My two friends, Andy and Ros just got on the shuttle back to Portland. I would have taken them but I need to mark the Pickett's Charge course today. They stayed in our house for over three weeks, it seemed like three days. We tried to pack in as much stuff as we could, even though Kathy and I both had to work. We went through the Columbia Gorge, hiking to the top of Multnomah Falls and then seeing the wildflowers just east of Hood River. We went on many bike rides, and checked out the shopping in Bend. We went to the Painted Hills and to Clarno Fossil Beds. I had never been to those places before, close, but I never stopped and looked.
Last week we took an old fashioned vacation. We went to the Umpqua to hike, ride and camp. That was spectacular. Then it was off to Ashland to see some Shakespeare. Seeing Shakespeare in Oregon with two friends from England was eye opening. They loved it. They thought it was fresh and innovative. Both plays were comedies and we all laughed more than usual. Ros was a stage director in England and really was impressed at how well the plays were put on.
After two days of a cottage in Ashland it was back to camping. We decided to show them the Redwoods. Kathy and I met in the Redwoods, and both Andy and Ros work for the Forestry Commission in Scotland. We thought some real trees would be fun. We camped at Jedediah Smith State and National Park.WE had bacon and pancakes for breakfast, roasted marshmallows over an open fire, went to the most amazing Redwood Grove I have seen. It is called the Stout Grove. Words do not come close to describing what this grove of trees is.
On the way home we through in Crater Lake for desert. There is so much snow still that hiking and riding were out of the question. It was spectacular.
It was fun to show them all these places we live so close to. I now have a new appreciation for what we have.
I miss my friends. They are going back across the sea to England. With the price of fuel so high I feel an uncertainty about travel in the future. When will I see my friends again? That is a sad thought. Maybe next year in Spain? I will make it happen if I can.
In the mean while I will enjoy Bend to the utmost, I will look at everything like it is new and fresh. Every time I ride my bike I will think that Andy is with me, enjoying this trail for the first time. I hope all of you do the same. We have this special place we call home. Enjoy it, cherish it, and go out and see it.