Wednesday, October 10, 2007

After a cold, rainy week of paperwork and business, I needed rejuvenation and found a willing co- escapee in my husband.

On a three day trip that began on my birthday, we spent one day in the central, southern part of our state. We rode our bikes on the banks of the Rogue River and listened to it's song. We lounged in warm sunshine and watched the tiny birds flit in and through the trees. The drive down had been through tan grasses with hay already cut and green pastures with sheep or cattle grazing. We could see snow capped Mt. Mc Loughlin in the distance but only blue skies above us. A breath of summer still.

The second day, a drive through the farm country and through the fir forests, past Crater Lake and into the pine forests of central Oregon took us into another world. The ground covered with pine needles and cones gave a brown floor to this world. Even the shrubs were leafless. A different kind of beauty. We hiked along the Deschutes River and through a burned forest barely coming back to life with young trees not yet knee high. The scampering chipmunks ignored us as we passed.

A third day in Sisters, an old mountain town turned tourist attraction, a collection of fascinating shops and galleries kept us wandering the streets. The song of the town was the birds bringing fruited apple trees to life. The cold moved in, brought by wind and sent us to shelter by late afternoon. That was a wind that huffed and puffed most of the night, making sure we knew it's force.

In the still quiet of morning, we headed down the mountain to a home that would be welcoming even after so short a time away. This drive was through a wonderland of pink, red, and wine vine maple nestled among the pine trees. Above the trees the snow capped trio of mountains, the Three Sisters, drew our eyes and we caught glimpses of lakes through the trees. As we crossed the summit of the pass, the trees became the dark green of fir, the bright yellow of birches splattered here and there and the tan of the spent ferns covering the forest floor. The laughing river we followed down the mountain was the Mc Kenzie, the prettiest we'd seen on our brief escape. The rain began, shining the orange and russet of the roadside shrubbery at the lower altitude.

With last weeks worries and pressures erased by all I'd seen, heard, and experienced, I came back to my life dazed by love for this incredibly beautiful place I live.