My sister, Marilyn, and I finally followed our dream to take a road trip to Portland! Why? Because we once lived there, because we are able, because we are retired, and because we wanted to visit great people along the way.
We first connected with Sally Amato for lunch in Kennewick. Sally and I worked on Cursillo weekends and she's a fellow prayer-shawl knitter. She and her husband, Sam, recently moved to the Tri Cities to be near their son and his busy family. We talked about many things, our beloved St. Stan's Parish, Father Sean, our dear friends, our grandchildren, and the aging process.
Our cousin, Jim Reed, and wife, Carol, welcomed us to Hood River with a great visit to the Marchesi Vineyard and Winery. Jim and Carol retired to this lovely area two years ago and already have great friends and business contacts.
We got up early on Tuesday and headed for the Mark Hatfield Trailhead to do some hiking and sightseeing along the Columbia River.
Where motorists on old U.S. Highway 30 once crept around curves high along the cliffs of the Columbia River Gorge, hikers, bicyclists and users of other muscle-driven forms of transportation leisurely enjoy the view from the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. The trail, three disconnected paved ribbons along abandoned stretches of the historic highway, give you more than 12 miles of sightseeing thrills. The 4.5 mile Twin Tunnels segment between Mosier and Hood River passes through two climate zones. Starting at the east Mark O. Hatfield Trailhead near Mosier, the 1.5 mile trail leads through semi-arid terrain dotted with ponderosa pine for about a mile until you reach the Twin Tunnels. Spectacular geologic formations tell the story of the gorge's creation. After passing through the tunnels, you'll emerge into a forest of fir trees and other common western Oregon plants. Viewpoints along the 3 mile segment from the tunnels to the west Mark O. Hatfield Trailhead overlook the Columbia River.
Jim and I tease each other about the piano duet we played while at St. Joseph's Catholic School, and the dance contest we won at St. Gertrude's Academy. Walking and sharing stories was a great way to re-connect with Jim and Carol.
Wednesday morning we met the Reed's daughter, Stephanie, and her sweet children at a local bakery!
Harrison, Lucia, and Georgia
Carol and I both took a picture of Emerson's wonderful quote as we joined their neighbors for Happy Hour at Stonehenge Garden Wine Country Bistro. Their neighbors come from a variety of professional backgrounds and Marilyn and I enjoyed being with them all. They all read books and have lots to say about the current state of affairs in our country.
We enjoyed a nice breakfast and the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel before leaving town. Jim and Carol were also headed to Portland to visit their son, Scott and wife, Maren, who delivered baby Henry Reed on June17.
Our next visit was with Marilyn's former roommate, Kaja. She and Kaja. They started rooming together in Spokane and moved to Portland in 1973. Marilyn moved back to Spokane, but Kaja continued to work as an Administrative Assistant in a law firm. She lives in a lovely condo near Portland State University.
I ventured out and found the Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park. I noticed workers erecting stages for the famous Blue Festival that happens in this park on 4th of July weekend. I found a couple of bike shops and intended to rent one and ride the entire trail section, but (sigh) it rained all day on Thursday.
I spent Thursday afternoon with these good friends from Roy's teaching days in Lake Oswego. Larry, Mryna, and I had a great lunch in "downtown" Lake Oswego at Nicoletta' Table and Marketplace. They they drove all around the lake and Upper Drive, all the while expressing regret that so many small homes sold and big mansions stand in their place all over the city.
Larry Bowman and John Scotty taught school at LOHS and they all coached together. We reminisced about post-game parties and St. Patrick's Day celebrations at the Scotty house. John's first wife, Kathy, died of breast cancer in 1997. She taught both the Bowman and Wessels children how to behave and choose between yellow and stretchy grilled cheese sandwiches. John told me they still have the Kathy's Kiddie Kollege sign. John and Chris remodeled the kitchen and a bathroom, but the sunken living room looks and feels the same to me.
I enjoyed meeting Chris, who was a great friend of both John and Kathy. She's told us funny stories about finding John upside down in the ivy earlier this year. He's doing remarkably well following a stroke several years ago. I loved his enthusiasm for sharing memories and that laugh hasn't changed after all these years!
Never lose an opportunity for seeing anything that is beautiful; For beauty is God's handwriting----a wayside sacrament.