Thursday, December 14, 2006

Mama, Me and Higher Ground

Two weeks ago Saturday, Mama hollered, "Come here!" Turns out she'd discovered that on a clear day, we can see a smidge of Mt. Hood from our kitchen window, when there are no leaves on a couple of huge trees in between that is. It's just a smidge shaped like a triangle, too small for me to photograph from our kitchen, which seems absurd given how huge the mountain is. It peeks from behind a chimney on a building a block away. I stood on the chair to get a better look, then Mama discovered that she too could see it even better standing on the chair.

Since it was beautifully clear that Saturday, we decided to set out for some sight-seeing. That first shot is of the Skyline Restaurant (duh--that's painted on the sign for all to read, right?) which we had enjoyed seeing on Al Roker's "Roker on the Road" for the Food Network, back before we left Jackson. I decided eventhough it was on a road called Skyline Drive, I'd soon be turning 59, high time I tried to drive on a more-than-likely curving road with no guardrails and plenty of drive-ways that disappear quickly from the edge of the road, headed to houses whose only part one can see from one's car is a shingle-covered roof. Right?

Right. I made it, going to the restaurant, turning around and coming back down; I kept breathing the whole time and didn't succumb to the panic I felt in the pit of my stomach. In fact, I believe that once leaves come back to the trees and block the view of clear blue sky here and there as I rounded each curve, going up and down, I believe that once those leaves come back I'll be able to drive back up there and get myself one of those good-lookin' hamburgers Al showed us on that episode when he visited Portland.

That last photo is what is left of Mount St. Helens, 53 miles away, taken from a small portion of a cemetery spread along Skyline Drive and West Burnside. I liked that there was a pull-off spot where I could take a picture from the car, without any other autos bearing down one me. Plus is was some kind of cold up there, and windy, too.

I cannot mention Mt. Hood without asking y'all to pray for the three climbers stranded there, reported missing on Monday. The weather has been horrible up there, hindering efforts to search and increasing the chance of avalanche. Searchers are poised to look again, if and when the weather lets up. Pray for those hard-working people,too. You can keep up with the latest at Google News.

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