July 5th, 2008

green little review

Poem for Saturday

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We left Boise early on Friday morning, crossing the state line into Oregon shortly before turning the clock back an hour to Pacific Time. Our route was beautiful, following the Oregon Trail and Lewis and Clark's route, passing through the Umatilla Indian Reservation as the scrubby hills gave way to Oregon pines. At lunchtime we stopped at a roadside rest area where we had to sit at an uncovered picnic table, because the covered ones had barn swallow nests full of adorable fluffy chicks whose mothers made known their displeasure about visitors! We followed the Columbia River Gorge, first paralleling the border with Washington, then crossing over to see the Maryhill Stonehenge monument -- a World War I monument built to resemble Wiltshire's Stonehenge when it was new, under the mistaken impression that the Druids used the latter for human sacrifice. The one in Washington is also astronomically aligned, has fantastic views of the river and is really neat, though of course not as awesome as the real thing.

We went from Maryhill to the Bonneville Dam, which in addition to tours of the hydroelectric facility by the Army Corps of Engineers has windows on the Columbia River fish ladders built to aid the salmon migration. Then we visited Multnomah Falls, a spectacular waterfall that drops over 600 feet to the river. We drove through the outskirts of Portland on the way to Salem, where Paul's brother Jon lives with his wife Brooke and their five-year-old twins, Holden and Noah. Since it was the Fourth of July, we had barbecued hot dogs, corn and macaroni salad, then took a walk to a park near the center of Salem to watch fireworks after the sun went down at 10 p.m.

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