Wednesday, July 16, 2014

At the End of the Oregon Trail

Mount Hood on Approach to Portland
 I had totally forgotten about the Oregon Trail from the days of the prairie schooners and the westward expansion. But here I am, sitting in an idyllic winery overlooking a vineyard as dawn breaks this morning after traveling from Baltimore yesterday for a week of experiencing  Oregon--the scenery and the wine. Although the Oregon Trail started in Independence, Missouri, my journey began somewhat east at the Baltimore Washington International Airport. Where the early travelers of the Oregon Trail took months to complete their dangerous journey, I was strapped into a Boeing 737 for six relatively short hours. Both journeys ended in the Willamette Valley.
North Silver Falls

During my short trip so far, I have seen a stunning mountain rising up through the clouds, experienced a waterfall surrounded by a pine rainforest, and of course vineyards. There was a short stop alongside a highway so that Chris could take pictures of fields of poppies. She loves poppies and despite almost causing an accident on the narrow road, we managed to get the poppy pictures without incident.

Chris taking pictures of poppies
I am blessed this morning to wake up on the grounds of the Willamette Valley Vineyards in the guest house. My view to the southwest, across the vineyards to the mountains beyond as the sun crawls up into the sky behind me and paints long shadows, is nothing short of spectacular. The morning is cool contrasting to last evening as I baked in the rays of the hot setting sun. 
Morning Shadows at Willamette Valley Vineyards
July 16, 2014

Yes, I have already enjoyed the fruit of the Oregon vines, and done a thorough tasting at the winery--but there is so much more to do. 

Most of all, during this short week away, I want to escape from the speed of life and enjoy being and somewhere and doing something different. Experiencing life in a different way will further enhance my day-to-day living. 

-- Bob Doan, writing from Turner, Oregon 
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