In August of 2014, just before the start of the Fall 2015 term, Linda and I drove to the farm house in Peru and then to Denver to catch a flight to Portland, Oregon. Cary came with us for the quick family visit. (The photographs cover our entire trip.)
After arriving in Portland late in the afternoon, we drove to Astoria, a beautiful town at the mouth of the Columbia River where Kindergarten Cop and Short Circuit got filmed, favorite films of my daughter and son, Leah and Cary.
At the start of our first day, after enjoying the view of the bridge from Astoria, OR, to Washington near our hotel, we visited the Astoria Column. This impressive structure pays tribute to Lewis and Clark, whom I thought I had left behind in Nebraska.
After our brief look at Astoria, we headed down the coast, eventually reaching our hotel in Florence as the sun set. We spent a couple hours at beautiful Haystack Mound, familiar to all who have seen The Goonies.
Thousands of birds nest on the mound, from Puffins to Sea Gulls. This time around, no Bald Eagles showed up; they feed on the baby birds. I would easily watch the birds for hours.
Oh, while there, we enjoyed a tasty brunch at a combination hardware store and cafe, Brew and Screw. We all recommend the place.
On our drive to Florence, we stopped at a couple parks along the coast. One path in particular impressed with its beauty. We walked out on a peninsula that offered rather impressive vistas of the Pacific Ocean and the Oregon coastline.
This summer (2015), I will make reservations in advance to go Grey Whale watching on a boat out of Depoe Bay. Weather in the afternoon forced the cancellation of any tours.
While in Eugene for three full days before we returned the rental car and flew from Portland back to Denver, we visited with family members.
Linda's mother and brother also live in Eugene, as does my sister and mother. So I got to see my sister and her family, and Linda spent time with her brother's family and her mother.
I got put in charge of making a couple meals at Linda's mothers--Lemon Chicken and Omelettes--and we went out to lunch with my mother and sister and family. I also supplied comic relief after walking through the screen door to the patio where I worked on my computer.
Linda and I did our graduate work at the University of Oregon, she in Romances and I in Comparative Literature. Inasmuch as I had not visited the beautiful campus for many years, I took Cary for a tour of specific areas of the campus that appear in Animal House, from the field where the golf ball hits the fellow on the head to the Fish Bowl, scene of the famous food fight.
During my years at UO in Eugene, I often went fishing for relaxation, wading out into the Willamette River here and there, hoping to land a trout. I also frequented a series of ponds connected to the Willamette River not far from where I first lived.
Now called the Delta Ponds, the small bodies of water are now part of an impressive nature preserve. And as in most places in Eugene, the folks responsible for the ponds' management put in walking paths that meander around the area. Mostly, I am pleased that I recognized the area where the state stocked the ponds with Rainbow Trout we enjoyed eating from time to time.
On our return to Denver, we helped my son in Boulder, who works for Avery Brewery, move into an apartment. In addition, we enjoyed a lunch at the brewery.
Leah, our daughter in Denver who works at Children's Hospital, did not move; however, she bought her first car, which is pretty damn exciting.
So, drinking beer, helping Cary move, and going with our daughter buy her first car consumed our time in Colorado. After staying with me a couple days in Peru, Linda returned to Wisconsin, and I got ready for the fall term of 2014.
One last note about this year's trip to Oregon. For relaxation, in addition to fishing, I loved attending Eugene Emeralds' games. The minor league team played in old and loved Emerald Stadium, which now lies empty and in a state of disrepair, which is sad.
The team now plays in a beautiful stadium built for the U of O
baseball team. However, people got together and purchased the property and hope to rebuild the original stadium. So we shall see.