Klamath Basin and Beyond

Klamath Basin and Beyond

It has been a dreadfully wet spring in Oregon and Washington this year.  Gardening plans are on indefinite hold while the lawn grows knee high for lack of a dry day to mow.  Like many others here,  I live in the Pacific Northwest because I love trees and green vistas, birds and gardens.  We gladly trade a love of Nature for half a year of clouds and drizzle, and we feel we have the best of the bargain.  Not so much this year, however.

It was in this context that I watched the weather forecasts in hopes of finding 3 consecutive dry days in April.  The wetlands of the Klamath Basin in southern Oregon and far northern California are a resting place for birds migrating farther north, as well as a nesting place for many thousands of other birds.  Ever since I stumbled on that information last winter, I have been looking forward to seeing all those birds with my own eyes.

I found a window of opportunity on April 14, 15, and 16.  Each day would have unsettled weather with some chance of showers, but overall, it didn’t look too bad.  I told my mother and favorite traveling companion to pack a bag and then we were off.
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Celebrating Winter, Skagit Style

Celebrating Winter, Skagit Style

Last fall, when planning our trip to the North Cascades, I tried my best to find a time to travel that highway before it closed for the winter and also to see the Snow Geese that arrive in late fall to spend the winter in the area.  It was not meant to be, so we enjoyed the fall colors in the mountains, vowing to return in winter, if possible, to view the snow geese.

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One Journey Ends and Another Begins

One Journey Ends and Another Begins

As I said in my previous post:  Sometimes, when life has kicked you in the teeth, the best thing to do is make some time to find a little joy.  There hasn’t been a whole lot of that lately, but it’s time.

I haven’t felt inspired to write, even though plenty of blog fodder was available from a scenic and educational road trip October 4-9.  Finally, now that another road trip is in the works, I am ready to write about that other journey and the therapeutic road trip that followed.

Just 15 days after my last post, on July 1, Dad passed.  The following months were a blur of activity – everything from arranging flowers for the service over a long holiday weekend to updating my mother’s legal paperwork to changing the name on the phone bill.  Mom had lived first with her parents, then with her husband, so at 85 years of age, it was time for her to learn how to be independent and it was not easy.  By September, I was ready for a change of pace and started thinking about taking another road trip.  When I asked Mom if she would like to go, she jumped at the prospect.

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Life Happens: It’s About The Journey

Life Happens:  It’s About The Journey

Two Women on a Bridge

It has been said that life is what happens when you are busy making plans.

My parents did a lot of planning. In their 20s, they planned how to scrape together the money to buy a modest home of their own. In their 30s, they planned how to pay off the mortgage in 17 years instead of 30. In their 40s, with an empty nest, they planned their retirement. In their 50s, when their parents died they began to think about their own mortality, and they planned some more. Dementia was never in their plans.

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Exploring Northeast Oregon

Hells Canyon

Day 1

A visit to Hells Canyon has been on my Bucket List for awhile.  Not being one to just hit the highway and drive straight to a destination, I found some worthwhile sights to see along the way.  First up was the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.  There are actually three separate units in the park and, while each is markedly different, they all share colorful and unusual geological formations.  According to the park’s website:  For almost 150 years, paleontologists and geologists have been visiting the John Day Basin to study the area’s abundant fossils and surrounding geology. In 1975 the fossil beds became a National Monument to preserve a world class record of plant and animal evolution, changing climate, and past ecosystems that span over 40 million years.

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