We have had an especially nice week, culminating with Easter and my birthday today. Ray's twin brother was here for several days and we used his visit as an excuse to get out and indulge in some Oregon beauty. The last time we spent with Roy was so profoundly sad, that we were ready for some springtime, some lightness and something just plain joyful, to share.
A downtown Portland day started us out, then the next day found us south of the city, off the main roads and heading for the tulip fields. Have I told you how much I love springtime in Oregon? The blossoms, the green—unlike any green!—the mist, the gray-blue of clouds and sky, the stark, graphic trees. . . It is what spring should always be.
And mud, of course. This year I remembered to wear my boots. . .
. . because we walked out muddy lanes, into the fields of technicolor, tulip-y amazingness. It is almost too much color to absorb all at once. You feel your cells begin to vibrate with the intensity of color and the weariness of winter just leaves your body, swirling away in the moist breeze.
Tulips. They can fix you. And maybe waterfalls can do that too, so from the tulips we wound our way on those back roads to Silver Falls State Park.
Down, down, down, this trail we went to the bottom of the lower falls. Hiking back up was hard, really hard, but the trip so worth it.
You can get a sense of the scale from the fence and the people on the trail where it goes behind the falls.
There were small rewards along that steep trail and beautiful old log buildings at the top, built during the Great Depression by the CCC.
On Roy's last day with us we headed for the beach, driving along the Columbia River to its mouth at Astoria. The sun was shing brightly along the beach and we meandered down the coast, stopping for lunch, then a stop to see the "What's blue to you?" exhibit in Cannon Beach. We ended the day at the Spirit Mountain casino, out in the wilds between Portland and the ocean to see Gladys Knight in concert. The concert was part of my birthday celebration—indulging our nostalgic love of Motown and Gladys and that Midnight train. Memories of dancing around the living room, when our kids were young, doing our best Pip moves and joining in on the "Woo Woo!!", we've always loved Gladys, who is still joyful and strong and vibrant. What a voice. Perfect.
So, it's been a great week. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. And Happy Birthday to me.