Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Anniversary 4-wheeler trip

Last Saturday was our 39th anniversary. The insurance man and I chose to celebrate by going camping in our camp trailer. We headed off together on Friday afternoon to the Ochoco hills, about an hour's drive from home. We camped at a small Forest Service campground called 'Wildcat Campground' in a small canyon. Mill Creek runs through the canyon, and this year there is plenty of water in the creek. We sat under big pine trees and listened to the water gurgle and splash. We did some hiking, visited with friends who came up and joined us, and took a wonderful ride on our 4-wheeler. I rode along behind... and you can see I have a 'Taj-Mahal' kind of seat back there. We took a sometimes dirt, and sometimes gravel forest service road up the left side of the canyon. It wound back and forth through various ridges. The scenery was so beautiful and special I am going to make a stab at describing it to you.

A little stream was running along side the road, and was so pure and clear you could see every color of stone lining the bottom of it. There were various fir, cedar, and tall pine trees. The rain has been so heavy and late this year that the new growth on the trees was lush. The firs had branches that looked like a moss green velvet, while the new pine needles were soft and bright green. The sun sparkled in an inverted bowl of deepest blue, with no cloud from horizon to horizon. The smell of the sunlight on the forest floor of brown pine needles was just heady. An opaque half moon on the rise glowed in the eastern sky above the pine spires stretching up into the sky. On the left side of the road the hills and ridges rose above us. To our right, the land sloped away gently down. There were thick stands of trees, often broken by forest meadows of tall grass, interspersed with old fashioned pink rose bushes in full bloom and white daisies dotting the grass as far as I could see (this is no exaggeration, believe me). Sometimes the meadows also had large patches of wild lupine, in lavender and dark purple. Butterflies flitted on both sides of us, various varieties of black & white, yellow, orange and reddish brown. When we stopped there were no sounds except for bird calls, and once the harsh scream of a bird of prey. On our way we saw soft-eyed cows munching the meadow grass, plentiful deer that ran across our path and on up the hill, cottontail rabbits darting under the brush and a coyote. As we neared the top, we could see for miles and discovered ridge after ridge of soft blue-green forests and meadows fading out into a far valley below.

We were in a designated wilderness area, and the trip showed once again why we love living in Oregon. Both of us being native Oregonians, we are so blessed that God has planted us here in this amazing and diverse State. It was good to get out, relax and enjoy creation.

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