Saturday, July 19, 2014

Oxbow Park Ride: A Free and Happy Spirit

Last night marked the start of activities for the wedding of Mark's niece. But before that, Mark and I went for a ride east of Gresham, from our hotel to Oxbow Park. The scenery reminded me a lot of the Fraser Valley east of Vancouver, B.C, but yet it was different. Lots of nurseries growing the trees that end up at places like Home Depot. Berry fields. And the occasional wheat field, such as the one above, contrasted against the dark green of evergreen trees in the background. And lots of quaint heritage farm houses and barns.

Mt. Hood is visible in the distance

Sweet peas were growing everywhere - in fields and alongside roads. I love sweet peas.

Oxbow Park, near Sandy, Oregon, was one of Mark's high school haunts. As we rode through the park, past scenes like the ones pictured below, he told me how he and his friends would skip school and go the park to smoke pot and "drink anything we could get our hands on," listening to the likes of  the Doors, Jimi Hendrix and others. (It was the early 70's after all.) "Of course," he said, "most of the time it was drizzling rain; but on sunny days, you could be sure we'd skip school."

His comments reminded me of our dinner the night before with Mark's mother and sister. Somehow the subject came around to how Mark and his friends used to smoke pot in the Lutheran parsonage where they lived, next to the church where Mark's father was pastor. As he has said before, Mark lamented the fact that he hadn't felt free enough to be a true hippy back then. But, if he taken off for life in a commune, his life likely would have been totally different. I'm glad he didn't, but I am thankful for his free and happy spirit.

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