Sunday, October 25, 2009

Foot Traffic Flat Half Marathon July 4th, 2009

I tried this with a photo of Sauvie's Island as the background.  You can see the first of the runners beyond the field.  This is a fun technique to try, too.  I hope I won't be bothering you too much with this new thing I've learned!  I have one more idea, but I will wait for a couple of days.

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The Finish Line

Early in the morning on the 4th of July, three of our kids ran a half marathon together on Sauvie's Island. We left the house at about 4 AM to do the hour drive and get there early for the 6 AM race. (Some people do this for fun!) There was a terrible traffic jam getting over the bridge onto the island, and we arrived just after the marathoners had started, but right on time for the half. There were a lot of admiring fans milling around; several thousand ran. While we waited for the first runners to come in we shopped in the produce barn and admired the chickens and goats. Then the runners came streaming in over a period of several hours. For their pains, they got hot dogs and strawberry shortcake and a tee shirt. And a lot of satisfaction!
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Hi ! I am just practicing my collage making. Thanks for the helpful hints. I do like the borders around the pictures. I am excited to try another one now. This is the Office Bridge in Westfir (near Oakridge) Oregon. Seen in a recent posting but not such a great mosaic =)
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Amber Waves of Grain-2

amber waves of grainCollage

Technical support person arrived.  Collage happened.  Can’t get borders of color around pictures like I’ve seen some of you other smarty pants do.  Oh, well.  Aren’t these colors gorgeous?

We were going to and from Central Ferry State Park on the Snake River in Washington.  Loved the drive!

I am using Picasa 3 for the collage and Windows Live Writer on the blog.  What do you use for your collages?

Amber Waves of Grain

Harvest time always makes me think of the fields and farmers and the good earth which produces the crops which we enjoy.  On our Labor Day camping trip, we drove 5 hours northeast to the Washington Palouse. [The Palouse is a region of the northwestern United States, encompassing parts of eastern Washington, northern Idaho and, in some definitions, extending south into northeast Oregon. It is a major wheat-producing agricultural area. Situated about 160 miles (250 kilometers) north of the Oregon Trail, the region experienced rapid growth in the late 19th century, for a brief time surpassing the population of the Puget Sound region of Washington.[1]

The origin of the name "Palouse" is unclear. One theory is that the name of the Palus tribe (spelled in early accounts variously Palus, Palloatpallah, Pelusha, et al.) was converted by French-Canadian fur traders to the more familiar French word pelouse, meaning "land with short and thick grass" or "lawn." Over time, the spelling changed to Palouse.[2] Another theory is that the name was in the first place a French word, describing the area which was then applied to the indigenous people inhabiting it.

Traditionally, the Palouse region was defined as the fertile hills and prairies north of the Snake River, which separated it from Walla Walla Country, and north of the Clearwater River, which separated it from the Camas Prairie, extending north along the Washington and Idaho border, south of Spokane, centered on the Palouse River. This region underwent a settlement and wheat-growing boom during the 1880s, part of a larger process of growing wheat in southeast Washington, originally pioneered in the Walla Walla Country south of the Snake River.[3]Wikipedia

If you read that definition, you will know that we drove through glorious golden hills of wheat and rich brown earth being groomed for the next season.  I wanted to celebrate the glories of fall and harvest by putting the pictures into a mosaic like some of my learned blogging friends do, but I haven’t known how to do a mosaic. 

Lately, my dear husband has become interested in my blogging technique and has installed a new system which “will make every thing much easier”.  So, I am trying to learn new tricks once again. Hmmm.09-09-06-17-05-15H  09-09-06-16-44-40H 09-09-04-18-21-45H09-09-06-16-46-10H 09-09-06-16-50-08H   09-09-04-18-18-40H09-09-04-18-13-13H 09-09-04-18-18-35H  09-09-07-17-40-26H09-09-07-17-44-53H 09-09-07-16-13-16H  09-09-07-17-13-01H 09-09-07-16-25-03H

  09-09-07-16-13-21H 09-09-07-16-13-16H






The purple peak in the distant deepest orange sky is Mt Hood, and the river is the mighty Columbia.


Oh, beautiful for spacious skies,

for amber waves of grain,

for purple mountains’ majesties

above the fruited plain,

America! America!

God shed his grace on thee

and crown thy good with brotherhood

from sea to shining sea.

P.S. I shall try a photo mosaic when my darling technical support person comes home from work!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Crater Lake



After we enjoyed the Office Covered Bridge (we don't know why it is called Office Bridge), we proceeded east to the main highway north/south through central Oregon, Highway 97. On the way, we passed lots of lovely mossy trees and rode along the blue green waters of the river. The sun was shining and the leaves were beginning to turn gold and orange.


