Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Many Levels

I'm aware that the past couple of weeks, a lot has been going on at many levels. There is the level of the trip itinerary -- where we've gone and what we've done. Our second day in Boise, we took a walk up in the foothills, walked through a beautiful botanical garden where everything was in full bloom, and spent a couple of hours with three musician friends of Susan's informally performing songs by Purcell, Handel, et al. We got to see a power-point presentation on water issues in Idaho that Christian had made to a select group concerned with the future of water in the Boise area. On our drive to Salem, OR, we went through central Oregon. It was very clear and we got magnificent views of the Cascade Range (e.g., Mt. Bachelor, the three Sisters, Mt. Washington,Three-fingered Jack, Mt. Jefferson), went through the Santiam pass, stopped in Sisters, OR for a meal and Ellen explored a quilting store, arrived in Salem in the evening and stayed up late visiting with Bonnie and Roger Hull. Roger had just had a retirement blast (a "Hullaballoo") after 40 years of teaching Art History at Willamette University, and there was a lot to hear and see about that. While in Salem we saw a part of a show she had given of her work, got to see the studio where she produced it, and went to the Hallie Ford Museum where Roger had devoted much of his talent and energy over the years. You can get a full appreciation for Bonnie's amazing creativity at her blog which I think you can get to just by clicking on her "Follower" icon. Lots of pictures there! We also had a lovely hike in Silver Falls State Park with JoAnn Elizabeth Seibert - it was the perfect day for a hike, sunny, cool, a light breeze. And the falls were very full - it has been a wet spring.

Silver Falls State Park

J.E. treated us to a lovely meal of sushi (she teaches English to Japanese students), and we also had a tasty Mexican meal in Salem at La Margarita restaurant, followed by a walk over a new pedestrian bridge over the Willamette river created out of an abandoned railroad bridge. Salem is becoming a lively and attractive small city. On our way back to Alpine, WY we stopped in Bend, OR to visit Helen Seidler, who was my colleague at the Experiment in International Living 35 years ago. Together we administered the Teacher Ambassador Program, the Foreign Language Assistant Program, the Schools Educational Exchange Program and the US-France Teacher Exchange Program. Whew! Helen and her husband Owen now live on the outskirts of Bend right at the edge of an 8000-year-old lava field (thus they called their home LavaEdge). It is a beautiful and fascinating spot, with a view of Mt. Bachelor framed by a dip in the wall of lava. It was wonderful to reconnect with Helen, whose interests now include gardening an learning to be a jazz singer.

Helen Seidler and Ellen at LavaEdge

From Bend we drove to Baker City, OR where we spent the night at a Knights Inn (cheap but quite nice). Outside Baker City is the National Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, which has a commanding location overlooking the old Oregon Trail (0ver 300,000 people made their way over it in the mid-19th century on their way from the east to the Willamette Valley, OR). What a fascinating exhibit, including a live dramatic monolgue re-enacting a farmer's dilemma over whether to but horses or oxen, several films, and an extensive series of dioramas portraying vividly the hardships encountered on the trail.

Oregon Trail Center, Baker City, OR

Old Conestoga Wagon

After that we wanted to go up into the Zumwalt Prairie, but found the road closed by flooding and washout - so we settled for a 30-mile drive up to the Hell's Canyon Dam, a spectacular ride!
Photos never quite do justice to it but here are a couple.

Hell's Canyon Dam

Snake River Canyon below the dam

We had a little adventure on the dam. Walking across (which a guard had earlier said was ok to do), we were suddenly accosted by a loudspeaker which said, "Walking over the dam roadway is not permitted -- get off the dam double-time!!!). Ok, Ok! Maybe I was taking too many photos and they thought I was a terrorist plotting an attack. Fortunately they didn't send out the swat team!

Well, that's the superficial layer. A lot more has been going on, but I'll have to save that for another day. It's time to get moving!

No comments:

Post a Comment