Vacation 2011 – Day 9

Our day started around 8:30 AM Pacific Time. The hotel had a really nice breakfast, I had dry cereal, sausage patty, english muffin with cream cheese, and hot chamomile tea. I have become addicted to herbal tea while on this trip, I have found it to be a wonderful alternative to the coffee I used to so enjoy. While driving up to Crater Lake we stopped at a viewpoint called Godfrey Glen. It was about a 250 foot drop and was beautifully green at the bottom. I don’t know if there was farmland down there or what.

At Crater Lake I took pictures of the lake, of course, Mt. Scott, Mt. McLoughlin, valleys, Williams Crater, wildflowers, and snow, oh, and a chipmunk. The chipmunks would come right up to you and were quick. They were just running all over, I was surprised I was able to get a picture. It was so strange to see so much snow, I think one of the brochures said they received over 644 inches of snow last year. As a matter of fact one of the roads lead up to a viewpoint was still closed because of the snow. The water was dark blue and gorgeous. The still water acted as a mirror reflecting the mountains and sides of the crater perfectly. The wildflowers were bright pink, dark purple, red, and yellow. There was moss growing on the sides of the rocky cliffs. Words and pictures cannot capture the beauty of this place, I only wish I could have spent more time reflecting on just how wonderful God is for creating something so beautiful.

One thing I have learned on this trip is we rush by and hurry through life, never taking the time to just sit still and absorb the peaceful beauty of our surroundings. I have said for years that the part of Oklahoma I live in far more beautiful than any other part of the United States. When I was a teenager and was having one of those days that teenagers often have when life as they know it is unbearable, I would go out in our pasture, lay down in the grass, and just stare at the sky. First I would scream, cry, get out all the emotions I bottled up inside me that day, then I would get still, close of my mind off to the world, and wait. I would wait for my mind and body to relax and rejuvenate. It is a tradition I have carried through to my adult life. Then and now, if absorbing God’s beauty isn’t possible I write, both are very therapeutic and best of all I don’t keep those ugly emotions that can poison and eat away me bottle up.

There was no way we could have slowed our trip down to sit, absorb, meditate, or reflect. There just simply wasn’t enough time, we would have had to have been gone weeks to see and take it all in. But that’s the great thing about memories and pictures, I can go back there anytime and I can spend as much time there as I want.

As we were leaving we saw some runners and several mini vans and 15 passenger vans, with messages written all over the windows. It looked like they were divided up in teams and were each running a portion of a race. We stopped in Chemult, Oregon for lunch and gas. Gas was $3.85 per gallon and lunch was outrageous and the food and service was terrible. On down the road we saw Mt.

Mt. Hood - elevation 11,246

Hood, Mt. Jefferson, and the Three Sisters. I tried to get pictures but I was just too hazy. We also crossed the 45th Parallel, which meant we were exactly half way between the North Pole and the Equator. I can’t remember what day it was but one morning we drove by a field being irrigated and there was what looked like dust hanging in the air, it was mosquitoes. Can you believe that, mosquitoes so thick you could actually see them.

Coming into Biggs, Oregon we drove a winding road through a canyon, I think it was called Philpi Canyon. The view was spectacular. We came out at the Columbia River and we paralleled it for a while. The water was very turbulent and there were a ton of wind surfers and parasailing. I took pictures of the bright green moss on the rocky cliffs, John Day Lock and Dam, and the Greenwood Tree Farm. The tree farm had these tall, tall trees – I have never seen anything like it, the farm went on for miles. I wonder how they harvest them? We made it to Walla Walla, Washington about 8:30 PM Pacific Time and ate a late dinner at KFC.

Until another day,

AC

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