We turned onto Highway 97 and drove a short ways, enjoying the farm lands, when we came to a stop in traffic due to an accident ahead. Trucks and campers and cars were lined up as far as we could see. After sitting in the car for a while, expecting to move again momentarily, we began to wonder what was going on. People were getting out of their cars and passing what information they had; truckers advised us to turn around if we could. The highway had been closed already for 2.5 hours and the tow trucks hadn't arrived yet. [ I have since learned that 2 motorcyclists, 49 years old, were returning to Reno from visiting friends in Washington and were hit when a 69 year-old man in an oncoming SUV pulled out to pass a semi truck, killing the two motorcyclists and injuring the man's wife severely. A very sad story.]

Trip to Reno Map

Although it seemed counter intuitive, we turned around and headed back to the turn off to Crater Lake. It was the only other road that could get us out of there. Much of the year, the road at the north end of Crater Lake is closed due to snow, but now at the end of summer it was open and so beautiful! My husband, though long an Oregonian, had never seen Crater Lake, so it was a fulfillment of a wish for him, albeit not a timely one.

As we crested the top of the drive, suddenly we saw the remarkable blue lake beside us. It was rimmed in rock which glowed in the late afternoon sun. It appeared to be stage lighting! My husband pulled over into a viewpoint and we immediately took pictures. The wind was very cold and strong at the top!

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Crater Lake was formed when the volcano Mt. Mazama blew up thousands of years ago. The 8000-9000 foot high caldera is partially filled with water, roughly 1,958 feet, making it the deepest lake in the United States. The lake reaches 5 to 6 miles across. It is known for its remarkable deep blue color, clarity, and water purity. The island in the lake is Wizard Island, a platform caused by subsequent lava eruptions. The area is now a national park.

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As we left the park and the  alpine trees and high winds, pellets of snow began to hit our windshield. It won't be long until winter, we thought. Not here. 09-10-02-16-46-34H  09-10-02-16-46-54H

So we drove down the highway, heading southeast toward Reno once again, and connected up with Hwy 97 south of the accident, south of Chiloquin.  09-10-02-17-18-47H

The road was free of cars so we knew the highway was still closed further back. We drove on into the night, reaching Reno and our hotel at 11:30 PM.  09-10-03-23-49-22H09-10-03-23-51-27H

I still have one more ‘golden link” in my chain  to share with you next time!

My Golden Chain

We headed to Reno from Portland on Friday morning, reputedly a 10 hour drive.  That is, if you don't stop to take pictures, eat in the restaurants, or take a scenic by-way to see a covered bridge.  And we did all of those, plus got into a huge traffic jam due to a fatal accident, sadly, which closed the highway and caused us to turn around and go out of our way delightfully around Crater Lake, which my husband had never seen.  So our trip on Friday took 15.5 hours, but we enjoyed the beauty of it so much we found it refreshing.

A few years ago on a train trip across the Cascade Mountains in Oregon, I saw from high on the hillside a pretty red covered bridge below over a creekbed.  I didn't have my camera accessible so I sketched it later in my trip journal, eager to have some record of it. 
It has stayed in our minds since that train trip as a place of elusive charm, calling us to return someday.  Can you imagine my delight when my husband said he planned our route to Reno to pass by that very covered bridge in what I know now is Oakridge, Oregon!  Here is the sketch I made from the train:

And here is the real thing:
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It is beautifully maintained.  Note the lattice ceiling.  I love the resonant sound of a car thumping over the wood beam floor.  And to our utter amazement, the passenger train which only runs once a day went by right while we were there!  That's the good news.  The bad news is I was in the restroom when it went by, so I only got to hear the train whistle!  Oh, rats! 
But Ron was able to capture it on camera so now we have come full  circle: the bridge from the train and the train from the bridge.


I thought about the expression “full circle” as we drove and I don't think it expresses what I mean.  Full circle seems to indicate an end.  Full stop.  That is not what I want, to end this amazing journey.  So I wondered if a spiral was a better image-- a series of circles not closing but going on and on.  That doesn't give enough sense of closure to an event or stage, and tends to have either a downward directionality or upward, as if progressing.  Then I thought of a link, which suits me well.  A link is closed but can be added to a chain of other closed links, as in a necklace chain.  That is what this bridge trip was for me, a link in my golden chain of links.
I will tell you about another one soon!

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