). Cloudy! oh no! but just for a day–the prediction is sun for the next several days. Now we are in Eugene, home of University of Oregon (Go Ducks!). And where running as a sport (and Nike shoes) took off! And here is the stadium where it all began–Hayward Field–I’ll bet they have a better track these days!
All the color and pageantry of university towns in the fall–gorgeous! And lots of outdoor activities—everyone is out running and biking–I just saw a group called “Critical Mass” riding by the coffee shop in Halloween costumes–encouraging folks to ride bikes–what a concept! It looks like they already do!
I have been worried about Molly all week—she lives in San Diego and had to evacuate her house on Monday. She said that she and Dan and the kitties were safe and that is, of course, all that mattered! I talked to her today and she reports that they were allowed to go home to check on their house–it is not burned, thank God, but everything is covered in ash and the air quality is terrible–they had to wear masks! So they will not be returning home until they can get things cleaned up, which may be awhile!
Carol sent a link to a cartoon for all of us bloggers:
John also wanted me to include our visit to Mt. St. Helens–we stopped there on our way to Vancouver—it was fascinating. They have done a fantastic job–they have made it a National Monument and the observatory is spectacular!