Thursday, June 7, 2018

Walking Among the Quiet Giants

Ever since I was a young girl there have been a few things that I have always wanted to do or see. Nowadays they call this your "The Bucket List", but these have never been "I must see this before I die" desires,  but rather something I have always thought would be a joy to do. 

The first item on my list came to me about 1962. Every Sunday we would watch "The Wonderful World Disney" TV show at Grandma and Grandpa Eppert's house. Sometimes they would even show little snippets of Disneyland. Ever since then I had always dreamed of seeing "The Magic Kingdom", and finally, in 2011 my dream came true when I visited Disneyworld for the first time. 
(Click here to see that post.)

The second item on my list came a few years after the first. My Parents built a Redwood log house in 1966. I was fascinated with the aroma and beautiful color of the redwood and had heard of the Redwood Forests. I pulled out our trusty World Book Encyclopedias and read everything I could about these giant trees. I have always wanted to see them, and this Memorial Day Darryl and I did just that.

Sunday after church we made a bed in the backseat area of the truck, packed some toiletries and food and headed southwest toward the beautiful Oregon coast.  

We stopped several times to enjoy the view and the fresh sea air, and even take a few pictures.

 As we watched the sun set behind "The sisters" we started looking for a campground where we could spend the night.

Even though it's best to make reservations for a camping spot this time of year, we lucked out and got the very last site available at Harris Beach State Park just south of Brookings, Oregon. 

It was a quiet and peaceful night, and I would like to say that I slept well, but a late night phone call from our daughter-in-law Alisa, telling us that Cody had to be admitted to the hospital with a severe infection in his knee and they were talking about doing emergency surgery made for a restless night for me.
We drove to Crescent City, California and entered the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.

We only drove a mile or so up Howland Hills Rd. when we saw these beauties.

Breathtaking, awe inspiring, remarkable are a few words that came to mind. I am so glad we went in the morning and could see the rays of the morning sun coming through the trees.

I can't help but wonder at the size of the saw used to cut a tree trunk that big! 

We hiked through the Stout Memorial Grove, an easy hike with so much to see and the sound of the river in the background.

 There were quite a few people hiking in the grove, but there was still a quiet reverence that pervaded the forest.

These are quiet giants that seem to say... "Come close and see the handiwork of God."

As I looked around me at the grand majesty that was this one grove, a scripture from the Pearl of Great Price came to mind...

Moses 4: 8 And it came to pass that Moses looked, and beheld the world upon which he was created; and Moses beheld the world and the ends thereof, and all the children of men which are, and which were created; of the same he greatly marveled and wondered.


   There was more beauty and peace here than I ever realized. It is truly a Marvel of God and Nature.

A quiet walk in the realm of the Giants does wonders to heal the soul.

I do hope to see the other Redwood Forests someday, but until then, I have fulfilled a life long dream and it has instilled an even deeper love and understanding of how much our Father in Heaven does love us. He created all of this for us to bless us. 
What a joy!

Monday, May 28, 2018

30 Hours in Seattle

Each year it seems I lose more and more classmates. Thanks to Facebook many of us have reconnected over the years and it has been good to meet and catch up with old friends. Since Darryl's nephew Chris Cunningham and his wife live in Seattle, and I have an old school chum who lives on Bainbridge Island in the Pugent Sound, we decided to take Friday afternoon and Saturday to go visit them. 
Friday May 18th

We had a wonderful dinner with Chris and Caitlyn. We ate on the rooftop of Duke's Chowder House as we watched the sun set over the Puget Sound. It was our first time to meet Caitlyn (We missed the wedding due to a family emergency). What a lovely young woman she is. The last time we saw Chris He was in High School, so we had a lot of catching up to do.

Saturday May 19th. 

Saturday Morning we drove up to Bellevue to visit the Botanical Gardens. What a pleasant way to spend the morning.

Visiting the "Ravine".

I have never seen so many Rhododendrons in my life. They were glorious!

We found the Gnome door.

One of the community garden clubs was having a flower show. These were my favorites.

We drove over to Seattle where we were meeting my friend, Roger Dunaway, on the University of Washington Campus. 

After reading the novel "The Boys in the Boat" about the 1936 Olympic Rowing team from the University who won a Gold medal, we couldn't come to the UofW and not visit the shell house.

The Crew shells.

We met up with Roger and he took us on a tour of the Seattle area.
Roger and I were classmates at Terre Haute North Vigo High School Class of 1975.
Roger went on to IU and became a lawyer and moved to Seattle. It was so good to see him after more than 20 yrs., and it seemed the time just melted away as we visited about our families and friends from the old days.

Our first stop was the Bollard Locks and Salmon Ladders.

Watching the boats come and go in the locks was fascinating and Darryl had quite a conversation with the Army Corps of Engineers personnel about how the locks work.

Unfortunately the salmon ladder was closed, so we had to find something else to do. 

Roger took us to Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle, then we caught the ferry for Bainbridge Island.

The Seattle skyline is pretty impressive!

By the time we got to the island our phones had died so we don't have any photos of Roger or his sweet wife Renee` or their beautiful home and island. Renee` served us a delicious dinner of homemade salmon cakes, salad, potatoes and grilled asparagus, (Thank you again for that!) then they drove us around the island showing us the Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, the Beach, more beautiful homes and their town. What a delightful mini vacation it was, and just 30 hours after leaving Hillsboro we were on the road again heading back. It was a quick trip but one I will remember for a long time to come. We hope to do it again sometime.