If At First You Don’t Succeed

It was a glorious day here in the Willamette Valley in March.  A perfect day to take a ride to Mary’s Peak.  A spot I’d heard a lot about but had never seen.  Some of you may remember my post from that fateful day that could have gone better.

For those that need a little nudge, try these:

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So in other words, no fun!

Fast forward two short months.  Another glorious day in the valley.  I felt it was time to try it one more time.  With a new car, full tank of gas, Starbucks in the cup holder and more than a little trepidation we head back to our appointment with destiny!

OK.  So we got a little lost on the way.  The point is that we didn’t get as lost this trip as we did on the first.  So we had that going for us, right?

We made it all the way to Mary’s Peak and it was breathtaking:

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Willamette Valley from North (L) to South (R)

The wildflowers didn’t let me down either!

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So if at first you don’t succeed, try try again.  I would recommend waiting two months, filling the tank and maybe looking at a map.

Old Friends, New Tricks

Have you ever known someone for so long that you were positive you knew everything about them?  That’s sort of what I ran into with a quick trip down the Columbia River Gorge on Monday.

I’ve written about the gorge before in this blog.  The devastation caused by one careless individual and the recovery in progress.  The businesses in places like Cascade Locks still need help getting back on their feet.  Everything from the ice cream spot to the grocery store.  That’s where we all could lend a hand.

My last trip to this beautiful stretch of the Columbia River was cut short due to road closures.  The Scenic Highway was deemed too dangerous until recently.  This trip was different though!  We were able to drive right up to The Vista House.

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Here is a link for those unfamiliar with the Vista House.

Here is where I discovered something new about an old friend.  You see, I have lived in the Portland area all my life.  I have visited the Vista House a number of times.  Never have the doors been open!  Closed for renovation.  Closed due to vandalism.  Closed due to spending cuts.  I have NEVER seen the inside or the view from the balcony.

That all changed on Monday.  The Vista House had just reopened after the Eagle Creek fire of last summer.  It had also just celebrated its 100 year anniversary.  And the doors were WIDE open!

As you enter, it may underwhelm those that are used to the WHAM BAM of today’s experiences.  I beg you to look closer, look up at the tiled rotunda and down at the restored marble floor.  It is truly a great example of craftsmanship not seen in buildings these days.

Go downstairs to view the small historical gallery and collection.  And, yes, even the gift shop!

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Now for a real treat. Take the stairs that reminded me of a medieval castle stairway up to the outdoor balcony.

The view looking east towards Cascade Locks separated by 100 years:

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From here you can see a view of the Columbia River Gorge that is hard to match at any other point.

I can sum up my visit to the Vista House this week as feeling very satisfied.  If any of you want to experience the majesty of the Gorge the Vista House is just the place to do it.

I would also recommend Thunder Island Brewery for lunch along the river.  Great view, great food and, of course, great beer!

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Finally! It’s Here!

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces

Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here

Here comes the sun

Here comes the sun,

and I say

It’s all right!

~ “Here Comes The Sun” – George Harrison

Large And In Charge

When I think about advertisements these days, I believe they are blah, loud and obnoxious.  Let’s take a trip back to when companies or towns used to try to catch your eye, to tell a story or just have fun.

Harvey the Rabbit has always been a favorite in the Portland area.  He’s always been a snappy dresser!

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Paul Bunyan on Denver Avenue has stood tall for 59 years!  He’s even on the National Register of Historic Places.  And he’s always smiling!

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Let’s leave the Portland area and head south.  The town of Grants Pass has it’s own welcoming gentleman.  The Grants Pass Caveman!  He always looks so surprised.  Probably can’t believe the line at In ‘N Out

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If you’re looking for some hardware in Medford, you could just look for the Blackbird.  Trust me, with that distinctive coloring, you won’t miss it!  I wonder if he ever gets a bird’s nest in his casting reel?

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Finally, I was hoping for some truth in advertisement when I saw this.  Then I saw the disclaimer and I was sorta sad.  I likes me a gooood hot dog!

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There are more but they’re so big I don’t have room for all of them here.  Where ever they are though, they will always bring a smile when you see them!

 

Could Have Gone Better

It’s been beautiful weather here in northwest Oregon. Fruit trees are blooming and the lawn needs cutting. What a better time to go exploring!

I thought we’d try a new spot. A fairly popular spot called Mary’s Peak in the Coast Range. At over 4000ft elevation it promised wonderful views.

The drive up could have gone better. We followed Forest Service directions without success. We switched to Mapquest. While it got us closer to our destination, it took us on a ten mile backroad journey only to meet up with the road we left an hour before!

We finally arrived at our destination, sort of.

I turned back after a snowy and icy half mile walk. And no, no wildflowers.

Our trip home could have gone better. The Dodge truck didn’t see traffic (us) slowing down for a turning car.

To sum up the first day of Spring 2018? It could have gone better.

Never Had I Ever Been…

To Pacific City

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And seen Chief Kiwanda Rock

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Or the Puffin and Cormorant rookeries at Cape Meares.

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This close to a lighthouse

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Don’t let anyone tell you that the adventures are over or that the discoveries have all been made.  There’s always a corner up ahead.  And no one can tell you for sure what’s waiting for you!

 

 

Good or Bad

At the grocery store. Our list includes the usual. Nothing exotic. Let’s see… Ranch dressing.

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There are eleven different types of Kraft Ranch Dressings! Should it be the Cheesy Jalapeño or the Home-style. It shouldn’t be this hard!  We go Classic Ranch .

Next, the cereal aisle. Cheerios.

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Aw crap! No less than 16 separate flavors of Cheerios!  Why?  Everything from chocolate to Strawberries ‘n Cream.  I’m a purist.  Boring, old stand by original Cheerios.

When I get to work…

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There are 24 babies who are dependent on the choices made by doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, CNA’s, social workers, therapists, respiratory techs, dietitians and infant nutrition techs to devise a plan of care to present to their parents so more choices can be made.

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All so they can eventually go home and be kids.

Choices abound in our everyday world. Some choices affect a wide orbit like the proverbial stone in still waters. Some are one and done but with just as much of a splash.

“I think life is a matter of choices and that wherever we are, good or bad, is because of choices we make.”

~ Lou Holtz