28 July 2011

Sunset Walk on Sauvie Island

Take a break from your busy day and escape to the Pacific Northwest.

My son and his Scout troop wanted to take a hike but their fellow scout, who they call The Awesomeness, has a medical condition and wouldn't be able to walk very far. So, they worked out an Awesomeness capable walk they could take on Sauvie Island (a few miles downriver from Portland OR). A few family members came along too.

NAW with The Awesomness 


Come join us as we walk at sunset. 

First, take a deep breath and breath in the warm, end of day, slightly dusty scent of warm grass, flowing water, mixed with a hint of bug repellent.

Feel the warm air (73 degrees) air on your bare arms. Squint upwards toward the setting sun and the clear blue sky. Relish a view that goes on into eternity with no clouds to break up the expanse (a rare view in this part of the world).

You start walking with the group, chatter, shouts, shuffled footsteps and laughter scare away all wildlife. Slowly you fall behind while working on getting just the right shot in the soft lowering light.



The path you walk takes you around a wet land area with small lake/large pond.



It is a wide path. Smooth enough for the wheelchair to be pushed. Rutted enough for it to be a challenge for the boys. Mostly dry, but occasionally a mud puddle covers the path. The Awesomeness walks around these as one of the other Scouts carries the chair over.

You take another picture and the group rounds a corner. The voices become a faint echo in the breeze.

Along the way you see blackberries in all stages of development.



 

And think about the patch a mile from your home, at the back of the 150 year old cemetery.  The growth season is running late this year. It will be a few weeks until the berries are ready to be picked. When they are you will wrangle a few kids and make a morning out of berry picking. For days you will eat fresh berries, on pancakes, in muffins and mixed with vanilla ice-cream. You will freeze a few gallon size bags to enjoy mid-winter when a taste of summer is needed to get you through the weeks of gray days.








 In places the grass grows over your head.



And the flowers tower along side the path.









Your fellow walkers have moved so far up the path that small animals are once again rustling in the brush. Birds swoop overhead and land on branches in the shadows.

You look ahead and see a soaring pine.


You look behind at a twisted oak.








To one side is a field with patchy blushes of purple flowers.






A gentle breeze rustles the dry grass and shakes the tops of the tallest trees. You are sheltered by the banks of vegetation and the breeze does not even ruffle your hair. Mixed into the bird calls and crackle of grass is the distant hum of vehicles on HWY 30.





You round the corner. Sometime this spring a part of the bank fell away opening a gap in the vegetation giving you a view of the Multnomah Channel.







New fern fronds, fuzzy and curled glow in the sun's rays.


Queen Ann's Lace

thistle

moss covered branches


Evidence of the birds you hear in the distance.

Before you turn toward the cars you stop at a wildlife viewing blind and see a few ducks getting an evening snack.





I hope this walk provided a respite from your day. Let me know if you ever come to my corner of the world. We will take a walk and you can add the feel and scents to the pictures you viewed today.